DEI Student Advisory Board

The College of Engineering’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Advisory Board is composed of a group of excited and engaged undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of backgrounds, departments, and class years. Championed by Lyonel Milton at the Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach and Jeanne Murabito at the Office of Student Affairs, it is coordinated by Blaire Tinker, Program Manager for Student Support & Development. The SAB was designed to gather student feedback on the College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan and develop ideas that will make the College of Engineering a more inclusive place for all students to live, learn, and grow.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2021-22 Academic Year

Applications Due September 10, 2021

The SAB welcomes input from the Engineering community. If you have any questions, concerns, stories, or praise related to diversity, equity, or inclusion in the Engineering community, please feel free to either email or fill out this anonymous Google Form.

Muhammad Abdullah

PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

“I joined to be actively taking part and providing my insight and suggestions in developing policies and designing programs related to DEI.”

Tiwalola Akin-Bello

Sophomore Undergraduate, Undecided

“I joined because I want to be part of the process that actively works on diversity, equity and inclusion rather than just encouraging it. I want to give my input on what we, as a university, can do better for everyone and to bring ideas to the CoE community that everyone feels included and heard.”

Ester Bentley

PhD Student, Electrical Engineering

“I felt particularly isolated within my department my first year and disliked the constant feeling of tokenism. I am currently engaging in conversations with my Departments DEI team and would like to expand my efforts/commitment to developing a more welcoming and vibrant environment to the CoE level.”

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Mitchell Bieniek

PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

“I am currently a co-chair of ESG’s DEI committee. I believe there is a lot of potential synergy between the SAB and the ESG committee, especially for identifying opportunities for events and other activities that could be (co-)hosted by ESG.”

Marlina Bowring

Junior Undergraduate, Computer Science

“I have faced discouraging comments in the past and while I am comfortable brushing comments like that aside, I don’t think this is something that anyone should have to deal with. People should be encouraged to pursue their interests, regardless of their background.”

Shannon Clancy

PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

“I want to be apart of the decision making process in order to shape what DEI looks like on the day to day level for our students. Being a first year PhD candidate, I have a different perspective than students who have been here for the last 3 or 4 years and I want to learn the ways DEI helps our engineering community while determining new ways to serve it to the best of my ability. “

Nayah Daniel

Junior Undergraduate, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

“I have been educating myself lately on the issues that people apart of different communities face repeatedly. Specifically, black people, woman and members of the lgbtq+ community (all of which I am apart of). I want to ensure a comfortable environment for all students to feel welcomed and respected in the college of engineering. I feel now is the time to make social change in our world and I want to be apart of any efforts that are contributing to this matter. I also want to serve as a voice for those individuals who feels as if their voice are unheard and through this advisory board, I can make sure the voices of my classmates are getting heard.”

Katherine Dowdell

PhD Student, Environmental Engineering

“I have really enjoyed working in our informal CEE DEI group and would like to transition to working in a more formal capacity to make UM a safer, more equitable place. I want to support students from diverse backgrounds and do the work that is needed to promote inclusivity. I think this is especially important in CoE, which seems to be lagging behind other colleges in making these kinds of changes.”

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Maria Fields

Freshman Undergraduate, Biomedical Engineering

“The black community is often deprived of positive role models that promote intellectual breathe and exploration. I want to be one of those role models that other black children can connect with. I want to normalize being scientifically curious for black children. To me working with youth is important so they know it is possible to expand their horizons and they feel empowered to do so. I want them to know if I can do it, you can do it too. After all, as written by Maya Angelou, “together we rise.””

Jordon Horton

Sophomore Undergraduate, Environmental Engineering

“I joined because being on the DEI SAB would allow me to have a much wider scope on campus geared toward DEI topics.”

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Meitong Hu

First Year Master’s Student, Industrial and Operations Engineering
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“As a female in Engineering, I have been told that I wasn’t smart/capable enough and for the longest time, I felt I didn’t belong in the Engineering school. With the help of my friends and organizations that dedicate to empower minority groups (i.e. SWE), I was able to overcome and eventually became successful in my academic careers. However, I would not ever want anyone to experience the same as I did and I want to be at the table when decisions are made to voice the concerns and the interests of minority groups (females, blacks, hispanics, vets, people with disability, etc). I want to fight for all these people so that we could all thrive in Engineering and beyond!”

Khue Le

Sophomore Undergraduate, Computer Science

“As a POC, woman, and member of the LGBTQ+, I believe I have certain experiences that could shed light on previously underrepresented areas of STEM. I would love to be a part of the advisory board in order to help enact the changes that would make our community more inclusive to other diverse students.”

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Madeleine Munoz

Sophomore Undergraduate, Aerospace Engineering

 “I have had some (not many) interactions that weren’t the kindest just due to the lack of diversity. A fellow student told me I got into the College of Engineering just because I was female. That is not okay, and I want that idea and perception to change. I am very passionate about supporting women in STEM and people of color in STEM. I learned about intersectionality in class last semester and it really opened my eyes to how people’s identities shape their experiences and life. Every person for any walk of life deserve a welcoming, informative, inclusive, and diverse college experience. When lacking these things, people can be turned off from joining STEM and that is horrible. I don’t want to be someone who sits back and complains about things. This is how I can help take action in the things I am passionate about.”

Weronika Myslak

Senior Undergraduate, Civil Engineering

“I joined the Student Advisory Board because I love to work with people from different backgrounds and as a woman in a male-dominated field, I understand the importance of feeling welcome on campus.”

Brian Oo

Junior Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

“Now more than ever a lot of people individually are educating themselves on the importance of DEI, however I feel that it is up to groups and organizations like the CoE to be a leading voice and set the standard such that the importance of DEI goes beyond a temporary trend and becomes as integral part of education. The Student Advisory Board allows me to help play an active role beyond my own personal sphere and sets in stone standards for the college long after I graduate.”

Agnes Resto

PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

“My experiences growing up have been very different from the ones of other minority students I’ve met at the University of Michigan. Because of this, I feel like I sometimes don’t understand their mindset and struggles. I joined to share my perspective and to learn about the perspective of fellow minority students.”

Ilka Rodriguez-Calero

PhD Student, Integrative Systems + Design

“I would like to be part of the College of Engineering DEI Student Advisory Board because it aligns with my decision of no longer being willing to accept the idea that the change I would like to see will be brought by others with no shared experience.”

Caitlin Russell

Sophomore Undergraduate, Computer Engineering

“Engineering is about problem solving, and problems are easiest to solve when there are many people with different backgrounds and ways of approaching it working together to solve it. The best way to have engineers with different experiences working together is to ensure that students of different races, gender identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds are encouraged to pursue engineering and I would like to help make that happen.”

Charles Schertzing

First Year Master’s Student, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

“The College of Engineering needs to have the voices of students who understand what their fellow classmates are going through. Our administrators need to hear the voices of students to understand and to address our concerns.”

Ahmad Shirazi

PhD Student, Integrative Systems + Design

“I joined because I believe the DEI SAB will have a significant impact on a lot of students lives and I want a part of this movement.”

Catherine Sullivan

Sophomore Undergraduate, Computer Engineering

“I feel that the University of Michigan as a whole understands the importance of awareness of transgender issues, but hasn’t yet incorporated things like understanding how to handle name and pronoun discussions into common or easily accessible knowledge across the University. The Student Advisory Board is a great opportunity for me to make a difference in what I see as a significant but manageable problem. I would like to be a part of the Board to share my perspective on these issues and the underrepresented issues of others.”

Shereen Thomas

Freshman Undergraduate, Undecided

“I have always been passionate about DEI and in the midst of all my online math, physics, and coding classes I feel like I’m losing the opportunity to use all my empathy and compassion for what I’m really passionate about which is striving for a more socially just and inclusive world for all people. I think being on the board can give me the opportunity to work for something really meaningful and would allow me to voice concerns on the behalf of those who are silenced.”

Meagan Tobias

PhD Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering

“I would like to become more engaged in the college of engineering itself. I want to help with promoting DEI throughout the campus and collaborating with students about how to improve our campus for all who go here and hearing other’s experiences. Having been here for undergrad and now grad school, I want to help make my school a better place for current and future students and making people feel comfortable at Michigan.”

Andreya Ware

Junior Undergraduate, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

“I feel the College of Engineering is very diverse, which can be seen in the blend of different peoples throughout the college, but more can be done to make it more inclusive. I would like to help make it possible for everyone to feel included so we all thrive both in classes and in our social lives.”

Maximillian Wehner

First Year Master’s Student, Biomedical Engineering

“Growing up I had the joy of experiencing moving internationally every 3 years. Be it a blessing or a curse, the social harms I endured allowed me to gain so much more in terms of valuing understanding others, wishing to aid others as they aid me, and ultimately, develop a form of cultural competence. When I envision the diverse yet often too fragmented and insecure social dynamics of the College of Engineering, it is clear that the diversity and the diffusion of values is restricted despite the clear efforts by the University and member groups to make a change. Obviously, I do not believe that my efforts will be any more influential than another’s, and yes I may only know so much concerning the unique situation in the college of engineering. Yet, my hope is that by joining the discussion in a group that is actively working to plan events and enforce changes to improve understanding and acceptance between individuals and groups, I can both be of aid with my suggestions and also become more effective at supporting change in the future. I understand that there is no quick fix, and I would like to join the Student Advisory Board in their efforts so that I may begin to help fostering concrete changes in the inclusivity of the College of Engineering’s culture, and gain valuable experience to guide me in dealing with future engagements with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”