Diversity Equity & Inclusion

In our engagement in engineering education and research we benefit strongly and unequivocally from our unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion, for all our constituencies, students, faculty and staff.

- USC Viterbi Vision Statement

For engineering to remain society’s engine of innovation, we must change the conversation about what engineers do, who they are, and what they look like. We believe that changing perceptions about engineering is a necessity. By engaging our whole society in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we increase our innovation capacity through the diversity of thought and ideas. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the mission of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and we have made a number of significant efforts to enhance diversity in all sections of the engineering pipeline.

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Racial Equity-Minded Action

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering has committed to the following principles and action to advance racial equity and inclusion that will help dismantle structural and systemic factors that contribute to inequities.
Representation Matters:

Increase pipelines and pathways to attract Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff with the goal of meeting or exceeding national averages.

Action Plan:

Review practices of attracting and recruiting students, faculty and staff in all Viterbi Academic and non-Academic Departments and Units.

Create and start implementing a specific plan for increasing representation in each department and unit.

In the process, follow the principles and recommendations of the Parity Objective.

Monitor the success of the implementation and of the efficacy of the plan and provide updates twice a semester.

Engagement & Support Matters:

Retain and support community of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff.

Action Plan:

Review practices for developing and retaining students, faculty and staff in all Viterbi Academic and non-Academic Departments and Units.

Create and start implementing a specific plan for increased engagement and support including advising, mentoring, participation in high-impact programs, and promoting academic and career success in each department and unit.

Explore inclusive teaching practices to identify pedagogical strategies to promote equity, actively engage all students, and to reduce achievement gaps.

Explore collaboration with minority serving institutions and community organizations to collectively support research and innovation opportunities.

In the process, follow the principles and recommendations of the Parity Objective.

Monitor the success of the implementation and of the efficacy of the plan and provide updates twice a semester.

Equity & Inclusion Matters:

Promote an inclusive and equitable environment conducive for all members of the community to thrive and realize their full potential.

Action Plan:

Provide educational resources for students, faculty, and staff.

Review policies, norms, and procedures to promote equity-minded practices in all Viterbi Academic and non-Academic Departments and Units.

Create and implement plan to collect, monitor, and report data on demographics and experiences of students, faculty and staff.

In partnership with the University, enhance system for faculty, staff, and students to register concerns, communicate formal complaints, and receive neutral guidance and support.

Establish Employee Resource Groups to promote community building and cultural awareness.


Center for Engineering Diversity
The goal of CED is to foster a community of underrepresented scholars focused on academic, professional, and personal excellence. By partnering with Viterbi student affairs professionals, faculty, and corporate representatives, CED hosts programs and events that enhance students’ skills and build their networks for success.
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K-12 STEM Center
K-12 fully embraces diversity and inclusiveness in its K-12 outreach. K-12 provides and supports STEM education in K-12 schools, after-school groups, and organizations, focusing particularly on the neighborhoods around the University of Southern California campuses, which are populated by historically under-represented demographic groups.
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Women in Engineering
USC’s Women in Engineering (WIE) offers professional, academic and social services to the women of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The goal of WIE is provide resources and overall support that will address the unique challenges female engineers face. WIE’s mission is to allow our female students to find personal and professional success, both during their time at USC Viterbi and beyond.
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Viterbi Summer Institute
The Viterbi Summer Institute (VSI) is a high achievement program designed to enhance the transition to USC for engineering students from underrepresented backgrounds. Institute participants will gain a competitive edge by engaging with faculty, staff, and students in a supportive community environment. The four-week residential program will prepare students for the complex coursework and academic rigor of Viterbi engineering.
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REACH is a graduate engineering preview program that takes place at USC’s University Park Campus near downtown Los Angeles. Through REACH, under-represented engineering achievers get firsthand exposure to exciting research opportunities, world-class faculty, rich academic programs, stellar student services and mentoring resources.
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Viterbi Black Employee Resource Group
The goal of the Black ERG is to build a supportive community to retain, mentor, and empower USC Viterbi Black employees through social, educational, and professional development programming.
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Office for Diversity & Strategic Initiatives

The Office of Diversity and Strategic Initiatives aims to make Viterbi more inclusive, and equitable. The Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives provides strategic leadership for Viterbi initiatives to enhance the experiences of students, faculty, and staff. DSI develops and fosters partnerships to advance initiatives while consulting with senior leadership, faculty, and staff on matters concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Provide strategic leadership for initiatives to increase diversity and enhance experiences of students, faculty, and staff

Develop and foster partnerships to help advance national initiatives

Advise dean, faculty, and staff on complex matters concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion

Provide consultation to department chairs, faculty, search committees

Collaborate on research proposals to broaden participation of underrepresented populations

Serve as designated neutral; provide confidential, informal, independent and impartial assistance

Assist with diversity strategic planning and creating inclusive practices


Ken Bonner
Ken Bonner
Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives
Faculty Recruitment
Dr. Timothy
Vice Dean
Faculty Affairs
Dr. Malancha
Viterbi Women in Science & Engineering
Student Success Initiatives
Traci Thomas Navarro
Traci Thomas
Center for Engineering Diversity
Del Los Santos
Women in Engineering
K-12 Outreach
Dr. Darin
K-12 STEM Center
Dr. Katie
K-12 STEM Center
ASEE Dean’s Diversity Initiative

As chair of the ASEE Diversity Committee, Dean Yannis Yortsos led the effort that has now culminated in more than 220 engineering schools pledging participation.


To accelerate the achievement of the Diversity Pledge goals, the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program (ADRP) was created to publicly recognize those engineering and engineering technology colleges that make significant, measurable progress in increasing the diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes of their programs.

USC Viterbi was awarded exemplar status




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Toward A More Equitable USC Viterbi

In a recent memo, Dean Yannis C. Yortsos and Brandi P. Jones, vice dean for diversity and strategic initiatives, summarize how USC Viterbi plans to empower Black, Latinx and Indigenous students, faculty and staff.

Published on September 4th, 2020

Last updated on May 18th, 2022