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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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.

Initiatives

A group of six smiling individuals posing together in front of a USC Viterbi backdrop. They are enjoying themselves, with some holding props like a colorful pinwheel and a yellow foam USC hand. The backdrop features the USC Viterbi logo repeatedly.

John Brooks Slaughter 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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A group of children wearing bright yellow shirts are gathered around an instructor explaining a robot. The instructor is demonstrating something on a screen, and a robot is positioned next to him. The scene takes place in an educational or workshop setting.

Viterbi K-12 STEM Center

The Viterbi K-12 STEM Center is committed to providing equitable, culturally responsive opportunities for youth, families, and schools in STEM
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Three women smiling and posing together in front of a USC Viterbi backdrop. The backdrop is red with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering logo and other text. The women are wearing dresses in black and white, burgundy, and blue.

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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A young woman wearing glasses and a lab coat is working with a complex experimental setup involving tubes and machinery on a lab bench. She is looking to the side, possibly observing or adjusting the equipment.

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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Two women smiling and standing indoors. The woman on the left is holding a red USC gift bag and wearing a name tag that reads 'Zakiyyah Brown.' The woman on the right is holding a phone and has her arms crossed. They are standing near a door with a window panel.

REACH

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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Two women in academic regalia standing in front of a brick building. They are smiling and wearing doctoral robes; one in purple with black velvet bars and the other in maroon with light blue velvet bars. The setting appears to be at a graduation or academic ceremony.

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

Contacts

Leadership

Ken Bonner, Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives, smiling in a professional headshot wearing a dark suit and tie.
Ken Bonner
Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives

Faculty Recruitment

Dr. Timothy Pinkston, Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs, smiling warmly in a professional portrait. He is wearing a dark gray suit, a patterned tie, and glasses against a light gray background.
Dr. Timothy
Pinkston
Vice Dean
Faculty Affairs
Dr. Malancha Gupta, Chair of Viterbi Women in Science & Engineering, smiling confidently. She is dressed in a sleeveless black top and a silver necklace, with long dark hair, against a plain light background.
Dr. Malancha
Gupta
Chair
Viterbi Women in Science & Engineering

Student Success Initiatives

Traci Thomas Navarro, Director of the John Brooks Slaughter Center for Engineering Diversity, smiling in a headshot. She is wearing glasses and a professional black jacket with a light background.
Traci Thomas
Navarro

Director
John Brooks Slaughter Center for Engineering Diversity

Viterbi K-12 STEM Center Outreach

Dr. Darin Gray, Co-Director of the Viterbi K-12 STEM Center, smiling warmly in a headshot. He is wearing glasses and a red polo shirt with a natural, leafy green background.
Dr. Darin
Gray
Co-Director
Viterbi 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.

https://diversityrecognition.asee.org/background/

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

https://diversityrecognition.asee.org/recognized-institutions/

Bronze award badge from the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program. The badge has a bronze outer ring with a blue ribbon banner across the middle that says 'BRONZE'. The ASEE logo is at the bottom, and the text 'ASEE Diversity Recognition Program' is at the top of the badge.

Published on September 4th, 2020

Last updated on June 13th, 2024