Chemical Engineering Diversity Committee Announced

July 31, 2020

Introducing Chemical Engineering Diversity Committee

Dear Chemical Engineering Community,

It is with great enthusiasm that I introduce the members of our new Chemical Engineering Diversity Committee.  The charge of the Diversity Committee is to coordinate and synergize our ongoing efforts and recommend new ones, harmonize operations, catalyze discussions and generate ideas, and ultimately route those ideas for any further needed discussion and ultimately implementation by the Department.   This committee includes faculty and staff members as well as student members, including members from the key student groups in the Department.   It has a faculty and a staff co-Chair, and an Executive Committee that includes the two co-Chairs, myself (ex-officio), the Academic Administrator, Graduate Officer, Undergraduate Officer, and Graduate Admissions Chair.    We anticipate our first meeting in advance of the start of the academic year.

We have a remarkably strong group of community members who are engaged in the committee.   Chris Love will serve as the faculty Co-Chair; he brings significant experience from his work as a former chair of Graduate Admissions, in which he worked to successfully increase the numbers of women and underrepresented minority students.   Sharece Corner of the ChemE Student Office will act as the interim staff Co-Chair; she has worked on the front lines of several of our diversity efforts, facilitating programs such as ACCESS  and ChAMP, engaged with the active recruitment of students, and working closely with our student groups to enact programs and efforts.   Key officers and committee chairs in the Department are present to enable a means of discussing efforts in every area.  The student members are a diverse group who serve not as official representatives but as members across key student organizations as shown below; they were chosen based on their engagement in student life in the Department in many different areas, and fit across demographic and identity groups.  They will provide their unique perspectives to the committee while maintaining high connectivity to the groups they work with and belong to.    Postdoctoral associates who are engaged in our community represent this unique part of our community of scholars.  The staff members bring a significant amount of perspective about our community from several different angles in the Department, and bring unique expertise that will facilitate our work.   We have faculty members who also give a range of viewpoints on different issues and concerns, and involvement in some of our key committees and core activities.   From among this group, we have representation across gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and country of origin from every sector of our community.  Their interest and dedication towards diversity is universal, and we are very thankful to them for contributing their time towards this important effort.

Diversity ExecComm:

Chris Love                                      Faculty Co-Chair

Sharece Corner                            Interim Staff Co-Chair

Melanie Charette                        Academic Administrator

Pat Doyle                                       Graduate Officer

Barry Johnston                            Undergrad Officer

Brad Olsen                                    Graduate Admissions  Chair

Paula Hammond                         Department Head, ex-officio


Full Committee:

Melanie Kaufman                      Communications Officer

Tseganesh Gudeta                     Staff Representative, Administrative Assistant, Trout Lab

Alethia Mariotta                         Staff Representative, Lecturer

Fikile Brushett                              Faculty Representative

Ariel Furst                                      Faculty Representative


K’yal Bannister                             Graduate Student Representative (DICE)

Emily Krucker-Velasquez         Graduate Student Representative (DICE)

Madeline Dery                             Graduate Student Representative (GWiCHE)

Bertrand Neyhouse                   Graduate Student Representative (GSAB)

Anthony Tabet                            Graduate Student Representative At-Large


Lina Ahmed                                  Undergraduate Student Representative (NOBCChE)

Zachary Villaverde                     Undergraduate Student Representative (USAB)

Kara Zhang                                    Undergraduate Student Representative (AIChE)

Ayomikun Ayodeje                     Undergraduate Student Representative At-Large


Kyle M. Diederichsen                Postdoctoral Associate

Florence Vermeire                     Postdoctoral Associate


As described in a previous communication, we are working on the proposal of a shared DEI officer with Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, and anticipate that this DEI Officer would become a core member of this committee.   We look forward to engaging the Committee with the key strategic efforts of the Department in addressing diversity, equity and inclusion in our community.

Thank You and Best Regards,

Paula Hammond
Department Head