Under the leadership of new Diversity Director Makola Abdullah, MCEER held its first Diversity Workshop in Washington, D.C. on April 9, 2004. Attended by a small group, including MCEER Director Michel Bruneau, Industry Advisory Board Vice-Chairman Ellis Stanley, Jr., NSF Associate Executive Director for the Division on Earth and Life Studies Bill Anderson, NEIC Geophysicist and Spokesperson Waverly Pearson, Professor Rupa Purasinghe of California State University and Ph.D. Student Terri Norton of Florida A&M University, the workshop provided a forum to discuss the best ways to increase diversity at MCEER. Ideas include:
Link to others doing similar successful work.
Update vision statement to elucidate the benefits of diversity. This will in turn impact the research agenda.
Consider the feasibility of women and minority scholars/visiting scholars program targeted for Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).
Recruit minority faculty for cooperative research.
Increase visibility and build awareness among targeted populations.
In addition, the group agreed to focus on several tasks aimed at increasing diversity. These include gathering and understanding the current diversity challenges among undergraduate and graduate students and faculty through current statistics; establishing a baseline for success for diversity programs; increasing diverse participation in MCEER graduate programs through REU programs and LSAMP (affiliated Fellowships); increasing diverse faculty at MCEER institutions through visiting faculty fellowships; and establishing a database of minority faculty in earthquake engineering and related fields.