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Dayton Engineer

Diversity Program Celebrates 20 Years of Success

By Kelly Fritz Mofield, director of communications and Natalie O?Brien, marketing communications intern ?19

MEP was the first program of its kind to not only help diversify the University of Dayton student body, but also to create inclusive community within an academic unit.

“In many ways, MEP was ahead of its time in recognizing the valuable contributions made by embracing diversity among our engineering students,” said Eddy Rojas, dean of the School of Engineering. “This fall we have 65 first year students participating in the program as part of the Class of 2021, the largest and most diverse engineering class in University history.”

The many accomplishments of MEP will be celebrated during the MEP 20th Anniversary Celebration Gala on Oct. 21, 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Union Ballroom. Nearly 150 MEP alumni, current students and partners will be joined by President Eric Spina, Provost Paul Benson, Dean Eddy Rojas, and Dr. Larry Burnley, vice president of diversity and inclusion.

The Minority Engineering Program engages diverse engineering students at the beginning of their journey into college, through their academic careers and into the workforce as thriving engineering professionals.

“Our goal is to meet each student where they are.”  said Gerica Brown, assistant director, Diversity in Engineering Center: Minority Engineering Program “The MEP community, engagement and peer support is essential. It provides academic and professional development, career exploration and many opportunities, as well as advising for students.”

MEP provides students opportunities to build relationships and network with one another and alumni. These connections aid in the students’ success by providing a sense of community, family away from home and moral support.

The MEP 20th Anniversary Gala will celebrate the successes of the program and its graduates over the years as well as its contribution to the University community. Organizers also hope to increase exposure and awareness about the MEP, including a need for increased scholarship funding.

“Dr. Burnley likes to frame the University’s diversity efforts in terms of inclusive excellence,” Brown said. “In order to attract the best and brightest from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds we must have the scholarship support to compete with other top tier schools.”

MEP is a cornerstone of the School of Engineering’s diversity and recruitment efforts. The Minority Engineering Program and the School of Engineering look forward to celebrating its growth, success and bright future ahead. Reservations are being accepted through Oct. 18 and can be made at the following link.
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