Wishes for the future: How would you imagine your environment needing to be for you to feel that you don’t have to do DEI work anymore?

When individuals can enter a meeting or a room and not feel all eyes are on them because they are the only diverse person present.

D. Todd Richardson

Lead Department Administrator, Materials Science and Engineering

College of Engineering

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

Being a voice in our department to increase opportunities to consider students from diverse backgrounds. One example is our student internship and research program. I have been a voice in the department to support and fund research positions for students from minority serving institutions. The result is we were able to bring in a student that would not have had an opportunity without the department support. This exposed the student to our university and exposed our faculty to the potential of a student from an unranked school. The ultimate goal is to set up and strengthen relationships in our department with students and faculty at minority serving institutions. This will result in an increase in diversity within our graduate student population over time.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

Recognition of an effort to create unity and peace.