Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program

According to the 2012 Georgia Tech Climate Assessment Survey, some faculty, staff, and students expressed feelings of marginalization by gender, race, and ethnicity. In response to these findings, a Strategic Plan Advisory Group proposal was submitted in 2016 to launch the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program in an effort to accelerate cultural transformation.

With support from Institute Diversity, the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program brings together faculty, staff, and students who individually and collectively advance their action, research, or teaching objectives while improving inclusivity on campus.

Primary Responsibilities
  • Cultivate a network of ambassadors who will advance a culture of inclusive excellence.
  • Create an environment where people feel safe, comfortable, and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.
Meet the Fellows

Following an application period last fall, 21 faculty, staff, and students were selected as Diversity and Inclusion Fellows based on their submitted proposals:

  • Jennifer Beveridge (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
  • Akanksha Bhatia (Biomedical Engineering)
  • Brienné Coates (Industrial & Systems Engineering)
  • Santanu Dey (Industrial & Systems Engineering)
  • Lara Ferreira (Scheller College of Business)
  • Michelle Gaines (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • Stephanie Gillespie (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Tia Jackson-Truitt (Center for Engineering Education and Diversity)
  • Ronald Johnson (Industrial & Systems Engineering)
  • Timothy Lieuwen (Aerospace Engineering)
  • Susannah McFaul (Office of International Education)
  • Jerrold Mobley (Library)
  • Lauren Neefe (Literature, Media, and Communication)
  • Dionne Nickerson (Scheller College of Business)
  • Irina Nikivincze (College of Design)
  • Yelena Rivera Vale (Georgia Tech Cable Network)
  • Sebastian Ruf (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Calvin Runnels (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
  • Hussein Sayani (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Jacquelyn Strickland (Graduate Studies)
  • William Todd (Scheller College of Business).
Program Activities 

Initial ideas from the fellows include symposia, workshops, improv performances, surveys, mentorship programs, and journaling exercises focusing on the various dimensions and intersectionalities of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, and disability.

“Diverse collaboration often sparks great innovation. Some of the teams’ ideas may be institutionalized and scaled to the broader campus community over time.”

— Magnus Egerstedt, professor and Julian T. Hightower Chair in Systems and Controls for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, executive director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, and co-director of the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program

“This program is a bottom-up initiative, tapping into the creativity and diversity of thought of our campus community to crowdsource ideas that create long-term culture change.”

— Beril Toktay, ADVANCE Professor for the Scheller College of Business, Brady Family Chair and faculty director for the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, and co-director of the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program

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