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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Personal Engineering Perspective

Welcome Week

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Location: Current students will receive access details via Canvas

Speaker:
Carlos Torres-Verdín
The University of Texas at Austin

 

I have been associated with UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering since 1983 as a Master’s student and several years later as a member of the Faculty.   As a classified Hispanic minority faculty, my view of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the College has changed over the years based on my own personal experiences, my interaction with minority colleagues, and as a consequence of my rewarding role as educator and supervisor of minority students. My industry experience has also shaped my views and expectations about the influence of ethnic diversity in the work place. Racial biases are often hard to detect, understand, and recognize. And what I have confirmed in multiple ways is that diversity is an incredible and transformative asset that is often under-appreciated. The power of diversity is what fuels the engines of successful change and adaptation in nature. All successful organic systems are diverse, flexible, and adaptable. As engineers and educators, we have the important role of securing diversity of being, thinking, and doing for all: the ethos of diversity! Not only because nature has shown us that this is the most efficient path to stable equilibrium but also because it is the most potentially rewarding and successful way to grow. In my opinion, we all have the responsibility to foster and enact diversity, equity, and inclusion through action and example. I will talk about several specific ways to achieve true DEI in the short term within our own academic institution.