Enhancing diversity to meet or exceed national averages in Science and Engineering continues to be at the forefront of CANPBD’s efforts. Our diversity strategic plan to expand participation of underrepresented minorities at all levels of operation has its framework in the recruitment strategies of the College of Engineering (CoE). Through education, outreach, and recruitment efforts, CANPBD has made significant strides in increasing diversity from the initiation of the NSF grant through the intervening five‑year period. As data presented in this section reflect, improvements have been made across the board within each demographic group based upon the following CoE goals:
- Establish a cultural change that promotes, encourages, and integrates a positive image with respect to diversity throughout the College.
- Recruit and retain members of underrepresented groups to improve their representation among undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.
- Increase the number of underrepresented faculty members college-wide to at least reflect the demographics of the undergraduate population in the COE by hiring at least 50% of the new faculty each year from these groups (women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans) and continue to develop programs to retain them.
Through its Minority Engineering Program (MEP), CoE has increased awareness of the value, importance, and appreciation of diversity. CANPBD works closely with MEP to provide research opportunities for underrepresented minorities through the Pre‑Freshman and Cooperative Education (PREFACE) summer enrichment program.
CANPBD also collaborates with OSU’s P-12 Project to provide nanotechnology instruction to high achieving underrepresented students at community events such as the Seniors to Sophomores Program and annual Young Women’s Empowerment Conference. Additionally, for the past several years, CANPBD has provided mentorship and nanotechnology instruction to many underrepresented undergraduate students through the CANPBD Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program.