DO-IT partners in project to support diversity in engineering at UW

March 20, 2009

DO-IT is partnering with other University of Washington (UW) units in a new project called PEERS (Promoting Equity in Engineering Relationships). PEERS is funded through the National Science Foundation's Innovation through Institutional Integration program. The project goal is to improve the experiences of underrepresented undergraduate minorities, women, and students with disabilities in the College of Engineering.

Through PEERS, engineering students will learn about bias against peers from underrepresented groups as well as solutions to eliminating bias. They can participate through peer-to-peer education, a one-credit seminar, presentations, and panel discussions.

Engineering staff and faculty will also learn about bias and strategies for creating a welcoming and accessible environment for all students. They can engage in PEERS through capacity-building institutes, an online community of practice, and other educational events and materials.

The specific objectives of PEERS are to:

  1. Raise awareness of unconscious and implicit biases toward underrepresented minority, women, and disabled students.
  2. Promote actions both majority and underrepresented minority, women, disabled students, and faculty can take to counteract these biases to cultivate a more welcoming and success-promoting climate.
  3. Cultivate change agents among both student and faculty bodies.
  4. Build a foundation and collaboration mechanisms for future efforts to make STEM and other programs campus-wide welcoming and accessible to underrepresented minority, women, and disabled students.

Further information about this project can be found at www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0833338.