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Our stance on diversity, equity, and inclusion is grounded in three core values: innovation, collaboration, and translation.

  • Diversity drives innovation. Each person brings their unique talents and abilities, cultivated by their lived experience, to the process of solving engineering challenges.  Because our particular field of engineering innovation focuses on medicine, representation is especially critical to support the health needs of North Carolinians and worldwide populations.
  • Finding health solutions for all communities requires that diverse viewpoints join in collaboration. We strive to promote an environment where each person feels valued for being their authentic self. Accordingly, we expect each person in our department to take personal responsibility in fostering an inclusive climate that generates connectedness and nurtures a sense of belonging.
  • It is only through this foundation that translation of ideas and discoveries from the department into the community can occur, and that knowledge of medical needs and concerns can flow from the community to inform research within the department.

DIVERSITY SUBCOMMITTEES

We acknowledge that systematic barriers have limited access to participation in biomedical sciences for potential innovators and for those who could benefit from medical innovation. Dismantling these intangible systems and establishing equity in science and engineering will be a great feat. We will rise to this challenge. Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty and staff, are committed to translate our words into action through education, research and outreach.  Our efforts are organized through our diversity committee with three distinct subcommittees:

Ensuring an Equitable and Inclusive Environment Everyday
The Departmental Policies Subcommittee will work with BME leadership to create, review, revise, and implement departmental policies to ensure that the diversity of our students and personnel is recognized and encouraged in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Broadening Access for Potential Innovators and Innovation Recipients

The Pipeline Subcommittee is committed to strengthening diversity in biomedical engineering across all levels by enhancing the recruitment of students, trainees, and faculty. This will be accomplished through actively engaging and empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue and remain in the field. Collaborations with local K-12 schools, community colleges, and minority-serving universities will be vital for achieving this mission.

*Check our BME UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH GUIDE, introducing research to undergraduates from all backgrounds

Holding Ourselves Accountable
The Evaluation Subcommittee’s role is to assess the department’s progress on diversity and provide evidence for the impact of initiatives implemented by the Departmental Policies and Pipeline subcommittees. Departmental surveys and census data will be compiled into an annual report summarizing the current standing and climate of the department. This will demonstrate our progress on diversity issues and uncover areas that need further development.

* Interested in becoming a member of a BME Diversity Committee? Sign up here.


FUTURE LEGACY OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Together, we will reach our benchmark of having a department that is reflective of the North Carolina population of 27-33% underrepresented groups. We will accomplish this goal by harnessing the rich resources of both universities, seeking active partnerships with neighboring institutions and industry and constructing new programs to meet the needs of underrepresented groups.

We recognize the magnitude and urgency of this moment and accept our responsibility to initiate and implement change. Diversity is not a single pathway but requires a complex strategy to build a strong department with an enduring legacy of diversity and inclusion. Together, we will secure that legacy and exceed the high expectations we set for ourselves.

We encourage you to find a BME Community that aligns with your identity here. The BME Communities are designed for our department to grow strong connections across campuses (UNC/NCSU) and across roles (student/faculty/staff) through our shared identities. These affinity groups are a support system of other individuals who understand what daily life is like for you based on your identity, and our shared interest in biomedical engineering.


DIVERSITY NEWS

Three Undergraduates Receive Awards for Summer International Research Experiences

Three UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering undergraduate students received awards to participate in summer 2022 research experiences at prestigious international laboratories.  The… Read more

Project Wins Prize in American Heart Association Heart Failure Data Challenge

Melissa Caughey, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of North Carolina / North Carolina State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and Vishal Rao, M.D., cardiovascular disease research… Read more

Ke Cheng and Collaborators Create An Inhalable COVID-19 Vaccine

In the last three years how often have you wished there was cause to take a sigh of relief?  Thanks to some BME researchers, the near future may bring a particularly effective sigh of relief.  Ke Chen… Read more

Rocky Rothrock Wins Senior Class of 1996 Award for Advising Excellence

In the Spring UNC’s Academic Advising Program solicited input from students to nominate advisors and campus staff serving in an advising capacity for advising awards.  The nomination committee recentl… Read more

 

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