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College of Engineering strengthens student diversity programs

July 15, 2009 -- Student diversity programs at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering will be enhanced and strengthened under a reorganization of the college’s student services, Dean S. Shankar Sastry announced today. Programs managed by the college’s Center for Underrepresented Engineering Students (CUES) are now part of a new unit, Engineering Student Services – a move that integrates the college’s programs in student recruitment and retention into one office.

The College of Engineering’s student diversity programs focus on increasing the representation of women and underserved groups in the student body at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. They include PREP, an intensive preparatory program for entering freshmen, which will take place prior to the start of the fall semester in August.

“This reorganization enables our hard-working student advising and support teams to be even more effective in facilitating the academic success of our exceptional students, particularly women and underrepresented groups,” said Dean Sastry. The new Engineering Student Services unit reports to Executive Associate Dean Masayoshi Tomizuka, professor of mechanical engineering.

The move allows the college’s student services staff to focus on services that promote academic success: targeted student recruitment; undergraduate research, internships, and other experiential learning; and related programs that enable all members of the college’s diverse student body to lead and excel. To further support these efforts, the dean will appoint a faculty-student task force on diversity.

“The work of the integrated Engineering Student Services team, with its combined emphasis on student advising and leadership development, will be key to our revitalized effort to attract and support an exceptional, diverse student body for the College of Engineering,” said Dean Sastry. “Today’s students have different needs from those of students just 10 years ago, and it is important for us to respond to them.”

Kristen Gates, currently education director of TRUST, an NSF Science and Technology Center, has agreed to serve as acting director of ESS until an executive director is recruited. Dr. Gates has a strong record of increasing the participation of women and underrepresented groups in the field of cybersecurity and privacy.