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MEP receives diversity award

MEP receives diversity award
MEP receives diversity award
Monday, May 24, 2004

The Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) at the Jack Baskin School of Engineering has received the 2004 UCSC Excellence Through Diversity Award for outstanding accomplishments in furthering UCSC's diversity values and goals.

Virginia Carrillo directs the MEP, leading outreach efforts to promote student diversity and offering programs throughout the year to ensure students' success, from entry, through graduation, and beyond. This effort is supported by Peggy Church, the MEP counselor and academic advisor.

Started by Carrillo in the 1999-2000 academic year, the MEP now serves more than 100 engineering students from a variety of circumstances: low income, underrepresented ethnicities, disabilities, first-generation college students, and other educational disadvantages.

MEP services include a student study center, academic advising, personal advising, peer tutoring and study groups, a summer bridge program for freshmen and transfer students, and scholarships.

Carrillo and Church also work with faculty to help them understand issues of diversity and increase their awareness of the different needs of their students. To accomplish this, they invite faculty to participate in special workshops to increase faculty-student interactions and foster mentoring relationships.

Major industry leaders have expressed a need for a diverse workforce in California that can understand and respond to an increasingly competitive global marketplace. MEP benefits California 's economy by contributing a diverse pool of job-ready and experience applicants representing a range of cultural perspectives. Nevertheless, Carrillo and Church have had to stretch a budget that decreased by 20% with a fall-off in state funding this year.