ODEI Spotlight:

Catalyzing Change: Henry Coshburn and the Power of Mentorship

The family of Henry Coshburn (ChE’57) converged on New York’s Harlem from points north and south. His father’s ancestors traveled south from the shores of Lake Champlain, in upstate New York, while some of his mother’s forebears—including the religious leader and civil rights advocate William B. Derrick—emigrated from Antigua before settling in Flushing, Queens, while others traveled north from Virginia, where they had been enslaved.

Coshburn grew up in Harlem just after the neighborhood transformed into the Mecca of Black America. From 1910 to 1930, the Black share of Harlem’s population rose from 10% to 70%, giving birth to the art, poetry and music of the Harlem Renaissance, and also to Coshburn, one of the first Black graduates of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Chemical Engineering.  Read More

Engineering Changemakers: Honoring Cora Ingrum and Donna Hampton

In the 1970s, the United States found itself trying to untangle from the tumult of the previous decade. Despite the civil rights marches, anti-war protests, and social rebellions of the 1960s, progress was seemingly stalled, in particular, progress towards racial equality.

Amidst this backdrop, leadership at the University of Pennsylvania was stirred into action, says Charles Wardlaw of the chemical engineering Class of 1975.  Read More

Exposure to Engineering

In 2008, Penn GEMS held its inaugural camp, which was the brainchild of Penn Engineering’s Advancing Women in Engineering (AWE) group. The camp was originally intended to inspire participation in the sciences for middle school girls. Though the target audience has been expanded, GEMS’ mission has remained steadfast: to provide hands-on experience to middle school students who are interested in many engineering disciplines including bioengineering, nanotechnology, computer science, and materials science. The program is overseen by Penn Engineering’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which prioritizes outreach efforts at the School and K-12 level to expand the pipeline of future engineers who reflect the diversity of the U.S. and the global community.  Read More

Penn Engineering’s First Community STEM Field Day

As part of the School’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM, Penn Engineering’s community outreach team hosted its inaugural STEM Field Day on Thursday, April 20. Held at Penn Park, the event served as a culminating activity and end-of-year celebration for students in Penn Engineering’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s Fife-Penn STEM & CS Academy and Heights Philadelphia Middle Grades Academy after-school programs. Read More

'STEM Goes Red' with Penn

On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, Penn Engineering’s Community Outreach Team, under the leadership of Chanda Jefferson, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, joined the American Heart Association’s STEM Goes Red initiative at Lincoln Financial Field. Hosted by the Philadelphia Eagles, Penn Engineering served as the STEM breakout session sponsor. Read More

Bolstering Environmental Education in Cobbs Creek

For the last year, with support from a Projects for Progress (P4P) award, a team from Penn has collaborated with Center staff and the Cobbs Creek community to enhance resources to support similar learning opportunities at the CCCEC. Their goal is to promote equitable access to STEM education for residents of the Cobbs Creek neighborhood. “Now more than ever, our society understands the value of green spaces and of STEM education, and the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center provides both for West Philadelphia families and students,” says President Liz Magill.  Read More

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dedicates New Suite to Foundational Figures

On December 3, 2021, ODEI cut the ribbon on its new suite in the Towne Building, featuring a conference room and study space dedicated to two of its foundational figures: Ms. Cora Ingrum, ODEI’s former Director, and Ms. Donna Hampton, the office’s longtime administrative assistant. Read More


Catalyzing Change: Henry Coshburn and the Power of Mentorship

06.24.2024 | Read More

Juneteenth Festival Celebrated at the Penn Museum

06.19.2024 | Read More

Recognizing a Pioneer: The IEEE Dedicates Milestone to Grace Hopper at Penn Engineering

05.17.2024 | Read More

Events of Interest

ODEI Events + Programming Spotlight:

Penn Engineering Reflection Room

Penn Engineering students are encouraged to take advantage of the recently established Reflection Room for prayer and meditation located in Hayden Hall.

Hayden Hall | Room 120C | The door to the Reflection Room is usually unlocked

Available 7am-5pm, Monday through Friday!

A Statement on the Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision

At Penn, our students join the most vibrant and diverse community they may ever know. This type of community is essential to their preparation to lead in a pluralistic, global society and to contribute to the creation of knowledge, all at the highest levels of excellence. To do this, our students must live and learn with others who, owing to their paths through life, bring many and varied perspectives, experiences, personal qualities, interests, ambitions, and insights.

This decision will require changes in our admissions practices. But our values and beliefs will not change. Bringing together individuals who have wide-ranging experiences that inform their approach to their time at Penn is fundamental to excellent teaching, learning, and research. In full compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, we will seek ways to admit individual students who will contribute to the kind of exceptional community that is essential to Penn’s educational mission.

Tour the New Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion!

Join Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Camillo "CJ" Taylor, as he shows off our new office space on the second floor of the historic Towne Building. Featuring a look inside the Donna Hampton Study Space and Cora Ingrum Conference Room, we are excited to share this space with you!

ODEI Strategic Plan

Penn Engineering is passionately committed to attracting, nurturing, and graduating engineers whose diversity reflects our society in all respects, including race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, creed, and socioeconomic background. Moreover, we seek to ensure all of our community members share an understanding of the importance of fighting bias and maximizing inclusion for the sake of the engineering profession and for the benefit of society at large. Through this, we aim for our graduates to pursue and develop ideas and innovations that will benefit all of humanity.

Penn Engineering's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Penn Compact 2022 affirms Inclusion as a means toward the essential ends of higher education: equalizing opportunity, educating leaders for all sectors of society, and enriching the experience of all members of the University community. Penn Engineering remains strongly committed to initiatives that support the University’s efforts to achieve an educational and employment environment that is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, interests, abilities and perspectives. We strive to attract a diverse community of students and faculty, to provide an accessible, rigorous engineering education, and to improve our local and global communities through engineering.

Learn More