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Resources for Underrepresented Students
Duke University and the Pratt School of Engineering offer many resources to encourage diversity and inclusion. From school-wide gatherings to professional groups for students traditionally underrepresented in engineering, you'll find dozens of opportunities to engage with fellow engineers and make friends across our diverse community.
Inclusive Community Activities
For all students, our biggest community-building experiences are:
Pratt & Chat: Every Friday afternoon during the academic year, the Duke Engineering graduate student community gathers to socialize. It’s a great opportunity to meet many people with diverse interests and backgrounds who make up Duke Engineering.
Campout: For grad students, there’s nothing like it: the annual campout brings graduate students throughout Duke together for 36 hours with the goal being an opportunity to buy season tickets to Duke men’s basketball games.
Student Groups: Duke Engineering also offers a wide array of student groups that bring together undergraduate and graduate students together around common personal and professional interests.
Our "Engineering a Community" mentoring program seeks to create a more vibrant and inclusive community at Pratt by connecting undergraduate students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds with engineering master's and PhD student mentors.
The program provides students with a system of support and encouragement, and as well as the opportunity to connect and network with someone who has been exactly where you are and successfully navigated the path that you are undertaking.
All participants gather a few times a year for a social, with mentor-mentee pairs meeting regularly throughout the academic year. To learn more, contact the Director of Diversity & Inclusion in Engineering.
Meet the Mentors
Duke Technology Scholars Program (DTech)
The Duke Technology Scholars Program (DTech) aims to inspire more women to choose careers in computer science and electrical and computer engineering through one-on-one mentoring from Duke alumni and industry leaders, a unique summer internship program with leading tech companies in Silicon Valley and networking events with venture capitalists and industry leaders.
DTech scholars have had internships at such leading firms as Carbon 3D, Apple and Intuit. Mentors have included the deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a vice president at Oracle, and managing counsel at Merck & Co.
Through our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pratt co-sponsors the program with the Department of Computer Science in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.
Engineering societies for underrepresented students
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): The Duke Society of Black Engineers focuses on increasing the number of successful minority engineers at Duke University, and on growing a network among students, alumni and other undergraduate engineers within the Triangle area. NSBE's mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
oSTEM: Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a national student society dedicated to fostering leadership for LGBTQA communities in STEM fields. oSTEM fulfills its mission through mentorship connections, networking opportunities, strategic collaborations, and professional/leadership development.
Out For Undergrad (O4U): Out for Undergrad is a national professional development program to help high-performing LGBTQ undergraduate students reach their full potential. Admitted O4U students take part in professional meetings produced with industry partners. Applications to join the next O4U annual class open each March.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE): The Duke chapter of SHPE was formed to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. Networking was the key basis for the organization. Nationally, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the country.
Society of Women Engineers (SWE): The Duke Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers seeks to serve as a center of information on women in engineering at Duke University; encourage women engineers to attain high levels of education and professional achievement; and inform young women, their parents, counselors, and the general public of the qualifications and achievements of women engineers and the opportunities open to them. Nationally, SWE is a not-for-profit educational and service organization promoting engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women.
for graduate students
In addition to the groups listed above, Duke is home to several organizations focused on underrepresented graduate students in engineering and the sciences. Visit our Graduate Student pages to learn more, meet some of our current grad students and learn about recruitment incentives, scholarships and fellowships available at Duke Engineering.
Diversity & Inclusion Events
5:00 pm | Gross Hall, Ahmadieh Family Auditorium, Room 107Please join us for Pratt's annual Women's History Month event, Women of Inspiration: How The Power Of One Can Impact Our World on Wednesday, March 28th. For the second year in a row, we are holding an event to highlight the accomplishments of women in STEM and raise awareness of little known historical contributions to STEM fields. This year we will be screening the movie "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". Henrietta Lacks was an African American tobacco farmer whose cells-taken without her knowledge in 1951-became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet her story has remained virtually unknown until recent years. In the spirit of acknowledging the important contributions women have made to science and medicine in the past and present, we are honored to highlight the innovative work of Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam, Robert W. Carr, Jr. Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Dr. Carla Brady, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Duke University Medical Center, Division of Gastroenterology. These two faculty members are making significant contributions to their field and using their research to advance women's health in very different ways. Dr. Ramanujam and Dr. Brady will share their inspiring stories, impactful research, and participate in a discussion with the audience prior to screening the film.
3:30 pm | Penn PavilionThe second annual showcase event will feature talks, posters, awards and a reception. Come learn more about Bass Connections and find out what these research teams of faculty, grad students, undergrads and community partners have accomplished this year.
12:30 pm | Teer 203This year's WiSE symposium will focus on STEM equity and access, featuring Dr. Renetta Tull, Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at UMBC. Dr. Tull will give the keynote address about why so few women and minorities hold senior positions in academia and beyond. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the same topic featuring Dean Jacqueline Looney (Duke Graduate School), Dr. Elaine Hubal (Acting Director, Computational Exposure Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and Ms. Victoria Thio (Watson Financial Services Sector Cloud Delivery and Operations Manager, IBM). The symposium will end with a poster session and happy hour for Duke researchers of all levels to share their work. Lunch, coffee, and happy hour beverages will be provided. Please see attached flyer or our website for more details. RSVP to the keynote and/or panel! Apply to present a poster here! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLxelEqBjgtQ25FdWo_ytpcBbvKlwbQERgk_aBmxF8Gr_nUg/viewform