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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community Committee

Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive community

We are a standing, representative body with several functions focused on the goal of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive community within Duke's Pratt School of Engineering.

Contact the committee by email at

This committee:

  • Recognizes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusivity to our community
  • Sees diversity, equity, inclusion and community as both processes and outcomes
  • Understands that changes must be customized to their community
  • Desires that we all commit to change together
  • Is dedicated to the idea that you are not alone—we are here for one another

Strategic Priorities

Six key priorities have been identified through the insights and feedback from the DEIC Subcommittees, the school-wide DEIC Survey, and the Pratt 2039 Report, all of which include both short-term and long-term actions and activities. These six priorities are: Building Community Through Behaviors; Recruitment and Retention; Equitable Workplace and Professional Development; Mentoring; Outreach, and Experiential Programs.

The committee will focus its efforts and engage the full Pratt community around these six priorities, with special attention to two areas identified by consensus as top priorities: Building Community Through Behaviors and Recruitment and Retention.

Although the priorities are presented separately, they also overlap and support one another:

Building Community Through Behaviors

To support and enhance a welcoming culture and climate that respects everyone in our community, the revised Duke Code of Conduct will be used as a guide to behavioral expectations for the Pratt community. This guide includes clearly defined expected behaviors as well as behaviors of concern. Pratt DEIC will work on ways to recognize individuals for exemplary behaviors and consequences for unprofessional behaviors to support a Pratt culture of respect. Resources for the Pratt community for expressing concerns will be publicly shared, reports of concerns will be aggregated across platforms, and a high-level accounting will be shared with the community yearly.

Recruitment and Retention

Recruitment and retention of a more diverse faculty, staff, and student community are priorities for Pratt. Best practices across the School and departments for admissions, matriculation, searches, and hiring, with clear minimum goals, will be established, shared, and regularly updated based on assessment. Pratt will work with and leverage resources across Duke to achieve our diversity goals. Retention will be supported through review and revision of existing practices and systems to broaden participation, enhance mentoring, and increase recognition.

Equitable Workplace and Professional Development

A workplace that recognizes skilled work and exemplary behaviors provides equitable workload and compensation, and offers opportunities for professional development is key to increasing diversity as well as recruitment and retention of every member of the Pratt community. Professional development opportunities, awards, compensation, and support (facilities, flex work) are examples of how Pratt will respect the needs of our community members.


A review and revision of mentoring programs and opportunities available to members of the Pratt community, both in Pratt and at the Duke level, will be undertaken to assess the effectiveness of these programs (already underway for undergraduates). A benchmarking review of mentoring programs at other institutions will be performed, with key findings used to modify Pratt mentoring programs, and to suggest changes to Duke mentoring programs. It is anticipated that more formal training will need to be established for mentors and mentees.


There is a strong desire in the Pratt community to focus on engaging historically marginalized, underrepresented, and underserved groups in STEM through outreach efforts. While outreach opportunities exist in the Triangle region, and many through Duke, how Pratt community members can participate in these activities is not sufficiently clear. We will focus on outreach opportunities that encourage collaboration across Pratt and Duke, with an emphasis on the cities and counties of North Carolina.

Experiential Programs

The creation of experiential programs is needed to enhance a welcoming climate and culture in Pratt. Both required and optional experiential programs will be implemented to enhance intercultural awareness for all members of the Pratt community, especially for those who are involved with search committees, recruitment, teaching, and compliance.

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  • Provide ongoing revisions to the strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with measurable outcomes as a function of time with a rolling five-year plan
  • Help implement the strategic DEI plan
  • Assess the outcomes of the strategic DEI plan yearly
  • Support the efforts of the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Engineering
  • Serve as a liaison among department chairs, other departmental leaders, school leadership and the entire community
  • Serve as a resource for communication between individuals and groups in the Pratt community and the Pratt administration
  • Support departments and other groups on actions and programs that build diversity, equity, inclusion, and community in the school


Karis Boyd-Sinkler

Karis Boyd-Sinkler

Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community

Contact Karis »

Subcommittee Members


  • Shani Daily (ECE), Co-Chair
  • Gregg Trahey (BME), Co-Chair
  • Henri Gavin (CEE)
  • Gaby Katul (CEE)
  • Cameron Kim (BME)
  • Steve McClelland (Dean's Office)
  • Guillermo Sapiro (ECE)
  • Becky Simmons (MEMS)
  • Junjie Yao (BME)
  • Stefan Zauscher (MEMS)

Staff and Post-Doctoral Researchers

  • Philip Duhart (Dean’s Office), Co-Chair
  • Angus Bowers (Engineering Master's Programs)
  • Angela Chanh (ECE)
  • Ben Cooke (At-Large), Co-Chair
  • Michael Humphreys (Centers & Institutes)
  • Jennifer Peters (BME)
  • Juhi Samal (BME Postdoc)
  • Jeverra Thomas (MEMS)

Graduate Students

  • Jeet Ghorpade (MEMS MEMP)
  • Upasana Ghosh (BME PhD)
  • Shruthee Sankarlinkam (BME MEng)
  • Luisa Piccolo Serafim (MEMS PhD), Co-Chair
  • Angad Singh (MEMP)
  • Cesar Villalobos (BME PhD)
  • Joshua Wu (BME PhD), Co-Chair

Undergraduate Students

  • Sage Hirschfeld (CEE)
  • Amari Crittenden (MEMS)
  • Ava Ganeshan (MEMS)
  • Selena Halabi (BME)
  • Shannuel Lamptey (CEE)
  • Zeqi Sun (BME)
  • Ella Veysel (Undeclared)



  • Cameron Kim, Lead
  • Upasana Ghosh
  • Selena Halabi
  • Jennifer Peters
  • Juhi Samal
  • Shruthee Sankarlinkam
  • Zeqi Sun
  • Gregg Trahey
  • Cesar Villalobos
  • Joshua Wu
  • Junjie Yao


  • Henri Gavin
  • Sage Hirschfeld
  • Gaby Katul
  • Shannuel Lamptey


  • Angela Chanh, Lead
  • Shani Daily
  • Greg Hernandez
  • Guillermo Sapiro


  • Becky Simmons, Lead
  • Amari Crittenden
  • Jeet Ghorpade
  • Luisa Piccolo Serafim
  • Jeverra Thomas
  • Stefan Zauscher

Dean’s Office

  • Angus Bowers
  • Ben Cooke
  • Philip Duhart
  • Michael Humphreys
  • Steve McClelland

How the Committee Works

Executive Committee

  • Made up of the committee co-chairs, who meet twice each month
  • Meets at least once a semester with student affinity groups, including NSBE, SHPE, SWE and oSTEM
  • Meets with Engineering Faculty Council and Engineering Staff Council
  • Hosts a school-wide DEIC Town Hall once each semester


  • Representative of departments and units, and of the diversity of faculty, staff, post-docs and students
  • Meet twice each month
  • Members serve one to three years, with a six-year limit
  • 75 percent of effort focused on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion; 25 percent on community-building

Department and Unit Liaisons

  • Serve as resource and partners for information, activities and development of customized strategic plans
  • Meet at least twice each semester with department/unit leaders and student leadership