CEAS Inclusive Excellence & Community Engagement
Impact Report 2020


Whitney Gaskins headshot

Whitney Gaskins, PhD

The Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community is an award-winning department within the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati.

Our team strives to empower individuals to transform their lives and achieve their highest potential by offering programs, services and scholarships that will enhance learning and lead to their success.

Whitney Gaskins, Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence & Community Engagement at the College of Engineering and Applied Science


As an award-winning department, our office has received prestigious recognition for our work in inclusive excellence.

  • Marian Spencer Award Recipient
  • Insight to Diversity Champion
  • Insight to Diversity Top Inspiring STEM program


Communication | Increased Conversation

This year, our office increased our communication footprint with added assets like social media and email newsletter.

Social media engagement increased by 20% on each of our three platforms including LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Our bimonthly newsletter is sent out to a list of 1990 and maintains a 35% open rate.

Stay Connected

Connect with us on social media to keep up with the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement and events happening with our office.


Enrollment | Continued Growth

Inclusive excellence is our future at CEAS. To invest in that future, our office supports current, prospective, and underrepresented students with a special focus on Cincinnati Public Schools.

  • 1409 potential students engaged in-person and online 
  • 44 events hosted in an academic year cut short
  • 53 visits recruitment and yield events 

Transfer + Transition Students

Transfer and transition student data.
College Transferring From Number of Students  
UC Clermont 13  
UC-Blue Ash 15  
Cincinnati State 1  
Uptown (non-CEAS) 88  
Other 1  

Special Program Recruitment

Number of students that applied and were admitted to special programs.
Program Applied Admitted
Honors 104 23

Community Engagement | Impact

Community Engagement

Our Community Engagement arm of our office supported more than 650 elementary, middle, and high school students and 129 CEAS student volunteers. Though it was a challenge in 2020, Don Wittrock's ingenuity brought virtual events to classrooms and households around the region.

  • CPS Strong Physics and Chemistry Program: The program gives CPS students the opportunity to earn their Physics and Chemistry credit that can be in their CEAS enrollment application. Many CPS students are in schools that do not offer Physics or Chemistry credits, which is a requirement for direct admission into CEAS. During this inaugural year as we pivoted to an online course due to COVID 19 we served 11 students from 3 CPS schools. All 11 successfully completed thanks to our Sponsors Messer and Shaefer.
  • Family Engineering Academy: The program engages families in real engineering challenges while highlighting the disciplines of our college. Introduction packets were sent each week, followed by a discussion with a UC Faculty and a related hand on activity/challenge for the family to engage in. 54 Families signed up for the information and sessions. 7 faculty presentations, 25 young people engaged in the online sessions
  • High School Partnerships: We work with more than a dozen local and regional schools to increase awareness and excitement for engineering and applied science to prepare students for admission to CEAS. Outreach efforts include campus visits, classroom activities, robotics support and more to inspire the next generation of Bearcat Engineers. Students Served 662
  • Robotics Competition: Each year, our office hosts an annual robotics competition. Schools from throughout the Greater Cincinnati area build robotics and showcase them during the Spring. In 2020, fifteen teams participated in the competition.

Women in Engineering

The Women in Engineering team, Director Paula Davis Lampley and Program Coordinator Krizia Cabrera-Toro hosted more than a dozen annual events including:

  • WIE Welcome Kick Off Event, hosted with Society of Women Engineers (SWE): A fun social event to welcome freshman engineering students and connect with returning students, faculty and staff. Attendees enjoyed an ice cream social and FC Cincinnati Soccer Game. 137 Students, Faculty and Staff Attended.
  • SWE Career Fair Prep: A professional development event for students to prepare for SWE Evening with Industry and the Tribunal Technical Career Fair. Industry representatives and professors provide tips on creating a great resume,  developing an elevator pitch and formulating networking strategies. 27 Students, 1 Industry Rep and 7 Professors attended.
  • SWE Evening with Industry, hosted by SWE: A professional development event for Corporate representatives and students to meet and participate in speed  and networking sessions prior to the annual Technical Fair. 130 Students and 42 Corporations attended, including 125 Corporate Representatives.
  • WIE and Technology Day: An outreach activity to  expose high school students to opportunities available in engineering and engineering technology fields. The students meet with current engineering students, industry professionals and professors. 60 Students, 15 Professors and 5 Corporate Representatives Attended, including 4 Alumnae.
  • Women of Color Summer Engineering Camp: A five day camp to expose high school students to engineering concepts, careers, and successful female engineers of color. The camp goal is to motivate female students of color to pursue majors in STEM, particularly in engineering and computer science. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the camp was held virtually.  27 Students, 18 Female Engineer Speakers, including 15 Female Engineers of Color, 3 Female Empowerment Speakers, 1 Male Professor.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center STEM Girls Event: Cincinnati Museum Center STEM Girls Event: An outreach opportunity held in collaboration with the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Students ages 7 to 14 years of age are exposed to basic engineering concepts through a two-part workshop series held on two consecutive  Saturdays in the spring.The students were introduced to electricity with snap circuits and a potato battery at the Cincinnati Museum Center. On the following Saturday  the students enjoyed a Thermo Electric presentation in a laboratory at the College of Engineering. Dr. Sarah Waltzman, University of Cincinnati Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering, facilitated both workshops. Approximately 30 students attended both events.

Other events include:

  • WIE Presentation at Mercy McAuley High School
  • College and Career Presentation to Ursula Academy Parents
  • WIE Converge Networking Reception for students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry representatives
  • Women of Color Café for students, faculty and staff
  • WIE Café Events for students, faculty and staff

Current Student Support Programming

Current students are also a focus for IECE. Despite the virtual nature of the 2019–2020 school year, our team maintained support for existing students here at CEAS. Programs include:

  • SMES: An umbrella organization that works with IECE. The society is comprised of leaders from the various minority-serving student organizations within the college, including: The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the American Indian Society of Engineers and Scientists (AISES) and the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). SMSE leaders participate in retreats, workshops and social gatherings all designed to foster a more inclusive environment.
  • Sophomore Leadership Program: The seven-week residential opportunity for students to enhance their leadership skills. Previous DNP Summer Bridge graduates are hired for up to 20 hours a week to be a TA for one of the science or math Summer Bridge classes. Sophomore Leadership Scholars (SLS) work with community engagement for at least 10 hours. SLS's also participate in weekly leadership seminars and build up to a final poster presentation as well as work hands-on with incoming Summer Bridge students with tutoring and event planning. Scholars selected become a part of the IECE Ambassador Program during the academic year. Additional training, TA and event support is offered during non-Co-op semesters.
  • OSTEM: Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) is a non-profit professional association for LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community. An IECE staff member serves as their advisor and has worked with oSTEM to host informational sessions and create programming for their members.
  • Veteran Support: Veteran students in CEAS come from many different backgrounds and have different needs. The IECE office hosts bi-weekly office hours to talk with students about their progress and give them space to talk about any concerns. If students are having difficulties we are able to use this time to give them resources or assistance. 
  • Inspiring the Next Scholars to Practice Innovation Research and Engineering (INSPIRE) Program: INSPIRE is a pre-college initiative to engage and develop an ethnically, gender, and economically diverse group of scholars from Cincinnati Public Schools and surrounding areas to enter the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The program meets monthly through the academic year.  During the sessions, students learn about the admissions process and about different programs and organizations in the college. Starting New in 2020. 25 students engaged.

Equity and Inclusion Council

The E&I Committee is open to all students, faculty and staff in CEAS. It meets monthly and helps support initiatives to improve the campus climate.

  • Monthly Trainings: Each month, the equity and inclusion council invite CEAS faculty, staff and students to participate in a training session. Guest presenters engage the audience in a variety of topics.
  • Book Club: The book club focuses on readings dedicated to equity and inclusion. The club hosts discussion groups to share thoughts on the readings
  • Movie Club: The club hosts watch parties for movies and documentaries designed to engage viewers in topics related to social justice, equity and inclusion
  • CEAS is Listening: An online platform designed to give CEAS faculty, staff and students an outlet to provide input on issues within CEAS.
  • CEAS Birthdays: Celebrates birthdays in the college.
  • Listening Sessions: We host listening sessions to encourage open and honest dialogue with CEAS students, faculty and staff around issues of social and racial justice.
  • Curriculum Reform: IECE is working with CEAS leadership to incorporate E&I content into the course curriculum throughout the entire five-year academic journey. Touch points include, first-year courses, third year courses and senior capstone courses.
  • Strategic Recruitment Plan for Faculty: CEAS is developing a new initiative to recruit URM postdocs and faculty members.
  • HBCU Partnerships: CEAS is developing a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to create 3+2 program partnerships and increase graduate student recruitment.

Alumni + Partners | Powerful Impact

Alumni Involvement

Alumni engagement data
Type of Participation Number of Alumni Engagement
Community Engagement 25
Mentorship 5
Recruitment 9

Industry Partners

  • Proctor and Gamble
  • General Electric
  • Messer
  • Marathon
  • Woolpert
  • Michelman
  • Girl Scouts
  • Rowe Foundation
  • 7 Principles Foundation

Our Office | In the News


UC holds first Women of Color in Engineering Summer Camp

September 9, 2020

A new camp was launched this summer at the University of Cincinnati that aims to inspire more girls to pursue STEM. The Women of Color in Engineering Camp hosted 29 high school students for the week-long virtual camp.


UC helps high schoolers earn physics credit

August 18, 2020

The University of Cincinnati launched a new online physics course in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools and sponsors Schaefer Structural Engineering and Messer Construction.


UC engineering office receives equity ambassador award

July 9, 2020

Staff members from the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement in the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science reflect on receiving the Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award.


UC Family Engineering Academy brings labs to your living room

May 27, 2020

The University of Cincinnati Family Engineering Academy is offering a five-week educational summer learning program for K-12 students and their families to explore engineering together, including at-home experiments, live online discussions and video sharing. A different area of engineering is featured each week in this interactive, informative and fun experience designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and STEM professionals.


UC launches Choose Ohio First mentorship program

March 10, 2020

UC's Choose Ohio First mentoring initiative seeks to empower Ohio’s STEMM talent pipeline and connect scholars with opportunities within Ohio to find gainful employment in STEMM fields.

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