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Black Lives in Engineering Panel Discussion


On October 23, 2020, the NSF Directorate for Engineering hosted a virtual panel discussion with eminent engineering faculty about their personal experiences, the barriers to inclusion in engineering, and strategies for meaningful changes to increase participation of people of color.


The four distinguished panelists were:

  • Dr. Harriet Nembhard, Dean of the College of Engineering, University of Iowa
  • Dr. Timothy Pinkston, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Dr. Tonya Smith-Jackson, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, North Carolina & State University
  • Dr. Levi Thompson, Dean of the College of Engineering, University of Delaware

The panel was introduced by Dr. Dawn Tilbury, NSF Assistant Director for Engineering, and moderated by Dr. Nakhiah Goulbourne, NSF program director for Mechanics of Materials and Structures.


The panelists responded to four questions:

  • What has this moment meant to you?
  • What barriers have you seen or experienced to increasing diversity and inclusion?
  • What programs or policies have worked well in increasing access, diversity, and inclusion?
  • What can NSF do in this moment to make meaningful changes in broadening participation for people of color?

The Black Lives in Engineering panel was part of the fall 2020 Directorate for Engineering Advisory Committee meeting.

Get involved

Learn how NSF supports diversity and inclusion. NSF is committed to expanding efforts to increase participation from underrepresented groups and diverse institutions throughout the United States in all NSF activities and programs.

Join the NSF INCLUDES National Network. The NSF INCLUDES National Network brings together the power of many to strengthen STEM equity.