This proposal aims to establish the iSEED (Institute for Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity) at UB for the strategic enhancement of research and educational diversity in graduate and professional careers.
According to NSF statistics (women, minorities and persons with disabilities in science and engineering statistics), the current US science and engineering workforce does not mirror US diversity. Significant efforts will be required to increase diversity at American institutions, especially in the science and engineering departments. UB has several champions on diversity that have initiated and successfully implemented diversity initiatives at the undergraduate and graduate levels, however it is imperative to engage and practice inclusiveness at all levels to ultimately bring everyone - administrators, faculty, staff – to work towards a well-integrated, seamless academic and research environment. Establishing the iSEED at UB, prepares us to increase the number of students and faculty from diverse backgrounds entering participating units above current levels. The iSEED strategy is to provide a solid foundation to maximize student development and have a truly rewarding experience. It takes a village to raise a child and definitely an entire “city” to educate. Buffalo provides a unique multicultural and intellectually diverse environment to foster graduate students from diverse backgrounds into becoming future leaders of science and engineering. iSEED will catalyze building a culturally and intellectually diverse and academically inclusive community of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff focused on excellence in education, engagement in research, mentoring and enhancement of professional development central to the UB mission. This will be accomplished through bridging and integrating successful pockets of diversity towards bringing diversity from the periphery to the core of our institutional mission. Strong institutional support, as well as UB-wide workshops to start dialogues and build momentum to enhance these initiatives, is vital for success.