A year since @ErasedbyFEAS

Queen’s Engineering reflects on EDI progress

2021-22 school year brings a focused interest in increasing inclusivity on Queen’s campus.
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Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) has renewed its commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) values for the 2021-22 school year.

The Instagram account “@ErasedbyFEAS” was one of many social media accounts created to provide a safe space for Black people, Indigenous people, people of colour (BIPOC), and queer folks to report discriminatory experiences they’ve had within the faculty. Nicholas Ramsubick, Sci ’20, founded the account.

The Journal followed up with the faculty’s plans to increase inclusivity and response to student concerns.

In an email to The Journal, Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, provided a detailed report on the EDI initiatives that have been in place since summer 2020.

The university has implemented a faculty-wide mandatory EDI training for all staff and faculty, meaning the Engineering department has undergone ‘From Diversity to Inclusion’, a training module developed and offered by the Human Rights and Equity Office.

The faculty has also developed a mandatory module on diversity and representation in engineering as part of their core first-year courses. This is integrated with EDI principles in various upper-year courses.

Courses with EDI modules include CIVIL 400 Professional Skills, MINE 422 Sustainability, CHEE 361 Engineering Communications, and MECH 333 Gender, Engineering and Technology.

Deluzio added that Aboriginal Access to Engineering has also increased Indigenous awareness in STEM to provide support for Indigenous students in engineering.

“In 2021, the Aboriginal Access to Engineering student services model was expanded to create STEM: InA [STEM: Indigenous Academics], a cross-faculty program that supports Indigenous STEM students across all of Queen’s University.”

To facilitate a more responsive dialogue with the Black engineering community on campus, Queen’s Engineering is “allocating permanent space” in the Integrated Learning Centre, Deluzio wrote.

The faculty is also a participant of a new cross-Ontario fellowship for Black and Indigenous students, which helps students pursue further education in engineering, coined the Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) PhD project.

According to Deluzio, this will provide funding support to the recipients as well as exposure to industry officials and increased networking opportunities.

FEAS has also created a new position, the Diversity and Inclusion program manager, specifically to guide their EDI programs.

“As subject-matter expert and key advisor to the Faculty, Samuel Tanyi-Mbianyor, who recently accepted the appointment and joined our team, will coordinate and activate EDI programming in consultation and collaboration with the entire engineering community.”

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