Ortiz Research Group Diversity Website

Welcome to the Diversity Web Portal hosted by Professor Christine Ortiz in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.

MIT Mission Statement
"The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind."

Diversity at all academic levels is critical to MIT's mission, as further articulated in the 2003 Amici curiae Supreme Court brief filed by MIT, et al., Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. In order to maintain global competitiveness and ensure the highest levels of quality in academia, it is critical to identify and cultivate talent from the broadest pools of applicants and from all sectors of society, in particular the rapidly growing underrepresented minority (URM) population. Diversity efforts may involve exploring new and innovative pedagogical methods, removing organizational structures which contain inherent bias, and community building to combat academic and social isolation. It has been demonstrated that when such non-traditional methodologies are employed, excellence is achieved through diversity. Varied interests, experiences, and intellectual, cultural, and demographic viewpoints present in a diverse environment serve to improve the quality of the educational and scholarship enterprise that constitute our core mission. A diverse academy will address a more heterogeneous set of challenges of societal importance. Conversely, diversity in academia will garner public support and participation since society will view people like themselves addressing problems of relevance to them. The diversity of the undergraduate population and institutional leadership of MIT has indeed increased beyond what it was a decade ago. However, to remain a world class University where students of every race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and socio-economic background, etc. can enter our doorways to realize their greatest potential, the larger MIT community, particularly at the graduate school and faculty level, must also reflect the multi-racial, multi-ethnic composition of society and in addition, must commit to pluralistic principles.

A few of the objectives of university diversification include, but are not limited to, the following;
to create a measurable increase in the percentage of underrepresented minorities at all academic levels, especially above the baccalaureate where large drop-offs take place
to promote a diverse community continually working towards a "common good", i.e. beneficial for all members, that includes a climate of inclusivity, collegiality, respect, equity, minimal bias, transparency, honesty, trust, value, consistency, and connectivity
to develop underrepresented minority leaders at all levels in the academy who exhibit academic excellence, a passion for their discipline, a strong sense of ethics, and an understanding and appreciation of their discipline in a broad global, political, and socio-economic context

Information on specific approaches to achieve these goals taken by various Universities are provided on the Institutional Best Practices Webpage and the Departmental Best Practices Webpage linked to the left.

-Christine Ortiz, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

Latest News

01/30/09 - A new website for Diversity & Inclusion at MIT can now be found online. The website follows the renewed efforts of the November 2008 Diversity Leadership Congress to address issues of diversity and inclusion, and bring positive change to MIT. The website also includes links to various speeches and reports from 2008-2009 at MIT.

06/30/08 - An MIT News Article outlining the work being done by The Initiative on Faculty Race and Diversity was released this month. This effort seeks to investigate the experiences of minority faculty at MIT and identify issues inherent to MIT and to the academic community that impact faculty recruitment, development, and retention. To read more, please click here for a PDF of the article.

06/22/08 - Christine Ortiz attended the "Future Faculty Wokshop" organized by Professor and Department Head Tim Swager for underrepresented minority graduate students and postdocs from around the country, held at the MIT Endicott House, June 15th - June 18th. To see photos from the event, please click here for PDF.

Future Faculty

03/10/08 - On March 10th-11th, 2008, the first meeting of the National Academies of Science Committee on Under-represented Groups and the Expansion of the Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline is being held at the Keck Center, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Room 110, Washington, DC. The majority of this meeting is open for the public to attend and listen. This study addresses key issues in increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in the science and engineering pipeline in the context of enhancing our scientific and technological workforce and national competitiveness. For more information, please see the COSEPUP Homepage.

02/11/08 - On April 11th-13th, 2008, Harvard University's Office of Faculty Development and Diversity will host an invitation-only conference entitled "Advancing and Empowering Scholars: Transforming the Landscape of the American Academy through Faculty Diversity" at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

10/29/07 Read Dr. Karl Reid's Doctoral Thesis- "Black Gold: Understanding the Relationships Between Racial Identity, Self-Efficacy, Institutional Integration and Academic Achievement of Black Males in Research Universities," Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2007. Dr. Reid is and Associate Dean the current director of the MIT Office of Minority Education.

10/17/07 Rafael Bras to receive AGU's Horton Medal - Edward A. Abdun-Nur Professor Rafael Bras has been named this year's winner of the Robert E. Horton Medal, the highest award given to hydrologists by the American Geophysical Union.

10/13/07 Emery N. Brown elected to the Institute of Medicine - Emery N. Brown, M.D., a professor in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine.

09/24/07 - Workshop held on Excellence Empowered by a Diverse Academic Workforce: Achieving Racial & Ethnic Equity in Chemistry sponsored by NSF/DoE/NIH in Arlington, Virginia September 24 26, 2007. A website is in the works.

09/07 Liskov, Harris to share new leadership position for faculty equity - Barbara Liskov, Ford Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Wesley Harris, Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and currently head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, have been selected to share the office of Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, Provost L. Rafael Reif announced on Sept. 7.

2007 Dr. Kristala Jones Prather named a 2007 Young Innovator by the Technology Review , see also MIT experts foresee sustainable ethanol production.

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