Award-Winning Sections, Branches Demonstrate ASCE’s Support for Diversity and Inclusion

July 13, 2016
Fourth and fifth graders at a Lewisville, TX, elementary school learned from Dallas Branch leaders why civil engineering is a great career.
Fourth and fifth graders at a Lewisville, TX, elementary school learned from Dallas Branch leaders why civil engineering is a great career.

For a fourth straight year, the St. Louis Section has been recognized for taking ASCE’s commitment to diversity and inclusion to the local level.

The Section is among seven recipients of ASCE’s Section and Branch Diversity Awards.

As selected by the ASCE Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the annual awards honor Sections, Branches, Institutes and Society committees that have demonstrated excellence in supporting equitable opportunity for participation of people within civil engineering regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or physical challenges.

The St. Louis Section has long made diversity and inclusion a priority. It established the Greenberg Memorial Scholarship fund in 2009 to honor Aaron Greenberg, a longtime Section volunteer who worked extensively with minority youth.

The Section’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion organized many activities throughout the year, including a joint luncheon with members of the National Society of Black Engineers, volunteering with Cor Jesu High School (an all-girls school), coordinating with Girl Scout STEM, providing sponsor support of NSBE’s Annual Scholarship and Awards Program, cosponsoring A Walk for Education, and participating in the Expanding Your Horizons in Mathematics and Science Conference.

The six other Sections and Branches honored this year are:

Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section

The BSCES recently established a Diversity Task Force to strengthen the group’s commitment. The Section continues to foster connections with local professional and community organizations and student groups through activities, such as the Future City Competition and the Geek is Glam STEM Expo, as well as the BSCES-sponsored television program, Civil Engineering Today.

Dallas Branch, Texas Section

The Branch’s diverse leadership includes six of nine officers and 18 of 30 chairs who represent historically underrepresented races or genders in civil engineering. Members of the Dallas Branch mentored a local group of middle-school-aged Girl Scouts in the Cookie Box Creation Competition. The Branch also sends speakers to local schools to talk about civil engineering.

Kansas City Section

The Section’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee collaborated on a successful meet ‘n’ greet networking event with local groups from the Society of Women Engineers, the American Public Works Association, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Women’s Transportation Seminar, and student groups from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Section also donated money to an Engineers Without Borders project in Joyabaj, Guatemala.

Maine Section

The Maine Section Diversity Committee hosts annual Women In Engineering panel discussions, while also partnering with other organizations – including the Women’s Transportation Seminar and the Society of Women Engineers – for a variety of events and outreach opportunities.

Miami-Dade Branch, Florida Section

The Miami-Dade Branch’s Board mirrors the diversity of South Florida. The variety of cultural heritages includes Cuba, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Guyana, and India. The Branch works in close, frequent collaboration with the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers. Members embraced Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day during Engineers Weeks with activities at the Miami Science Museum. The Branch also presented a design guide to the Spanish-speaking technical communities of South Florida at a workshop at the University of Miami.

Pittsburgh Section

Section members have created what they call Diversity Minutes – brief nuggets of diversity information, often a statistic or quote, that helps members consider the importance of diversity and inclusion in their daily activities. The Minutes are shared on a new Diversity and Inclusion portion of the Section’s website. Among other activities throughout the year, the Section helped organize and host a tour of the nationality rooms at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning.

Learn more about ASCE’s diversity programs.

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