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News Release

IDEA Student Center Wins Campus Diversity Award

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Jacobs School IDEA Student Center Wins Campus Diversity Award

San Diego, CA, February 27, 2012--The IDEA Student Center, which promotes inclusion and diversity at the Jacobs School of Engineering, received a 2011 Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award from UC San Diego.

The center, which opened in the Fall of 2011, is already making a positive impact on the campus. It was among the 25 recipients of the 2011 Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards at UC San Diego.

The awardees were recognized for everything from chairing the Black Staff Association Scholarship fund, to heading a campaign to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income African American families, to staging film festivals showcasing prominent African American artists as part of the campus celebration of Black History Month.

The goals of the center are summed up by the four words that form the IDEA acronym: inclusion, diversity, excellence and advancement. The center aims to improve retention and graduation rates; attract more underrepresented students; encourage undergraduates to pursue research; and get students in elementary, middle and high school, as well as community college, excited about a career in engineering.

“My team and I are appreciative of this award but recognize that we still have much work to do in helping to foster a climate of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Jacobs School,” said Terrance Mayes, the center’s director. The creation of the center would not have been possible without the Jacobs School chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, as well as the faculty and staff across the Jacobs School, Mayes said.

He added he hopes the award will increase the center’s visibility on campus and across the country to show that efforts combining academic enrichment, mentoring and student life can serve as a model to successfully retain students who have been historically underrepresented in engineering.

The center plans to expand several of its programs, starting this quarter, said Mayes. The Jacobs Undergraduate Mentoring Program (JUMP), a student-driven initiative, doubled the number of students it serves starting this quarter, to 140. The program also will now include alumni, who will mentor graduate and undergraduate students.

The IDEA Scholars program will also expand from 22 to 40 students in fall 2012. The program is designed to increase retention and graduation rates for under-represented students at the Jacobs School. The goal here is to improve these statistics by offering a wide range of services and opportunities for students. This past quarter, IDEA Scholars’ grade-point average was higher than the average GPA of all students at the Jacobs School. All IDEA Scholars take part in the Summer PrEP program, a residential summer program designed to prepare students for the transition from high school to the Jacobs School’s rigorous engineering program. Summer PrEP will expand from four to five days this summer.

For more information, contact IDEA Student Center Director, Terrance Mayes at idea@ucsd.eduor (858) 543-6105.

Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering