University of Pittsburgh
November 16, 2003

Department of Bioengineering Receives Agbede Award for Diversity

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Bioengineering received Nov. 14 the Robert O. Agbede Award for Diversity, which recognizes significant contributions enhancing and supporting diversity in Pitt's School of Engineering. The department will receive a $3,500 grant to continue its diversity activities.

"The department's commitment to recruit underrepresented students into the School of Engineering has been outstanding," said Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. "The department's success in recruiting highly qualified female faculty sets a positive example for all of the departments in the school. Also impressive is the fact that 100 percent of the bioengineering faculty have completed a diversity training program."

The department is being recognized for its efforts to recruit from the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The program provides college scholarships to African American students in math, science, computer science, and engineering. Harvey Borovetz, chair of Pitt's Department of Bioengineering, and Sylvanus Nwosu, assistant dean for diversity, women, and minority affairs in Pitt's School of Engineering, annually visit the University of Maryland to recruit Meyerhoff Scholars Program graduates.

The Department of Industrial Engineering also received an honorable mention and a $500 grant that recognizes Andrew Schaefer, professor of industrial engineering, for his outreach effort with Schenley High School. Schaefer works with teachers to introduce students to operations research and industrial engineering.

"By exposing local high school students to the challenges of industrial engineering, Schaefer is laying the foundation for a more diverse student body and a more diverse engineering workforce," said Holder.

The Robert O. Agbede Award for Diversity is provided to a Pitt engineering faculty member or department making significant contributions in the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students from an underrepresented population in the School of Engineering or for improvement in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of faculty from an underrepresented population.

The award was established in honor of Robert Agbede, president and CEO of Advanced Technology Systems, who made a gift to Pitt's School of Engineering in 2002 to support diversity programs within the school. He earned the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science degrees in engineering from Pitt in 1979 and 1981, respectively.

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