Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

We recognize that building a department that has an equitable and inclusive environment is an ongoing, long-term effort that will require collecting information, setting goals, and continually examining our changes over time. We therefore recently expanded our diversity committee’s representation and scope of activities to meet the needs of the Biomedical Engineering Community at Northwestern. This committee has been empowered to develop and implement an action plan that will strengthen the culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within BME. Below you will find information about some of our current efforts and ideas.

Please note: This is an evolving space. Please help us by sharing your input and thoughts.

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Mission Statement

The critical connection between engineering and societal values can be formed only if representation within our academic community reflects the diversity of our society. We affirm that a diverse and inclusive environment that welcomes all races, genders, sexual orientations, opinions, and other defining characteristics of our identity is the most effective way to build a scholarly community that can change our world for the better. We aim to create a culture of equity and inclusion at the undergraduate, graduate, staff, and faculty levels and to develop leaders who foster such a culture.

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DEI Committee

We are actively seeking members to serve on the BME DEI committee. Please fill out the form if you are interested in joining the DEI committee or would like to provide feedback about the goals of this committee. We will review the interested applicants and make selections in order to maximize diverse representation in our committee. We may also use the names of those interested to solicit feedback and input on upcoming DEI initiatives.

Committee Members


  • Professor Evan Scott (Committee Chair)
  • Professor Neha Kamat

Staff Members

  • Kathyleen Brooks
  • Nicholas Callanta
  • Michael Okun-Perlin

Postdoctoral Members

  • TBD

Graduate Student Members

  • Samantha Huddleston
  • Thara Nallamouthu
  • Marsalis Smith

Undergraduate Student Members

  • Godson Osele
  • Liliana Wang

Additional Undergraduate Student Representatives

  • Olivia Cong
  • Ingrid Cheung
  • Ryan Abbott
  • Camille Guzman 

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Our steps in the first year include:

  1. Forming a diversity committee with representation from students, postdocs, staff, and faculty — complete
  2. Soliciting feedback from all members of our community
  3. Developing a three-year action plan that will be posted as soon as available

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Ideas for Future Initiatives

  • Developing BME recruitment initiatives for BIPOC undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty
  • Developing a peer mentoring plan
  • Developing a journal club aimed at hearing experiences from BIPOC members of NU and discussing journal articles
  • Faculty training

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Submit Concerns Anonymously to the BME DEI Committee

We welcome your feedback and comments as well as concerns. Please use the form below to submit your concerns to the committee. All form submissions will be viewed by the DEI committee only and submissions are anonymous unless you choose to disclose your identity.

Submit your concerns to our committee

Reporting Sexual Misconduct and/or Gender Discrimination

Please note that for issues of sexual misconduct and/or gender discrimination, faculty members and administrators are mandated reporters and may need to share incidents with the Office of Equity and Title IX Administration.

View resources for confidential support for issues of sexual misconduct and/or gender discrimination

Reporting Bias or Hate Incidents

Please report any bias or hate related incidents you observe on campus to Respect NU.

Explore other options for reporting, including in-person appointments

Reporting Discrimination and Harassment

To report any issues of discrimination or harassment, you may also contact Northwestern's Office of Equity or submit concerns through the Office of Equity's online reporting system.

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Things We Support

We affirm that Black lives and Black minds matter.

The killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, and many others has led to nationwide calls for an end to structural racism. Structural racism has touched almost every field, from healthcare to the workforce to education. The demonstrations taking place across the nation, including here in Chicago, clearly indicate that we at Northwestern and within the BME Department need to listen, learn, and drive social change. For this reason, we have created this website to help learn about our community’s needs, share our progress, and help foster a greater sense of belonging.

We affirm that promoting gender equality is important to our department.

Among the US News and World Report top 25 graduate engineering programs, the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern has the highest percent of women pursuing a PhD.

View the McCormick School of Engineering's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion