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David Sanchez named 2015 Faculty Diversity Award Recipient

David SanchezPITTSBURGH (April 13, 2016) …  David Sanchez, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, received the 2015 Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE) Faculty Diversity Award for his significant contributions in enhancing and supporting the school’s diversity priorities.

The diversity award committee stated Sanchez was selected for initiative and involvement in activities that support diversity goals, including:

  • Continuous and enthusiastic commitment to incorporating diversity at all levels through outreach programs such as the pre-college Investing Now program, Pitt EXCEL, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Summer Research Internship program.
  • Efforts in the recruitment and retention of Under-Represented Minority (URM) students through mentoring and teaching.
  • Dedicated service as a mentor, faculty panelist and teacher in the Pitt EXCEL program—for which he also received Pitt EXCEL’s 2015 Best Mentor award.
  • Attendance at the Minority Faculty Development Workshop hosted by the National Institute of Faculty Equity at the National Academy in Washington D.C.
  • Outstanding community outreach work with the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) and increasing youth awareness of sustainability by conducting workshops with the local K-12 community. 

“Dr. Sanchez has contributed greatly to the positive and inclusive academic environment we cultivate at Pitt,” said Sylvanus Wosu, associate professor of mechanical engineering and material science and the Swanson School’s assistant dean for diversity. “He has shown exceptional commitment to our goals of empowering underrepresented students to excel in engineering education and achieving national prominence in this area.”

Sanchez will receive a $2000 grant to support and enhance diversity activities in a manner of his choosing. He will also be inducted into the SSOE Champions for Diversity honor roll, which is on permanent display in the Office of Diversity.

The committee recognized faculty members Paul Leu and William Stanchina with honorable mentions for the award. Leu, assistant professor of industrial engineering, showed measurable contributions to the pre-college population over the past five years through his involvement with the Investing Now engineering workshops. Stanchina, chairman and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was persistent with encouraging search committees to hire a diverse pool of new faculty.

Sanchez is also the assistant director of education and outreach at MCSI. He serves as a coordinator for a variety of the Mascaro Center’s Sustainability Initiatives and Pitt’s Design EXPO, which allows students an opportunity to present sustainable designs to judges from industry. He works closely with ALCOSAN Summer Science, Manchester Charter School and the YMCA to encourage the next generation of college students to be interested in science and engineering.

“I have spoken to many alumni and current students that testify to David’s passion and commitment to enhance diversity in and beyond the Swanson School,” said Radisav Vidic, William Kepler Whiteford Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “The outreach programs he has developed at the Mascaro Center have reached more than 500 students and 40 teachers from organizations that serve predominantly underrepresented minorities.” Vidic nominated Sanchez for the award.

Sanchez received his master’s degree and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Portland.


Contact: Paul Kovach