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Pitt STRIVE Program Receives UPSIDE Award

This article was originally published on @Pitt. Reposted with permission.

PITTSBURGH (November 20, 2019) ... The Swanson School of Engineering’s Pitt Success, Transition, Representation, Innovation, Vision and Education (STRIVE) Program was recognized with the 2019 University Prize for Strategic, Inclusive and Diverse Excellence (UPSIDE) Award by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The goal of the Pitt STRIVE Program is to improve transitions of underrepresented minority (URM) students into doctoral engineering programs at the University. Using evidence-based strategies, the program aims to foster student and faculty engagement to ensure students’ successful completion of the PhD in engineering.

"It has been an honor be a part of the leadership team of this extraordinarily great program,” said Sylvanus Wosu, associate dean for diversity affairs at the Swanson School. Wosu acknowledged the support and commitment from the U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering James R. Martin II and the Office of the Dean

“The Pitt STRIVE Program has been transformational in increasing URM PhD enrollment from less than 5% to over 7.5%, enhancing the academic culture and community that have contributed to 13 URM PhDs in the last four years, and significantly increasing the number of faculty with a shared vision for the school’s diversity and inclusion goals,” Wosu said.

Under the direction of Wosu and Steven Abramowitch, associate professor of bioengineering, the program—which has been recognized and funded by the National Science Foundation—has focused on such areas as:

  • Improving faculty engagement with URM students
  • Improving faculty awareness of the impediments to URM success in doctoral programs
  • Promoting a shared vision among vested faculty regarding the success of URM students within the Pitt community
  • Achieving a systemic inclusive academic culture and climate that support the success of URM doctoral students

“The Pitt STRIVE Program’s implementation is informed by research and practices that positively impact the culture and experiences of the faculty, students and community,” said David Gau, the Pitt STRIVE Program director of University engagement and communication.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher will recognize the Swanson School of Engineering with the UPSIDE Award at a Senate Council meeting in December.


Contact: Paul Kovach