MEAM DEI Scholars Program

The MEAM DEI Scholars Program provides opportunities for MEAM students and postdocs to have an impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department. The program operates like an incubator for students and postdocs, in collaboration with MEAM faculty and staff, to explore ways to improve DEI in MEAM and Penn Engineering. The goal of the program is to identify and try out strategies that lead to changes in how we think about one another and how we operate things in the MEAM department.

We are now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 MEAM DEI Scholars cycle! Scroll down to learn how to apply.


Diversity Learning within the MEAM/SEAS Curriculum

Scholar: Sunny Lee

Faculty Advisor: Michelle Johnson
Project: MEAM DEI Elective Option

The MEAM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Elective Option allows MEAM undergraduate students to learn about diversity issues in the industry and the workplace through their existing elective requirements. The Option focuses 4 CUs of MEAM students’ electives towards learning about identities and experiences different from their own and the impact of technology on communities on a local, national, and global scale.

Students who successfully pass the courses in the MEAM DEI Elective Option will receive a letter of completion from the MEAM Department upon graduation.

To view courses and Option requirements, click HERE.

To notify MEAM that you are interested in pursuing the DEI Elective Option, please complete the Google Form HERE.

MEAM Undergraduate Mentoring

Scholar: Sebastian Magana

Associates: Jovita Tedja and Sergio Torres

Faculty Advisor: Dustyn Roberts
Project: MEAM Undergraduate DEI Events

MEAM Undergraduate DEI Events help us better understand the needs of MEAM undergraduate students, and help us connect students with the resources they need.

MEAM Graduate Student Outreach

Scholar: Sindu Shanmugadas

Associates: Parker LaMascus and Bibit Bianchini


Faculty Advisor: Igor Bargatin
Project: Admitted Graduate Student Outreach and Mentoring

This MEAM Graduate Student Outreach project connects incoming graduate students with current students to help navigate Penn Engineering’s systems, and to address any concerns they may have related to having a sense of belonging once in MEAM’s graduate programs.

Join the MEAM DEI Task Force Scholars Program

The MEAM DEI Scholars and Associates are MEAM students and postdocs who propose and execute projects in collaboration with department faculty and staff. Scholars and Associates serve academic year terms (Fall and Spring semesters) and are awarded a stipend for their work. We recruit DEI Task Force Scholars during the Spring semesters, and Associates at the beginning of the Fall semesters.

We are accepting applications for the 2024-2025 cycle now. The deadline for applications is Thursday, April 18, 2024.


MEAM DEI Task Force Scholars

Scholars execute a DEI-related project, interacting consistently with their faculty mentor to provide updates and receive guidance.


  • Propose a DEI-related project as part of their applications.
  • Take the lead on and execute a DEI-related project, incorporating feedback from their faculty mentor(s), the MEAM DEI Task Force, and other stakeholders.
  • With support from the DEI Task Force, develop a budget and a list of other resources needed.
  • Work with their mentor to develop the project.
  • Select and manage at least one or more DEI Associates to work as a team on the project.
  • Attend DEI Task Force meetings (approximately 1/month).
  • Provide brief mid-year and year-end oral reports to the MEAM DEI Task Force to review project progress, evaluate effectiveness/impact, and make recommendations.

MEAM DEI Task Force Associates

Associates provide support for the Scholars Program projects.


  • Help brainstorm and develop project strategies and plans.
  • Participate in project activities and events.
  • Help prepare mid-year and year-end presentations for the DEI Task Force.
  • Attend DEI Task Force mid-year and year-end DEI Task Force meetings.

MEAM DEI Scholars Program Expectations

The MEAM DEI Scholars and Associates are supported by the MEAM DEI Task Force, and are responsible for checking in each semester with progress reports and suggestions for next steps.

Scope and Expectations

  • Each Scholars project is assigned a faculty advisor from the DEI Task Force.
  • Scholars projects are given a budget for the academic year to execute their projects.
  • Project teams will produce and present a report to the rest of the DEI Task Force each semester, detailing activities, milestones, and next steps/recommendations/lessons learned.
  • The mid-year report should update the DEI Task Force on the status of the project, as well as project what will be accomplished by the end of the school year.
  • By end of each Spring semester, projects should be evaluated to see one of three outcomes:
    • If projects are ready to leave the incubator (is there buy-in or systemic change?)
    • If projects need to be renewed (with a new application proposing next steps)
    • If projects should be stopped/abandoned (and for what reasons)

Apply to Become a MEAM DEI Scholar or Associate


MEAM students and postdoc fellows are invited to apply to become MEAM DEI Task Force Scholars. To apply, please fill out the application form and include a proposal for a DEI-related project that you are interested in working on during your term. Project proposals provide the DEI Task Force an opportunity to learn more about applicants’ interests and ideas. Successful candidates may work on their proposed projects, or the DEI Task Force may have them take the lead on a similar or already existing MEAM DEI Task Force project.


Project Proposal Criteria

  • Creativity. We are looking for great ideas. Our DEI Task Force members will support Scholars as they develop their ideas.
  • Innovation. We are looking for ideas that do not simply replicate existing programs on campus. One exception to this could be if a proposal is to apply an existing program to MEAM and to make it more MEAM-specific.
  • Impact. We are looking for projects that will specifically function within the MEAM Department. We will prioritize projects that will have more direct impacts on MEAM students, faculty, and staff.
  • Collaboration, not Competition. We are looking for projects that will start out as uniquely MEAM, even if they call for collaboration with individuals from other departments or groups. We are not trying to compete with or replace existing DEI programs in SEAS. We are willing, however, to learn from other groups and will consider proposals that seek to “try out” other initiatives in MEAM.
  • Feasibility and Sustainability. We are looking for ideas that we can accomplish. We are also considering the longevity of a project’s impact, though not just how long the project will take to reach its goal. In other words, a proposed project that can be completed in 1 year could have the same opportunity of getting selected as a proposed project that will need at least 2 years to complete.

Proposal Structure and Formatting


  • Project Name or Statement (working title or one sentence statement describing the project)
  • Issue to address (What’s the problem or issue for the MEAM department that you want to address? What has happened that led you to this idea?)
  • Project Goal (What’s the ideal outcome?)
  • Project Strategy (Briefly describe the project and how it will help reach the ideal outcome. This does not need to be exact, but try to answer the questions of How? What? When? Where?)
  • Stakeholders (Who is impacted, and from whom might you need to get buy-in to help with your project?)

Proposal Formatting

  • No more than one page in length (no more than 500 words)
  • 1” margins (all around)
  • 11 point Times New Roman font, including for titles and headers. Mark titles and headers in bold.
  • Single-spaced
  • Proposals may be written in bullet points or in paragraph form
  • Submit your proposal as a pdf document. Use the following file name format: “[FIRSTNAME LASTNAME] 2024 MEAM DEI Scholar Project Proposal.pdf”

The DEI Task Force accepts applications for the MEAM DEI Scholars during Spring semesters.

The next deadline for applications is Thursday, April 18, 2024. Please contact if you have any questions.



MEAM students and postdocs are also welcome to apply to become MEAM DEI Task Force Associates. This is a good opportunity for students who want to help, but who have limited time, or who are newer to this kind of work. To apply, fill out the application form, and include a brief statement about why you are interested in helping out with one of the existing Scholars Program projects (the list of projects is updated each summer before the academic school year).

The DEI Task Force accepts applications for the MEAM DEI Associates at the beginning of Fall semesters. APPLY HERE

Sunny Lee
DEI Scholar
Sebastian Magana
DEI Scholar
Sindu Shanmugadas
DEI Scholar
Bibit Bianchini
DEI Associate
Parker LaMascus
DEI Associate
Jovita Tedja
DEI Associate
Sergio Torres
DEI Associate