The University of Toledo College of Engineering will host a special event Thursday, May 4, to announce a new program in partnership with Dana Inc. and Toledo Excel.
At the event, Dana will present the College of Engineering with a check for $250,000 to create the Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program.
The initiative aims to increase the recruitment, enrollment, retention and success of underrepresented minority students in degree programs offered by the College of Engineering.
Dr. Lesley Berhan, director of engineering diversity initiatives and associate professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, will lead the new program.
“Through this partnership with Dana Inc. and Toledo Excel, we hope to develop a sustainable pipeline to the College of Engineering for underrepresented students in the Toledo area that will introduce them to the exciting world of engineering and enhance their academic and professional preparation,” Berhan said.
“Diversity is a priority both for the University and for the employers who hire our graduates,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “At the College of Engineering, we are thrilled to partner with Dana to provide more support for minority students in engineering programs. We hope to increase the success of students in this program by providing mentorship and professional development before the students even enroll at UT.”
The Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program is a four-stage program that will start after the completion of 11th grade with a summer institute, beginning in July. Mentorship and professional development opportunities will continue through the completion of a degree from the College of Engineering.
“Dana is proud to partner of The University of Toledo in this endeavor to better connect students from underrepresented communities to career paths in engineering,” George Constand, chief technology officer at Dana Inc., said. “We believe this will help to promote greater diversity and inclusion among the engineering workforce of the future.”
For 28 years Toledo Excel has provided college preparation and scholarships to underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans. Through services such as summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.
“The Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand what we do for some of our Excel students who are interested in careers in engineering,” David Young, director of the Toledo Excel Program, said. “It provides them with a great introduction to the field through amazing faculty in the University’s College of Engineering; mentorship and guidance from a fantastic company like Dana; and continued support from the Toledo Excel staff that has invested in them since the time they left middle school. I am thrilled that the idea Dr. Berhan discussed with me many months ago has now become reality.”
More information on the Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program can be found here.