Florida International University has launched a new program aimed at providing mentorship for women and students from underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines. The Diversity Mentorship Initiative will recruit talented faculty to FIU who are committed to mentoring women and minorities, especially Hispanics and African Americans.
The new program was started due to the severe lack of women and minority faculty in STEM positions at the university. Due to this, many of the 600 women from underrepresented groups who have graduated with STEM degrees from the university over the last five years, were most likely never taught by a woman from an underrepresented group.
One of the first professors recruited by the program is Daniela Radu, who has joined the department of mechanical and materials engineering as an associate professor. She previously taught at historically Black Delaware State University where she mentored many students from underrepresented groups. She believes that through a more diverse community, “students receive exposure to different cultures, which broadens their horizons dramatically.”