Vanderbilt Ph.D.’s New York Times op-ed decries lack of diversity in engineering

Carlotta Berry holds her Volunteer of the Year Award from IndianaFIRST. (Photo courtesy of IndianaFIRST)

A Vanderbilt engineering Ph.D. who became a tenure-track professor is speaking out about the lack of women and minorities her field, with an opinion piece published in Sunday’s New York Times.

Carlotta Berry, who earned her doctorate in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt in 2003, discusses her struggle to find respect from both students and peers in her piece “They Call Me Doctor Berry.” She cites statistics showing African-American women are underrepresented in her field, particularly in the classroom.

Berry is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

Vanderbilt University School of Engineering is committed to increasing the numbers of women and African-Americans in engineering. About a third of all undergraduates are women, nearly twice the average for U.S. schools of engineering. Thirty-four percent of our Ph.D. candidates are women, compared to 23 percent nationally, according to the latest American Society for Engineering Education data.

The school partners with historically black Fisk University on a program where students earn dual degrees in science from Fisk and engineering from Vanderbilt.

The two schools also partner on a masters-to-Ph.D. bridge program in several sciences, and the School of Engineering is committed to diversity in hiring all professor and other positions.

Read Berry’s full article here.


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
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