Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Welcome to Chemical Engineering’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) page. As people centered engineers we – faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students – believe in cultivating a learning environment that honors the unique experiences of each individual.

We recognize that academic institutions have historically marginalized many minority communities. Institutions continue to perpetuate this marginalization. It is under this recognition that we are committed to investing in opportunities that help our community develop as allies and social justice driven individuals. As chemical engineers, our work is intimately woven into the fabric of our world’s social contexts, making it imperative that our community invests in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

A truly equitable and inclusive society is made possible by personal devotion to DEI values. The committee strives to provide our community with resources and information to enrich our knowledge of DEI. 

DEI steering committee

As part of ChE’s investment into DEI, the DEI Steering Committee was created to oversee programs and initiatives related to the department’s development of DEI. We strive to help ChE advance as knowledgeable DEI practitioners by providing myriad DEI opportunities. If you have questions or concerns regarding DEI within the department, please contact the DEI Steering Committee at [email protected].


Lori Bolchalk
Assistant to the Chair
Isbel Enad Staff photo 2023
Isabel Enad
DEI Program Coordinator
image of Abha Kumari
Abha Kumari
Doctoral Student 
Grace Pizzini
Undergraduate Student
image of Rebecca K. Lindsey
Rebecca K. Lindsey
Assistant Professor
Chair of DEI Committee
Sasha Cai Lesher-Pérez
Sasha Cai Lesher-Pérez
Assistant Professor 

What does diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) actually mean? 

ChE aligns our DEI efforts with the university’s campus wide definitions:


We commit to supporting increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status and political perspective.


We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status.


We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our campus is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.

Land acknowledgment

The Department of Chemical Engineering acknowledges that the University of Michigan resides on indigenous lands coercively taken from the Anishinaabeg (including the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Bodewadmi) and Wyandot nations. In the 1817 Treaty of the Foot of the Rapids, also recognized as the treaty of Fort Megis, these nations ceded their land with the understanding that their children would be given educational opportunities. The promise of this treaty has not been fulfilled; nearly 130 years later, little to no Indigenous students have been enrolled at the university. The university continues to benefit from the proceeds and land acquired from this treaty. As members of both the engineering community and of the University of Michigan, we acknowledge the university’s violent history towards Indigenous peoples. We use these words of acknowledgement to reaffirm that the university resides on stolen land, and to propel us forward as informed, inclusive engineers.