ASEE CDEI Scholar Spotlight Series: Rachelle Reisberg

Rachelle Reisberg

Rachelle ReisbergWe want to thank Dr. Rachelle Reisberg for her dedication and commitment as a CDEI volunteer. She’s been an active member and valued leader, championing our conference planning efforts for several years. After her professional role recently changed, she decided to roll off the commission, and her tremendous leadership will be sorely missed. Thank you, Rachelle! 

Rachelle Reisberg is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum and Students in the College of Science at Northeastern University. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant Dean of Engineering Enrollment and Retention and Director of Women in Engineering. She has extensive industry and management experience including President of a high-tech start-up company.

Tell us your story of belongingness

My journey into math, science, engineering as a girl were often discouraged or even blocked… but these were subjects I loved. As I completed my formal education and entered industry as an EE, I had very few role models. Sarah Rajala was one of the few. Being involved in starting a software company was a thrilling adventure but also a bit lonely. Joining a university and finding communities in ASEE has been wonderful.

Describe your understanding of DEI and why it is essential to what you do

Metrics from recruiting and retention efforts are important; but we want to create an environment where students don’t just survive but are able to thrive. It is essential to provide opportunities to every student to excel and achieve their potential. Our world, our society, our environment have too many challenges ahead not to enable everyone to contribute.

Briefly explain the current initiatives that you are doing towards DEI

For over 20 years, I’ve been involved in providing a Summer Bridge program at NU. I’ve worked in partnership with Richard Harris to welcome incoming URM and 1st Gen students to the university. For the past 5 years, we have worked with Claire Duggan on NSF funded programs for transfer students (S-POWER & S-STEM). Recently, I have been working on providing early research opportunities.

What do you see as the next steps for your DEI work?

Creating a truly welcoming environment for students is an on-going process and concern. Increasing the involvement of faculty, staff, and administration in this work continue to be “next steps.”

What recommendations do you have for engineering educators to start incorporating social justice topics in their classrooms?

Use current and past events to speak openly about social justice topics. I’ve found students eager to connect this way.

What resource can you recommend to people who want to learn more about DEI in your field?

ASEE has great resources (workshops, papers, conference presentations/meetings). Start by joining CDEIMIND, and/or WIED to start with. You will meet great people who can help you learn!


ASEE CDEI Communications Committee Volunteers

Volunteer Webmaster: Sarah Lester, California Polytechnic State University

ASEE CDEI Spotlight Committee Volunteers

Editors: Baishakhi Bose




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