Award Description

The ASEE Best Diversity Paper Award was approved and first implemented in 2015 as part of the Year of Action on Diversity. The Award is now called the ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. The award strives to enhance the visibility and sustainment of actions in support of diversity and engineering, which is empowering society in unprecedented ways. Engineering and diversity are at the core of innovation and can address Grand Challenges facing the US and the world. In order for the engineering discipline to reach its full potential, however, the engineering education community and the engineering profession must better include all segments of our society. In particular, engineering must actively engage and help promote the pursuit of engineering education and engineering careers with those individuals who have been historically under-represented within engineering. ASEE believes that diversity and inclusiveness is essential to enriching educational experiences and innovations that drive the development of creative solutions in addressing the world’s challenges. We learn from experiences, beliefs, and perspectives that are different from our own. Diversity, demographically, intellectually, and socially, fuels innovation and the development of imaginative and enduring solutions to global problems. The ASEE Statement on Diversity and Inclusiveness is available here:

Thus, the Best Diversity Paper Competition seeks to identify highly impactful efforts by ASEE authors that broaden participation in engineering and influence the inclusive, diverse future of engineering. The inaugural year, monetary awards were made possible by a generous donation from the Mechanical Engineering Division. In subsequent years, the award has been funded in the same manner as other ASEE Best Paper awards.


Diversity dimensions addressed can include (but are not limited to): age, belief system, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and any other visible or non-visible differences.

This BDEIP one page guide provides guidance on what to look for in a good diversity, equity, and inclusion paper.

Please note: The Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper is a completely separate process from the Best Paper selection process run by the PIC chairs at the Annual Conference. A division/section/zone may identify two separate papers for these entirely independent best paper competitions.

Mechanism #1: Papers from the ASEE Annual Conference

Individual reviewers are asked to nominate papers they review for the Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Competition. Outstanding manuscripts that address any aspect of Diversity (see statement) may be nominated via the pull-down menu in the review window. This is encouraged at the draft stage, but will remain available at the final paper stage. The reviewers are asked to justify the basis for their nomination in their comments to the chair. Program chairs will compile the nominations for their division; each division has the latitude to select the best nomination from the division and forward to the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Nominations by Program Chairs should include: (a) division name, (b) paper title, (c) author(s), (d) corresponding author email address, (e) electronic copy of the paper, and (f) 2-3 sentence summary of the paper and how it is diversity centric or highlights diversity. All manuscripts nominated for best diversity, equity, and inclusion paper will be flagged in the final program.

Mechanism #2: Papers from any Section/Zone Conference

Papers published within any section/zone conference proceedings between May 1 to April 30 for the year prior to the conference may be nominated. Section/Zones have the latitude to develop/use any evaluation procedure to identify suitable papers and to select the best nomination from the section/zone. A section/zone may nominate 2 manuscripts for consideration by the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion selection committee provided the manuscripts address different, but critically important, diversity-related topics. Nominations by Section/Zone Conference Chairs should include: (a) section/zone name, (b) conference date, (c) paper title, (d) author(s), (e) corresponding author email address, (f) electronic copy of the paper, and (g) 2-3 sentence summary of the paper and how it is diversity centric or highlights diversity.

Award Selection Process

For both mechanism #1 and #2, program chairs and section/zone leadership are asked to submit their paper nominations to the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion via the mechanisms described in the annual Call for Nominations. Notifications for the top 5-7 diversity papers will be sent in mid-May. Authors will be invited to present their papers in a special session at the ASEE Annual Conference. Recognition of the best diversity, equity, and inclusion papers across ASEE divisions and zones will be presented at the special session, with the top awards announced later in the conference and presented at the subsequent ASEE Annual Conference.

Nominated diversity, equity, and inclusion papers will be assessed for a) novelty of approaches/ideas/ interventions, b) extent of inclusivity, c) demonstrated impact, and d) communication effectiveness through both writing and presentation quality. The selection committee will complete a two tiered review to first identify those papers with a diversity centric theme. Papers that have simply reported responses of an underrepresented group separately are not considered to have a diversity centric theme. The second review will be against the ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper rubric (Best Diversity Paper Rubric) to assess novelty and scholarship attributes of the manuscript. The ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will appoint a Selection Committee to review the papers. Members of this committee will also attend the special session to select the Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper using the criteria above and determine the Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper for each year based on the manuscript and audience impact of presentation.

Frequency of Award

Best Diversity Papers will be selected annually during the annual conference review process and concurrently from the section/zone meetings. Awards will be presented at the annual conference for which the papers were submitted in a dedicated session for the top 5 to 7 selected best diversity papers. This session will be organized by the ASEE Diversity Committee. The best paper/presentation from this best diversity paper session will be identified and forwarded to ASEE. This best-of-the-best paper will be presented alongside the PIC best papers at the subsequent annual conference.

2020 Winner and Finalists


Paper Title Division/Zone
WINNER:: An Exploratory Study of Intentionality towards Diversity in STEM Faculty Hiring (Research) by Samara Rose Boyle, Canek Phillips, Yvette E. Pearson, Reginald DesRoches, Stephen Mattingly, Anne Nordberg, Wei Wayne Li, and Hanadi S. Rifai Minorities in Engineering Division
How Does Enrollment Management Affect Student Population Diversity in Biomedical Engineering? by Rachel C. Childers and Handan Acar Biomedical Engineering Division
A Review of the State of LGBTQIA+ Student Research in STEM and Engineering Education by Madeleine Jennings, Rod D. Roscoe Nadia Kellam, and Suren Jayasuriya Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division
Faculty Development Mini-Modules on Evidence-Based Inclusive Teaching and Mentoring Practices in Engineering by Sarah I. Rooney, Joshua A. Enszer, Julia A. Maresca, S. Ismat Shah, Sheldon A. Hewlett, and Jenni M. Buckley Faculty Development Division
Interventions in Faculty Recruiting, Screening, and Hiring Processes Enable Greater Engineering Faculty Diversity by Robyn Sandekian, JoAnn Silverstein, and Beverly Louie Women in Engineering Division
Improving Student Accessibility, Equity, Course Performance, and Lab Skills: How Introduction of ClassTranscribe is Changing Engineering Education at the University of Illinois by Lawrence Angrave, Karin Jensen, Zhilin Zhang, Chirantan Mahipal, David Mussulman, Christopher D. Schmitz, Robert T. Baird, Hongye Liu, Ruihua Sui, Maryalice S. Wu, and Rob Kooper New Engineering Educators Division
A Systemized Literature Review of the Factors that Predict the Retention of Racially Minoritized Students in STEM Graduate Degree Programs by Fantasi N. Curry and Jennifer DeBoer Graduate Studies Division

Click here for a list of past winners.