About Us

IHAWKe Students
IHAWKe students
IHAWKe students

In 2019, the KU Engineering Diversity and Women’s Program earned national acclaim for its efforts to attract and retain an increasingly diverse student population. The American Society of Engineering Education named KU one of 29 institutions across the country to receive an exemplar bronze rating – the highest available classification during the review period and still to date – as one of the “nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence.”

The KU Engineering Diversity and Women’s Program works towards significant, measurable progress in increasing the diversity, inclusion and degree attainment of diverse engineers through four pillars of Inclusive Excellence:

  • Focus on the intellectual and social development of students, faculty, and staff.

  • Intentionally develop and utilize organizational resources to establish equitable access to opportunities and to foster individual and group learning.

  • Value the cultural differences that learners bring to each educational experience and enhance the enterprise by empowering people to use their voice, and creating a safe space for them to do so.

  • Cultivate a welcoming community that engages all aspects of diversity and appreciates that we are whole people with intersecting identities in an effort to create positive impacts to society.

Pillars of inclusive excellence diagram (Recruit, Educate, Retain, Elevate, Graduate)

Pillars of inclusive excellence

ASEE Diversity Recognition Program Bronze Medal
Elaina Sutley

IHAWKe Professional Staff

Elaina J. Sutley, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging at the University of Kansas School of Engineering and an Associate Professor in Structural Engineering. Professor Sutley serves as the Director for the KU Engineering Diversity and Women’s Programs.

To contact Dr. Sutley, please email her at enjsutley@ku.edu.

Dr. Sutley uses she/her pronouns

Palvih Bhana

IHAWKe Professional Staff

Palvih Bhana, M.Ed., is the Program Coordinator for the KU Engineering IHAWKe Diversity and Women’s Programs at the University of Kansas.
To contact Palvih, please email her at palvih.bhana@ku.edu.

Palvih uses she/her pronouns

IHAWKe Professional Staff 

While Dr. Sutley and Ms. Bhana continue working towards the mission of the KU Engineering Diversity and Women’s Program, there is also an internal DEIB Committee consisting of engineering students, staff, and faculty, and an External Advisory Council consisting of alumni and local business partners. Together, DEIB priorities and initiatives are being evaluated and integrating throughout the School of Engineering.


The KU Engineering Diversity and Women’s Program is also supported by the passionate and generous gifts from many corporate and individual sponsors. We thank each and everyone of them for their continuous support that allows the IHAWKe and KUEST programs to connect with hundreds of diverse students spanning K-12 to KU undergraduate and graduate students.

Frito Lay logoMatterport logoKoch logoJE Dunn Construction logoKiewit LogoBurns McDonnell logo
The Wonderful Company logoSpirit Aerosystems logoH&R Block logoHNTB logo