DEIB Committee

Diversity and Women's Program

In 2019, the KU Engineering Diversity and Women’s Program earned national acclaim for its efforts to attract and retain an increasingly underserved 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 inclusion and degree attainment of 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

Dr. Sutley uses she/her pronouns


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 uses she/her pronouns

Professional Staff

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.

High Five


Dr. Sutley and Ms. Bhana are committed to helping students succeed at KU and within the School of Engineering. While there are many resources to help you, feel free to reach out to either Dr. Sutley or Palvih if you need any assistance.

DEIB Climate Survey 

In January 2022, we administered a Climate Survey, sending different versions to undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty. Department chairs sent out the student surveys. All four surveys exceeded 35% response rates, and collectively we heard from 1,292 individuals (40.1% of the SoE). The surveys consisted of closed- and- open- ended questions, each with five sections, namely diversity and demographics, engagement and student success or engagement in DEIB activities, connectedness and climate, hostile behavior, and closing comments. The surveys were developed, and the results were reviewed by the DEIB committee. Access the Climate Survey report here. 

Based on this feedback from the School, we have prepared a strategic plan that aligns with the University's RISE framework. Access the DEIB Strategic Plan.

In January 2024, we will launch another Climate Survey to undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty.  




Thank you

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.