Diversity and Inclusion

A welcoming and collaborative community of faculty, staff, and students

Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Engineering

In the College of Engineering, we strongly believe that the solutions to challenges great and small lie not only in the hands of one person, but emerge from the diverse ideas, perspectives and backgrounds of many people working together. Whether you are a prospective or current faculty member, staff member or student, you will find a welcoming community where you can be yourself—and become whatever you want to be. Your future begins here—and here are some of the services and organizations that you can take advantage of along the way.


Jenn SheridanJennifer Sheridan, Ph.D. (she/her)
Interim Associate Dean for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity in Engineering
jennifer.sheridan@wisc.edu | 608-263-1605

Dr. Sheridan received her PhD from the Department of Sociology at UW-Madison in August 2001, specializing in social stratification and quantitative research methods. Her publications cover topics such as measurement of occupational standing, long-term effects of childhood abuse, and her current line of inquiry, faculty diversity in science and engineering.  As WISELI’s executive and research director, Dr. Sheridan develops and oversees the workshops and grant programs administered by WISELI, as well as the research and evaluation produced by WISELI including six waves of the Study of Faculty Worklife climate surveys.  As Interim Associate Dean for IEDE, Dr. Sheridan’s  top priority is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in the College of Engineering in which all members can learn, innovate, create and achieve their potential.


Kelly Burton
GERS Program Manager
gers@engr.wisc.edu | (608) 263-­4583

Kelly has coordinated the GERS program since its inception in 1999 and has directed the SURE summer research program and Opportunities in Engineering Conference since that time. She holds a Masters in Counselor Education with a Community Counseling emphasis from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and has a background in Secondary English Education. Her experiences include domestic abuse services and adolescent trauma. As a first generation college student herself, Kelly has spent more than thirty years mentoring other first generation, low income, and underrepresented students. In her free time she volunteers with animal rescues throughout the Midwest and assists in planning a culture camp for Latin American adopted children in Minnesota.


Eve FIne

Eve Fine, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Director of Curriculum Development& Implementation, WISELI
efine@wisc.edu | 608-263-1196

Eve Fine, PhD, is a Senior Scientist with WISELI: the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute.  She implements and conducts research on interventions and educational modules designed to increase the diversity of faculty and leaders in academic science, technology, engineering, and medicine.  She is responsible for developing and conducting WISELI’s workshops, including Searching for Excellence & Diversity: A workshop for Faculty Search Committees and Breaking the Bias Habit: A Workshop to Promote a Diverse, Welcoming, and Inclusive Campus. For more information, including publications on the outcomes of these workshops, click here.


Mary Fitzpatrick headshot

Mary Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., LP
Director of Diversity Research and Evaluation
mary.fitzpatrick@wisc.edu | (608) 890-3349

Mary Fitzpatrick is a licensed psychologist, an educational researcher and former engineer. She directs the Diversity Affairs Office, evaluates outcomes for diversity initiatives across the College, and conducts original research in the area of underrepresented individuals and organizational climate in engineering education and the workplace. Dr. Fitzpatrick holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and was a practicing engineer for GE Healthcare, Microsoft and other leading companies before earning her doctorate in psychology. In her spare time, Mary enjoys reading, skiing, biking, hiking and paddle boarding with friends and family.


Kelsey GockenbachKelsey Gockenbach (she/her)
Communications Specialist
gockenbach@wisc.edu | 608-265-4731

As a Communications Specialist, Kelsey handles all written and visual communications in the DAO, as well as supporting the LEED Scholars Program from applications to graduation. After graduating from the University of Washington with her BA in English, she worked in a government relations firm in Madison, before heading out to Montana to work for the Center for Restorative Youth Justice. It was through her work in Montana that she discovered her passion for empowering young adults, and became a dedicated advocate for inclusiveness, diversity and access in higher education. Outside of the office, she enjoys canoeing, writing poetry, x-country skiing, making curries and exploring the Driftless Area.



Douglass Henderson, Ph.D.
Harvey D. Spangler Department Chair Professor, Department of Engineering Physics
henderson@engr.wisc.edu | (608) 263-0808

Professor Henderson is a nuclear engineer with research interests in magnetic and inertial fusion energy (MFE, IFE) reactor systems, the nuclear waste transmutation and fissile material characterization of waste, and neutral particle transport.





Dr. Derek JohnsonDerek Johnson, Ed.D.
Interim Director for Student Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Engineering
DLJohnson23@wisc.edu | (608) 265-1194

Derek Johnson is a native of Madison, and graduated from Madison East High School. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from UW-Whitewater, where he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College. Prior to joining UW-Madison College of Engineering, Dr. Johnson served in a variety of leadership roles in higher education including Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Through his work, Dr. Johnson has been instrumental in the development and implementation of programs and services that enhance the student experience. As a first-generation college graduate, he is both personally and professionally committed to helping all students achieve their educational goals. Dr. Johnson is actively involved in the Madison community, serving on several nonprofit boards and volunteering with local community-based organizations. He is also a mentor and foster parent. In his spare time, Derek enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, gardening, and writing spoken word poetry. 


Sara RothSara Rothe
Engineering Summer Program Manager
srothe@wisc.edu | (608) 265-9042

Sara has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While an undergraduate, Sara was the Community Service Director and Student Advisor for her chapter of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). After graduation, Sara worked in the U of I College of Engineering Morrill Engineering Program and Women in Engineering Program. She also served as the Program Assistant to Engineering Pathways, a program supporting the transition to U of I engineering for transfer students. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, baking, cooking, hiking, and playing with her dogs Tigger and Titus.



Jeff SchollJeff Scholl
Assistant Director of Undergraduate Retention
jvscholl@wisc.edu | (608) 263-5367

Jeff works to broaden participation in the field of engineering through his role as administrator for the Leaders in Engineering Excellence and Diversity (LEED) Scholars program. He is committed to partnering with students to remove any barriers they may encounter while pursuing their academic and professional goals in the College of Engineering. In addition to supporting LEED Scholars and advising individual students, Jeff contributes to wider programmatic efforts that advance the College’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Jeff holds an M.S. in Higher Education Administration & Policy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from Duke University. He enjoys exploring the beautiful nature in and around Madison, playing basketball, reading, and visiting as many coffee shops as possible.



Denise Thomas Denise Thomas
Financial Specialist, Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation (WiscAMP)
denise.thomas@wisc.edu | (608) 262-7764

Denise has been working with UW-Madison for 15 year entirely with the WiscAMP program as a program assistant and financial specialist. She is originally from New Mexico but has lived in Madison for 20 years. Denise is Native American; Jicarilla Apache, Diné, and Sicangu Lakota. She enjoys working with partners and programs that help minority students enter and complete their degrees in STEM fields.



Student Opportunities

College Resources

Educational Environment in Engineering (E3) Survey

The Educational Environment in Engineering (E3) Survey was administered in the UW-Madison College of Engineering in Spring 2019, and over 1000 undergraduate students and 295 graduate students responded. Survey topics included student attitudes towards and experiences in the College of Engineering, commitment to their choice of major, students’ own confidence in engineering tasks, and future career plans in engineering. The survey also asked students about their positive and negative experiences with faculty, staff and other students within the College of Engineering. Below you can find the full summary and results of the E3 Survey, the E3 Survey questions, and a presentation on the results of the E3 Survey.

The Inclusion, Equity and Diversity in Engineering (IEDE) Committee is charged with providing recommendations to the dean to address the culture and climate within the College of Engineering. In the 2020-21 academic year, the Committee was charged with providing input in the following two areas that are addressed in this report:

  • Provide recommendations on training for faculty, staff and students to address the culture and climate issues in engineering.
  • Given the complexity of organizing training activities at the college level, what should individual departments be doing to address inclusion, equity and diversity.

You can access the full report here: IEDE Committee Report 2021. 

Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation (WiscAMP) addresses retention and persistence of underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines by expanding and improving on successful models already in place and fostering and sustaining an alliance among partner institutions. WiscAMP aims to increase retention through academic enhancement programs and services that focus on tutoring, mentoring, supplemental instruction and peer support.





The Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) is a research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WISELI was formed in 2002 with funding from the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE: Institutional Transformation program. The long-term goal of WISELI is to have the gender of the faculty, chairs, and deans reflect the gender of the student body at UW-Madison. To accomplish these goals, WISELI is a visible, campus-wide entity, endorsed by top-level administrators, which uses UW-Madison as a “living laboratory” to study gender equity for women in science and engineering, implement solutions, and provide methods and analyses to measure indicators of success. Download the WISELI brochure, “Fostering Success for Women in Engineering.”

The College of Engineering Equity and Diversity Committee assesses the effectiveness of college efforts in equity and diversity, identifies strategies to address diversity imbalances among our faculty, staff and students, and identifies strategies to improve retention of underrepresented groups within our college. Contact the committee by emailing Peggy Conklin, mjconkli@wisc.edu.

These two awards were established by the college to recognize the outstanding accomplishments and recent contributions of engineering faculty and staff to advancing and enhancing equity and creating a more diverse and inclusive climate in the college. Among the other award winners honored this year were one faculty and one staff member who were selected to receive Equity and Diversity Awards.

Read more: College recognizes the outstanding contributions of eight faculty and staffs

Women in ECE hosts various events, such as dinners and coffee breaks, to connect women at all levels within the ECE department. Whether you are the freshest freshwoman, a seasoned graduate student, a post-doc or a faculty member, you belong with us!

The Women in Mechanical Engineering Mentorship Program connects upper-level female Mechanical Engineering students with first- and second-year female students admitted to or interested in the Mechanical Engineering bachelor’s degree. WME members can be eligible for a Women in Mechanical Engineering $1000 scholarship upon meeting the degree’s progression requirements, or a $500 scholarship in each subsequent year of participation.

The program includes occasional informal events with the entire Women in Mechanical Engineering group to meet with professional women in industry and academic, including alumni of the department. Through small-group meetings between mentors and mentees, you can ask questions, exchange information, and develop connections within the department.

Facilities and Spaces

  • CAE Building, Room 100
    – 1410 Engineering Drive, First floor
    – Benches and open floor space
    – Unlocked, accessible during building hours: 7am-11pm daily
  • Union South, Forward Room
    – 1308 W Dayton, Third Floor
    – Chairs and open floor space
    – Unlocked, accessible during building hours: 7am-12am Sun-Thurs, 7am-1am Fri & Sat
  • Engineering Hall, Room 2750
    – 1415 Engineering Drive, Second floor
    – Chair, table and outlet available
    – Locked, request key from front desk of 2640 Engineering Hall (Dean’s Office)
    – Contact Peggy Conklin at 608-265-4048 with any questions
  • Mechanical Engineering, Room 2061
    – 1513 University Avenue, Second floor
    – Chair, sink, refrigerator, changing table, and outlets available
    – Lockable, contact WISELI (Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute) office at
    (608) 263-1445 or stop by their office (room 3065) to obtain the access code
  • Engineering Centers Building, Room 2072
    – 1550 Engineering Drive, Second floor
    – Not ADA accessible
  • Engineering Hall, Room 3118
    – 1415 Engineering Drive, Third floor
    – Not ADA accessible
  • Union South, Commuter Shower
    – 1308 W Dayton, Third floor
    – Ask Front Desk (first floor) to unlock
    – ADA Accessible