The Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering was selected as one of the three engineering programs in the United States to receive the Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity.
Since 2005, the Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology (ABET) gives this award annually to top schools. This year the FAMU-FSU engineering program is being recognized throughout the nation.
An Oct. 1 news release from the ABET stated that it is a professional accreditation agency providing leadership and quality assurance in applied science, computing, engineering and the technology education.
Ching-Jen Chen, the dean of the engineering program, said FAMU and FSU have ABET accredited programs.
According to the ABET Web site, the Felbinger Award was introduced in 2006, to honor Claire L. Felbinger, a member on the ABET Board of Directors for her work in administration and a leader in promoting diversity initiatives for technical fields.
The ABET news release said the award recognizes U.S. educational institutions, individuals, associations and firms for extraordinary success in both achieving and facilitating diversity and inclusiveness within their community.
Chen said FAMU was nominated by the ABET not only because of the school’s joint college of engineering program with FSU, but also because of the size of its enrollment and diversity of its faculty and staff.
Chen boasts the college has over 2,200 students from diverse backgrounds and the program is made up of 50 percent white, 35 percent black , and 11 percent Hispanic, 21 percent female and 79 percent male.
Chen said the faculty is made up of 85 staff members from 23 nations.
Alessio Colombo, 25, a graduate industrial engineering management student from Milan, Italy said he is excited about the award and everything the school has been doing to continue in their success.
“The international center is really helpful,” Colombo said in response to how the school helps boost diversity within cultures.
Chen said he is grateful for the recognition.
“Here at FAMU and FSU, we are proud to have some of the most diverse and brightest students. I am more than pleased to be recognized for this award and we hope to continue attracting diverse students,” Chen said.
The dean thinks this recognition will attract more minorities and women, who are traditionally under represented to the college.
During recruitment times, the dean and other faculty members think this will pull in more diverse students.
“When the college was established in 1982, its mission was to attract and graduate a greater number of minorities and women in professional engineering, engineering teaching and research and to attain national and international recognition… through the educational and research achievements and the professional service of its faculty and students,” Chen said. “We are meeting these goals through or accomplishments.”
James Augustin, 24, a fourth-year electrical engineering student from Miami, said: “It’s good to know that I am in an environment that is preparing me for the real world and working environment. Being around these diverse cultures now, will help me with working with different types of people in the future.”
The awards will be given on Oct. 28, in San Antonio at the 2009 ABET Commissions Summit. The organization invited both presidents of the universities, James Ammons and T.K. Wetherall and the dean of engineering to the awards ceremony.
Additional reporting by Faran Foy, Staff Editor.