Diversity powers FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

Ebony Luster (second from right) and her black female collogues are helping the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering  stand out with the nation's highest black female population in engineering graduate programs.  
Photo Submitted by Ebony Luster.

The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is the only joint graduate engineering program between and HBCU and a major research institution in the nation. The school's diversity has given the college the ability to bring different types of people together for the same common goal of innovation.

Undergraduates in the program total 2,252 students. The biggest demographic being white students at 51 percent, 19.8 percent Hispanic, 19.2 percent Blacks, trailed by other ethnicities who total 5.4 percent, Asians/Pacific Islands at 3.8 percent, and a very small .4 percent Native American.

The highly regarded graduate program hosts 324 students, with 123 faculty members. That is a 1-3 teacher to student ratio, ensuring that students are able to fully connect with professors in order to get the most out of students.

Students in the program come from all walks of life and racial backgrounds. The biggest ethnic group of students in the graduate program are Asians/Pacific Islands that make-up 34 percent, followed by White students at 29 percent, then Black students at 21 percent, last are Hispanics 7.7 percent, and other ethnicities at 7.7 percent as well.

"Wealth of diversity among our students, research interests, cultures, and contexts make an atmosphere that not only welcomes but promotes thinking differently,” Murray Gibson, the college’s dean, said in a statement.

The graduate program has received more recognition over the last year.

The diversity even correlates with the gender breakdown, as 77 percent of the students are males, and 2 percent are females,  which is one of the highest percentages when it comes to women in engineering programs in the country.

One black female student leaving her mark at the program is Ebony Luster, a senior mechanical engineering major. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Luster has known in her heart that being able to help others was something she wanted to do from a very young age.

Her journey in the college of engineering led her to an opportunity with a Diversity and Research and Engineering of Advanced Materials Training Internship.

"The study gave me the chance to take all of the skills and knowledge I've learned over the years and apply them to something that could directly impact people's lives," Luster said.

After her graduation this spring, Luster plans to get Ph.D. in industrial engineering to continue to feed her passion of wanting to help others with the materials she is able to create.

The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering has received national recognition based on the belief that people of different ethnicities, and genders down to the faculty, and students are able to create for the greater good of humanity.