The initiatives of the LTI DEI committee are organized in a framework based upon the work of the CMU School of Computer Science DEI strategic plan.Index Training and Education Access and Success Measuring Progress Community
Develop awareness and training programs that promote a respectful workplace for all students, staff, and faculty.
LTI Mentoring Program
Mentorship is an essential component of building STEM professionals to provide people with relevant professional support to excel in the field. The LTI mentoring program aims to provide support for incoming students at LTI by assigning a student mentor to every incoming student. The mentor and mentee are made aware of expectations and the role they play. They are expected to meet once in 1-2 months and discuss any concerns of the mentee and provide support for their professional growth. The program additionally organizes training workshops for mentors and mentees to help them make the best use of their relationship together. The pilot program started during Fall 2021 and has supported 19 mentor-mentee pairs for incoming MLT/PhD students.
Photo from April 28, 2022 Mentoring Program Meeting
Access and Success
Develop and communicate policies, procedures, and structures related to admissions, recruiting, hiring, evaluation, retention, reward and promotion for students, staff, and faculty.
Student involvement in admissions
The DEI committee led a new initiative to include senior graduate student volunteers in the MLT and PhD admissions process. After a training session, the students reviewed applications and provided information to the admissions committee that might not have been immediately evident from the candidate’s application. Applicants to the MLT/PhD program come from various institutions, often from outside the United States, and involving students in the admissions process helped the committee better understand the content and context of applications of applicants from all over the world. Faculty found the additional perspective provided by student volunteers to be very helpful, and the involvement of students in the admissions process allowed every application to be reviewed by a student or faculty reader. These additional reviews reduce the likelihood of overlooking applicants with non-traditional backgrounds, leading to greater diversity in the student body.
The admissions committee plans to continue involving students in the admissions process in the 2022-2023 admissions cycle.
Identify measurements by which we can evaluate our progress.
Survey on diversity, equity and inclusion at LTI
Develop a sense of belonging across LTI.
LTI Student Town Hall
The LTI student Town Hall is a new DEI initiative hosted by students every semester to collect, discuss, and present student feedback to LTI faculty. With both a physical and virtual attendance option, the LTI student Town Hall is student-moderated and consists of two phases. First, students raise comments highlighting both successful initiatives as well as areas of improvement. Students freely add and respond to each other to reach a consensus while the moderators take notes to be presented to the faculty members. In the second phase, the student moderators present the discussed issues to two faculty liaisons, who can then respond and present faculty perspectives. Afterwards, students and faculty jointly compile a list of action items which are then carried out by the student and faculty representatives.
The 2021-2022 LTI student Town Hall meetings resulted in initiatives for the creation of a LTI student executive committee to unify student service projects, adding resources for switching advisors and addressing problematic student-advisor relationships, a LTI ombudsperson, raising an advisor rotation option for PhD students to the faculty, and collecting all LTI course offerings and syllabuses in a single intranet directory.
Photo from March 31, 2022 Student Town Hall