Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity is Our Strength

Meinig School Community Values

At the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, we believe that including diverse identities, backgrounds and perspectives in our school enables the best solutions to challenges for human health. Biomedical engineering education and research are most innovative when all our community members, including those who are marginalized in our society, can thrive as their authentic selves. We acknowledge that we exist in a world that struggles with inequality, and, in the spirit of Cornell’s ideal of “any person, any study,” we commit to championing diversity, equity and inclusion to improve the health of all.

We welcome your suggestions and feedback on DEI in our community. Please submit through the feedback to the director form on our contact page.

Direct questions about events or interest in participating in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to Cátia Dombaxe (cpd57@cornell.edu) or Carlos Urrea De La Puerta (cyu2@cornell.edu).

As part of our commitment, the Meinig School's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is coordinating the following events and initiatives:

Upcoming Events

Spring Diversity Dinner with Karl Lewis, Ph.D.

Karl Lewis, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 7, 2024. 4:30-5:30PM
Location: Weill Hall 125

For the spring 2024 semester diversity dinner we welcome guest speaker, assistant professor Karl Lewis, Ph.D.

Dr. Lewis joined the Meinig School as an assistant professor in July 2020. His research interests center on understanding the interplay of mechanical cues and biological changes in musculoskeletal tissues. Dr. Lewis will talk about his trajectory through science followed by a Q&A with attendees. 

Open to all students, postdocs, faculty & staff. Attendance will be limited; RSVP here.


Improving accessibility of research for undergraduates

Increasing accessibility of research for undergraduates is vital to creating a diverse and inclusive department, and, by extension, field of research. We understand that increasing accessibility is a process of both eliminating barriers and helping undergraduates over the barriers that we cannot yet remove. As such we are seeking a three-pronged approach to increase diversity and inclusion of undergraduate research in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering:

  1. help undergraduates develop the skills to get into labs
  2. help research staff (including graduate students) to develop mutually beneficial relationships with undergraduates
  3. help professors understand how to fund undergraduate researchers and foster healthy mentoring relationships

We are starting by surveying each group on their role in this endeavor. From there we will host a series of workshops to address the barriers identified from this information, and continue this process to improve people's experiences at the Meinig School. Links to surveys below:

For any/all feedback on this initiative, please email map476@cornell.edu or tjm339@cornell.edu.

DEI Resources

Inclusive Excellence Podcast (Cornell-based): A monthly podcast series where they unpack various topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at work

Past Events


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Fall Dinner

Guest speaker Newton de Faria, Ph.D., Professor of Practice & Director of Cornell's Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering’s Masters of Engineering Program, shared his personal and professional career trajectory, discussing the challenges and triumphs of diversity in his path from Brazil through careers in industry and academia.

Fall Open Meeting

The fall BME DEI open meeting served as a forum to share/hear ideas about what would help create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all members of the BME department. Dr. Marjolein van der Meulen discussed her journey in academia with experiences relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Spring Dinner

Guest speaker Dr. Shivaun Archer, the John and Janet Swanson Senior Lecturer in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, share her personal and academic experiences and career.


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Fall Dinner

Dr. Asher Williams, a Trinidad & Tobago National Scholar and Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, shared her journey to academia.

Pride Potluck

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, we celebrated pride month at the Weill Hall patio with a community potluck/dish-to-pass picnic. There were games, a BBQ, and music. Because community is a central tenet of pride celebrations, we welcomed and encourage all in the department to attend this event!

Spring Dinner

Guest speaker Dr. Amal El-Ghazaly, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell presented her career journey, her DEI efforts, and took questions.

Spring Open Meeting

The 2022 community meeting was held to explore the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in BME and at Cornell. We shared ideas about what would help create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all members of the BME department.


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Dr. Isabel Perera
Dr. Isabel Perera

Discussion: Socio-economic and racial inequalities in health, with Dr. Isabel Perera, Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University and affiliated faculty at the Center for the Study of Inequality

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force held its first discussion event on Friday, November 5th, 2021 from 4-5 PM in 125 Weill Hall. We will view an episode of the PBS series "Unnatural Causes". This series examines the causes and consequences of socio-economic and racial inequalities in health. The viewing will be followed by a discussion with our special guest, Dr. Isabel Perera, Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University and affiliated faculty at the Center for the Study of Inequality.