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.

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

Upcoming Events



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

Fall 2022 Diversity Dinner Dr. Asher Williams

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Asher Williams flyer

For the fall 2022 semester Diversity Dinner we welcomed Dr. Asher Williams, a Trinidad & Tobago National Scholar and current Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University where her research is aimed at developing a cell-free platform for manufacturing vaccines against emerging pathogens. She is also a part of a global team of scientists and vaccine experts working with the United Nations to combat vaccine misinformation. Dr. Williams holds a B.S. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from New York University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was awarded RPI’s Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship, named a Class of 2020 Changemaker, and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications with a patent. Dr. Williams also served as Vice President of the Black Graduate Student Association at RPI and worked on several initiatives and efforts to increase the recruitment and retention of minoritized students in graduate education. She is listed as one of 1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America, named an MIT Rising Star in Chemical Engineering, and will be joining Columbia University as a tenure-track professor of chemical engineering in July 2023.

Pride Potluck

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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 2022 Diversity Dinner with Dr. Amal El-Ghazaly

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The first of our new Diversity Dinner series occurred April 28th at 6:30PM in 125 Weill Hall with guest speaker Dr. Amal El-Ghazaly, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell will present on her career journey, with specific focus on her DEI efforts, and will take questions.

Amal El-Ghazaly
Dr. Amal El-Ghazaly

Spring 2022 Open Meeting

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The first DEI 2022 community meeting was held to explore the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The BME department is committed to creating an environment that is inclusive and reflective of the BME community and we would love to hear your ideas about what would help create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all members of the BME department..

Discussion: Socio-economic and racial inequalities in health, with Dr. Isabel Perera

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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.