About Us

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Mission Statement: To improve the learning and working environment of the MEMS department by driving department-specific solutions, coordinating with other working groups on campus, and serving as a resource for EDI-related concerns so that all faculty, staff and students have the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.

Our community represents different races, cultures, philosophies, disabilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, geography, genders and sexual orientations. We believe that full representation from our community contributes to innovation, enhanced education, engagement, excellence and meaning in all our pursuits. We aim to ensure that our students, faculty and staff are not being penalized by any form of discrimination and racism. We strive to confront widespread and systemic inequalities and biases by considering their causes and defining steps to address their impact in our community and globally.

McKelvey Engineering Goals & Initiatives

The MEMS department supports the goals articulated below and on the McKelvey School of Engineering Equity, Diversity & Inclusion webpage.

  • Create and maintain a culture that integrates and advances diversity throughout all levels of the school — from people, initiatives and ideas to policies, curriculum and beyond
  • Become a national higher education leader in embracing and supporting a diverse, open and inclusive environment
  • Ensure that all members of our community are able to achieve their full professional and academic potential
  • Emphasize diversity when recruiting faculty, staff and students
  • Support student organizations' diversity initiatives

University-Wide Commitment

The MEMS department joins the university in its commitment to justice and racial equity.

We will listen and engage to work toward mission-oriented action that makes our university and our city a beacon of justice to the world.

Learn more about the university's commitment
  • The Office of Institutional Equity was created for staff and faculty members, to become the university’s ‘primary forum for changing climate and culture’ by housing diversity and inclusion resources, including training resources, support for campus affinity groups, and annual events and recognition ceremonies.

  • The Center for Diversity and Inclusion supports and advocates for undergraduate, graduate and professional students from underrepresented and/or marginalized populations, creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community partners, and promotes dialogue and social change among all students.
  • MEMS coordinates a schoolwide summer research program focused on enhancing participation of undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds in research.  The WUSEF program description and application materials can be found here.

  • Our faculty and students are encouraged to participate and engage in the Future Leaders in MAE. This nationwide online seminar series highlights research contributions by graduate students and postdocs from groups that are underrepresented among mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering faculties.

Fun Events

The EDI Advisory Group hosts fun events to bring the department together in a relaxed environment. Faculty, staff and students recently enjoyed a Happy Hour with refreshments and lawn games.

The Advisory Group also hosts a Book Club each semester. Over the summer, the Book Club read and discussed "The Ungrateful Refugee" by Dina Nayeri. This fall, the Club is reading "Don't Cry for Me: A Novel" by David Black.

MEMS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group

The following group of MEMS faculty, staff, and students has agreed to advise the department on general and specific measures to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for research and teaching in MEMS. This group will communicate and coordinate with administrators and working groups in other departments in the McKelvey School of Engineering and Washington University to pursue these objectives. The members of this group may serve as a point of contact for others in the department to communicate ideas or concerns.

Sharniece Holland

Sharniece Holland
Lecturer (faculty/staff lead)


Spencer Lake
Associate Professor


Barbi Semar
Lab Manager

Garrett Easson
Garrett Easson
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Ghiska Ramahdita
Ghiska Ramahdita
PhD student
Amy Xue
Amy Xue
BS student