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Expanding the picture of success

It can be a challenge to envision your own career success when you don’t see leaders in your field who look like you. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Distinguished Lecture Series shines a light on what’s possible and inspires the next generation of Santa Clara STEM professionals with quarterly presentations by successful underrepresented engineering leaders. Guest lecturers from industry, academia, and research share their experience of overcoming obstacles and lessons learned throughout their careers and offer their thoughts on how to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. Free and open to all, we invite you to join us!

Previous Speakers

Headshot of Zoox CEO Aicha Evans

April 25, 2024

Aicha Evans
Chief Executive Officer

Aicha Evans joined Zoox as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in February 2019. Prior to Zoox, Evans served as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intel Corporation, driving the company's transformation from a PC-centric to a data-centric company. Previously, she ran the company’s wireless efforts and oversaw a global team of 7,000 engineers. Evans is a member of the Supervisory Board of SAP, a board member at Joby Aviation, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from The George Washington University.

In this talk, Aicha will present, Building Autonomous Vehicles from the Ground-Up: The road to autonomous vehicles is a long, winding one. The concept of a vehicle without a driver isn’t new. We’ve seen concept cars and sci-fi mock-ups of the idea for decades, so why is now the time for autonomous vehicles to come into our reality? According to Zoox’s CEO Aicha Evans, we are at a critical time when artificial intelligence, data science, and computing power are coming together to bring the vision of reimagining autonomous vehicles built for AI to drive and riders to enjoy. 


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Headshot of Dr. Carlotta A. Berry

February 22, 2024

Dr. Carlotta A. Berry, Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Carlotta Berry is a professor and Dr. Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT). She is one of a team of faculty who created the first multidisciplinary minor in robotics. She has two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from Spelman College and electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has a master’s from Wayne State University and PhD from Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include robotics education, human-robot interaction, and increasing marginalized and minoritized populations in STEM fields. Berry is a prolific speaker and author of the text, “Mobile Robotics for Multidisciplinary Study”.

Berry is also the founder and co-director of the Rose Building Undergraduate Diversity (ROSE-BUD) Program and advisor for the National Society of Black Engineers. She was previously the President of the Technical Editor Board for the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Computers in Education Journal, ASEE fellow and IEEE senior fellow.

In this talk, Dr. Berry will give an overview of her work in artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and robotics education to diversify STEM. She will then discuss bias in robotics and artificial intelligence and disproportionately affects women and people of color. Concrete examples will be provided to illustrate how this bias has led to injustice. Finally, there will be a discussion of strategies to mitigate bias and its impact including highlighting the work of organizations such as Black In Robotics, Black In AI and the Algorithmic Justice League.


Recording is no longer available.


October 26, 2023
Tülay Adali, Distinguished Professor
Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Tülay Adali received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA, in 1992 and joined the faculty at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Baltimore, MD, the same year. She is currently a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at UMBC. 

Prof. Adali is serving as the Chair of the IEEE Brain Technical Community, and served as the Signal Processing Society (SPS) Vice President for Technical Directions 20192022. She has been active in conference organizations, and served or will serve as technical chair, 2017, special sessions chair, 2018, 2024, publicity chair, 2000, 2005, for the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and  Signal Processing (ICASSP), general/technical chair for the IEEE Machine Learning for Signal Processing (MLSP) and Neural Networks for Signal Processing Workshops 2001−2009, 2014, and 2023. She was the Chair of the NNSP/MLSP Technical Committee, 2003–2005 and 2011–2013, and served or is currently serving on numerous boards and technical committees of the SPS. Prof. Adali is a Fellow of the IEEE, AIMBE, and AAIA, a Fulbright Scholar, and an IEEE SPS Distinguished Lecturer. She is the recipient of SPS Meritorious Service Award, a Humboldt Research Award, an IEEE SPS Best Paper Award, SPIE Unsupervised Learning and ICA Pioneer Award, the University System of Maryland Regents' Award for Research, and an NSF CAREER Award.

Tülay Adali will be presenting a DEI lecture, "Data-driven Research in Computational Neuroscience: Challenges and Opportunities" on Thursday, October 26 and will be presenting a technical lecture, "Data Fusion Using Independent Vector Analysis: Focus on Model Match, Interpretability, and Reproducibility" on Friday, October 27.

This event was not recorded.

October 13, 2022
Andrew Alleyne, Dean
College of Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Dr. Andrew Alleyne received the B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace from Princeton University in 1989, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He is currently the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he also holds the Russell and Elizabeth Bennett Chair. Prior to joining Minnesota, he was a faculty member for nearly 30 years in the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering departments at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he held the Ralph & Catherine Fisher Professor of Engineering. He is a Fellow of IEEE, ASME and AAAS and was a Fulbright Fellow to the Netherlands where he held a Visiting Professorship at TU Delft. His research background encompasses the modeling, simulation, and implementation of control systems for complex systems and nonlinear systems. His academic record includes supervision of over 80 M.S. and Ph.D. students and over 400 conference and journal publications. His basic research efforts have been applied and commercialized with patents and two separate software tools licensed to industry and transitioned to the Department of Defense. He has been active in external advisory boards for universities, industry and government including the U.S. Air Force, Army, and the Department of Energy. He has been a strong advocate for diversifying academia and has received the Society of Women Engineers Advocating Women in Engineering Award as well as the University of Illinois Larine Cowan Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. In addition to research and service, he has a keen interest in education  and  earned  the UIUC College  of  Engineering  Teaching  Excellence  Award, the UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and the UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring.

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Chancellor Gary S. May, UC Davis

March 11, 2021
Chancellor Gary S. May, UC Davis

As chancellor of one of the world’s great public research universities, Gary S. May leads UC Davis as it advances its mission
in several key areas, including:

  • Achieving equal access to education and opportunity for students of all backgrounds
  • Building diversity and nurturing success among students, faculty, and staff
  • Deepening the university’s engagement with Sacramento, Davis, and the surrounding region
  • Conducting useful research and outstanding scholarship in areas of critical need to California, the nation, and the world
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October 14, 2021
Joanne C. Wilson
Joanne Wilson is an electrical engineer with more than 30 years of professional experience in the telecommunications, including more than 25 years of involvement in the work of the Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R). Ms. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Southern University (1981) and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University (1982), with further graduate study at Princeton University (1986).
Wilson is currently the Deputy to the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau (BR) and Chief of its Informatics, Administration and Publications (IAP) Department. As Deputy Director, she assists and advises the BR Director in the direction and management of the Bureau and leads the BR’s preparation for its major conferences.  Ms. Wilson was the Secretary to the Plenary and to the Steering Committee of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) recently held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
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Watch the Special Seminar

Aaron Dominguez

February 10, 2022
Aaron Dominguez, Provost and Professor of Physics

Aaron Dominguez is the Provost and an Ordinary Professor of Physics at The Catholic University of America. His main area of research is in using particle colliders to search for new physics, including the recently discovered Higgs boson. His area of expertise is in instrumentation—designing, building and using silicon charged particle trackers as precision tools to reconstruct the complicated interactions taking place in these collisions. 

He received his undergraduate degrees from Whitman College and Caltech, his Ph.D. in physics from UC San Diego and was a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2005, he was the recipient of the NSF CAREER award. He has played numerous leadership positions in the L3, CDF and CMS particle physics experiments at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland and Fermilab in Chicago. Specifically, he just recently finished being the deputy project leader for the upgrades of CMS as the principal investigator of an NSF project that is funding the US efforts of nine universities to improve the silicon pixel detector, hadron calorimeter and trigger in preparation for high luminosity runs of the LHC in coming years. He has mentored seven postdoctoral researchers, three graduate students to completion, three currently in progress, and numerous undergraduates. He is a member of the National Science Board, serves on several advisory boards, including QuarkNet, and is an author on more than 1100 papers in experimental high energy physics and instrumentation. 

As the Provost, Dr. Dominguez is the Chief Academic Officer of the university and oversees the academic life of Catholic University’s 12 schools, its libraries, research institutes, and the Catholic University of America Press. He aims to change the course of students’ lives and propel them toward a meaningful future.

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Contact Us

Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Heafey-Bergin, Bldg. 202
Sobrato Discovery, Bldg. 402

408-554-5474 fax

ASEE Diversity Recognition Program: Bronze Level: 2021-2023