ERC Virtual Brown Bag Discussions Promote Culture of Inclusion

Achievement date: 

The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE), headquartered at Utah State University, hosted a series of brown bag discussions on the social and environmental equity opportunities of electrified transportation. The discussions attracted more than 150 attendees, including over 60 industry participants.


One of the Center’s primary goals is to build infrastructure that facilitates opportunities for everyone, creating inclusive pathways to success for diverse individuals. The virtual brown bags are an accessible and inclusive way to increase representation across the Center’s core campuses and within the engineering field more broadly.


The 2021 virtual brown bag series hosted by the NSF-funded Center discussed the benefits of understanding the social and environmental equity opportunities of electrified transportation, as well as the importance of inclusive and accessible participation.

The April session on “Research on Diversity and Inclusion” was presented by ASPIRE faculty Dr. Ivonne Santiago from the University of Texas at El Paso, Dr. Brandon Allen from Purdue University, and Dr. Rosalee Clawson from Purdue University. The presentation covered topics such as privilege, systemic change, discrimination, microaggressions, and cognitive biases. To offer broad accessibility, an American sign language interpreter, English subtitles, and Spanish subtitles were provided for the presentation.