Mason Engineering’s Christopher Carr receives a rising star in diversity award


Christopher Carr, chief diversity officer of the Volgenau School of Engineering, received the 2020 Rising Star in Diversity Award from the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD).

The CoNECD Rising Star in Diversity Award recognizes an individual in their profession for less than 10 years who has actively worked to enhance diversity and inclusion by mentoring, supporting and/or advocating for the success of historically underserved individuals in engineering or computer science, or for climate and culture change that supports such success. Carr was recognized at the 3rd Annual CoNECD Conference held virtually from January 25 to January 28.

CoNECD is a partnership between the Minorities in Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, the Women in Engineering ProActive Network, and the Women in Engineering Division of ASEE.

“Chris has been an innovative and dynamic leader since arriving at Mason in the summer of 2019,” says Ken Ball, dean of the Volgenau School. He has had an immediate impact, quickly leading us to ASEE Diversity Program recognition, and just as quickly Chris has become a highly valued campus-wide leader.”

Carr has developed a sweeping strategic plan and built cross-campus coalitions. He championed new policies for recruiting, retaining, and advancing diverse faculty; instituted a new system of equity champions for faculty searches; and strengthen the work of diversity and the resources available to students, faculty, and staff. He was recently selected to lead training and development for the presidential Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Taskforce.

“His leadership has garnered him recognition across the university, and his energy and expertise are in high demand across the institution,” says Christy Pichichero, associate professor of French and history and director of faculty diversity in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. "In my more than twenty years working in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Chris Carr is among the most brilliant, innovative, and effective leaders with whom I have collaborated.".

Before arriving at Mason, Carr was a senior staff member at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), where he played a key role in obtaining access to scholarships and high-quality outreach programming for thousands of Black engineering students and K-12 students.