Diversity center goes live


As part of its BLAST OFF week activities, the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) will formally launch the Computing and Engineering Diversity Resource Information Center (CEDRIC).

CEDRIC will serve as a resource for students, faculty, and staff, providing a central repository of scholarship, research opportunities, peer mentorship programs, student organizations, and more.

For faculty, it will support an inclusive curriculum, broadening participation activities, research, and the college’s recruitment and retention efforts. Existing student programs such as the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a federal grant program through the National Science Foundation, and the existing CEC diversity organizations like Girls Who Code, the National Society for Black Engineers, and new ones such as Out in STEM will be administered through CEDRIC.

As a part of CEC’s commitment to inclusive excellence, the center will be used to help recruit, retain, and develop faculty, staff, and student talent from historically marginalized communities. Mason, the most diverse university in Virginia, has a proud history of accessibility and inclusiveness. Our leadership, however, recognizes the need to build on these successes. 

Christopher Carr, CEC’s chief diversity officer, advocated establishing the center as part of his plan for inclusive learning. Informed by the work of Walter Lee, associate professor at Virginia Tech, CEDRIC will employ best practices of similar centers at Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, the University of California San Diego, Georgia Tech, the University of Washington and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Originally designed as a physical-only space, the center adapted lessons learned from COVID and pivoted to launch an online platform first to serve all students—including those who are online-only learners. The Office of Diversity Outreach and Inclusive Learning hopes to launch a physical space in the next academic year. When this happens, CEDRIC will be the first engineering and computing education center operating as both a face-to-face and online.