August 14, 2019
By Trevor Stewart
The goal of the Leadership in Engineering Advancement, Diversity and Retention (LEADR) Program is to recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student population from the College of Engineering.
The program also offers academic advising—LEADR students must meet with their program advisor on a quarterly basis for the first two years of school and attend weekly or bi-weekly meetings with their peers to explore the diverse field of engineering. Tutoring, workshops, leadership skills, professional development and graduate school preparation are supported via the involvement of numerous other campus units.
Located in Kemper Hall, the LEADR Student Center is open to any student who supports diversity and
inclusion in the field of engineering, and who shares a willingness to create a welcoming environment for all students. This dedicated study space allows students to study individually or in groups. Engineering community building is also encouraged, so that (for example) first-year students can benefit from the experiences of juniors and seniors. Highlights include a media-scape feature and mobile white boards intended to support study groups and team projects.
The Chevron Corporation sponsors the LEADR Student Center, along with additional contributions from
the AT&T, Boeing Company, Cisco Systems, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Union Pacific. The Center represents the first industry investment at UC Davis devoted to student retention, including that of first generation students and students from historically underserved backgrounds in engineering.
These industry leaders—and many others—recognize the value of increasing the diversity of the recruitment pool, and of being able to fill entry-level jobs with the best and brightest university graduates.