Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

Carnegie Mellon University Integrated Innovation Institute Logo

DEI Hero Image

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Integrated Innovation Institute


At the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, we're committed to engaging a diverse and connected global community, and to upholding the principle of equity, which, as a partner to excellence, is the foundation for ensuring that students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to succeed and thrive.

We define diversity, equity, and inclusion as:

diversity icon  Diversity

Diversity is recognizing difference and valuing that every individual is unique. This uniqueness is shaped by color, national origin, cognitive, emotional or physical disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, genetic information, belief, veteran status, socioeconomic level, and other life experiences.

equity icon  Equity

Equity is intentionally eliminating barriers and mitigating biases that prevent full participation and access to resources and networks for underrepresented groups across our faculty, staff and student populations.

inclusion icon  Inclusion

Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing process to increase awareness, empathetic understanding, and sense of belonging. Inclusion results in broadening perspectives and intentionally engaging historically marginalized groups to make our community a better place for all.

The iii Equity in Action Committee serves as the Integrated Innovation Institute's departmental diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. Consisting of iii staff, Program Directors, and student fellows, the committee is committed to implementing strategic objectives and action items to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive department. Three subcommittees within the department guide our DEI efforts across defined objectives: Transparency, Accessibility, and Community. Subcommittee's objectives may change over time as the priorities and landscape of DEI at the institute adapt.

As a department within Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering, the iii's DEI goals, objectives and action items relate directly back to the College's 5-Year DEI Strategic Plan.
Mission Statement: To achieve academic and professional excellence through diverse representation fostered by an equitable and inclusive culture that enables students, faculty and staff to reach their full potential.

  • Objective 1: Engage everyone in DEI efforts.
  • Objective 2: Foster an equitable and inclusive environment.
  • Objective 3: Achieve and maintain diverse representation.

Future State

The future state diversity, equity, & inclusion goals for the Integrated Innovation Institute are to create three sustainable, long-term subcommittees focused on the following areas beginning July 2024:

1. Annual Launch of our DEI Student Survey (Transparency)
2. Promotion of resources for cognitive, emotional, & physical accessibility across the iii community. (Accessibility)
3. Maintenance & promotion of DEI across our iii community. (Community)

The work being completed by our working groups during the 2023-2024 academic year is meant to support these future state goals & serves as a transition year. Beginning in July 2024, members of each of the 3 subcommittees will be on a 2 year appointment.

Future State Vision (July 2024)


Long Term Committee Focus:
Annual Launch of DEI Student Survey 
  • Communication Updates
  • Input student data/tracking
  • Survey timeline reminders to Program Directors & iii Director
  • Cyclical call for community feedback/edits to annual survey before each survey launch
  • Create data reports with survey responses, and share with iii team as needed/appropriate


Long Term Committee Focus:
Promote resources for cognitive, emotional, & physical accessibility to the iii community
  • Attend CMU Trainings to promote accessibility resources
  • Plan specific iii sessions to share this information when relevant
  • Share resources/learnings during staff/faculty meeting
  • Annual review of accessibility resource guides for students, faculty, & staff
  • When need arises, find ways to develop new PDF guides
  • Act as a sounding board for faculty/student questions or accessibility


Long Term Committee Focus:
Maintain & Promote DEI Engagement across iii Community
  • Support DEI Fellow Application, Interview, & Selection Process
  • Review student survey data & suggest improvements/new resources for coming year
  • Schedule Cultural Humility Training (Fall & Spring semesters) for all iii staff & faculty
  • Annual review of content in staff/faculty training modules & implement improvements, when needed
  • Gather statistics on department engagement to share on the website
  • Share student training resources with iii staff & faculty each year

Working Groups & Subcommittees

Staff, Program Directors and DEI Fellows collaborate on subcommittees focused on three department objectives: Transparency, Accessibility and Community. It is each subcommittee's responsibility to assess what is already being done in each of these three areas and to then determine how the iii can enhance and add to these objectives moving forward.


Athena Huether
Head of Graduate Enrollment & Associate Director of Admissions
carly ochs headshot
Carly Ochs
Senior Associate Director of Marketing
Mary Kilcoyne
Alumni Relations Manager

gladys mercier headshot
Gladys Mercier
Program Director,
M.S. Software Management
Emma Wooten
Academic & Event Coordinator
Kristin Lavery
Online Program Manager
Jess Ignasky
Communications Manager

Gabi Rogers

Academic Advisor
susanna zlotnikov headshot
Susanna Zlotnikov
Online Program Director &
Assistant Teaching Professor
leia delabahan headshot
Leia Delabahan
Senior Academic &
Student Services Advisor
neha suresh kumar headshot
Neha Suresh Kumar
nitya mathur headshot
Nitya Mathur

Completed Action Items


  • Update the Admissions website to reflect DEI goals & values of the department.
  • Enhance admissions scholarship documents and improve awareness of resources. 
  • Develop a process for surveying iii community members based on specific DEI initiatives.
  • Update student, faculty & staff bio pages to include name pronunciation & pronoun information.
  • Implement a dashboard with information about DEI initiatives & progress on the CMUiii website.
  • Develop Social Media strategy for DEI content and engagement.
  • Increase transparency of hiring goals, resources, and policies across iii.
  • Track and utilize existing communication channels and events to promote awareness of DEI outcomes to the iii community.


  • Outline CMU & iii accessibility resources for students, staff and faculty.
  • Establish recommended Accessibility Best Practices for teaching, event planning, classroom experience, & marketing/visual communication.


  • Infuse DEI into orientation through the tracking of Everfi Training & incorporation of cultural humility into sessions.
  • Increase participation in & improve the Peer Mentorship Program experience.
  • Develop & refine resources to help integrate diversity, equity, & inclusion into iii Student Leader practices.
  • Establish training resources and consistent structure during DEI coffee chats. 
  • Research existing DEI training opportunities and requirements at CMU & propose suggested plan for iii faculty/staff training.
  • Identify opportunities & encourage avenues for faculty/staff participation in Intergroup Dialogue.
  • Develop & enhance DEI resources for alumni engagement.


Diversity Career Guide and iii Peer Student Experience Guide

CMU Experience Guides

  • The Peer Student Experience Guide is maintained by our DEI Fellows & iii Peer Mentors and aims to provide incoming iii students with guidance on a variety of topics (including DEI) based on their own personal experience. 
  • The Diversity Career Guide was created by our CMU-SV Career Services team & encourages students to think about diversity, equity, & inclusion when planning for their career.


Stories from the iii Community