Carnegie Mellon University
May 24, 2021

Michael Young Named MCS’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

By Emily Payne

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS

Michael Young will join Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon College of Science as the first associate dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Young will further the college’s and university’s DEI mission by fostering a diverse and inclusive community that supports our faculty, staff and students.

He will work closely with department heads and MCS leadership to implement DEI-focused initiatives, programs and practices at the departmental and college level. 

“Michael joining MCS as associate dean for DEI is a turning point for the college. We as a community are making an invested, long-term commitment to confront privilege, prejudice, discrimination, bias and racial injustice,” said Glen de Vries Dean Rebecca Doerge. “A known change-maker, Michael has the right knowledge and experience to guide the college to become a more welcoming and supportive place to work and learn.”

Currently an associate professor of mathematics at Iowa State University, Young returns to Carnegie Mellon as a familiar face. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematical sciences in 2008 and has maintained a close relationship with the university in the years since as an instructor in CMU’s Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute and Summer Academy for Math and Sciences.

Throughout his career, Young has started a number of nationwide initiatives and held several leadership roles geared towards addressing race and inequity in education. He founded the networking organization the Center for Minorities in the Mathematical Sciences and the Mathematics Enrichment through Diversity and Learning (MEDAL) Organization. MEDAL provides diversity training and professional development to teachers and faculty as well as tutoring and mentoring services through the United Negro College Fund’s STEM Scholar Program and through CMU’s Tartan Scholars Program.

The governor of Iowa also appointed Young to serve on her administration’s STEM Council in 2019. Through the council, he recommended how to incorporate diversity and equity across the state’s educational system and workforce.

“Michael has a long track record and a great deal of national visibility in the DEI arena. He will bring with him experience, enthusiasm and excellence,” said Bill Hrusa, mathematical sciences professor and chair of the search committee. “He has made major contributions to the education of high school, undergraduate and Ph.D. students. He understands what research in STEM fields is all about, and he appreciates the important role that staff members play in making the college run. I am thoroughly convinced that he will greatly enhance our community and also have a major impact outside of MCS."

Young will also join the college as a faculty member in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. His research is in discrete mathematics, specifically graph theory, combinatorics and applications to combinatorial matrix theory. 

“I’m excited to find ways for students to have a better experience, for the faculty to become more diverse and for the community to become more engaged with MCS,” Young said of joining the college. He will begin his new role on July 16.