The appointments align with the School’s “Building for Tomorrow” 2025 Strategic Goals document that highlighted inclusivity and diversity as core attributes in creating a more welcoming environment for all to thrive.
Drs. Eikenaar and Weyand will be responsible for directing and supporting activities aimed at making the School of Engineering a welcoming and inclusive place for all. The EDI Advisors will oversee four key pillars, including workplace environment, physical space, curriculum, and student experience, and assist in coordinating outreach activities.
“These EDI roles are essential for building and fostering a positive culture and environment for all our students, faculty, staff and collaborators,” explains Executive Associate Dean Rehan Sadiq. “Our School has already successfully developed many initiatives required for ensuring inclusion for all, but more work is needed.”
Workplace environment and physical space will be supervised by Dr. Weyand. Weyand, an instructor in mechanical engineering focused on biomedical engineering, says the intent is to build a culture that embraces inclusion for all. “Through training and mentoring programs, the aim is to create an environment where under-represented groups can thrive.” Along those lines, changes to the physical space of the School of Engineering will focus on more accessible and welcoming areas, signage and events.
Dr. Eikenaar will be responsible for the curriculum and student experience pillars. According to Eikenaar, a technical communication instructor, Indigenizing the engineering curriculum is on-going while additional curricular initiatives are in the works. “Ensuring that the curriculum is accessible to all our students is essential, and so is ensuring that our students feel included and heard.” A student reporting system is being developed that will enable students to provide feedback directly to the EDI Advisors.
The EDI Advisors will work closely with Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, in the Faculty of Applied Science.