We are always happy when we have the opportunity to partner with different offices, departments, and colleges within the University of Michigan, but working with the Offices of the President and Provost in particular has helped us engage with our university community in new and exciting ways. After meeting with the President and Provost last spring, the Solar Car Team has taken steps to ensure we are a part of the College of Engineering and the University of Michigan’s efforts to increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on campus.
Through our work with the Offices of the President and Provost, the team has developed a five-year Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan of our own that parallels the ones developed by the College of Engineering and the University. We have already begun looking into ways that we can meet the goals set out in our plan. Part of our DEI plan is to appoint a Team Relations Coordinator to oversee our DEI initiatives and ensure that the team environment is welcoming and friendly. Our first Team Relations Coordinator, Abigail Siegal, comments, “I’m excited about the things we have in the works! I’ve been looking into ways to relieve the financial burden of racing, new ways of recruiting, and different team bonding events we can do. I truly believe that all of these initiatives will make our team stronger.”
The team is eager to see the diversity of thought that these plans may bring to the team. The ultimate goal is that the team will be more diverse and every member will feel comfortable proposing new ideas and asking important questions. When you have people coming from different backgrounds in a multidisciplinary environment like UM Solar Car’s, people will be able to bring different strengths to the table. We strive to be the best team in the world and the best way to do that is to have the best people possible in a truly collaborative environment. The involvement of Offices of the President and the Provost makes it easier for us to do just that!
The financial support of the Offices of the President and the Provost will not only help us with achieving this goal, but as we continue to strive to be not only the best the solar car team in the United States, but in the world!