Page 4 - ME News Spring 2022
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                                 Introducing the ME Ambassadors Program
The new ME Ambassadors Program seeks to close the gender and racial gaps in engineering by engaging in diversity-
and equity-focused K-12 outreach in our community. A 2018 Pew Research report identified mechanical engineering as having the lowest inclusion of women, at 8%, with only 10% of mechanical engineers being black or hispanic.
The program, modeled after other successful programs nationwide, aims to connect K-12 students and mechanical engineering undergraduates starting in third grade, with the goal of reaching underrepresented students. Current ME undergraduates will engage in peer-to-peer interactions with elementary and middle school students over a three- year period to help youth embrace their role in creating change using engineering skills and to see themselves as future engineers in order
to increase diversity in the mechanical engineering pipeline. The ME Ambassadors Program aims to serve our
local communities and ensure that the
next generation of mechanical engineers
  represents all backgrounds.
 “Every single employer that I have talked to in regards to the program has commended me for being a part of it when I have described our goals to them. Without fail, the ME Ambassadors Program is the extracurricular that employers like to discuss the most. They have gone as far as thanking me for contributing to the efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in engineering.” — ME Ambassador
Top left and above: ME Ambassadors work with students at Gleason Lake Elementary.
  Jim and Sandy Rutzick provided initial funding of $10,000 to launch the ME Ambassadors Program. Jim graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 1966 and is co-founder of the Mechanical Engineering Alumni Network (ME-AN).
“When I was a freshman at the Minnesota Institute of Technology in 1961, there was one female student in our class. We’re doing better than that now, but I would like to see it continue to improve. We need more women and we need more people of diverse backgrounds in our profession. Sandy and I are committed to helping make this happen.” — Jim Rutzick
4 ME News Spring 2022

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