Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The field of Systems Engineering places great value on diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and cultures as a key means to realize a comprehensive, systems-level perspective on problems. 

Events & Resources

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See all APIDAHM events here. 

April 2: APIDAHM Premier: Performance by Polynesian Party Planner 

Kalama Polynesian Dancers is a Professional Polynesian Entertainment Dance Group. They have performed throughout Colorado and all over the U.S. in private events and also public events for the Denver Broncos, Colorado Mammoth, Colorado Dragon Boat and more! They are also affiliated with the Nonprofit Halau Kalama. Halau Kalama’s Dance Studio is located in Aurora, Colorado. They teach Hula, Tahitian, New Zealand, and Samoan dance to children and adults. They also teach speciality classes for Tahitian Drumming and Fire Knife Spinning. Their online platform is called Raqs Online where anyone all over the world can learn how to dance.

They are dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Pacific Islands’ culture and heritage through music, dance, language, and education. Members of Hālau Kalama collaborate and strive to entertain as well as enlighten all communities who wish to experience the “ALOHA SPIRIT.”

The video will be available throughout the month of April. Please take time to fill out the survey below. We would love to hear your feedback! Enjoy the performances!

You can find more information at http://www.halaukalama.com/
Video link: Coming Soon
Survey link: https://colostate.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1zU4E0GzuvfeV6e

April 19 @ 6 p.m.: Eriko Tsogo: Culture & Identity in Contemporary Mongolian Art

Eriko Tsogo is a Mongolian American cross-disciplinary artist, art management professional and DACA recipient born on the steppes of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She is an alumni of Denver School of the Arts, having attained her B.F.A (2012) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University. Eriko grew up in Budapest, Hungary and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1999. 

Eriko has had numerous art shows, curatorial projects and art residencies throughout the United States and Mongolia. She has been the recipient of ACE Foundation scholarship (2008-2012), “Juuh” Honorarium by the Mongolian Ministry of Education Culture and Science (2016), Alliance for Artist Communities Fellowship in affiliation with The Joan Mitchell Foundation (2018), Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Mini Grant (2019, 2020), and City of Denver Office of Equity and Diversity grant (2019). 

Since 2012, Eriko has worked as the Creative Director at the Mongolian Culture and Heritage Center of Colorado, where she oversees education, community engagement, and programming. She is a passionate advocate for advancing racial and cultural justice through the arts. Her animated short film “Tears of the Sky” premiered at the 2019 Colorado Dragon Film Festival. She was a guest speaker at the TEDxMileHigh RESET Adventure “Immigration In America” (Denver, 2018). 

Eriko was one of twenty-five international Mongolian artists selected to be part of “Contemporary Mongolian Art Biennial: Innovating Tradition” (The World Bank in Washington, DC, 2019). She collaborated with Motus Theater for the “UndocuAmerica Performance & Media Project” (Boulder, 2019). Eriko was invited to participate in the 2019 “I Stand With Immigrants” program at the 2019 Miami Art Basel powered by FWD.us. 

In 2021, Eriko and BETART Collective’s interactive art installation “Mongovoo” is due for permanent exhibition at the Meow Wolf Museum in Denver. She has served as Commissioner for the Office of Denver Commission of Cultural Affairs under Mayor B. Hancock from 2019-2020. Eriko is represented internationally by Tappan Collective in Los Angeles. 

You can find more information at: www.erikotsogo.com 

Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/91504025911
Post-event survey link: https://colostate.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4V1s1juy08Na9O6 

April 1 “Strolling & Straddling Academic Boundaries: A Critical Feminista Study on Motherscholars in Higher Education”. 

  • Presenter: Dr. Christine Vega
  • 12 noon – 1 p.m., via Zoom

May 5  “Relationships between working-class, first-generation college students and their parent(s)/guardian(s): A phenomenological study on the impacts of middle-class socialization”

  • Presenter: Lindsay Mason
  • 12 noon – 1 p.m., via Zoom

Registration & Zoom Links

­­­­­­­­­­Please RSVP to david.mckelfresh@colostate.edu, and we will send you a Zoom invite.

For more information about the talks see the VPD website here.


Thursday, April 1 | 4 PM MST

This performance dares us to understand and adore our whole selves. Being Disabled, Sick, Chronically Ill, Deaf, and/or being Brilliant/Crazy are often understood as flawed. Also, as Transgender & Queer People of Color you can be impacted by displacement and migration. Ultimately, we survive in struggles that are alienated and dehumanized. Our contributions deserve visibility. The truth is, we face all struggles simultaneously!

Paying homage to audre lorde: “I do not believe in single-issue politics, because we do not live single-issue lives,” avenues of critical intersections as brown, poor, trans, im/migrant, Disabled, and “other” are explored. How do competition and respectability politics impose oppression in our actions, our lives? How do we embrace a politic that doesn’t isolate or accommodate, but engages everyday movements to show up for those who are affected & not talked about? How can we come to a place of honoring ourselves fully? You are invited to embrace a sexy, complicated, sacred, powerful, and amazing lineage. To Sick & Disabled Queer/Transgender Indigenous or People of Color (SDQTIPOC) daily survival!

This workshop is for CSU students and has a limited capacity of 30 participants.

Register Here.


Our primary audience for Safe Zone training is faculty and staff at Colorado State University. CSU students are welcome to sign up for Safe Zone – Student Sessions, which are 2-hour, modified workshops designed for CSU students. These are great training options for student employees on campus. Students may also request a Safe Zone training for their student organization through our Training and Workshop Request Form.

Safe Zone training registration information. 

The Pride Resource Center’s Online Safe Zone Training is a 3.5-hour training program [via Zoom] with the objective of reducing homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism at CSU, thereby making CSU a safer environment for all members of our community across sexual orientations, romantic orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersections of identities. Through our Safe Zone program, we aim to create a network committed to ongoing education and advocacy in order to support LGBTQ communities at CSU. You can view our Safe Zone Network Directory here.

Safe Zone training registration information. 

Grad Student Mental Health and Well-being Data and Resources

April 28 | 11 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Registration required at https://col.st/4ei3n

Presenters: Monica Keele, Viviane Ephraimson-Abt, Janelle Patrias, Stephanie Zee, CSU Health Network

In this time of increasing stress and multiple challenges, faculty and staff are asking about ways to support student wellbeing. This session provides an overview of CSU graduate students’ mental health and how our students compare with others across the nation. Discover new or updated digital and online tools, that are available to assist students with their well-being. You will learn about Silver Cloud, a Cognitive Behavior Therapy tool, and Nod an app focused on loneliness. Learn about CSU’s Wellbeing Tool Kit, an online resource that staff can use with student and about the new functions of You@CSU. Come with questions and leave with tools to support graduate students.

Missing an event?

Let us know in the form below.

2020-2021 Departmental Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan

The SE Department’s DEI committee has four working groups, each with the task to focus on an area of DEI progress that aligns with WSCOE and University-level goals. The current working groups and members are:

  1. Faculty Hiring and Recruitment: Chrissy Charny, Mary Gomez, Jim Cale, Steve Simske, Tom Bradley
  2. Department Climate: Hugh Nguyen, Cailin Simpson, Ingrid Bridge, Katharyn Peterman
  3. Staff and Faculty Cultural Competency: Dan Herber, Cailin Simpson, Katharyn Peterman, Ingrid Bridge
  4. Outreach-Engagement: Jeremy Daily, Kamran Eftekhari Shahroudi

Working Group Goals

The goal for AY20-21 is to increase recruitment and hiring of individuals from groups historically underrepresented in Engineering. 

The goal for AY20-21 is to establish a baseline understanding of the faculty/staff and student perception of the Systems Engineering department climate. 

The goal for AY20-21 is to increase cultural competency of all Systems Engineering faculty, staff, and students to promote and support an inclusive department/research/academic climate. 

The goal for AY20-21 is to meaningfully engage with new organizations that are not well represented in the Systems Engineering department.

Committee Members

DEI Student Sub-Committee Members

  • Hugh Nguyen (co-chair) – Distance D.Eng.
  • Cailin Simpson (co-chair) – Distance Ph.D.
  • Anicet Adjahossou – Distance Ph.D.
  • Anmar Al Rikabi – Distance Ph.D.
  • Ibtasam Arshad – Distance Cert.
  • Basheer Bristow – Distance Ph.D. 
  • Ahmed Elhadeedy – Distance Ph.D.
  • Robert Hawkes – Distance M.S.
  • Jayesh Narsinghani – M.S.
  • Frank Nguyen – Distance Ph.D.
  • Raymond Paulson – Distance Ph.D.
  • Angie Robinson – Ph.D.
  • Aleksandra Scalco – Distance Ph.D.
  • Gautham Sekar – M.S.
  • Vanja Vlajnic – Distance Ph.D.
  • Arthur Worlobah – Distance Ph.D.

DEI Student Sub-Committee Member Profiles

Hugh Nguyen - Systems Engineering student

Hugh Nguyen (co-chair)

Current Residence: San Diego, CA

Education: B.S. Electrical Engineering, UCSD; M.S. Electrical Engineering (SDSU); M.S. Systems Engineering (CSU)

Employment: 22 years in engineering (10 years in private sector, 12 years in Government)

Previous DEI experience: Asian and Vietnamese Student Associations at UCSD and SDSU; student member in SDSU Admission Advisory Committee; chaired the Culture Advisory Board at Northrop Grumman; member of First Line Supervisor Council at Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific

Hobbies: Gardening, fixing stuffs, hiking, traveling

Cailin Simpson - Systems Engineering student

Cailin Simpson (co-chair)

Current Residence: Minneapolis, MN

Discovering Systems @ CSU: I met Dr. Ron Sega through networking and he introduced me to the program and Dr. Simske.

Why a Ph.D.? I have always enjoyed solving problems by looking at the “big picture” and how things should work together to achieve the “big picture” – I had no idea that is what SE was. But once I found out, I was hooked!

DEI: I am passionate about representation of people that come from different backgrounds in engineering. It is important to have true diversity of thought when solving the world’s most intricate problems.

Hobbies: I love spending time with my partner and dogs by doing activities outdoor like hiking, canoeing, and sailing.

Anicet Adjahossou - Systems Engineering Student

Anicet Adjahossou

Current Residence: Denver, CO

Discovering Systems @ CSU: I attended a UN conference in Seattle Lake City where I learned about many discoveries, leading to solutions to global challenges in infrastructure, water, health, energy and the environment, made at the CSU, and then I contacted Professor Neil who introduced me to the CSU’s SE Department.

Why a Ph.D.? What inspired me to pursue the Ph.D. program at CSU is to learn about new applications of systemic processes in society that improve the world we live in.

DEI: What motivated me to be a part of the DEI student committee is to contribute to creating environments conducive to feedback, supporting diversity and being open to student humanity. Volunteering my time to help others in need, enriching diversity and inclusion in order to reduce redundancy and conflicting thinking within the community.

Employment: I work in UN humanitarian operations and help refugees and people in need. In addition, humor, telling stories of the great kings of Africa and their contributions to the development of the continent.

Frank Nguyen - Systems Engineering student

Frank Nguyen

Current Residence: Orange County, Southern California

Why a Ph.D.? What inspired me to pursue the Ph.D. program at CSU is the need to integrate the multiple disciplines into a unique system to solve the complex problems.

DEI: What motivated me to be a part of the DEI student committee is because of the great value of diverse team that everybody can share and learn from each other in order to grow stronger together.

Hobbies: I play ping-pong and guitar at home when I do have free time.

Mo Hussein - Systems Engineering Student

Aleksandra Scalco

Current Residence: Charleston, SC

Discovering Systems @ CSU: Professional mentors introduced me to the CSU SE department

Why a Ph.D.? What inspired me to pursue the Ph.D. program at CSU is the need to solve a real-world problem.

DEI: What motivated me to be a part of the DEI student committee is a natural extension of the joy of witnessing and supporting everyone in realizing their individual gifts, particularly when it comes to STEM (but whatever they chose to pursue in life). I am also a member of the Executive Diversity Council (EDC) at my workplace.

Mentorships: I actively mentor young adults (high school – college) who are developing their own life’s journey and careers. This is either by formal internships or actively engaged (e.g. weekly touch points by telephone, email, or Zoom meetings).

Missing an event or resource? Let us know.

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