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BCOE Recognized for Diversity

Bourns College of Engineering Honored with ABET Diversity Award

Recognized for recruiting, retaining and advancing students from diverse backgrounds

(October 2, 2009)

A diverse group of future engineers at Bourns College of Engineering's commencement in 2008.

A diverse group of future engineers at Bourns College of Engineering's commencement in 2008.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) has been chosen to receive one of three 2009 Claire Felbinger Awards for Diversity from ABET, the recognized accrediting body for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.

The Felbinger award recognizes U.S.-based educational units, individuals, associations and firms for extraordinary success in achieving or facilitating diversity and inclusiveness in the technological segments of our society. UC President Mark Yudof has been invited to accept the award at the ABET Commission Summit October 28 in San Antonio, Texas.

In a letter to Yudof informing him of the award, ABET wrote that Bourns College is being honored "in recognition of extraordinarily successful initiatives for recruiting undergraduate and graduate students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, retaining them though the bachelor's degree, and advancing them to graduate studies and careers in engineering."

“This is a stellar recognition of Bourns College’s commitment to the success of engineering students who are a reflection of the communities, both local and global, where they will live and work,” said BCOE Dean Reza Abbaschian. “It’s a strong indication that we are on the right path, and a well-earned endorsement of the energetic efforts of our faculty, staff, alumni and students.”

ABET President Joseph L. Sussman said in the announcement: “We want to make sure that we acknowledge the people, institutions, and organizations that are making the fields that ABET accredits more representative of the populations they are serving, and we also want to inspire others to do the same.”

Additional recipients of the award for 2009 include the College of Engineering at Florida State University and Florida A&M University, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Fullerton.

The award was named to honor the late Claire Felbinger, former chair of American University's masters of public administration program and a public member of the ABET board of directors. Under her leadership, the Public Member Committee was responsible for many of ABET's diversity initiatives for technical fields and the diversity award's creation.

ABET, Inc., is a federation of 30 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Prior to 2005, it was known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. All of Bourns College's programs are ABET-accredited.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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