Renetta Garrison Tull
Renetta Garrison Tull

On Tour with Renetta Garrison Tull

Vice Chancellor Tull, an ECE adjunct faculty member, promotes DEI in engineering across the globe

Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Renetta Garrison Tull travels the world to promote the importance of DEI in engineering. Tull’s recent travels have taken her to Cape Town, Nashville and Baltimore, among others, and she continues to make her mark at the University of California, Davis. 

World Engineering Education Forum and Global Engineering Deans' Council 

Tull participated in the 2022 World Engineering Education Forum, or WEEF, in Cape Town, South Africa. The WEEF conference brings together leaders from all over the world to improve engineering education for — and from — a global lens, exploring such topics as inclusive teaching practices and intersecting cultural perspectives.  

As a panelist in several sessions of the conference’s transformative lineup, Tull contributed to: 

  • Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) through Academia/Industry Collaboration 
  • “Rising to the Top” – A conversation with women engineering leaders and authors on their professional and personal journey 
  • Belonging Transforms 

In “Rising to the Top,” Tull told the story of her father encouraging her to become an engineer.  

During the panel, UC Davis computer science Ph.D. student Doreen Joseph, who attended the conference with electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student Toluwanimi Odemuyiwa, captured the essence of DEI principles in practice. 

“Being a woman leader in engineering shouldn’t be a compliment, but it should also not be invisible ... there should be a balance.” 

The Global Engineering Deans' Council, or GEDC, was held alongside WEEF, and Joseph and Odemuyiwa, along with students from around the world, shared their doctoral research with GEDC participants.  

Odemuyiwa placed in a competition for her presentation, “An Elegant Framework to Explore Graph Algorithms,” and Joseph presented, “Firmware Analysis to Secure the IoT.” Both graduate students participated in the PROMISE Engineering Institute, or PEI, activities. 

Pathways to Success Conference 

Hosted by the UC Davis College of Engineering and the Global Semiconductor Alliance's Women's Leadership Initiative, the Pathways to Success Conference promoted conversation about career paths in the semiconductor industry with the goal of expanding the pipeline for a more diverse workforce. It featured campus and industry leaders' unique stories and insights on topics ranging from mentorship and personal values to overcoming challenges and increasing diversity in STEM careers.  

Tull offered the mostly student audience lessons from her career journey and highlighted some of the women in engineering who encouraged her to follow her dreams, including Janet Rutledge, vice president and dean at University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Christine Grant, the 2022 president of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers; Maria Larrondo Petrie, executive director of the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions; and Julie Ross, dean of engineering at Virginia Tech. 

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Symposium 

Tull also spoke at the ABET Symposium in April.  

“Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Sustainability (IDEAS) as Key Drivers for Building a More Resilient World” featured past recipients of ABET’s Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity and Inclusion, which Tull received in 2016.  

During the session, panelists shared their experiences and insights on the benefits of promoting IDEAS in the face of global crises and challenges. The session highlighted the importance of IDEAS as a crucial element of resilience. 

American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition 

During the ASEE Annual Conference and Symposium, Tull led a panel for “Rising to the Top.”

The "Empowering Engineering Excellence: Women Leaders Rising to the Top" panel discussion was based on a book series, supported and sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, that celebrates and showcases the remarkable achievements of women in engineering leadership positions worldwide. The discussion was presented by the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies and GEDC. 

The panel brought together trailblazing women from different continents and cultural backgrounds who have overcome obstacles, navigated challenging environments and emerged as accomplished leaders in their respective engineering fields.

The panelists represent a global perspective, hailing from different continents and cultural backgrounds, reflecting the international scope of engineering leadership. Their experiences will provide a multifaceted understanding of the challenges faced by women in engineering, while also illuminating the opportunities and progress that exist today. 

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