AME Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee


The AME DEI Committee is charged with upholding the AME department’s commitment to equity, inclusion, diversity and accessibility. We have generated a set of specific goals, plans, and intended outcomes to motivate the DEI-related activities we believe are necessary to obtain the equity and inclusion we strive for in our AME community.

Chair: Anita Penkova

Vice-Chair: Alina Coronado

Committee Members


Anita Penkova
Research Assistant Professor

Alina Coronado
Assistant Director, AME Student Affairs


Akshay Potnuru
Senior Lecturer


Bo Cheng Jin

Senior Lecturer


Emma Singer


Leslie King
Part-Time Lecturer

Neda Maghsoodi

Assistant Professor


Tessa Yao



1. Have critical conversations with students, faculty, and staff to gauge departmental climate and establish a department-wide support system.

2. Host trainings for students, faculty, and staff that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

3. Use data from department-wide, school-wide and university-wide surveys to drive committee charge and create actionable goals. 
4. Promote use and maximize accessibility of department-wide, school-wide and university-wide resources already available for support.
5. Develop guidelines for the PhD Admissions Committee.
6. Develop guidelines for the Faculty Search Committee.


1a. Host a semesterly Town Hall.

1b. Establish a “Committee Liaison” to serve as intermediary between stakeholders and committee.

2a. Host biweekly JEDI workshops led by the USC Student Equity and Inclusion Programs.

2b. Survey and communicate with department stakeholders on DEI concerns.

3a. Collect data from USC Institutional Research, USC Well-being Collective, and other DEI best practice resources.

3b. Host events to support underrepresented groups in AME.

4a. Create better means of communication between department stakeholders, such as a DEI webpage and liaisons.

4b. Launch DEI webpage providing information about the committee and listing available university resources.

5a. Work with the committee in the Fall 2023 semester to review and improve processes.
6a. Work with the Faculty Search Committee to bring in a diverse pool of candidates, and ensure equitable recruitment. 

Intended Outcome

1. Foster open communication between department stakeholders.

2a. For everyone in the AME community to have their identities acknowledged and honored; and develop cultural awareness.

2b. Promote cultural competence to improve faculty, staff, and student relationships.

3a. Use a data-driven approach to identify and support underrepresented groups in AME.

3b. Foster a culture of belonging in AME.

4. Highlight the committee’s goals and progress, and promote AME DEI events.
5. Foster diversity in admissions and acceptances.
6. Increase faculty diversity.


Upcoming Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Events

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Past Events


Published on June 26th, 2023

Last updated on March 4th, 2024