University of Texas at Austin

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Outreach

The Oden Institute is committed to the goal of creating an environment where diversity, equity, inclusion and outreach thrive, and where talented people from all backgrounds join us and our mission of improving society through high-impact research.

Karen E. Willcox, Director of the Oden Institute

Throughout my career, I have had an unwavering commitment to building a more diverse and more inclusive professional community. At the Oden Institute, we strive to foster an inclusive environment for all people, regardless of background. We celebrate diversity within our own community and we are passionate about contributing to positive change in our broader professional and educational community.

— Karen E. Willcox, Director of the Oden Institute

Oden Institute Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Outreach Plan

Read our full DEI plan.

Our DEI Goals

1 Recruitment & Retention

Cultivate and foster strategies that support the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body in the Oden Institute and ensure the Institute has a reputation of being inclusive and welcoming of diverse populations.

2 National Pipeline & Community Engagement

Advance efforts and initiatives that increase access to underserved communities across the state of Texas and support growing a diverse national pipeline in computational science, engineering, and mathematics.

3 Culture & Climate

Advance efforts and initiatives to create and foster an inclusive and equitable culture within the Oden Institute.

Oden Institute Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Outreach Committee

In January 2021, the Oden Institute established its first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Outreach (DEIO) Committee as a standing committee of the Institute. The charter of the DEIO Committee is to support the Oden Institute Director in developing and updating the Institute’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, and in developing action plans to achieve the goals.

Patrick Heimbach Georgia Stuart rausch Karen E. Willcox roseberry yesypenko John Holden Lisa Gentry Julie Di Carlo Julie Heiland

Oden Institute DEIO Initiatives

Rising Stars

Rising Stars

Rising Stars is an intensive workshop for graduate students and postdocs who are interested in pursuing academic and research careers. Originally launched at MIT in 2012, Rising Stars events have been hosted in many different fields at institutions across the world.

Learn more about Rising Stars

Del Valle ISD

Del Valle Independent School District

As part of a NASA University Leadership Initiative project on Autonomous Aerial Cargo Operations at Scale, the Oden Institute is working with Del Valle ISD through their Career and Technical Education program in unmanned aerial systems. The District serves roughly 11,000 students, of whom 84.4% are economically disadvantaged and 84.1% are Hispanic. Together with Del Valle, we are working to develop and deliver lecture modules for their Career and Technical Education classes, and to design and offer summer research experiences at UT Austin.

For more information contact


Huston-Tillotson University

As part of a NASA University Leadership Initiative project entitled FAST: Full Airframe Sensing Technology for Hypersonic Aerodynamics Measurements, the Oden Institute is working with Huston-Tillotson University to develop an undergraduate course in computational engineering and to offer summer internships to Huston-Tillotson students as part of the FAST project.

For more information contact

Support of Student Organizations

Support of Student Organizations

The Oden Institute is proud to support UT Austin student organizations and student chapters. Our past and ongoing support includes the National Society of Black Engineers (NBSE) chapter’s A Walk for Education and the SIAM Student Chapter.

The Graduate and Postdoctoral Women of the Oden Institute is an organization that provides a community to support and advance women graduate students and postdocs within the Institute. It is open to all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the Institute who share an interest in issues relevant to women pursuing research and teaching careers in the fields related to computational science, engineering, and mathematics. Co-chairs are Nicole Aretz and Ally Richardson. Join the mailing list to receive notifications of future activities and events by completing the Qualtrics Survey.

If you wish to request support for a student group or event, please contact

Mondays 9.30-10.30am CT

Oden Institute Weekly Community Coffee Hour

Join us for informal discussions, Mondays 9.30-10.30am CT in POB 6.102. Staff, students, faculty, researchers — all are welcome.

Funding and Grant Opportunities at UT Austin

Actions that promote Community Transformation (ACT)

Student Org Co-Sponsorship Program

Community Partnerships and Sponsorships

Texas Grants Resource Center

Educational Opportunities and Resources

For more information and access to DEI resources, visit the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Resources there include the University Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and the Diversity Education Certificate through UT Learn Courses.