Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor receives 2021 New Jersey STEM Civic Leadership Award

Dr. Kauser Jahan, Civil & Environemental Engineering Professor and Department Head

 Dr. Kauser Jahan picture

Dr. Kauser Jahan was the recipient of the 2021 New Jersey STEM Civic Leadership Award. Dr. Jahan earned this award because of her dedication for promoting diversity in engineering and for her outreach for K-12 students and educators, including establishing the program ‘Engineers on Wheels’. Dr. Kauser Jahan was also an integral member to develop of Henry M. College of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Inclusive Curriculum websiteJoin us in celebrating Dr. Kauser Jahan and getting to know more about her work! 

Tell us about the DEI research that you are doing and what made you want to undertake this work: 

I believe I have always been interested in bringing DEI into my teaching since I started my Rowan career in 1996. As a female engineering educator originally from Bangladesh, the lack of diversity in our classrooms is always there-right in front of us. I was raised in different countries (Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh) during my elementary school years and that instilled in me values of being a global citizen and valuing diversity, inclusivity and issues related to equity.
As such, many of my funded grants have focused on enhancing diversity in our classrooms along with  the development of inclusive curriculum that allows all of us to be a part of the learning in the classroom with examples that are relevant for all and not just one group. My environmental engineering courses have always focused on examples on social/racial/gender biases and injustices to raise awareness. Our Civil and Environmental Engineering department is the first in the USA to receive the NSF ReVED (Revolutionizing Engineering Diversity ) grant; this grant allowed us to take multi-pronged approaches to revolutionize the department culture and climate by increasing diversity via curricular and extracurricular reform.

Why would our students at Rowan University be interested in this work?

Our institution has grown in the 25 years I have been here. The student, faculty and employee body is more diverse and we now have graduate students from all over the world. Our work will shape them as they become professional practitioners and educators in the future. Being aware, that we all have collectively made contributions to the development of the world and each of us has a moral obligation to embrace a diverse workforce and promote equity and inclusivity for a healthier world is tantamount to the success and wellbeing of future generations.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your work?

My work with DEI initiatives have always stemmed from my heart. I have never waited to receive funding to promote DEI initiatives as an educator or as a leader for my department. It is a core value that  defines who I am and what I represent. I am pleased that the university is actively promoting dialogue through the DEI office and there are many initiatives and support for our community to learn and embrace DEI issues.