Michele de Coteau, PhD has spent her career advocating for equity and inclusion for underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income students in STEM. Dr. de Coteau graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering and became the first Berkeley student in 25 years and the first African American woman from Berkeley ever to win a Rhodes scholarship. She earned her D. Phil. (Ph.D.) in Metallurgy and Science of Materials from the University of Oxford, England. As Assistant Dean for Special Programs in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, she was responsible for diversity initiatives in the college, serving faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students.
She led Berkeley’s Center for Underrepresented Engineering Students (CUES), which offered programs to recruit underrepresented minority students and women, and provided academic support to ensure that they thrived academically, completed their degrees, and made successful transitions to graduate school and careers. She was also the Academic Advisor for the Cal-NERDS (New Experiences in Research and Diversity) Program, serving STEM students in undergraduate research programs at Berkeley.
Dr. de Coteau was singled out in a survey of undergraduates as one of Berkeley’s “everyday heroes” – remarkable employees who make day-to-day encounters memorable and give the campus experience a human face. At the UC San Francisco Graduate Division, Dr. de Coteau served as Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and Outreach, where she directed, developed, and analyzed the delivery of graduate academic services for students, faculty, and administrative units. As deputy diversity officer, she drove outreach and academic initiatives for recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds, managed NIH and NSF grants, and directed the summer research program for undergraduates. Most recently, she was on the planning committee for the inaugural Making Waves Foundation College Success Institute.
President Clinton celebrates UC Berkeley's Efforts in Diversity
Center for Underrepresented Engineering Students profile on Michele de Coteau
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