Assistant Director of Education and Diversity - Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) - Penn Engineering

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Mar 05, 2024
Full time Deans & Directors Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Multicultural Affairs Other Academic Administration & Affairs

Job Description


Assistant Director of Education and Diversity - Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) - Penn Engineering

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Assistant Director of Education and Diversity - Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) - Penn Engineering

Job Profile Title
Associate Director C, Academic Affairs, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Job Description Summary
The Assistant Director of Education and Diversity is responsible for managing all aspects of the education programs and diversity initiatives of the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB). Working with the faculty directors and the managing director, the incumbent plans, develops, implements, and evaluates an integrated and strategic program to recruit a diverse pool of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate students, and high school teachers to undertake research activities in faculty laboratories. Develop and manage professional growth programs for each of these groups of students and specifically builds an inclusive postdoctoral and graduate student community that is actively involved in service to the center's programs. Provide mentorship to students. Develop, implement, manage, and evaluate summer undergraduate and high school intern programs. Identify and engage key internal and external partners for educational programs and diversity initiatives through alumni networks, academic institutions, and companies regional to CEMB partner institutions, and University resources. Assist in planning events for center members, funding agencies, and the scientific community. All logistical aspects of programs are under AD management to ensure efficient scheduling and resource use.

The mission of the CEMB is to discover how biological systems communicate using molecular and cellular methods. The CEMB will engineer new and powerful cell-based devices and train students in the foundations of mechanobiology, bringing together leading researchers at the intersection of biology, mechanics, and engineering. Our programs especially seek to develop the next general of scientists and engineers from populations underrepresented in STEM, such as underrepresented minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and financially disadvantaged students to grow a diverse and talented workforce for the future. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Penn is the lead institution together with nine other partnering universities and a wider network of specific educational partners.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

  • Design and develop content needed to implement and manage all education programs in the Center, such as the summer undergraduate research program, graduate student boot camps, Postdoc Preview Day, special seminars, etc. Working with professional evaluator team, develop metrics to evaluate these programs. Communicate directly with participants, develop/disseminate program materials, recruit and manage TA's and student mentors, laboratory space, and provide advice and guidance on research projects. All logistical aspects of programs are under AD management to ensure efficient scheduling and resource use.
  • Independently lead, direct, and develop the recruitment of a diverse group of candidates to the Center's programs: summer undergraduate research experience (UExB program), Master's Fellowship Program, and Postdoc Preview Day; and Penn PhD programs and postdoctoral positions relevant to the CEMB mission. Identify strategies and targeted opportunities (conferences, institutions, etc.) based on analytics and professional contacts. Travel to and present recruitment programs at national conferences and campus visits to Minority Serving Institutions and institutional partners. Lead recruitment efforts by identifying and cultivating individual and institutional relationships and partnerships with external and internal contacts in the higher education community (dept. chairs, graduate chairs, and program staff). Develop marketing and information materials for print and online use. Develop and maintain online application portals and databases of applicants for tracking and reporting. Actively pursue leads and prospects to ensure an annual pool of high-quality applicants. Identify strategies and opportunities for new program funding and contribute to funding proposals. Contribute to program evaluation with the external evaluation team.
  • Manage Network of Educational Partners. Create training and networking opportunities for faculty at partner institutions. Conduct school visits to promote CEMB mission and programs to faculty, undergraduates, and master's students. Increase involvement of constituents at partner institutions in CEMB programs and events. Provide professional development support and mentorship to students within the Network. Develop and facilitate delivery of Traveling Mechanobiology Workshops at partner institutions. Contribute to program evaluation with external evaluation team.
  • Contribute to the strategic planning of education and broadening participation programming, with a focus on sustainability and impact. Collaborate with Center Directors, Director of Education, Director of Diversity, and Managing Director to establish benchmarks, disseminate plan, and execute plan.
  • Support reporting efforts by tracking and reporting demographic and outcomes data for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty in collaboration with external evaluation team and Managing Director. Write annual report sections and funding proposals, create slide decks and present during annual reviews, and aid in additional tasks related to Annual Reporting as requested by Managing Director.
  • Act as the main point of contact with trainees regarding funding and outreach opportunities and participation in CEMB events; oversee the Trainee Leadership Council, acting as an administrative and content advisor.
  • Assist in planning events for Center members, funding agencies, and the scientific community. Assist the Managing Director in planning for Center-wide events such as the Annual Retreat, Mechanobiology Symposium, Annual Site Visit, as well as outreach opportunities open to Center members. Act as a liaison to trainees for communication and assist in logistical planning. Assist with the recruitment of speakers and coordination of the Future Leaders in Mechanobiology series, which features graduate students and postdoctoral trainees from around the world, Friday Seminars and Distinguished Lectures. Aid in program development of events as requested.


  • Bachelor's Degree in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, mechanical engineering or closely related discipline and 3-5 years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A PhD in one of the related disciplines or an advanced degree in education (MA, PhD, EdD) and research experience strongly preferred.
  • Experience with relevance to mechanobiology or other interdisciplinary sciences preferred.
  • Previous experience working with diversity recruitment, orientation, and/or mentoring.
  • Experience developing and running workshops, seminars, and/or larger events.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a diverse population at all academic levels.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity with data collection and analysis preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability for strategic thinking and contributing to a mission's long-term planning.
  • Some travel required to partner institutions, recruitment events, and conferences. Position is contingent on continued funding.

To apply please submit a cover letter and CV/Resume.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Engineering and Applied Science

Pay Range
$51,824.00 - $85,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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