Published: May 2, 2018 By

CoNECD honors BOLD Center as Program of the Year

Professor Tanya Ennis, Rosa Cabrera, Phil Courey and Jenna Greenwood accept Program of the Year award on behalf of The BOLD Center

Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) honored The BOLD Center as Program of the Year at their inaugural conference in Washington D.C. on May 1. The BOLD Center was honored for developing programs that have significantly enhanced the participation of students from diverse populations that are historically underserved in engineering and computing, while enriching the students’ learning experience  in engineering and computer science. 

For the past decade, the BOLD Center has been working in the community and on campus to develop summer and year-round programs that educate youth about engineering, prepare students to attend CU Boulder and to ensure that they succeed while they are here. Prior to creating the BOLD Center, CU Engineering supported two separate organizations, the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) and Women and Minorities in Engineering (WME). In 2008, the decision was made to combine these programs and forge a new center dedicated to supporting these same students during their time at CU Boulder. 

At the time the distinct change was itself bold. It was a new direction and one that hadn’t been attempted elsewhere in colleges of engineering. Tanya Ennis, Director of the GoldShirt program said “it took a lot of thought to determine what would make students successful. We decided we needed an academic space, not just a social space and we emphasize a growth mindset with our students. They are just as capable as any student and we provide opportunities for them to succeed.”

“It was tough in the beginning; we had a lot of learning and program development and adjustments to make. But, we had the support of the college and Dean Emeritus Rob Davis and, now, Dean Bobby Braun.” 

Under Dean Braun’s leadership, CU Engineering is focused on becoming the first public engineering college with an undergraduate population that is 50% female and reflects the diversity of Colorado’s high school graduates. The BOLD Center programs have been essential in moving closer to our goals and to supporting student success on campus. 

“As BOLD approaches our ten year anniversary, this is a special endorsement from the engineering education community. In the decades ahead, we look forward to serving many more future engineers through our inclusive and data-driven approach,” said Sarah Miller, Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence. 

CoNECD is a forum for exploring current research and practices to enhance diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented groups in the engineering and computing professions. It is hosted by National Association of Minority Engineering Programs (NAMEPA), Women in Engineering Pro-Active Network (WEPAN), American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Women in Engineering Division (WIED), and the ASEE Minorities in Engineering Division (MIND).


Maria Kuntz is the assistant director for communications, inclusion and community in the College of Engineering & Applied Science.