Published: Oct. 1, 2023 By

Ennis joins Research & Innovation Office to boost diversity, equity and inclusion impact

Tanya Ennis, PhD

The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) announced that Tanya Ennis, PhD, has been named director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Research, Creative Work and Innovation effective Oct. 16. 

RIO is the central point for support and advocacy for CU Boulder’s world-class scholarship, creative work, and growing research enterprise. Focused on creating global impact by cultivating and supporting collaboration, transformation and leadership across the campus, RIO seeks to embody CU Boulder's commitment to exemplify excellence through diversity by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, enhancing the success and inclusion of all students, staff and faculty.

Ennis will provide leadership and expertise to develop, implement and achieve the goals of both campus and unit-level DEI strategic plans. As part of RIO’s Research Development team, this position will lead RIO’s DEI research community, help faculty respond authentically to DEI grant questions and requirements, and monitor the research funding and policy landscape with respect to funding opportunities focused on DEI initiatives.

“We are delighted that Tanya is joining our RIO team,” said Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation and Dean of the Institutes Massimo Ruzzene. “Tanya’s deep expertise in DEI and broadening participation, along with the networks she has developed over more than a decade at CU Boulder, position her to play a pivotal role in ensuring a more inclusive and equitable research environment across campus.” 

Prior to joining RIO, Ennis served within the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) as the Broadening Participation Director for the SpectrumX Center, and as the Broadening Participation Director in the Research Support Office (RSO). Also in CEAS, Ennis previously supported broadening participation plans for four winning NSF CAREER grant proposals. 

“In her role in the CEAS Research Support Office, Tanya has helped faculty design and implement broader impacts activities across an array of research endeavors,” said Keith Molenaar, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. “Her direct contributions to their outreach and education plans have made an impact on students at many levels within and beyond the CU campus. We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Ennis in her new role.”

Before her work with SpectrumX and the RSO, Ennis led the BOLD Center and spent a decade as director of the Engineering GoldShirt Program, where she was instrumental in obtaining an NSF S-STEM award for additional scholarships for GoldShirt scholars and for the national Redshirting in Engineering Consortium. Under her leadership, the GoldShirt program received recognition in 2020 from the National Academy of Engineering as an “exemplary admissions practice that promotes diversity in engineering.” Additionally, the BOLD Center was named 2018 Program of the Year by the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity. She received the CU President’s Diversity Award in 2015.

Ennis earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Southern University, her master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Southern California, and her PhD from the School of Education in Learning Science and Human Development at CU Boulder.