ENGineering Access, Greater Equity and Diversity

ENGAGED (ENGineering Access, Greater Equity, and Diversity) is committed to connecting students with the tools and resources for success in their engineering classes and careers. This effort focuses on promising students who are underrepresented in engineering, including those who are the first in their families to attend college, are from low-income households, or are from underrepresented groups such as women or minorities.




ENGAGED programming focuses on four core objectives:



Helping students from underrepresented groups access engineering in higher education


Ensuring students have the environment and resources they need to succeed academically


Building a sense of belonging in the College of Engineering among ENGAGED students

Professional Identity

Creating professional development for students within the ENGAGED curricular and co-curricular activities


The ENGAGED initiative is dedicated to supporting access, equity, and diversity in the College of Engineering. Below is the core suite of programs designed to enhance students’ academic success, sense of connection and community, and professional identity development. In addition, ENGAGED partners with various pre-college support programs at the University of Arizona to support students’ access to the engineering profession.

"The UA College of Engineering is committed to making a quality engineering education accessible to students from all backgrounds and to supporting your success throughout your academic journey, and beyond."
David W. Hahn, Craig M. Berge Dean

Mentoring, Friends, Job Connections…Success

Catapult First-Year Experience

Catapult First Year Experience provides engineering students from underrepresented groups an immediate Wildcat Engineering community through linked courses, peer mentors, and exclusive opportunities to meet faculty and preview careers.

Linked Courses: Depending on math placement, Catapult students take 2-4 courses together with a small group of peers during the fall semester of their first year. Linked courses include engineering, math, chemistry, and success/transition courses specially designed for Catapult students.

Peer Mentors: Experienced engineering students volunteer as mentors to guide Catapult participants through their first year in engineering. Mentors help students connect to clubs, academic support, and the #ENGRCat community – through both social and educational happenings.

Faculty Interaction: From shared meals to exclusive lab tours, events with professors give Catapult students an early opportunity to form relationships with Arizona’s top educators and researchers.

To participate in the Catapult First Year Experience, fill out this application prior to the start of your first year and you’ll be contacted by program staff.

Apply for Catapult >


Dinner with the Dean

Summer TRACK

Summer TRACK (Teaching Research and Career Knowledge) assists students who want to take summer courses in starting their second year “on track” in the engineering curriculum.  Participants may take Introductory Mechanics (PHYS 141) and Calculus II (MATH 129) together with a small group of peers, similarly to Catapult. Students also take a Career Development course together to learn about professional competencies while previewing prospective employers in industry.

Linked Courses: Students in Summer TRACK take a physics and/or a math class with a small group of peers over the summer between their first and second year.

Career Development Course: Students spend the afternoons learning from engineers in industry about their jobs and how they developed professional skillsets. Summer TRACK completers report having a stronger understanding of the career they want to pursue.

Scholarships Available: Students who are eligible to receive a Pell Grant may have the remainder of their tuition and fees covered by the College of Engineering. Students who are ineligible for Pell can apply for scholarships after admittance to the program.

Applications for Summer TRACK 2022 are closed.



Research, Engineering Advocacy, and Leadership

REAL Work (Research, Engineering Advocacy, and Leadership) provides paid research-related opportunities for undergraduates beginning in their sophomore year. Students complete research projects and can showcase their work for youth considering STEM majors in college.

Faculty Mentorship: REAL Work students collaborate with an engineering professor who guides their research.

Staff Support: Students meet bi-weekly with ENGAGED program staff to set and discuss goals and to reflect on wins and challenges in their professional development.

Peer-to-Peer Learning: REAL Work students come together monthly to hone research skills like finding research articles, understanding abstracts, and explaining technical research to a non-technical audience.

Spring Poster Session: At the end of the academic year, students design a research poster to present at a session open to the public.

Outreach: REAL Work students inspire high school students to learn more about engineering and get better prepared for the engineering curriculum through community outreach efforts. REAL Work students attend a leadership training and may propose their own outreach efforts, with help from ENGAGED program staff.  

Applications for REAL WORK 2022 are closed.

For more information about ENGineering Access, Greater Equity, and Diversity (ENGAGED), please call 520.626.3990 or email

Meet the Team

Contact our development team for more on all the ways to support the UA College of Engineering.

faculty photo

Noel Hennessey, Ph.D.



Noel is the founding director of the ENGAGED program suite of Catapult, Summer TRACK, and REAL Work. She earned her PhD in Higher Education from the University of Arizona College of Education in 2020. Her research interests include academic and student support program efficacy, as well as emotional labor of academic program staff.

Dean James Baygents

Haeleah Lester

Graduate Assistant


Haeleah is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Higher Education program in the College of Education. She is interested in issues around access to higher education. Haeleah co-instructs the Catapult transition/success courses and provides leadership for the Catapult Peer Mentors program.

Wendy Turner

Elia Bueno, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant


Elia is a graduate student in the Family and Consumer Sciences doctoral program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her research interests include access to college and familial influence in students’ access of resources and success in higher education. Elia is responsible for data collection and program assessment for ENGAGED programming. 

Wendy Turner

Alejandro Quijada

Undergraduate Program Assistant

  Alejandro is a senior in Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. He participated in the Catapult First Year Experience in his first year at the University of Arizona and has served as a Catapult Peer Mentor every year since. He currently helps to coordinate college support of identity-based engineering clubs, as well as works to ensure club introductions and participation for Catapult students. Alejandro hopes to work in Program Management in tech after his spring 2023 graduation.

ENGAGED Leadership

Contact our development team for more on all the ways to support the UA College of Engineering.

David W. Hahn

David W.

David W. Hahn
Craig M. Berge Dean, College of Engineering

Kathleen Melde

Kathleen Melde

Kathleen Melde
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Inclusion

Jim Baygents


Jim Baygents
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs