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Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities


ECCO Center Overview

The ECCO Center - Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities provides diversity initiatives and programs devoted to increasing the number of underrepresented African American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) student engineers in the college.  Supporting successful graduation rates, providing community service opportunities, and preparing these students for leadership roles within the engineering profession.

A series of programs and events throughout the academic year will be committed to enhancing the educational experiences of the AALANA engineering students while providing student networking and relationship building opportunities.

The ECCO Center had over 50 middle school students here for Family Day during National Engineers Week on Feb. 21.




ECCO Center attends Expressions of King's Legacy. Pictured left to right, Michael Johnson, 5th year ME, Lawrence Lee, 5th year EE, ECCO Center Director Venessa Mitchell, Keynote Speaker-Dr. Marc Lamon Hill, Mya Luster, grad student in IE, Jason Freeman, 3rd year EE, and Chas Lewis, 1st year CE.

Mission & History

Mission Statement

The ECCO Center diversity initiatives and programs at RIT is dedicated to expanding the representation of AALANA engineers and preparing students for leadership roles within the engineering profession.


The African American, Latino American, and Native American (AALANA) population of students in engineering have traditionally been underrepresented.  The Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT noted, 5.4% Hispanic, 6.9% Asian, 3.1% African-American, 1.8% mixed race, 24% unknown, .2% American Indian in the 2014 fall enrollment class.  It is clear that there was a need to address the underrepresentation of these populations of student with a particular focus on African American and Hispanic students in Engineering. 1

1 The Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT (2014). Fast Facts. Retrieved from


Executive Advisory Board

The Executive Advisory Board provides consistent guidance to the Director of the ECCO Center on diversity initiatives, strategic direction, programs, and partnerships. They assist with the extensive collaborations with University Programs, College of Engineering Departments, Faculty, Industry and Academic partners. This valued method of operation will have a positive impact on programs and student success.

Edward Brown
(585) 475-7043
GLE 3175
View Bio


Marcos Esterman
Associate to the Provost for AALANA Faculty, Graduate Program Director for ISEE, Associate Professor
GLE 1598
View Bio


Patricia Iglesias Victoria
Assistant Professor
GLE 2179
View Bio


Keith Jenkins
View Bio


Venessa Mitchell
Director, Engineering Diversity Office
ENG 2641/2643
View Bio


Doreen D. Edwards
Dean, Professor
GLE 3205
View Bio


Reginald Rogers
Assistant Professor
INS 2109
View Bio


Tomicka Wagstaff, Ed.D.
Senior Director for Academic Access & Support Grants
CPC 2730
View Bio



Student Partners

Brandon Cornel, SASE Software Engineering (SE)
Third Year
View Bio


Jorge (Tony) Mendoza, SHPE
Mechanical Eng. Tech.,  BS and Manufacturing & Mechanical Systems Integration, MS
Third Year
View bio


Kenton Connors, NSBE
Civil Engineering Technology (CET)
Fourth Year
View Bio


Lawrence Lee, SASE
Electrical Engineering (EE)
Second Year
View Bio


Melissa St. Preux, NSBE
Mechanical Engineering (ME)
Fifth year
View Bio




Phone Power January to March - Students reach out via telephone to accepted AALANA engineering students to congratulate them on their acceptance to RIT and answer questions from a current student’s perspective.

National Engineers Week  February - Local student sin 5th-8th grades are invited for a day on campus to learn about engineering education and many career paths for engineers.

Congratulatory invitations February to March - cards are mailed out to the accepted AALANA engineering students inviting them to the engineering diversity retreat.

ECCO Experience Spring - Accepted incoming AALANA students are hosted on campus for an overnight in collaboration with a University Student Open House.

Year-end Ice Cream Social Late Spring - Social event for AALANA students to encourage success on exams and celebrate graduating seniors.

Meet the Dean - Social events for incoming and current AALANA students, an opportunity to have a personal chat with the Dean.

Mentoring - Upper class students lean how to mentor incoming freshman to ease the transition to college life - in academics and the larger college experience.

MCAS (Multicultural ?Center for Academic Success) - Collaborative efforts provide social and networking events that support student success throughout their college careers.

ECCO Power Hour - Casual weekly study breaks that include professional development opportunities, cultural awareness exercises, discussions, and celebrations.


Photos from Family Day-National Engineers Week Feb. 20-25, 2017


 Photos from the 2017 ECCO Center Retreat


Click on each link for information and forms about the ECCO Experience

A travel reimbursement is available for some attendees to partially offset travel expenses. Download the form here to see if you qualify and have all of the required information.


Student Organizations

Student chapters of the following professional organizations have a variety of events throughout the academic year and provide students with great networking opportunities. Click on each these to learn more

American Indian Science and Engineering Society

National Society of Black Engineers

Society of Asian Scientist and Engineers

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers


Contact Us

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, or have any questions, please contact us.


Building ENG (17) Room 2641/2643

77 Lomb Memorial Drive

Rochester, NY 14623-5603

Phone: 585-475-2162

Fax: 585-475-7710



  Rochester Institute of Technology
One Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
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