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The Graduate Division is excited to welcome our new ​Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor, ​Felicia Rutland. Felicia works to create representative spaces for historically underserved student populations. Read on to find out more about ​​Felicia!

By Graduate Division Staff
Wednesday, February 16th, 2022 - 1:05pm

Felicia Welcome Announcement

UCSB's Graduate Division is excited to welcome our new Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor, Felicia Rutland. In this position, Felicia will develop sustainable resources that provide support and advocacy for graduate students, enhancing the mutually beneficial relationship between UCSB and its graduate student population. Read on to find out more about Felicia!


Felicia Rutland (she/her) is a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering Department, from Philadelphia, PA. Her research interests in structural material synthesis and production developed at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT), a Historically Black College/University that is an illustrious example of the institutions UCSB endeavors to collaborate with. While there, she was actively engaged with organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers, NCAT's version of Student Government and diversity pipeline programs similar to UC-HBCU.



Beyond currently working to develop computational tools that complement the design and optimization of advanced material production strategies, Felicia aspires to direct interdisciplinary applied research through equitable and effective collaboration. Through her experiences as an underrepresented human being in many spaces (academia and industry especially), the value of having accessible sponsor- and mentorship was reinforced. So, utilizing intentional partnerships to provide resources that develop those interested in diversifying and increasing their skillset has become a lifelong mission!



Spontaneous by default, trying new activities (skydiving in Vegas) and booking next-day travel are some examples of things to expect from Felicia. Enjoying art of any form, playing video games, and being inspired by self-aware people are also favorite pastimes of hers.


Developing purposeful programming consistent with the needs of graduate students, especially those of underrepresented backgrounds, and the goals of the UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Graduate Division is a core component of the Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor's role. Additionally, the Peer implements outreach efforts and other methods to foster an inclusive and productive environment for the ~3,000 graduate students contributing daily to their personal legacies and that of UCSB.

Welcome, Felicia!