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Introducing Mosaic+

by Nifemi Madarikan

“We strive to foster a sense of community for marginalized and underrepresented racial minority (URM) students within the computer science department. We will welcome more racial and ethnic minority students to computer science at Brown through a community they can easily relate to and learn from. We will launch Mosaic+ as a platform from which to motivate administration in Brown University’s computer science department to create a receptive and equitable space for minority students and faculty. We hope our efforts will draw attention to the gross lack of diversity in computing at Brown and beyond.  Our ultimate objective is for the discourse around diversity in computing at Brown University to be acknowledged and duly acted upon.”

- Mosaic+ Constitution, Fall 2015

Founded in the spring semester of 2015, Mosaic+ is a student-led diversity initiative to create an inclusive space for racially and ethnically underrepresented minority (URM) students. We believe collaboration between students, faculty, staff, and partners in academia and industry is necessary to tackle the persistent prevalence of under-representation in technology today.

Here at Brown, Mosaic+ adopts a multifaceted approach to developing diversity and inclusion in our computer science department - one made possible by our versatile structure. Much of the work we do falls into two main programs which have received the encouragement, endorsement, and active help of Brown CS: the Transition Program and the Mentorship Program. The first is a summer pre-orientation program targeted at newly admitted, URM first-year students curious about computer science and technology at Brown University. Over the course of this pre-orientation program, students will be exposed to meaningful opportunities and exciting challenges as they engage with both technical and non-technical activities and challenges. Our Transition Program launches this summer of 2016 in collaboration with Brown’s Catalyst summer program. Launching this spring semester, our Mentorship Program provides focused guidance and attentive support to URM students through one-on-one mentorship, class-specific group study sessions, and large interactive workshops. Over the course of each semester, students will have the opportunity to gain a firmer grasp of  concepts they learn in class as well as exposure to new and exciting concepts to expand their experience of computer science and technology.

Crucial to our success is the collaboration between students, faculty and staff; in particular we would like to appreciate the efforts of: Chadwicke Jenkins (former Brown CS faculty member), Department Chair Ugur Cetintemel, Associate Professor (Research) and Vice Chair Tom Doeppner, Laura Dobler, the Brown CS Diversity Committee, Nifemi Madarikan ‘17, Chelse-Amoy Steele ‘18, Kevin Anderson ‘18, Joanna Simwinga ‘18, Peter Clarke ‘18, Jonathan Powell ‘18, Kendal Cockrel ‘17, Jide Omekam ‘18, Asha Owens ‘16, Hassan Sufi ‘17, Austin Peete ‘18, Charles Njorge ‘18, Victoria Chavez ‘18, and all of the newly appointed Mosaic+ student mentors and facilitators.