Programs and Opportunities

DCI programs and opportunities are designed to be responsive to the needs of CISTAR faculty, students, and staff and to support their intercultural learning and development.  Here are a few examples of programs and opportunities that we offer:
CISTAR Recruiting; young woman standing in front of booth with NMU School of Engineering sign


CISTAR is focused on broadening representation in STEM fields and in CISTAR.  We try at national conferences -- such as SHPE, SWE, AISES, and NSBE -- to attract students from groups underrepresented in engineering to go to one of our universities for their undergraduate and/or graduate degree(s). 

CISTAR outreach event


The Diversity and Inclusion staff work together with the Engineering Workforce Development staff to reach kids and young adults in the schools and at community events across the country with in-person and virtual opportunities that we make both fun and educational. Our CISTAR fellows across all our universities help us to do outreach to attract and encourage kids and young adults especially those individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in engineering to think about going into a STEM field.  For more information, please visit the CISTAR Outreach page.

REM Student in the research lab

Summer Programs

We help Engineering Workforce Development staff to make the summer programs the best that they can be. For example, we offer mentor training (how to be effective and inclusive mentors) just a few weeks prior to the start of the summer programs for the graduate mentors, particularly those who are new to being mentors. We also assess the mentoring experience that both the mentors and mentees have in our summer programs to make sure they are enjoying and growing professionally.  

In addition, we work with EWD to make sure the programs are both inclusive and inspirational. We have researched the components of effective programs - particularly for individuals who are from backgrounds that are underrepresented in engineering -- and structured our programs accordingly.

CISTAR's REM Program

For example, CISTAR partners with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to offer a Research Experience and Mentoring (REM) summer program that inspires students and includes them in a larger engineering and science community of both academics and industry professionals interested in energy.  

Highlights of the program include: 

  • A unique combined summer experience.  Talented and highly-motivated students across engineering and science disciplines get to spend 6-weeks doing cutting-edge research at CISTAR and then spend 4-weeks mentoring kids at NSBE’s Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) camps.   
  • Getting the best of both worlds.  They get to spend part of their summer being mentored and growing their research and professional skills, and then spend time “giving back” by encouraging and mentoring the next generation of engineers and scientists—all in one summer! 
  • A common energy theme.  Students are inspired and connected to one another by having a common theme across their different research projects of Energy for Our Growing World – How to reduce the negative impact that energy sources have on our world while still meeting people's energy needs. Students are also inspired by learning what energy companies are doing, and having interactive talks, company tours, and weekly mentoring sessions with industry professionals.  

For more insight into the impact of the program, please watch a short video of our 2021 cohort of students talking about their summer experience (left)

Once you listen to the 2021 REM students, it is apparent how their summer with CISTAR and NSBE was career- and life-changing. CISTAR is looking forward to offering this program—in person and to more students—in summer 2022.

Help to Fuel the Future by supporting this unique program that also broadens representation. If you are interested in becoming involved in this program (i.e., providing funds for more students; being a part of our industry program), please contact Maeve Drummond Oakes, CISTAR Assistant Director of Education, or Denise Driscoll, CISTAR Director of Diversity and Inclusion. 

For more information and to apply, please visit the Research Experience and Mentoring page.

International Opportunities

There are many opportunities for our students to learn more by arranging a study or work internship abroad with one of our partners.  We have partners around the world and many global industry partners. Here are a few opportunities we provide:

Participate in a Virtual Experiential Intercultural Learning Opportunity with CISTAR. 

CISTAR will facilitate a virtual learning opportunity with Brazilian & U.S. students with the end goals of:

1. Developing their intercultural competencies

2. Promoting international peer interactions and discussions about energy for our growing world (how countries are balancing the energy needs with the impact energy sources have on communities, countries, and our world).

contact Dr. Driscoll, in CISTAR/School of Chemical Engineering at

Coming in Summer 2023 - Study Abroad Course in Brazil

As this new opportunity is developed, the main course components will be structured to: 

    1. Teach students about natural gas, oil, energy storage, & transportation in Brazil;
    2. Deepen student understanding of technical topics, tools, and new methods important for transitioning to a lower greenhouse gas economy; and,
    3. Improve students’ intercultural skills by visiting cultural sites, developing meaningful relationships with students, staff, and faculty in Brazil, and engaging in skill-building learning activities.