The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science received $5 million to fund an engineering program for women, a university press release announced Tuesday.
Stacey Nicholas donated to UCLA to create a permanent fund for its Women in Engineering program. Nicholas is an alumna of the school of engineering, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.
Nicholas founded the Opus Foundation in Irvine, which promotes STEM education as well as the arts. Previously, Nicholas donated to the UC Irvine Henry Samueli School of Engineering in 2014.
The Women in Engineering program began two years ago and aims to support women in engineering and computer science, according to its website.
The program offers opportunities for peer mentorship, early research and internships to all students. It also hosts a leadership academy that invites female leaders in engineering fields as guest speakers, according to its website.
Women are outnumbered by male peers in the school of engineering. Females represented 26.9% of undergraduate students in the school of engineering in fall 2018, according to a school of engineering report to the University-Wide Council on Engineering Education. This marks an increase from 25.4% in fall 2017 and 19.1% in fall 2008.
Among the specific majors within the school, bioengineering has the highest percentage of female enrollment at 48.8%, and electrical engineering has the lowest at 15.3%. Female graduate student enrollment was at 23% in fall 2018.