Thanina Emily Makhlouf

4+ Year Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

It is easy to recognize Nina through her work across Michigan Engineering. She is the president of the Society of Women Engineers and has held several leadership positions, all of which worked to further social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, she is the co-chair of Advocates for Diversity in Engineering. Over the past few years, Nina has implemented several different DEI initiatives, including several diversity-based student roundtable discussions. Nina also spearheaded the Visibility Project, a social media campaign that increased the visibility of underrepresented minorities in Engineering by highlighting current students, alumni, and faculty throughout North Campus.

Beyond her involvement with student organizations, Nina has been working to bring equity and access. In her sophomore year, she brought access equity to her department by raising issues related to the uncovered cost of materials for coursework. Nina is also involved in local Special Education programs and enjoys volunteering with the Special Olympics.

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

“I try to advocate for DEI within all areas of my life. An example of this has been my work within Advocates for Diversity in Engineering. As chair of the student advisory board, I have been able to spearhead many initiatives such as the Visibility Project, which was a social media campaign to push for more visibility on the amazing diversity within the College, as well as a Student Organization DEI Roundtable. These events have made me feel that I was my best because I was helping others and promoting DEI at the same time.”

In envisioning the future, how would you describe progress in the realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion? What might it look like?

“Progress in the realm of DEI would mean that people are aware of their unconscious biases and make an active effort to offset them. It means that people will see each other and embrace diversity, while also advocating for equity and inclusion.”

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

“It means a lot to be a nominee of the MLK spirit awards. MLK was such an important figure in our history and to be nominated for an award in his name means a lot. As a first-generation Algerian-American, I really try my best to advocate for all people and ensure that DEI is always implemented, no matter what space you are in.”

Thanina Emily Makhlouf