Yvette Pearson

WEBSITE(S)| Pearson Education Research Team

Dr. Pearson oversees and manages accreditation and assessment activities for all degree programs, minors, and certificates in the School of Engineering and provides leadership to ensure that all School processes, policies, and strategic initiatives are implemented according to best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She leads research and School-level outreach efforts that focus on equitable engagement of persons from traditionally marginalized identities in STEM education. Immediately prior to joining Rice, Dr. Pearson was a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation and Associate Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.


A Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Dr. Pearson is recognized globally for her work along the intersections of sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion. As past chair of ASCE's Formal Engineering Education Committee she led initiatives to infuse engineering curricula with principles of sustainability and to promote strategies towards the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing targets aimed at ensuring equity for people in traditionally marginalized populations. As past vice chair of ASCE's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion she was part of the team that authored Canon 8 of ASCE's Code of Ethics, providing specific leadership for the principle that requires engineers to consider the diversity of the communities they serve and to include diverse perspectives in planning and performing their work.  In 2019, she was appointed the inaugural chair of ASCE's board-level advisory council, MOSAIC (Members of Society Advancing an Inclusive Culture), which is charged with leading the Society in all matters of DEI for the profession. Among her numerous awards and honors are ABET's Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity and Inclusion, ASCE's Professional Practice Ethics and Leadership Award, and the University of Texas Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Pearson is a registered Professional Engineer and a Commissioner for the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.

Research Areas

Full participation of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, students from low-income backgrounds, and women in engineering education and careers; sustainability in engineering education; engineering ethics


Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering and Applied Science (Environmental Engineering), University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 2000

Master of Science in Chemistry with a Concentration in Environmental Chemistry, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA 1995

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA 1993

Societies & Organizations

ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission • Commissioner 2020-present • Program Evaluator 2013-2020

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) • ASCE Education Summit Working Group, 2020–present • Inaugural Chair, Members of Society Advancing an Inclusive Culture, 2019–present • Civil Engineering Program Criteria Task Committee, 2019–present • Formal

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) • S-STEM Symposia Advisory Board

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) • Spring Zone Meeting Speaker, 2020 • Professional Development Conference Mentor, 2018 • Professional Development Conference Committee (Dallas Metroplex Alumni Extension), 2010 and 2011 • Professional Development

Honors & Awards

ABET Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity and Inclusion, 2019

ASCE Professional Practice Ethics and Leadership Award, 2018

Educator of Excellence Award, Achievement Through Leadership Foundation, 2018

ILSI 10 Women Trailblazers of Civil and Structural Engineering, 2016

Elected Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2015

University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, 2013

Ranked among the Top 25 Women Professors in Texas, 2013

Who’s Who in Black Dallas, Inaugural Edition, 2012

UT Arlington Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2010 and 2012

Participant, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE), National Academy of Engineering, 2006 and 2007

Certificate of Commendation, ASCE Student Chapter Advisor, 2006

Order of the Engineer Inductee, 2005

Most Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty Member, Southern University, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, and 2005

Southern University College of Engineering Teacher of the Year, 2003

ASEE Helen T. Carr Fellow, 1998-2000

University of New Orleans Ernest G. Chachere Fellow, 1998-2000

Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellow (FHWA/NHI), 1993-1995