Diversity Programs

Get the LEAD Edge

Building community through connection and collaboration

The Basics

The Leadership through Engineering Academic Diversity (LEAD) program aims to enhance the experiences of undergraduate multicultural and female students in the College of Engineering at Iowa State University through programs and services geared toward academic, professional, and social development and success.

LEAD programs and services strive to increase the number of successful multicultural and female engineering graduates by helping students get connected, become leaders, earn higher grades, graduate sooner, and become better prepared for a career as an engineer.


  • Living & Learning Community
  • Study Tables
  • Educational Programs
  • Tutoring Referrals
  • Industry Tours
  • Industrial Networking
  • Professional Development
  • Academic Advising and Support
  • Personal Advising and Support
  • Social Networking and Support
  • Sophomore Success Program
  • Mentor Program

LEAD Living and Learning Community

Leadership through Engineering Academic Diversity Learning Community

The Leadership through Engineering Academic Diversity (LEAD) Learning Community provides academic, professional and social-cultural support to first year and transfer multicultural students to aid in their retention and success at Iowa State University, in the College of Engineering, and the surrounding Ames community. The LEAD Learning Community provides support by assisting students in their acclimation and development at Iowa State. They do this through staff and faculty interaction, programming activities and partnership opportunities with professional student organizations in engineering, and providing networking and mentoring opportunities with upperclassmen engineering students and industry professionals. The LEAD LC has an optional residential component that enables students with a shared interest to live together in the residence halls; further developing their sense of connection and belonging, and enhancing their network of support.

APEXE Bridge Program

Academic Program for Excellence for Engineers

The Academic Program for EXcellence for Engineers (APEX E ) is an intensive eight- week, residential, academic summer bridge program designed to increase the success rate of incoming multicultural, first-year engineering students. Participants in the APEXE program are provided with academic, professional, and social-cultural development experiences to aid in their acclimation, transition and retention to the College of Engineering and Iowa State University. These experiences include: interactive workshops to explore engineering disciplines, engagement in industry visits and presentations to increase their passion for and understanding of the engineering profession, enrollment in foundational engineering courses (Math, English, etc.) to prepare them for college-level coursework, and participation in networking opportunities to develop their support system within the engineering college and across the broader university.


APEXE opened my eyes to what engineering really is and looks like through engineering department tours and industry visits. I was also able to familiarize myself with campus and make great friends. CHRIS / Electrical

Meeting other motivated women in engineering is my favorite aspect of the multicultural women’s luncheons. I love having the opportunity to get to know new people and make friendships within the college. These luncheons have added many friendly faces to my walks on campus, as well as connections in my professional network. SONIA/Chemical

Diversity programs have provided valuable resources that have contributed to my success at ISU & have introduced me to new friendships and acquaintances while strengthening these bonds throughout the years. DEON / Construction

Being a successful student is more than just academics. Through the LEAD Program we foster the holistic development of the student: academically, professionally, and social-culturally through community building, connection, and collaboration. Dr. LeQuetia Ancar

For more information contact:

Dr. LeQuetia Ancar
(515) 294-8355
Multicultural Liaison Officer and Assistant Director

Iowa State University
Engineering Student Services
2620 Howe Hall
Ames, IA 50011