Flexus: The Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Women in Engineering (WIE) Living and Learning Program 

Flexus is a two-year living and learning community that was established in 2007 geared toward providing a supportive community for all students who identify as women studying engineering.  Flexus aims to promote diversity, inclusion, and social justice in the field of engineering through curricular and co-curricular programs. Open to incoming first-year engineering students, Flexus is an ideal program for students who are looking for community, academic support, and ways to develop as future engineers outside of technical courses.  The Flexus Community engages closely with the Virtus Community, with combined living (mixed gender) and academic seminar components.   

Living with Flexus

First-year Flexus students live in the common residential community in Easton Hall. Living with the Flexus and Virtus community in Easton Hall is a requirement for all first-year participants in the Flexus or Virtus Program. Second-year students may live elsewhere, but are encouraged to remain in Easton. Living with this community helps students to connect with peers in engineering and develop a peer support network. Students can easily create their own study groups, benefit from peer tutoring, and engage in a variety of social activities specific to the development and interests of the community.

In addition, the "Flexus & Virtus Student Lounge" is available within Easton Hall for all Flexus and Virtus participants. This space is used for free tutoring services, studying, and other activities.

Learning with Flexus

All participants in Flexus are required to enroll in a 1-credit seminar course each semester for a total of four seminar courses during their first- and second-year. Enrollment in and completion of all four seminars is a requirement to complete the Flexus Program.

A key feature of the Flexus program, these 1-credit seminars explore a range of topics that seek to:

  • Enhance campus and community engagement
  • Promote critical self-awareness
  • Connect engineering to social change. 

Below is a table providing an overview of the curriculum throughout the two-year program:

Term Course Theme Course Credits

First Year Fall 

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:30pm*
First-Year Transition ENES 115  1

First Year Spring

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Professional & Career Development ENES 116 1

Second Year Fall

Thursdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Introduction to Diversity & Inclusion in Engineering 
(General Education: DVCC)

ENES 215 1

Second Year Spring

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Introduction to Engineering & Social Change ENES 216 1

*Day and time subject to change.

Social and Academic Support

In addition to the Living and Learning Program, Flexus students can also enjoy other resources provided by the Women in Engineering Program, such as: networking opportunities; mid- semester advising; tutoring; participation in the Peer Mentoring Program; and access to WIE staff.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be admitted into the Clark School of Engineering for enrollment as a first-year student in Fall 2021.
  • As space is limited, Flexus is designed for students who are not a part of other Living and Learning Programs. 
  • Living in Easton with the Flexus community as a first-year student is a requirement for participation in the program.

Application, Review Process, and Timeline

The priority deadline to apply was on Friday,  April 2, 2021 Students were notified of program acceptance beginning on Friday, April 16, 2021. The regular decision deadline was Monday, April 26, 2021. 

Contact Information

Please direct any questions about the program to any of the following contacts:

Sama Sabihi
Program Coordinator, Women in Engineering
Phone: 301-405-0315
Email: ssabihi@umd.edu

Paige Smith 
Director, Women in Engineering
Phone: 301-405-3931
Email: pesmith@umd.edu