Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Our Commitment:

The Department of Biological Sciences is committed to creating an environment where all members of our community can thrive and pursue the highest caliber of scientific research and education. We continually strive to create a culture that actively recruits and supports people of all races, gender-identities, national origins, ethnicities, religions, citizenships, ages, sexual orientations, ability statuses, physical appearances, socioeconomic statuses, and other identities and backgrounds. To do so, we work individually and as a group to create an inclusive atmosphere that is free of bias, discrimination, and bigotry, an environment that promotes anti-racist thinking and actions, where all members are comfortable with speaking out and are dedicated to self-improvement, including learning from each other and the broader community. We believe that through respecting and valuing our differences, we arrive at the richest form of society and are capable of our best work.

Departmental Initiatives

Members of our department are active in the DEI space in several different ways:

DEI Committee

Members of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee oversee and direct departmental efforts to create a welcoming environment for all. The committee membership is updated each September, and currently consists of:

Dr. Katie Grogan - Co-Chair, Faculty member
Dr. Latonya Jackson - Co-Chair, Faculty member
Dr. Theresa Culley - Faculty Member
Dr. Nate Morehouse
- Faculty member
Dr. Maria Torres - Faculty Member

DEI Seminar Speakers

In our continual departmental efforts to educate ourselves and constantly improve our DEI lens as a community, we welcome experts from different areas to present our departmental seminars. 

Biology Day Event

In early May, we host students from a number of neighborhood K-12 schools to come visit our campus, and experience what it is like to conduct research. Different research groups from our department provide hands-on activities for students, as they move from lab to lab and meet graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff in our department. This is a great opportunity for local students to get a glimpse of what life on a college campus is like, and is often their first experience doing so.

Lab Research

We encourage all students, and especially those who self-identify as underrepresented in any way, to become involved in research. Interested students are encouraged to contact faculty directly. Many students conduct research for academic credit (as BIOL 4095/4096/4097) but paid opportunities and some paid programs do exist. Examples of these are:

Student Support & Mentorship

Our department partners with many different organizations on campus to support all students, especially in terms of mentoring opportunities. These partners include:

Student Links

There are many student-focused resources throughout the university that can be invaluable in assisting our departmental community. Some of these are:

Inclusive Teaching Document

In 2021, our department approved of an Inclusive Teaching document, which outlines best practices for creating a welcoming and effective classroom environment.