Department Diversity Statement
In the Department of Biology, we continue to strive for an inclusive and welcoming departmental culture that recognizes and encourages individual differences, that fosters the constructive expression of ideas, and that promotes shared values such as intellectual curiosity, creativity, collegiality, and sense of mission. Traditions of inclusivity can only flourish and reach full potential with continued active nourishment and effort, and with a collective sense of responsibility and mission on the part of the entire community. We as a department are committed to the continued development of our diverse and collegial community of people, ideas, and approaches through our missions of research, education, and public outreach.
Diversity & Equity Committee
- Codes of Conduct & Conflict Resolution
- Faculty Searches & Graduate Recruitment
- Mentoring, Networking, & Training: Mentoring Compacts
- Mentoring, Networking, & Training: Portfolio of Training Activities
- Undergraduate Community & STEM Opportunities
If you would like to contribute to these activities or would like to share your perspectives, please contact Brian J. Buchwitz and Karen E. Petersen, Co-Chairs of the Diversity & Equity Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Current DEC Members
Veronica Di Stilio
Current DEC Subcommittees
Note: This section is being updated currently. Please check back soon. Thanks!
Codes of Conduct & Conflict Resolution
- Compile Biology and UW resources for conflict resolution. Meet with a representative of the UW Office of the Ombud to discuss plans for organizing resources and facilitating comments.
- Contribute to the Equity in Fieldwork Biology Task Force, organized by the Research Committee, as they develop and roll out resources to support safety and equity in fieldwork.
- Develop an outline for a UW Diversity & Inclusion Seed Grant to support the training of knowledge ambassadors, who would help members of our community navigate Biology and UW resources for conflict resolution.
- Organize Biology and UW resources for conflict resolution via website and flowchart, centering the goals of a member of our departmental community rather than the resources themselves.
- Propose procedures for referring community members to advocates, coaches, mediators, and trainers, both external and internal to Biology.
- Coordinate with the Mentoring, Networking, & Training - Portfolio of Training Activities subcommittee to arrange training activities for 2021-2022 to support communication, conflict resolution, and building of inclusive environments.
Faculty Searches & Graduate Recruitment
- Provide feedback to the Faculty Search Committee on job ad and phase I plans, applying lenses that emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Contribute to the Faculty Search Committee and provide liaisons between the Diversity & Equity Committee and the Faculty Search Committee through the efforts of a jointly appointed faculty member and a jointly appointed graduate student.
- Review diversity statements during phase I and phase II, with all diversity statements reviewed and discussed by both faculty members and graduate students, who examined (1) knowledge, (2) track record, and (3) plans. Interview and recruit candidates during Diversity & Equity Committee faculty search candidate meetings in phase IV.
- Advise the Graduate & Postdoc Program Committee on graduate admissions and recruitment, applying lenses that emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion and bringing perspectives from our work with faculty searches.
- Annotate a Biology faculty search manual, documenting DEC contributions and providing rationale for current and future evidence-based practices for improving equity in faculty hiring.
- Compile “Welcome to the Department of Biology” information for newly hired faculty members, and identify gaps in guidance and mentoring for newly hired faculty members.
Mentoring, Networking, & Training - Mentoring Compacts
- With the Graduate & Postdoc Program Committee, develop mentoring compacts for graduate, postdoc, and staff researchers.
- With the Graduate & Postdoc Program Committee, roll out mentoring compacts for graduate, postdoc, and staff researchers, including hosting discussions during faculty meetings and posting templates on the departmental website.
- Draft mentoring compact for undergraduate researchers.
- Draft mentoring compacts for graduate teaching assistants.
- Draft mentoring compacts for undergraduate peer facilitators.
Mentoring, Networking, & Training - Portfolio of Training Activities
- Identify potential training activities (some external, some internal) that are well aligned with department needs, interview potential trainers, and prepare proposals for training activities for 2021-2022.
- Support the HHMI Gilliam Seminars in Biology, organized by Jennifer Nemhauser and Romi Ramos. These seminars provide opportunities for learning and for amplifying Black excellence in biology, with visits from four leading Black plant biologists.
- Write and submit a proposal for a UW Diversity & Inclusion Seed Grant to support the development of an ongoing seminar series that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion; highlights excellence of scientists from historically marginalized groups; and supports graduate leadership.
- Coordinate with the Codes of Conduct & Conflict Resolution subcommittee to arrange training activities for 2021-2022 to support communication, conflict resolution, and building of inclusive environments.
Undergraduate Community & STEM Opportunities
- Compile work study resources that can be used by research groups (e.g., how to arrange and advertise work study positions) and undergraduate students (e.g., how to leverage work study funds for research opportunities).
- Identify strategies for fostering participation in work study opportunities by research groups (e.g., faculty meeting mini-workshops) and undergraduate students (e.g., outreach activities).
- Support the UW Biology Majors: Building Community and Diversifying Leadership project, directed by Jennifer Doherty and Brian Buchwitz and funded by a UW Diversity & Inclusion Seed Grant.
- Roll out work study resources that can be used by research groups (e.g., how to arrange and advertise work study positions) and undergraduate students (e.g., how to leverage work study funds for research opportunities).
- Provide feedback on mentoring compacts for undergraduate researchers and undergraduate peer facilitators, as developed by the Mentoring, Networking, & Training - Mentoring Compacts subcommittee.
DEC Contributions During Spring & Summer 2020
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lifting of the veil on structural inequities and institutional racism, the DEC moved to support antiracism discussions that were occurring throughout our departmental community, including in classrooms, laboratories, and offices. This support included co-facilitating, co-hosting, and co-organizing events.
- Diversity & Equity Committee (DEC) / Graduate & Postdoc Program Committee (GPC) Weekly Department Culture Office Hours (Archives)
- Department of Biology #ShutDownSTEM Teach-In: Day of Anti-Racism Learning and Community Building (Resources and Slides)
- Department of Biology Antiracism Book Club: How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- Department of Biology Department Retreat: "SafeCampus Empowering Prevention & Inclusive Community (EPIC)" Training Program and "Aligning Expectations: Mentoring Compacts" Workshop
As we, as a society, shifted abruptly to remote instruction, the DEC co-organized the weekly Biology Learning and Teaching Community around the topic of “Community, Equity, Learning, and Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic” (resources). In doing so, we built a space for instructors and teaching assistants to support one another and ultimately their students, pedagogically and socially, with a strong emphasis on equity and inclusion.
In response to student and instructor concerns, the Department Chair and the Executive Committee, with input from the Chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee, identified student accommodations as a priority. In consultation with the Executive Committee, the BIOL 180, 200, and 220 instructional teams crafted a plan for accommodations that spanned the entire introductory series. Additionally, the department supported all instructors in providing blanket accommodations and provided a form for students to convey anonymous concerns about accommodations.