Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Lack of representation is a major problem in academic science. Unconcious biases against underrepresented groups result in subtle, often unintentional microaggressions as well as overt discrimination, all of which takes a toll on self esteem, reinforces impostor syndrome, and contributes to loss of talent from the academic pipeline. Creating space for historically underrepresented students to thrive in an academic setting is my top priority as an educator and mentor. It is clear that underrepresented students are keen to participate, only to find a hostile environment upon entering undergraduate or graduate programs. I am committed to changing academic culture so that students with varied experiences, identities, and backgrounds feel safe and empowered to pursue science. Doing so requires those of us who have already established a presence in the academy to commit to unlearning our unconscious biases and educating ourselves about how systemic societal inequalities benefit some at the expense of opportunity for others. In Tucson, AZ, I have worked with Flowing Wells School District on forging a deeper connection between university researchers and K-12 students and teachers. I implemented a mentoring program for high school students, a quarterly speaker series featuring U of A researchers at the Flowing Wells High School campus, and a living document of U of A resources for STEM curriculum development. As a co-director of the University of Arizona WINS (Women in Natural Sciences) service organization, I collaborated on several seminar talks and workshops covering strategies to increase representation in STEM fields. I was also an organizer of the March For Science Tucson in April 2017.