Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
I strive to make my community more welcoming and inclusive for people from all backgrounds. My recent work in this area focuses on field work as a pressure point for improving diversity in STEM. Field settings can promote a sense of competence and solidify an aspiring student’s self-identification as a scientist, and when done right, promote inclusion and diversity. However, field settings are also associated with abusive behavior and present risks to scientists from underrepresented groups, thus they have the potential to further entrench existing inequalities.
I am working to make field settings a venue for positive action in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in biology Through my work with FIELD perspectives, I’m amplifying the voices of field biologists from underrepresented backgrounds, collecting resources on responsible field work. Through my work as a member of my institution’s DEI Working Group, I’m developing institute-wide guidelines for safe and equitable field work.
I’m a co-founder and co-organizer of Biology on Tap, a monthly public event where graduate students, post-docs, and faculty give short talks on biological topics at a local bar. Our goal with this event is to bring biology education to adult members of the public who no longer have the opportunity to attend classes or attend lectures. This event also demonstrates that biology is fun and accessible to those without advanced degrees, and provides a means for establishing connections between biologists and the public they serve.
Additional outreach activites, such as volunteer work at other outreach events and public lectures, can be found on my CV.
I’m organizer of the MSU hacky hour, a coding support group for members of the academic community who want help, companionship, or motivation to aid them through computational aspects of their work. Coding and other advanced computational skills are now a requirement for most academics in STEM, but many young scientists regard computational techniques with dread and uncertainty. The hacky hour support group’s purpose is to provide support and companionship for academics who want to focus on coding, share expertise, provide/receive help, and to ultimately advance their research agenda.
Additional academic community activities, such as committee service and student mentoring, can be found on my CV.