Chemistry Department

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

The Chemistry department welcomes students, staff, and faculty from all backgrounds. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment where all individuals feel valued and respected for who they are, and have access to fully participating in our community. 

We recognize that individuals’ background, identities, and lived experiences shape how they interact with systems and people. This is inherently intersectional: one holds multiple identities and it is possible to hold a position of privilege through some identities while simultaneously experiencing oppression and marginalization because of others, all of which uniquely inform how that individual is able to navigate society. We recognize that academia and science are institutions that were built by and for majoritized groups. Stemming from these origins, academia and science have structures that have systematically excluded individuals who do not share the same race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability or socio-economic class as the individuals who established the norms and status quo in these institutions. We are committed to questioning and challenging these norms, to shift the status quo and remake the fabric of our institutions to be welcoming, supportive, and inclusive of individuals from historically marginalized groups.

We condemn prejudice and discrimination in all its forms, including but not limited to ableism, ageism, classism, elitism, homophobia, racism, religious discrimination, sexism, transphobia, and xenophobia. We recognize that discriminatory structures and beliefs exist in society. We operate within society, and thus these structures and beliefs influence our classrooms and interactions. We are committed to having open conversations to expose and challenge discriminatory structures and beliefs, and to engage in restorative justice practices to repair harm when it occurs. We recognize the power dynamics that exist between students, staff, and faculty, and believe we have a responsibility to use power in service of improving equity and inclusion. 

Our central mission is to support students in developing their understanding of chemistry and their ability to employ chemistry in their lives. We strongly believe that all students are capable of learning chemistry. We support the liberal arts model and value students’ pursuing their individual interests in any area. Our primary aim is that students feel supported in our department as their whole, authentic selves, and recognize they are capable of pursuing chemistry if it is their interest.

 Actions Taken

Some recent changes made directly by or facilitated by the Chemistry department include: 

  • Instituting gender-inclusive restrooms on all building floors  
  • Installing automatic openers on the building’s main doors
  • Soliciting outside consulting from DEI expert(s)
  • Improved inclusivity of hiring practices, resulting in a department where the majority of faculty and staff hold identities that have been historically marginalized.
  • Hosting a postdoctoral scholar via the Consortium for Faculty Diversity Post-doctoral Fellowship program.
  • The creation of this web page to transparently communicate our values, commitments, and actions 

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