21-22 Chemistry DEI Events
Please consider joining the DEI committee and making your voice heard! For more information, visit the department’s DEI website, or contact Marion Martin (Chair) or Reza Ghiladi (Vice-Chair).
The DEI committee members have been meeting with each of the candidates from this year’s faculty searches. We thank all members (Ana Ison, Joanna Muir, Kathy Nguyen, Angela Shipman, Ben Cipriano, Emma Stella Stroop, Reza Ghiladi, and Cassie Lilly) who have taken the time to provide their valuable feedback.
DEI in Action
- The DEI committee hosted Dr. Krishna Foster, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the California State Institute, as a colloquium speaker, on April 1, 2022. Prof. Foster is determined to make careers in the STEM fields more accessible – especially to students of color. The talk was about “Inclusive Excellence in Chemistry.”
- The DEI committee hosted Dr. Sydney Wilkerson-Hill, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, as a colloquium speaker, on October 21, 2022. Prof. Wilkerson-Hill is actively involved in diversity initiatives such as the Berkeley Science Network, California Alliance, and NOBCChE programs to address disparities facing minorities pursuing careers in the physical sciences. The talk was about “Making Bonds. Applying Chemistry Principles to DEI.”
- Dr. Reza Ghiladi, Professor of Chemistry at NC State University, will present a talk entitled “COMPASS at NC State: Plans, experiences, and outcomes of career mentoring projects for graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Chemistry” at the upcoming ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis. The talk will be presented as part of the Division of Professional Relations’ session “COMPASS: Career and Occupational Mentoring for the Professional Advancement of Science Students.”
- WISDom (Wellness, Inclusivity, Safety, and Diversity) Talks are an ongoing collaboration between CGSA and the departmental DEI committee.
- Mentoring Undergraduates Program (MentorUp): During the Fall ’22 semester, we had 13 juniors/seniors and two graduate students sign up as mentors. There were 13 freshmen/sophomores who requested to be matched with a mentor. The mentor/mentees were introduced by email and encouraged to meet in person and connect.
Based on feedback from initial surveys and conversations, the committee established the subcommittees below. Each subcommittee worked to identify short and long-term SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
- Providing DEI training and accountability: implicit bias, anti-racism, sensitivity, etc.
- Creating DEI throughout the department: hiring diverse faculty/staff; recruitment/retention of students from historically underrepresented groups, etc.
- Emphasizing DEI across the curriculum: seminar speakers; instruction/course structure; course content; etc.
Several activities and initiatives were subsequently undertaken:
- The committee started a DEI Symposium with a scientist giving a technical talk during a disciplinary seminar and a discussion highlighting their work associated with DEI issues during the departmental colloquium. An honorarium is also provided.
- On Friday, April 2, 2021, the inaugural DEI Symposium speaker was Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez, Gompf Family Professor of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE). During the departmental colloquium, he presented “Advancing Chemistry Through Diversity,” discussing OXIDE’s efforts to work with department heads of research-active chemistry departments to promote institutional reform to lower inequitable barriers hindering the success of faculty from diverse groups. The interim department head and several other faculty members could attend the virtual offering of OXIDE’s National Diversity Equity Workshop in April, and Dr. Reza Ghiladi participated in the in-person workshop in Washington, DC, in August.
- The DEI Committee also hosted Dr. Raychelle Burks, Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the American University, as a colloquium speaker, on Friday, November 12, 2021. Dr. Burks is a popular science communicator, appearing on TV, in podcasts, and at large genre cons such as DragonCon and GeekGirlCon, in addition to writing a science-meets-true crime column called “Trace Analysis” for Chemistry World. She is a member of several local, national, and international committees, task forces, and projects focused on social justice and STEM. The talk was about “Chemistry and Community.”
- Other activities have included developing goals for our seminar program to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. An example implementation has been to include photos of seminar speakers in all announcements.
- The department has been working to re-establish the student chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).
- Tenured and professional track faculty members participated in the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) training, specifically the Entering Mentoring Training for Faculty. We are working with CIMER to establish NC State as a Culturally-Aware Mentoring (CAM) Training study site.
- Additionally, several members of the department have participated in the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative at NC State, including attending Introduction to Systemic Racism hosted by Crossroads, attending the Introduction to Courageous ConversationsTM workshop hosted by Courageous ConversationsTM, and ongoing Diversity and Inclusion reflection meetings.