Action Plan for increasing equity, diversity and inclusion.
Improving diversity within the faculty. Faculty diversity is a major focus within the department. Recently, we have applied
to the NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST)
Program (https://www.commonfund.nih.gov/first), which will provide direct funding
to enhance diversity within the biomedical sciences. This effort is complemented by
the Stony Brook University IDEAS Fellowship, which is focused on recruiting talented
URM postdoctoral fellows and empowering them to transition to faculty positions within
the University. In addition, all Chemistry Department faculty hiring will require
a diversity statement, which will enable us to identify high quality candidates that
will build departmental diversity.
Enhance the quality of our graduate program by increasing student diversity. Our department has a number of training programs that include components focused
on increasing the diversity and excellence of our graduate students (Chemical Biology
Training Program, REU, NSF Quantitative Materials NRT Training Program). We are also
an ACS Bridge Program Partner site, which aims to increase the number of URM students pursuing PhDs in the chemical sciences. We will continue to work closely with the Center for Inclusive Education to recruit
talented URM students. This includes supporting on-campus events, travel to URM focused
conferences (ABRCMS, OXIDE, SACNAS, NOBCChE) and URM focused events at ACS conferences.
Improve quality of education for underrepresented minority students. In a recent study, the nature of STEM courses can have a “knock-on effect” particularly
for first generation students. First generation students experience imposter syndrome
2-3 times more than continuing generations. By encouraging participation in mentorship
programs, such as the Community of Student Mentors (CSM) offered by the CIE, the
WiSE mentorship program, and our own professional mentorship program, we can provide
an outlet for URM students to discuss their concerns and have resources that will help reduce barriers for students. To inspire and affirm our graduate students’
experiences, we have also invited a diverse roster of seminar speakers who participate
in an informal discussion with students about the speaker’s career path, challenges,
and triumphs. In addition, we host Coffee Break with a Scientist, where students can
talk to diverse scientists in an informal setting.
Working closely with the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP), we also encourage incoming
undergraduate students to participate in science-related courses and give them the
tools necessary to thrive in STEM fields. Our undergraduate chemistry program focuses
on student learning outcomes through the POGIL program in General Chemistry. Research
is being conducted in the department to determine ways to improve performance and
outcomes for at-risk students. Our department strongly encourages undergraduate research
both during the semester and through internship programs, such as NSF REUs.
Supporting future leaders in STEM. The Chemistry department recognizes that postdoctoral scholars represent the next
generation of scientists and academics, thus we commit to training and supporting
our scholars for their future careers. We continue to work with the Center for Inclusive
Education to support career development for diverse applicants through programs such
as the NIH funded Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA)-NY
Consortium for the Advancement of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS). We commit to promoting
career development opportunities for our postdoctoral scholars provided on campus,
through professional organizations, and through faculty connections.
Facilitate transition of underrepresented minority women (URMW) to the scientific
workplace. There are several ways that the chemistry department facilitates transition to postgraduate
opportunities. In the past none of those mechanisms focused specifically on URMW,
which is a significant problem. In 2007, URMW earned 8% of PhD in STEM fields but
only comprised ~ 2% of Faculty. Recently our department obtained funding from the
university to support URMW transitioning to their post-graduate careers. The funding
will enable the creation of a professional mentorship program featuring a series of
workshops and community building exercises designed to promote persistence, familiarize
participants with the various STEM career paths, and prepare participants to successfully
enter careers in STEM fields.