Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The University of Rochester Department of Physics and Astronomy is committed to fostering a positive and inclusive department culture. We believe that scientific research, education and outreach work best when they are being pursued by a diverse group of faculty, staff and students who are encouraged to realize their full potential. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee was formed to help in this endeavor. All members of the department are welcome to provide input directly to any of the committee members, or to use the anonymous feedback form.
Top Row: Segev BenZvi, Sarada Rajeev, Regina Demina Bottom Row: Dan Watson, Alice Quillen, Elisha Haber
The Department of Physics and Astronomy DEI Committee seeks to create a welcoming and inclusive environment so that all members of our community can thrive. To realize this goal, the DEI Committee coordinates with the chair of the department, as well as other committees, to establish best practices, promote cultural change within the department, and help increase the diversity of our faculty, staff and students. The committee also consults with undergraduate and graduate students regarding their concerns about and ideas on DEI issues.
The committee’s current action items are:
- Send a recommendation to the Faculty Recruitment in Quantum Theory Committee about the importance of achieving a diverse faculty body
- Update the website to better reflect the department’s DEI efforts
- Review the student DEI goals from the 2020 Day of Activism (see here), and decide which to incorporate into committee recommendations
- Recommended that the Graduate Admissions Committee use a rubric that includes a diversity category
Minutes from previous committee meetings are available here.
- October 25-29, 2021: Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
- See their website
- Registration deadline: October 29
- November 4-7, 2021: National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP)
- See their website
- Registration deadline: October 22
- January 21-23, 2022: Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)
- See their website
The General and Physics GRE tests have been made optional for the fall 2021 application process.
August 27, 2021
The pictures of the primarily white, exclusively male alumni in the department lobby will be replaced with research images from different groups.
July 1, 2021
The DEI committee is formed.
June 17, 2021
UR-STEM Recharge—Run by the David T. Kearns Center and the Department of Chemistry, UR-STEM Recharge emerged after #shutdownSTEM as a day for members from all levels at the University to come together and engage in self-examination, improve inclusive research practices, and focus on diversity in STEM.
Department ombudsperson—The chair approved a student push to have one or more faculty members in the department undergo conflict resolution training so that they can act as confidential and impartial resources.
General teaching assistant—Beginning this semester, an older graduate student will act as a teaching assistant for all first year students going forward. This is in addition to the existing PASSAGE mentorship program, which connects each first year student that signs up with one or more graduate student mentors (see here).
Advisor-advisee contracts—A folder with a template and other resources for advisor-advisee contracts was created (see here) so that students and their advisors can set clear and mutually beneficial expectations, boundaries and goals.
June 10, 2020
Day of Activism—The Department of Physics and Astronomy participated in the International Day to #shutdownSTEM and #shutdownAcademia in an effort to #strikeforBLM. Approximately 50 community members (staff, students and faculty) came together on June 9th to discuss how we can best serve the Black and Indigenous people of color in our community. On June 10th, three working groups collaborated on ways to implement the APS Bridge program in the department, best practices to foster a healthy physics identity in our community, and ways to improve our hiring and admissions processes (see here).
Resources for URMs in STEM
See resource link here.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy encourages input on diversity, equity and inclusion from all members of our community. If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions please either contact one of the committee members directly, or submit the anonymous feedback form below to one or all of the committee members.
Want more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy? Contact us.