Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Climate and Diversity

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Climate and Diversity within the BMB department

Climate and DiversityWe understand diversity to refer to the ways in which individuals may differ according to race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, class, and religion, among other factors.

We understand climate to refer to the way it feels to be at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as faculty, student, or staff.  It's the way people interact with each other.  It's the working and learning environment.  It's the extent to which each individual is valued and respected independent of the factors listed above.

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has a standing Committee on Climate and Diversity charged with seeking to improve the climate in the department, to increase the diversity of our faculty, students, and staff, and to create opportunities designed to increase the diversity of the next generation of academic scientists.

Initiatives currently underway:

The department Climate and Diversity Committee sponsors several events each year. Fall semester begins with an "All Welcome" gathering and ice cream social to introduce new faculty, staff and graduate students.

Towards the end of fall semester, the committee organizes the holiday service project. Through a group, "Young People Who Care," individuals, clubs and laboratory groups purchase many items: infant, toddler and youth clothes, baby supplies, blankets, alarm clocks, hygiene products, as well as cash donations to help needy families in Centre, Jefferson and Clinton Counties.

In April, the Climate and Diversity Committee organizes the department's celebration of "Staff Appreciation Day". A reception, sponsored by the entire faculty, is held in the Gateway of the Life Sciences Building to honor business, clerical and technical staff in the department for their valuable contributions. Each staff member is recognized and receives a gift certificate. With a grant from the Dean's office, the committee has been working with Professor Keith Cummings and Ms. Hayley Freilich (Schreyer Scholar) of the Graphic Arts Department to produce posters and photographic collages to celebrate the diversity of science and individuals in the department.

2017/2018 BMB Climate and Diversity Committee:

Claire Thomas, Co-chair
Suresh Sharma, Co-chair
Istvan Albert
Santhosh Girirajan
Tammy Housel
Joyce Jose
Shaun Mahony
Karen Mullen
Molly Rathbun
Song Tan

Related links and other resources: