One of the main facets of my career has been my commitment to and work for equity and inclusion in Academia. I consider this aspect of my profession on par with scholarly work and teaching, and not a side project that can be relegated to a minor role. This philosophy is reflected in the numerous activities related to the topic that I have carried out since joining Iowa State University, and the way I have built my own laboratory. Among the activities that I have carried out through the years, a few highlights are my role as founder and advisor of the SACNAS chapter at Iowa State, my work as member of the EDI committee for ASPB, serving as chair from 2017-2020, and my advisory role for the LAS college and my own department.
I aspire to help building a more just space in Academia where everybody can thrive as their own selves, as whole persons with different cultural competencies. My work is founded on the belief that to effect change we need to focus on equity and true inclusion, and that we need to be intentional in our actions.
I support the Changing Cultures and Climates initiative that resulted from a collaboration between ASPB and NAASC.
It is a great resource with anti-racist tools, it highlights scientists that are members of marginalized groups in plant sciences, and is a repository for activities and initiatives sponsored by the American Society of Plant Biologists and the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee.
The ISU SACNAS chapter page can be found here
Links to some material that I helped develop or activities in which I participated
Thelma Madzima and I wrote a commentary for The Plant Cell:
From the Genes to Genomes blog (March 2021):
I was only tangentially involved with the development of this initiative, but I want to promote it (January 2021)
From the Genes to Genomes blog (October 2020):
The ASPB EDIC offered a workshop at the 2020 Plant Biology Summit. A follow-up Q&A session was published in Plantae (September 2020):
From the Genes to Genomes blog (June 2020):
Judy Callis President letter commenting on our work for the ASPB EDI committee (called MAC at the time) (February 2020)
News release highlighting the ISU SACNAS chapter (November 2017)