WSU Chemistry activities aim to improve equity in STEM

The global pandemic has brought heightened awareness of social disparities in health care and many other fields, including chemistry education and training. In response, the WSU Chemistry Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee implemented several positive changes toward addressing social justice gaps in the department.

The committee held Journal Clubs to discuss the benefits of diversity in the department, as well as practical strategies to expand awareness. Departmental outreach efforts also continued in an increased online format.

On the policy side, committee members worked with the Office for Teaching and Learning on syllabus reform to update access and transparency in all courses during the shift to online learning. New implicit bias training modules have been added to the department’s graduate student orientation program, and a number of chemistry faculty have participated in similar training.

The committee will continue its monthly equity and inclusion department workshops, encouraging inclusive teaching pedagogy and ensuring that policies in the Department of Chemistry are equitable. There are also plans to build a departmental platform for enhanced communication and equity and inclusion messaging. Finally, the committee is preparing to launch the endowed Bettye Washington Greene Endowed Lecture Series.

By Charlie Fehl and Christine Chow

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