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Diversity Statement

The Department of Entomology at Penn State aims to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for all the members of our department.

Our goal is to cultivate a community of people who have diverse ways of thinking, views, values, and perspectives and who represent the composition of our society with regards to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disabilities, political affiliation, and socio-economic backgrounds.

We seek to bring the qualities and differences that exist among individuals into the collective goals of our department, and we are committed to the broad participation of all of our members in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making. We seek to incorporate our diversity principles and practices into our relationships with the public we serve including the research community, cooperative extension, and students, among others.

Diversity is also an integral part of our academic success and productivity. We value the inherent benefit of diverse ideas. Fostering a diverse academic environment for our students, faculty, and staff increases creativity, innovation, and solutions to problems. In addition, research has demonstrated that diverse groups in academic settings produce higher quality research based on deeper critical analysis. As a scientific community, problem-solving skills are necessary for our daily tasks and considering multiple perspectives to solve problems can stimulate discussion of different aspects of a problem and offer otherwise unconsidered solutions. In addition, being able to relate to everyone in the workplace is an important employment skill for all members of our department. We are strongly committed to preparing our members to work effectively and competently with diverse people and in diverse settings.

We have specific mechanisms in place to meet our goals and standards for diversity and inclusion. A departmental committee comprised of members of various academic levels and backgrounds regularly meets to discuss and develop climate and diversity issues and initiatives. We also seek to involve members across academic levels and backgrounds in departmental leadership. We host weekly departmental events that facilitate socialization within the department. The department seeks to attain fellowships and participate in recruiting events that specifically aim to increase the representation of under-represented groups on campus. We integrate diversity issues into science education and training curricula. We hold ourselves accountable for treating all individuals with respect, consideration, and politeness. We commit ourselves to university protocols and communication channels to report bias and discrimination.

It is our responsibility to promote and demonstrate our commitment to these goals. A first step towards increasing diversity and providing an inclusive environment to everyone is to recognize that we all have unconscious biases and attitudes that may influence how we interact with others. Research has shown that these biases persist in academic settings even when there is a commitment to fostering egalitarian views. We are currently working on increasing awareness about these issues through departmental seminars, workshops and departmental retreats that discuss topics such as implicit biases, and social equity and inclusion. We are constantly working towards improving the integration of cultural competency into our curriculum by bringing in relevant content for our student body. We intend that these initiatives will contribute to addressing disparities in representation, retention, and education and help support societal pluralism. Our goal as a department is to conduct outstanding research on insect science while training the next generation of responsible leader scientists who represent our society and solve problems in the field of Entomology and beyond.

Additional resources about diversity and inclusion

Diversity Statement Committee

  • Margarita López-Uribe
  • Mary Barbercheck
  • Heather Hines
  • Carolyn Trietsch
  • Po-An Lin
  • Laura Jones
  • Latrisha Hough
  • Antoine Barreaux
  • Douglas Sponsler
  • Karly Regan
  • Tyler Jones
  • Fhallon Ware-Gilmore
  • Erin Treanore
  • Kristen Brochu
  • Mariam Taleb