COSM Diversity & Inclusion News
Welcome to Fall 2020!
The Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter is delivered monthly via email during the fall and spring semesters and is always available on the new COSM D&I webpage. Send contributions and suggestions to any of the COSM D&I Ambassadors (list at the bottom of the newsletter and on the webpage).
This Month’s Theme: Collaboration & Team Management
“I’m not prejudiced. So why did I do that?!?” Confronting Intergroup Anxiety
& “From Capable to Phenomenal, A Team of Differences”
Diversity Quote of the Month
Fact Fuel for Data-driven Conversations
COSM Community D&I Spotlight
The ORSSP Research Spotlight highlights COSM 'Champion of Diversity' Worlanyo Eric Gato, who is committed to training students from diverse backgrounds. He and his mentees pursue studies focused on diabetes, environmental chemistry, and toxicology. Dr. Gato is also using his biochemical skills to make a difference in communities in Ghana through his collaboration with Public Health faculty. He serves as a co-advisor for the Georgia Southern NOBCChE student chapter and he is a planning committee member and a research mentor for Chemistry & Biochemistry’s NSF-REU, CEMITURE. Dr. Gato is active in the Society of Toxicology (SOT).
In spring 2020, in collaboration with SOT and colleagues in his department, Dr. Gato brought a keynote speaker to Georgia Southern to honor Black History Month and NOBCChE week. Dr. Gato is deeply committed to empowering his students for success in STEM. Gato research group alumni have earned positions in graduate and post-baccalaureate programs, medical schools, and industry. We are proud of our colleague and the great work he is doing with our students!
Georgia Southern College of Education Hosts Allyship Panel: The George-Anne
Black Lives Matter protest changes perception of Georgia Southern Football Coach: The Statesboro Herald
The Academic Equivalent of Stop and Frisk: Inside HigherEd
Coach Chad Lundsford, wearing a bandanna mask at the protest
Rally to call attention to violence against transgender people of color
Diversity is essential, productive, and still lacking
D&I Campus Connections and Opportunities
Addressing Anti-Blackness on Campus : Implications for Educators and Institutions
Black Minds Matter: Free webinar series from summer 2020 - All 5 weeks available on YouTube
USG Diversity & Inclusion Summit: October 30, 2020 **FREE this year!**
Center for Teaching Excellence: Workshop Calendar
Try This! – Create a Research Group Manual To Increase Productivity
Research labs have many moving parts. In the work you do at Georgia Southern your team is mainly undergraduates. Undergraduates are new to the culture of research, and thus unaware of unspoken but well-known “ways of doing things” in your field. A research group manual that clearly outlines expectations, typical protocols, safety operation, answers to common questions, and more will increase your lab’s efficiency, allowing you and your mentees to make better use of your time. Check out these tips from Nature for creating a manual.
This Month's Theme: Collaboration & Team Management
Intergroup Anxiety: Can you try too hard to be fair?
Fear of being viewed as racist can prevent teachers from giving critical feedback to students of color. Additionally, when male coworkers avoid interacting with women in the workplace, women lose out on valuable mentorship and advancement opportunities.
We have all had those times when we want to connect with a student or colleague but a fear of offending them creates anxiety that leads to uncomfortably awkward interactions. This type of behavior results from a feeling called “intergroup anxiety” and there are ways to deal with it!
Groups of Diverse Problem Solvers Can Outperform Groups of High-Ability Problem Solvers
Building a diverse team can take you from capable to phenomenal. STEM research backs this up. Computational experiments and mathematical theory show how and why a team with a range of abilities outperforms a homogenous group of top performers. Check out the article in PNAS.
Ideas From Female and Minority Science PhDs Are More Novel but They’re Often Overlooked
We are missing out on amazing talent! Analysis of the thesis work of 1.2 million PhDs in the US between 1977 and 2015 shows that ideas generated by female and minority PhDs are more novel. However, these ideas are less likely to gain traction in the research community or lead to academic positions. Persons from underrepresented groups have to produce higher quality contributions than White peers to attain similar career achievements. Read the summary in Chemistry World and the original research article The Diversity–Innovation Paradox in Science to learn more.
The Belief that ‘Asians are Good at Science’ is a Problem
While it is common to think that Asians have a competitive advantage in STEM due to the belief that they are “naturals,” the facts actually suggest the opposite, particularly for Asian women. Asians encounter a “prove it again” bias, face more pushback than other groups if perceived as dominant (assertive), are expected to work hard at the expense of family life, and are often overlooked for leadership positions. A culmination of all of these occurrences and more hinder career advancement. An article in The Atlantic provides valuable insight.
The intersection between all types of identifiers alters the challenges that individuals experience. Watch the TEDTalk from TEDWomen 2016 about intersectionality and consider these issues in your department, lab, or office. How can you help students who identify with multiple underrepresented identities in STEM?
In your department/lab/office...
What are the expectations across gender and race/ethnicity?
Who is celebrated for achievements, encouraged for potential?
Who is seen as a leader?
Do you (or coworkers) view assertiveness differently based on the person’s gender?
Something you'd like to see? We'd love to hear from you.
COSM Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Leaders
Arpita Saha - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Brandon Quillian - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Karelle Aiken - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Sabrina Hessinger - Mathematics
Sue Ellen Dechenne-Peters
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Geology & Geography
Duc Van Huynh
Physics & Astronomy
Hua-Jian Jason Liu