COSM Diversity & Inclusion News

November 2021

This Month’s Theme: Race & Ethnicity “(Un)conscious Racism: Black & Asian Experiences Intersect"


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 listed at the bottom of this newsletter and/or on the webpage.

Diversity Quote of the Month

"I think we can all contribute to creating an environment in US higher education in which all of its members are intellectually and socially engaged, valued, interacting, and more closely connected to each other and the world.” Christine Ortiz Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT  Founder of  Station1

"I think we can all contribute to creating an environment in US higher education in which all of its members are intellectually and socially engaged, valued, interacting, and more closely connected to each other and the world.”

- Christine Ortiz Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT Founder of Station1

Fact Fuel for Data-driven Conversations

Fact: 51% of the US science and engineering workforce is both white and male, compared to only 32% of the adult population (2010).
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COSM Community D&I Spotlight

The Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Coastal Plain Science, which hosts 10 undergraduate scholars from across the US each summer, equips the next generation of scientists with an intimate understanding of environmental issues. Importantly, this REU site is doing an amazing job of broadening participation in STEM through the recruitment of students from traditionally underrepresented groups in the natural sciences (African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, 1st generation college students, and students with disabilities), military cadets, and disabled veterans. We are proud of our colleagues Checo Colón-Guad (PI), Daniel Gleason (Co-PI), and the team of faculty and staff who make it all happen!

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Other D&I News

Diverse group of four women astronauts on the International Space Station in polo shirts, floating in antigravity.

D&I Campus Connections and Opportunities

STEM Organizations

University Opportunities:

External Opportunities

Try This! – Promoting the Advancement of our Georgia Southern Women in STEM (Students and Faculty)

According to “Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: STEMing the Tide and Broadening Participation in STEM Careers,” one key and simple step that each department can take to encourage women in STEM is to support and promote diversity conferences and professional societies that provide networking and professional development opportunities. Authors Drs. Nilanjana Dasgupta and Jane Stout explain how this can be done in addition to highlighting other programs and policies that are known to be effective (evidence-based strategies).

Also, check out the Georgia Southern Alliance for Women in STEM (contact: Sabrina Hessinger)

This Month's Theme: Race and Ethnicity

“Unconscious & Automatic Prejudice” & “(Un)conscious Racism: Blacks & Asians can relate!”

Prejudice and Discrimination: Crash Course Psychology

“Prejudice can be non-conscious and automatic.” Most people do not make a conscious decision to be biased. However, our unconscious beliefs influence how we see and relate to others. In fact, implicit beliefs feed the stereotypes that are used to justify and embed social inequalities. A short CrashCourse video (9 min. 53 seconds) explains, and can be a great way to share this topic with your students.

Prejudice and Discrimination: Crash Course Psychology #39

“Black Genius, Asian Fail”: The Detriment of Stereotype Lift and Stereotype Threat in High-Achieving Asian and Black STEM Students

When dealing with assumptions about their abilities, Asian and Black STEM students actually share many things in common. From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Ebony McGee carried out a study with postsecondary, high achieving STEM students of color (Asian, Black, Latinx) which included 23 Asian and 23 Black students. Her findings show that students experience the same stresses whether they are facing “stereotype lift” (the myth of the intellectual superiority of Asians) or “stereotype threat” (the myth of the intellectual inferiority of Blacks). Systematic marginalization has put both groups on opposite ends of the racial STEM hierarchy, pitted them against each other, and influenced drastically different achievement outcomes. However, as Dr. McGee concludes, students of color have many shared experiences that can serve as starting points for the formation of strong coalitions.

To Be Asian with a Face Mask During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Martin Luther King, Jr. wisely said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The same prejudices levied against the Black and Latinx communities extend to many other groups. The COVID-19 outbreak has put a spotlight on the indignities that Asians often face. Dr. Sherry Wang (Faculty, Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University) shares how, time and time again, racism has fueled harmful, anti-Asian responses to outbreaks, even in academia (Read or click on the “Listen” symbol for the podcast, 14 mins).


Black academics face alarmingly high rates of tenure denial. In June 2020, the cases of Drs. Paul Harris and Tolu Odumosu tenure denials made national headlines. From the outset, there were two fundamental problems, (1) a lack of diversity on the tenure and promotion committees and (2) committee members who were not familiar with the candidates’ scholarship. Academics of color know all too well that they have to be “twice as good” to be considered “good enough”. To learn more about the experiences of Black faculty in academia, watch the very honest “Fight for Tenure” hosted by Diverse Issues in Higher Education (1hr. 30 mins).

Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Teachers and Other Educators

There are effective ways to mitigate the influence of prejudice in our personal and professional circles, and our classrooms. Prior experience or intensive training is not required. Here a few simple steps from the National Association of School Psychologists that we can all take.

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Reflective Moment

Biases have been (un)knowingly cultivated in us.

Developing an awareness of our unconscious assumptions is a great first step! Curious about yourself? Take the “Race” or “Asian American” Implicit Association Test (IAT).

Something you'd like to see? We'd love to hear from you.

Brigette, Karelle, and Ryan lead the COSM Diversity & Inclusion webpage & newsletter team. They’d love to hear from you, and you can also contact any of your COSM D&I Ambassadors if you would like to contribute to or comment on the newsletter - or discuss other D&I issues. The webpage also includes information on becoming an ambassador yourself.

COSM Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Leaders

  • Arpita Saha - Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Brandon Quillian - Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Karelle Aiken - Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Sabrina Hessinger - Mathematics


  • Amanda Klingel

  • Brian Koehler

  • Issac Taylor


  • Brigette Brinton

  • Geneva DeMars

  • Jennifer Brofft-Bailey

  • Johanne Lewis

  • Justin Montemarano

  • Marylou Machingura

  • Sara Gremillion

  • Sue Ellen Dechenne-Peters

Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Arpita Saha

  • Brandon Quillian

  • Brent Feske

  • Debanjana Ghosh

  • Karelle Aiken

  • Ryan Groom

  • Shainaz Landge

Geology & Geography

  • Amy Potter

  • Rob Yarbrough

  • Kathlyn Smith


  • Duc Van Huynh

  • Eryn Stehr

  • Jim Brawner

  • Kyle Bradford

  • Sabrina Hessinger

  • Stephanie Wiggins

  • Tuyin An

Physics & Astronomy

  • Hua-Jian Jason Liu