DEIJ and Statement of Solidarity
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Here in the Department of Biology at Tufts University, our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) principles is woven into the very fabric of our department, shaping our research, teaching, and community engagement. We believe that a diverse and inclusive environment fosters innovation, creativity, and excellence in scientific discovery. Our faculty, staff, and students come from a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, all of which help to create a vibrant community that celebrates diversity.
We seek to continue to provide dedicated initiatives and programs to break down barriers and create opportunities for underrepresented individuals in STEM fields. Our DEIJ-oriented curriculum and graduate recruitment efforts are designed to empower students with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle complex biological challenges while promoting a culture of respect and understanding.
Our biology department proudly maintains a DEIJ committee. Through collaborative efforts and initiatives, the DEIJ committee actively works to create opportunities for underrepresented groups, support inclusivity in curriculum and research, and address issues of equity in all aspects of the department's activities. The Biology Department at Tufts University is steadfast in its commitment to recognizing diversity as a core asset, and the DEIJ committee comprises individuals representing a wide array of backgrounds within the department.
The 2023-2024 DEIJ Committee currently includes:
Faculty: Lauren Crowe, Phil Starks, Mitch McVey
Staff: Michael Doire, Anjali Bhardwaj, Anne Maxime
Graduate Students: Gayathri Kondakath, Jessica Wright-Lichter
Undergraduate Students: Alyssa Persano
Join us in building a community where science is inclusive, accessible, and serves the needs of all communities. We are always open to suggestions on ways to further our commitment to DEIJ, and we encourage you to leave anonymous DEIJ-related feedback or suggestions using the link below. If you wish to report a personal incident that goes against our spirit of inclusivity, you can reach out to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
DEIJ within the Department of Biology
Students have the ability to conduct research that they are interested in and feel connected to. The photo above is an incredibly rare 6-year-old maple wood, and was taken in the field near Big Spencer Mountain, Maine. Dr. George Ellmore supervises independent research completed by both undergraduate and graduate students and states that, "the main conceit of “independent research” is that I support students’ learning methods and research interests instead of channeling students to contribute to doctrine at its very earliest stages of uncovering insights from cultural and experiential identities. My job as instructor of Independent Studies is to learn what my students want to achieve, and how to help them achieve it. They are the curve ahead of me.”
Members of Tufts Biology, and other departments, volunteering at the annual science Region IV Science and Engineering Fair. The department is actively involved in community outreach, volunteering at local events each semester.
Tufts Students on a tour of campus as part of orientation events. During orientation, the department discusses class schedules, our annual department retreat, our commitment to DEIJ, opportunities in labs, and department seminar objectives.
The Hernandez Lab celebrating their one-year anniversary here at Tufts biology. All our labs have students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds working toward a common goal of scientific advancement in their field.
The biology department is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all, and we are proud to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ Community during pride month, and every day.
A group of biology OCMS students in the days leading up to their graduation. These students were involved in mentoring other students in the department and were regular participants in weekly lunch and learn seminars which highlighted the different paths of scientists in our department.
Graduate students Alejandro and Sage being recognized for their contributions to Tufts University at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences award night. Both students are actively involved in our community, serving as co-presidents of the Biology Union of Graduate Students.
Tufts graduate students celebrating various holidays at the annual winter party.
Statement of Solidarity
We, the faculty and staff of the Tufts Biology Department, acknowledge and condemn the systemic racial injustice that has run rampant since the formation of this country and that continues to persist in our communities. We are angered and appalled at the horrific acts of violence that continue to plague the lives of BIPOC individuals at the hands of law enforcement and White civilians, and we recognize that this long history of suppression is present in the culture of academia and higher education.
We stand in solidarity with the Tufts community in supporting our current and future students, staff, and faculty who identify as BIPOC, and we commit to engaging in anti-racist work within our department and the university. We commit to acting against racial injustice and white supremacy culture with urgency and persistence. These actions include those listed in this living document.