Carnegie Mellon University

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon is committed to creating an environment welcoming to all. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee was established to proactively take steps to ensure that we move in this direction. The role of the DEI committee is to support the entire department in:

  • providing an inclusive environment in which all department members feel comfortable,
  • providing equitable access to opportunities, and
  • fostering a diverse population of physics students, postdocs, faculty, and staff.

All department members are essential to achieving these goals; the DEI committee brings in resources about best practices in DEI to support the department’s success. They draw on resources outside of Physics at CMU, for example within the university or the Mellon College of Science, or from professional organizations such as the American Physical Society (APS), and carry out physics-specific activities where appropriate.

The committee has adopted a “shared leadership” model that empowers all of its members to lead DEI initiatives and contribute towards achieving the committee’s goals. Ideally the committee will have representation from all career stages in the department (students, postdocs, faculty, and staff).

Your DEI Committee Members for the 2021-2022 Academic Year:
Scott Dodelson (faculty)
Neha Joshi (undergraduate student)
Rachel Mandelbaum (faculty) - committee chair
Michael Murphy (undergraduate student)
Sindhu Murthy (graduate student) - Diversity & Outreach TA
Carl Rodriguez (faculty)
Gillian Ryan (faculty)
Alejandro Sanchez (graduate student)
Seth Wolbert (staff)

Definitions

Diversity

traits and characteristics that make people unique, including characteristics such as race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, economic status, country of origin and citizenship, ethnic background, disability, career stage, and professional status

Equity

ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities

Inclusion

behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome

Long-Term Committee Activities

We are members of the APS Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance (IDEA), an initiative that connects many physics departments and organizations, “with a mission of empowering and supporting physics departments, laboratories, and other organizations to identify and enact strategies for improving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).”

We are a member institute in the APS Bridge Program.

Our department has a Diversity & Outreach TA position, which enables a graduate student to invest effort into supporting diversity and outreach initiatives (in collaboration with the DEI committee and the Outreach committee) in lieu of serving as a TA.

Together with other department members, we organized an APS site visit in March 2022.  The goal of the visit was to gain insight into the departmental climate and its impact on members of groups that are underrepresented in physics.  We are using what was learned through this site visit to work with department members to develop a long-term DEI plan that meets our department’s needs.