Diversity in Science Group
The Diversity in Science (DIS) Group is based out of CASHP and supports students, postdoctoral researchers and early career faculty of all backgrounds. The group’s goals are to promote retention, raise awareness and create a professional environment that is a welcoming place for future researchers. DIS provides services to individuals from across the STEM fields and, specifically, paleoanthropological disciplines.
If you are interested in joining DIS or requesting any of our services, send an email to [email protected].
DIS was originally established as the Women in Science (WIS) group in 2012 within CASHP. The group was created in response to the clear and systematic bias against women in academia. Senior students and female junior faculty began conversations about the potential group in response to parallel conversations and concerns happening among the female student body as a whole. The goal was to create a space where women could share their experiences and concerns, and to offer mentoring to help offset the imbalanced gender ratio in leadership in STEM fields.
Our successes include fishbowl discussions and happy hour gatherings with faculty and postdocs at different career stages. We also invited professors from other institutions, like Carol Ward and Shara Bailey, to join in on these conversations, and share their strategies for success in a male-dominated field. Other successes include the group’s involvement in creating a code of conduct for GW’s Koobi Fora Field School that hosts a group of undergraduate students in Kenya every summer.
Over time, WIS found that while there was a big interest within the GW Anthropology Department in what the group was doing, people would be more inclined to get involved if the group broadened its focus to include all kinds of diversity in science in the mission. In 2015, WIS decided to broaden its scope to include all underrepresented groups in science and changed its name to Diversity in Science.
What We Offer
- Coaching and mentorship
- Networking and professional opportunities
- Peer advocacy and student support
- Interactive workshops and expert panels
- Events in the D.C. community, including science days for the public and events to encourage high school girls to participate in STEM
- Education materials for K–12 through the university level, such as distance-learning activities, curriculum aides, infographics, games and guides
Coaching and Mentorship
DIS mentoring opportunities pair established graduate students with new graduate students and undergraduate students in anthropology and human paleobiology. Peer mentors share their knowledge and perspective to help their colleagues make a smooth transition to graduate study. The role of a peer mentor is to provide support, encouragement and information. As experts on graduate student life, they may have suggestions on work-life balance, professional development, housing and more.
For mentors, DIS is a chance to give back and help student members grow in the field while at the same time learning from their mentees. For mentees, it is a great opportunity to learn from an active professional how to explore career options, demonstrate a dedication to professional development and acquire the skills, attitudes and relationships needed for professional life.
DIS Mentor Profiles
DIS is committed to sustaining a safe learning community and promotes the training of the members of the community to be Peer Advocates. The Peer Advocates of the GW Anthropology Department act as resources for fellow students. They have received training to offer support and information to survivors.
Advocates are trained by GW’s Title IX office to inform students about the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Title IX reporting mechanisms. They are also equipped to provide referrals to on- and off-campus resources available for both sexual misconduct survivors and friends of sexual misconduct survivors. Advocates are knowledgeable about strategies to emotionally support survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
If you, for any reason, are unsure whether you have experienced sexual misconduct (i.e. sexual harassment, assault), a peer advocate is also a great person to talk to about what has occurred, why you felt uncomfortable and will be able to provide you with resources to help you along.