Our diversity initiatives revolve around the recruitment of faculty, graduate students, and staff members. In our faculty recruitment process, we place significant emphasis on assessing candidates' dedication to promoting diversity. When it comes to graduate recruitment, we participate in the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) by sending our faculty and graduate student representatives. This allows us to actively seek applications from underrepresented minority candidates. Moreover, we have chosen not to include GRE scores in required materials for graduate application, as we recognize that they are an unreliable predictor of future success in a graduate career. At the level of research laboratories and instructional courses, we promote inclusivity by publishing diversity statements on laboratory homepages and course syllabi. These statements serve to reaffirm our commitment to creating a welcoming environment for people from all backgrounds.
We aim to establish opportunities for processes by which all members of the department and members of the broader UVA community can gain a fuller understanding and knowledge regarding issues related to race and racism history in our department and beyond, implicit biases, how to engage in developing a diverse and inclusive community, and how to support others engaged in these efforts.
We aim to enhance the curricular opportunities in instructional courses within our department. Currently, only a limited number of courses address the concepts of human variation and diversity, but we consider expanding the inclusion of these topics across more courses. We also ensure that at least one Departmental Friday Seminar per year is dedicated to inviting speakers who can discuss a range of subjects related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues. These seminars may cover topics such as the history of eugenics, as well as the philosophy and sociology of science. We also aim to cultivate relationships with various departments at UVA that specialize in areas of philosophy, sociology, and politics, and possess expertise in examining the intersection of DEI issues and biology. By establishing these connections, we can tap into their valuable insights and perspectives, further enhancing our opportunity to understand these complex issues.