Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics is committed to the ideals of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity at all levels. As a Department engaged in research and education we envision ourselves as being active participants in ensuring equity for all. As scientists at all levels of training, we must appreciate that our search for “truth”, central to scientific discovery, must also force us to consider our individual and communal responsibility to view our conduct and actions (past and present) through the prism of other perspectives. We have to face the reality that while our community may seem diverse, it continues to inadequately include historically underrepresented and marginalized groups including members of the African American, Hispanic and Native American communities comprising traditionally underrepresented groups.

The establishment of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee with membership including faculty, postdoctoral scholars, students and staff seeks to develop a culture of inclusion and serves as recognition of the need for fundamental change. We are working to develop programs to heighten appreciation and celebrate the diversity within our ranks, as a key element of our mission of scientific discovery. Among such active efforts are a student-centered program to increase the inclusion of leading scientists from underrepresented groups in our Departmental Seminar series. This goal will highlight their contributions while broadening mentoring and research networks for our trainees. We are undertaking proactive efforts to diversify our faculty by encouraging recruitment of outstanding scientists from underrepresented groups. This will serve not only our research and education missions, but also provides the framework for the establishment of both internal and external networks for our trainees. Implementation of these priorities will serve to realize the potential in the Department through the celebration of diversity and its harnessing toward a common goal.

In continuing to uphold Education as a central mission of the Department, we commit to further addressing equity within our community outreach and programming. We plan to expand our long running high school summer internship program, continue to participate in science fair opportunities at local schools, and explore additional funding opportunities to sustain STEM training grants. In addition, we are developing informational programs to educate lay members of the Community on matters related to vaccination and public health, both critically important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The D&I team consists of Drs. Subbarao Bondada (Chair), Joseph McGillis, Anthony Sinai, Jacqueline Rivas, Ms. Jamila Tucker and Ms. Tanya Myers-Morales. The D&I team will be a listening forum for any ideas or issues regarding Diversity, inclusivity & equality in the department. Please contact any member with your novel suggestions or issues.

The University of Kentucky has a variety of resources to promote diversity, inclusion and equity and to address issues related to bias and discrimination:

Bias Incident Support Services: https://www.uky.edu/biss/

Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity handles discrimination and harassment cases: https://www.uky.edu/eeo/discrimination-harassment

College of Medicine Office of Diversity & Inclusion is led by the Associate Dean Dr. Stephanie White: https://med.uky.edu/diversity-inclusion

Graduate School Office of Diversity & Inclusion: https://gradschool.uky.edu/office-diversity-and-inclusion

D&I officers across the University: https://www.uky.edu/inclusiveexcellence/college-diversity-inclusion-offi...

UK Office of President’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership team: https://www.uky.edu/president/diversity-equity-and-inclusion