Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology strongly supports the goals for the DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION STRATEGIC PLAN of the University of Michigan including:

Diversity: We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origins, religious commitments, age, disability status and political perspective.

Equity: We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight or veteran status.

Inclusion: We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our campus is a place where differences are welcomed, where different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.

Addressing these issues are critical to fulfilling our missions of conducting medical research, training the next generation of scientists, teaching the University’s student body, and serving the medical school, the scientific community and the public.

DEI Updates

DEI Activities

  • Tea@3 – Gather for tea and company each Tuesday afternoon during the school year. Hosted by a different lab each week with frequent cultural themes
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring for incoming students
  • Speaker series – hosted by Student Panel on Career and Diversity, funded by the Rackham Faculty Allies for Diversity Grant
  • Multi-cultural social gatherings – annual events such as the Diversity Potluck
  • Story Time – summer seminar series featuring non-scientific stories from department members
  • Community service – department-wide participation in planned volunteer events at places like Food Gatherers
  • After-hours social events – department-sponsored, family-friendly events like bowling
  • Department events – yearly department picnics, holiday parties, and biennial department retreats

Diversity Potluck and Menu, M&I volunteers at Food Gatherers, Diwali-themed Tea @ 3 (hosted by J. Swanson lab)

DEI Behind the Scenes

  • Training events – Regularly hosted training events for faculty, staff, and students on unconscious bias, bystander intervention, and mental health and suicide prevention
  • Web updates – regular updates to the department web page to represent the most recent changes in our students and personnel, development of online resources for diverse speaker pools
  • Community building – preparation of postdoc welcome packets, better integration of masters students in departmental activities
  • Data collection and analysis – increased tracking of trainee, faculty, and invited speaker demographics to improve recruitment and inclusion of a diverse department

Trainee Demographics

Current (Spring 2019) trainee demographics are evenly distributed by both gender and race/ethnicity* for both students (orange) and postdocs (green) with a slight over-representation of Caucasian women. Credit: Dr. Ada Hagan

Trainee Demographics

*Caucasian individuals were coded as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Persons of color (MOC, WOC) include all non-Caucasian individuals within our data set.

Faculty-Invited Speaker Demographics

Unlike our trainee demographics above, faculty-invited speaker demographics skew heavily to Caucasian, and in particular, Caucasian men. In addition to making faculty aware of the disparity between trainee and invited speaker demographics, the department has instituted changes to improve diversity by tracking status of lectureship nominees, encouraging lab-invited speakers, and providing faculty with resources to find under-represented minorities in microbiology and immunology (see DEI Resources below). Credit: Dr. Ada Hagan

Speaker Demographics


M&I DEI Committee

Faculty Lead: Yasmina Laouar

Department Chair: Bethany B. Moore

Administrative Staff Representative: Jona Kalaj, Angela Kelly

Research Staff Representative: Stephanie Himpsl

Postdoctoral Representative: Sarah Tomkovich

Doctoral Student Representative: Amanda Photenhauer

Master's Student Representative: Jaime Fuentes


DEI Resources

DEI initiatives for undergraduate and graduate students:

Increasing invited speaker diversity:

 Credit: Drs. Josie Libertucci and Ada Hagan

University DEI initiatives, courses, and workshops: