Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

About SOLS DEI Initiative

In 2020, Arizona State University School of Life Sciences (SOLS) created the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative, including a Special Advisor to the Director and the DEI Committee, to transform our institutional structures and culture to better support ASU’s Charter and improve wellbeing across our diverse community.

Our Mission:

School of Life Sciences DEI Committee works across our school, Arizona State University, and national networks, to develop an inclusive and thriving community that reflects the sociodemographic diversity of our state and nation. The SOLS DEI Committee works to ensure that human diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational to decision-making, resource allocation, policies, and practices in support of our academic mission.

Our Vision:

The School of Life Sciences DEI Initiative aspires to displace systemic prejudice to create a safe, inclusive and just environment where all community members can thrive, especially those from groups that have been marginalized in Life Sciences.

Annual Report 2021-22

News on diversity


Sharon Hall holding Kangaroo rat

School of Life Sciences awarded JEDI seed grants for inclusive STEM education initiatives

The School of Life Sciences, with others across The College, were awarded $9,550 for their interdisciplinary proposal “Natural Sciences INCLUsion DEpartmental (INCLUDES) Training Program,” and $10,000 for their proposal “RISE Teams: Improving Undergraduate Outcomes in Biology using Research for Inclusive STEM Education (RISE) Best-Practices.” These targeted initiatives will improve student outcomes in biology and STEM through inclusive curriculum, teaching and mentorship.

Natural history Collections

ASU center awarded JEDI seed grant to establish biocollections scholars program

The Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center was awarded $10,000 for their proposal, “Biocollections JEDI Research Fellowship: Facilitating Equity and Inclusivity in Human-Nature Connections.” Scholars will complete a six-week summer research training experience, which will include a collaborative, curation-based research project and rotations between the core specialties of botany, entomology, vertebrate zoology and bioinformatics.

Zoom meeting

ASU faculty discuss equity and inclusion in STEM at virtual event

The College hosted a virtual screening and discussion of “Picture a Scientist” — a documentary film that chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for female scientists. The livestreamed discussion was led by Nancy Gonzales, provost pro tempore and outgoing dean of natural sciences, and Raychelle Burks, professor of analytical chemistry at American University in Washington, D.C., and one of the scientists featured in the documentary.

Tools and Resources

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Centers, initiatives and programs

Stay tuned to learn more about how to get involved in JEDI programs and initiatives across the School of Life Sciences and ASU, including training programs, inclusive teaching fellowships, and national research opportunities.

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Upcoming Events

Save the date for the JEDI/HMMI retreat, coming up on April 9 and 23! We also hope you’ll join us for listening sessions, discussions, and seminars. Full list coming soon!

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Additional resources

We’ve compiling a set of resources for additional learning, perspective, support and involvement - both in and outside the ASU community. We will continue to update our spreadsheet, so continue to check back for latest book recommendations, article links and more!

Special Advisor to the Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Meet the committee members

Current members

Past members

2022 members

  • Austin Blackmon
  • Sara Brownell
  • Adrian Fisher
  • Sharon Hall
  • Yize Li
  • Kate MacCord
  • Maneesha Muralinath
  • Janet Neisewander
  • Mehreen Tahir
  • Arvind Varsani

2021 members

  • Gro Amdam
  • Sara Brownell
  • Nde Bassin Jobe
  • Joshua Caulkins
  • Kelle Dhein
  • Laureano Gherardi Arbizu
  • Sharon Hall
  • Kate MacCord
  • John McCutcheon
  • Janet Neisewander
  • Arvind Varsani