A list of actions for equality
These are actions and policies taken by the lab and PI to reach the goal of equality of opportunity for all people.
[draft, under construction]
We mentor undergraduates and graduate students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Mentoring is tailored for each person, to address each person's strengths and opportunities for growth and to be supportive of each person's unique challenges and circumstances. We have mentored several undergraduates and graduate students and postdocs from underrepresented backgrounds and from a variety of cultures, including several first-generation college students (as undergraduate and graduate students).
We made our self-paced data analysis class public, so that students or other interested individuals can learn if they have access to a computer and an internet connection. (The class is in Matlab, but there is a free version of the language called Octave.) http://dataclass.vhlab.org
We participate in outreach events with Boston Prep Charter School; Boston Prep's student body consists of primarily students from underrepresented backgrounds, many with economic hardships. We describe our science but also the educational and career steps that led us to our current jobs. Currently we have been hosting these students about once every 3 years.
Steve attended a Culturally Aware Mentoring Workshop (March 9, 2020), run by the National Research Mentoring Network. The course was comprised of on-line lessons in mentoring and the experiences of people from underrepresented backgrounds, and in-person discussions on the importance of including culture in mentoring and advice for how to do it.
When reviewing papers and grant proposals anonymously, the lab is committed to providing clear feedback about strengths and weaknesses to all individuals so that the author receives the full benefit of the reviewer's thoughts, as if they were in the same room. This feedback is critical for the author to address any weaknesses in their proposal or paper and is especially critical for authors who may not be able to "read between the lines" of vague or unfocused criticism without being part of an "inside" group.
Brandeis hosts a Science Posse program, where a group of students from underrepresented backgrounds are admitted to Brandeis as a cohort. The students are given access to mentors and their cohort peers. This program has a high rate of success in student graduation and achievement, compared to the population of students of underrepresented backgrounds who are not in the Posse program. We have had several students in the Posse program in the lab and our graduate students have served as mentors.