Personal Inclusion Statements

Below is a collection of personal inclusion statements from the Smith School community including voices of graduate students, faculty, staff, and research professionals. 

"I often like to refer to a quote by Charles Darwin whenever I get asked about this: '...endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved.'

He was, of course, referring to the inherent value of diversity in the natural world. For me, I think this applies to us as a society. Diversity opens us up as a community with a myriad of unique perspectives an input. It creates a resilient, creative environment for excellence to flourish in its many forms. As such, inclusion and equity are imperative to sustain this, especially when it comes to education and the STEM fields. By cultivating our multifaceted selves as a species not only are we bringing out the best in each of us, but are giving ourselves the opportunity to tackle to the best of our abilities the challenges that may come our way tomorrow. This is my vision and this is what I aspire to contribute to every day in and outside of the lab."

"I think diversity is what gives human beings the unique ability to learn from the experience of others, providing a space full of different insights that can only be creative."

"We believe that the highest level of scholarship can only flourish in the absence of any bias or discrimination. We treasure the diversity of our Department because it is the natural result of a welcoming home to the most talented individuals in our society, regardless of race, nationality, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic background, etc. We aspire to nurture an environment where the utmost levels of respect, empathy and support are provided to all individuals of our community, to thus help them fully realize their unique potential for the benefit of  society at large."

"I believe that equal access to education for all people is a basic human right, but it is also necessary to cultivate the creativity and excellence required to pursue the most ground-breaking research that will benefit our society. I am committed to the promotion of inclusive and empowering environments in all aspects of education and STEM research."

"In the Smith School, we recognize that engineers are people who serve people by solving problems. We strive to create an environment for learning and research in which diverse cohorts of engineers can thrive and can gain skills to navigate both the technical and the human dimensions of our world’s engineering challenges."

"Inclusion, to me, is the active pursuit of a universal sense of belonging.

It is grabbing a flashlight and searching for areas of darkness to lighten. Areas in the shadows where intellectualism and personality wallow and hide from sight. Inclusion is spreading the antidote to those shadows through establishing a sense of safety.  Safety of all kinds.

Safety of one’s body at the hands of others;
Safety of one’s emotional well-being at the mouths of others;
Safety of one’s ideas at the minds of others.

This endeavor is equally self-serving and selfless; a balance of both leading by example to fight for what you intimately know is in need of defending/promoting, while listening and learning as others seek to do the same.

Inclusion means establishing fundamental expectations of openness and respect, and identifying where we fail to achieve that baseline for every individual. Expectations of ourselves, and of others. Expectations that peers treat each other with a sense of seriousness. Expectations that those who have a role in our fate see the same boundaries, or lack thereof, on every person’s opportunity.

In my field, where lab spaces are inherently dangerous, an inclusive atmosphere is important in assuring that each individual’s safety is a concern of the rest of the community and worth protecting. As we rely heavily on the guidance of our mentors and advisors, an inclusive community ensures members who seek to join that opportunities for success will in no way be diminished by prejudice or bias. All are welcome, all are safe, all are valued."