Lab People Diversity
When I first started operations of the "Wares Lab" I was immediately aware that I was not trained in all of the complications and benefits that come from the real lives of diverse humans being part of our mission. Interpersonal problems, neurodiversity, sexual diversity, financial and family concerns, health problems are all part of our lives.
Having been the graduate coordinator for the Department of Genetics for 5 years, I know these and related issues of just being human can lead to conflict or confusion. My job has always been to learn about what is happening when it is appropriate and put our real lives in front of the career or scientific goals. We will all get to where we need to be as scientists on different paths, at different rates.
I make mistakes too and have had them recognized by folks in my lab and among my colleagues; I accept that, and try to learn from these instances. I learn something every day about how we can all contribute to a better, more content and happier workplace - and the productivity will follow that charge, not the other way around.
To improve my awareness of human diversity, I have:
1. Attended a workshop and been certified by the UGA "Safe Space" program for LGBTQIA folks on campus
2. Taken online implicit bias awareness programs with respect to the roles of women and people of color in our community
3. Committed to working thoughtfully with students with disabilities; I have personal experience with neurodiversity
4. Had experience working with our campus EOO staff/leaders in instances of concern for equity/safety in our community
5. Been a member of the Diversity Committee with the Odum School of Ecology, with the goal of fostering a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment for all.
and, I intend to take additional mentor training in the near future, as offered by the UGA graduate school.
Lab Organism Diversity
A side note from the more important issue of respecting all human diversity and conditions: I've been stuck on 9 animal phyla in my research for a while. I hope that 2019 is the year in which we add data and/or publication from a 10th animal phylum, accompanied by the work published on fungal, plant, and microbial diversity in a few instances!