I worked with faculty, postdocs, staff, grad and undergrad students to develop the mission of our department's equity committee and provide more resources to our community. My role in the Biology DEC stemmed from an independent effort with a group of my peers to write a letter to our department laying out recommendations to improve departmental climate (access the letter here). While on the committee, we established a requirement for faculty applications to include a diversity statement and developed a method and rubric to make sure those statements were reviewed and considered during the hiring process. We also started networking events and a monthly newsletter advertising local events, talks, DEC activities and actionable items related to a different topic each month.
I worked with faculty, post docs and graduate students to make structural changes to our department to improve the experience of all grad students. I was also tasked with organizing recruitment events for prospective students with department staff, faculty and fellow grad students. Recruitment events involved coordinating prospective students' schedules, housing, and activities during their visit to our department.
I work with faculty, visiting researchers and post docs associated with FHL to nominate and invite a prominent scientist studying invertebrates to the Friday Harbor Labs for a summer seminar. The invited speaker does a public talk at the town theater as well as a research-focused talk for the Labs community. I also organize meetings with graduate students during the lecturer's visit.
I organized the Biological Responses session and social activities for this graduate student - only conference focused on climate change.
I think 'hanging out' is a critical element of a healthy community. In the busy lives of academics, it is difficult to make time to catch up with colleagues and decompress after a busy week. As social committee chair I worked with other grad students to organize departmental happy hours and an annual grad student weekend retreat. This was a great opportunity to get to know the people in my department.