DIVersity, INclusion, and Equity (DivInE) in COLSA

Dear COLSA Community Members,

The COLSA Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee stands in solidarity with those across the country who are rising up in support of Black lives. We, too, condemn the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. We join the Black community in calling for justice, accountability, and real change.

Our committee recognizes the need to take meaningful and sustained action against racism and to support Black colleagues and students in COLSA, and at UNH more broadly. There is urgent need to take concrete steps to promote an inclusive and equitable environment in COLSA that distributes support and resources to all its community members regardless of background and identity. In the near-term, we are working to implement the following:

  • Collect baseline demographic and climate data specific to the COLSA community (underway).

  • Host a Listening and Learning Exchange on Race and Equity for COLSA students, staff, and faculty (this was scheduled for March 2020, but was postponed to fall semester due to COVID-19).

  • Amplify the voices of underrepresented members of COLSA through Diversity Spotlights on our webpage (under development).

  • Work with COLSA instructors to develop student learning outcomes that address diversity, inclusivity, and equity as a way for the College to track its success at improving the College climate.

  • Organize a STEM Diversity Summit to build awareness about diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives within STEM disciplines of relevance to COLSA.

It is all of our responsibility, regardless of race, to work together as catalysts for change. We all need to participate. We look forward to our continued efforts in collaboration with you, the COLSA community, in achieving an inclusive College environment.

In community,
COLSA Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
(Sherman Bigornia, Serita Frey, Dan Howard, David Plachetzki, Mindy Prieur, Adriana Romero-Olivares, and Athena Ryan)

COLSA Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity

COLSA recognizes that the fields of life sciences, food and agriculture, natural resources, and applied technical and social sciences are engrained in all facets of our society. Innovation in these areas is achieved when diverse voices provide critical and complementary perspectives toward problem-solving. Diversity encompasses the multiple intersecting backgrounds that characterize each of us, creating unique sets of experiences and vantage points. COLSA acknowledges the importance of a diverse College community that values all undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. Important steps need to be taken to improve our campus climate that holds the college accountable in promoting an inclusive and equitable environment that distributes support and resources to all its community members regardless of background and identity.

COLSA is committed to:

  • Engendering mindfulness and respect on issues related to diversity and inclusion among our students, staff, and faculty;
  • Equipping all our students to be competitive members of a diverse global workforce; and
  • Preparing marginalized students to excel in professions where they have been historically underrepresented.

Current COLSA DivInE (DIVersity, INclusion, and Equity) Committee Members

  • Sherman Bigornia, Assistant Professor, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
  • Serita Frey, Committee Chair and Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Lori Gula, NHAES Communications Manager, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture
  • Daniel Howard, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
  • David Plachetzki, Assistant Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
  • Adam Stuckert, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
  • Adam Wymore, Research Assistant Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Athena Ryan, COLSA Graduate Student Representative
  • Mindy Prieur, COLSA Undergraduate Student Representative