Biology & Marine Biology

Image of Northern Mockingbird Eggs laid in a Bike Basket on Campus

Mission

SAND was organized August 2020, and committee members have been meeting weekly. SAND has reached out to campus leaders in social justice for resources to plan ongoing awareness training as well as an upcoming BMB Community Town Hall meeting for all members of our department (faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates). The Town Hall meeting and other channels of communication will allow all members of our department community to voice their opinions and concerns. SAND has also developed a survey comment card for BMB community members to share their experiences and thoughts. Our goals include identifying our biases and learning more about ways we can improve equity and inclusion for all. From the information gathered, SAND will be developing equity and diversity building goals for the department.   

What we’re working on – Action Plan

  • Research, organize and implement an effective forum/fora (e.g. Town Hall) for discussion and idea exchange on how the department can develop and strengthen our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts

  • Review our current hiring practices (technical) and seek input at the institutional level on how to strengthen them

  • Collate information on candidate evaluation and develop search committee and faculty training (awareness and implementation)

  • Organize and conduct a sensitivity/awareness training for faculty members

Highlights of Recent Meetings

  • A new online presence on the BMB website (https://uncw.edu/bio/sand_home.html) features information on diversity goals, initiatives, and present status; training opportunities; and resources for faculty, staff, and students.Importantly, the pages include a survey/”electronic suggestion box” to hear voices and learn about experiences within our BMB community.

  • SAND is now a standing committee of the Department of Biology and Marine Biology, to aid efforts toward working with all members of the department to increase diversity.

  • SAND is taking an active role in working with search and hiring committees in BMB, to:
    • Improve and clarify instructions to applicants regarding the diversity statement, and to emphasize the importance of the diversity statement,
    • Encourage committees to keep search criteria broad and increase the reach and breadth of searches to include more diversity groups and job boards,
    • Provide guidance and training to committees on the evaluation of diversity statements.

  • With cooperation from the Advancement Committee, we hope to set goals for increasing graduate student diversity, through production and wide distribution of graduate student recruiting materials.

  • To prepare and to help plan for a Town Hall meeting to engage ideas from faculty, staff, and students of BMB about diversity, access, inclusion, and equity, SAND is working on providing diversity training on implicit biases to BMB by the end of the fall semester.