College of Chemistry | Graduate Student DEWI Campaign
Welcome to the crowdfunding platform for the College of Chemistry DEWI campaign! This diversity, equity, wellness and inclusion (DEWI) initiative is a grassroots effort created by graduate students for graduate students to improve representation, reduce the stigma of mental health awareness and fight for positive change within the College of Chemistry academic climate from the bottom up.
This project is motivated by the fact that although women and URMs* constitute roughly 57% of the U.S. population between 18 to 64 years of age (Figure 1a),1 these groups remain significantly underrepresented in most S&E (science and engineering) fields. Data from the National Science Foundation’s Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report1 indicates that women have earned about half of all S&E bachelor's degrees awarded since the late 1990s. Yet, women earn just over 25% of doctorate degrees in mathematics and statistics, and just under 38% of all doctorate degrees in Chemistry. Furthermore, URM students (including Hispanic or Latinx students, Black or African American students, and American Indian or Alaskan Native) receive just shy of 8% of all S&E doctorate degrees awarded (Figure 1b).1 Unfortunately, these percentages are even smaller within specific S&E fields.2,3 This presents an urgent case for the underrepresentation of women and minorities across all S&E fields to be addressed.4,5
*Underrepresented Minority (URM): term meant to include individuals that identify as female, individuals from underrepresented racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, and international groups, individuals with disabilities (defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities), and individuals with low socio-economic status.
In order to combat the issues that underlie underrepresentation as well as overall equity and wellness within our own academic environment, graduate students within the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry recently launched a new diversity, equity, wellness, and inclusion initiative.
Over the past year, we wrote and administered an academic climate survey to assess the issues affecting inclusivity within the college. We then hosted a town hall in which faculty and students came together to brainstorm solutions to the issues presented in the climate survey data. Since then, we have been working with faculty and administration to change faculty hiring practices within the chemistry department, diversify graduate student orientation and recruitment, modify graduate student social events to make them more inclusive, highlight mental health awareness and create a focus group series which provides a safe, accessible space for faculty, staff and students to openly discuss DEWI issues.
While all of these actions have allowed us to make excellent progress thus far, we strongly believe that we can continue to make the College of Chemistry a diverse, welcoming and inclusive space for all current and future graduate students, staff and faculty to thrive! Although we’ve been able to make it this far, we need your help to take this campaign to the next level and make a lasting change on the college. In addition to maintaining effort on the actions we’ve undertaken so far, we have also created a list of action items (see below) designed to make the College a healthier and more inclusive space.
Even though these monetary goals are high, any donation, regardless of the amount, makes a world of difference!
We plan to acknowledge all donors both on this page as well as our social media account. If you are interested in making a larger donation, consider sponsoring one of the action items in its entirety - such a donation would make a huge difference in our college, and any donor pledging enough to fully sponsor an event or action will have the action publicly named in their honor. Additionally, we will keep track of our top donors using the "Updates" feature, so be sure to check back frequently to see how the leaderboard changes!
Finally, though our immediate focus is to make a change on our own college, we want this campaign to serve as a generalizable model to improve diversity, equity, wellness and inclusion in any department. We are committed to providing continued guidance and mentorship to any department or student organization seeking to adopt this framework. While the campaign starts with the College of Chemistry, we hope it will have larger impacts across other schools as well as the larger fields of STEM. For any inquiries to this end, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
 "Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering" (National Science Foundation, 2017).
 Griffith, A. L. Persistence of Women and Minorities in STEM Field Majors: Is It the School That Matters? Econ. Educ. Rev.2010, 29 (6), 911–922.
 Espinosa, L. Pipelines and Pathways: Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM Majors and the College Experiences That Contribute to Persistence. Harv. Educ. Rev.2011, 81 (2), 209–241.
 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and M. Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century; Leshner, A., Scherer, L., Eds.; National Academies Press: Washington, D.C., 2018.
 Fisher AJ, Mendoza-Denton R, Patt C, Young I, Eppig A, Garrell RL, et al. (2019) Structure and belonging: Pathways to success for underrepresented minority and women PhD students in STEM fields. PLoS ONE 14(1): e0209279
CheMentor is a peer-lead mentorship program for first-year graduate students in which they are paired with a group of more senior students who help with professional development and provide a resource for advice on all aspects of the graduate experience. Meetings are held monthly and a sponsorship would cover coffee and breakfast. Each meeting will be named in honor of the sponsor supporting it.
The Diversity and Inclusion Focus Group (DIFG) was founded in the wake of the 2018 climate survey and serves as a space for students and faculty to discuss DEWI topics in a constructive way. These meetings have led to restructuring graduate student recruitment and faculty hiring. Funding would cover lunch for attendees and helps to increase attendance.
This meeting will be named in honor of donor sponsoring the event.
Sponsor a mental health awareness event to allow students to interface with the college psychologist and talk about burn out, depression and other mental health issues common to PhD students. Event will be named in honor of donor sponsoring the event.
Sponsor a socratic seminar inspired event designed to get students talking about diversity, equity and inclusion. Event will include a moderated discussion with individuals well versed in improving diversity in academic settings before opening up to a Q&A session. Donors who sponsor this event will have the event named in their honor.
Creation of an award designed to recognize faculty members who are doing an outstanding job of improving diversity and providing excellent mentorship to students from diverse backgrounds. The award will be named in honor of the donor.
Creation of a speaker series devoted to bringing in individuals who are underrepresented minorities in science or have championed diversity in their field. Donation would provide honorarium as an incentive to bring in incredible speakers. Seminars will be named in honor of donors who sponsor the event
Provide funding for travel grants to minority/diversity focused conferences to encourage representation and recruitment. $500 would cover expenses for in-state travel, while $900 would cover domestic travel. Travel grants will be named in honor of the donor.
This funding would provide financial resources to help continually monitor and study of college climate. This serves to track the progress our efforts make and devise further action items. $1500 covers the costs of a single year; this could be endowed to ensure long-term funding. The town hall event will be named in honor of the sponsor supporting the event.
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Estimated Delivery: January 2019
Climate Survey GSI Appointment
Fund a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) appointment to developing and implementing the climate survey and subsequent town hall. This will help to institutionalize this process and allow for a student to have sufficient time by not both teaching and devising the survey. This position will be named in honor of the donor supporting it.
Fund a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) appointment to work on graduate student recruitment. This will provide the opportunity for a graduate student to focus on improving graduate student recruitment for URM students. This position will be named in honor of the donor supporting it.