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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The UF/IFAS Soil and Water Sciences Department (SWSD) supports the University of Florida’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By fostering a sense of belonging for students, staff, and faculty while leveraging the uniqueness of the people who study and work at the university, we believe our campus community is enriched and enhanced by diversity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexuality, class, and religion.

The scope of the DEI Committee, in general, is to identify areas of concern and create solutions for these issues. Specifically, the committee's goals are to:

  1. Establish the current state of DEI within SWSD by conducting an annual climate survey and using results to guide efforts to improve on the current state.
  2. Increase options and visibility of communication strategies for students, staff, and faculty to freely and openly discuss DEI issues. This will be accomplished through the creation of a departmental DEI ombudsperson and the development of an anonymous reporting mechanism.
  3. Enhance awareness of DEI issues and expand the DEI toolbox for SWSD faculty, staff, and students. SWSD will host seminars focused on DEI issues at least two times a year and create DEI resource pages that collate DEI-related materials.
  4. Increase the diversity of undergraduate and graduate students in SWSD by 2026.
  5. Increase the diversity of faculty and staff in SWSD by improving the search and screen (S&S) process.
  6. Increase accessibility and inclusivity in our physical spaces and communications by assessing the availability of the following: 1) Gender inclusive restroom facilities; 2) Rooms for nursing mothers; 3) implementing closed captioning on all department supported videos; and 4) incorporating alternative-text options into all website designs.

In addition to these specific goals, SWSD plans to be adaptive in the nature of DEI issues within the department.

Committee Members

The DEI Committee is made up of faculty, students (graduate and undergraduate), and staff within the Soil and Water Sciences Department. The current composition of the committee is:

AJ Reisinger, assistant professor (co-chair)

Laura Reynolds, assistant professor (co-chair)

Davie Kadyampakeni, assistant professor

Kanika Sharma Inglett, assistant professor

Qudus Uthman, Ph.D. graduate student

Precious Nyabami, M.S. graduate student

Amya Ellison, undergraduate student

Miranda Jackson, undergraduate student

Mike Loizzo, staff

Seminars

You can view our past departmental seminars related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the links below.

April 21, 2021:
Dr. LaKisha Odom (UF Invited Speaker) Navigating Diversity in Agriculture and STEM

April 9, 2021: 
SWS DEI Climate Survey Results, Guided Discussion, and DEI Future Steps

March 4, 2021:
Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe (UF Invited Speaker) Equity and Inclusion in STEMM

Resources

UF/IFAS Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion Office: Committed to providing leadership and support for all employee-related actions and activities within the units of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Office of the University Ombuds: Assists studentsstaff, and faculty in resolving problems and conflicts that arise in the course of interacting with the University of Florida. By considering problems in an unbiased way, the Ombuds works to find solutions to university-related problems and concerns.

UF Office of Research Integrity: Provides support to UF’s research community to ensure regulatory and institutional compliance and promote the highest ethical standards in research.


Care team: An office of the Dean of Students created to care for every single individual that walks through this campus. It consists of many different resources, facilities, and success plans to allow every person to feel a part of this University of Florida community.

Employee Assistance Program: All UF faculty, staff, graduate assistants, non-student OPS employees, house staff/residents, and postdoc associates as well as their household members are eligible to receive services.

International Student Resources: Provides consultation, presents workshops, identifies needs and challenges particular to international students, ensures cross-departmental communication, champions initiatives, and supports students in need.


Graduate Student Diversity Organizations

UF  Office of Multicultural Affairs Black Affairs

UF  Office of Multicultural Affairs LGBTQ+ Affairs

UF Association of Black Faculty and Staff

UF Office of Asian Pacific Islander Desi Affairs (Students)

UF Asian Faculty and Staff Association

American Friends Service Committee: A Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.