Our Mission

The mission of the SPA Climate and Diversity Committee (CDC) is to establish a welcoming and supportive climate within the School of Physics and Astronomy with special emphasis on inclusion, diversity, and community building. The CDC will guide the School’s administration and staff in establishing structures to support communication and prevent bullying and sexual harassment.  The CDC is committed to eliminating those practices which serve to sustain systemic racism and sexism and other forms of discrimination, including initiating and organizing actions to increase the diversity within the School of Physics and working to develop a culture that is deliberately inclusive of members with identities traditionally underrepresented in physics.   These actions may be directed by the CDC or realized as a set of recommendations to standing School committees, who will then pursue the changes or oversee the programs.  The committee will include representation from the School’s faculty, postdoctoral and research staff, graduate students, undergraduates, and administrative staff.  In short, the CDC is charged with assessing and monitoring the overall climate within the School and recommending any actions or changes in procedures and policies that could increase diversity and enable a working environment that values the contributions from a variety of viewpoints.  


The committee’s members also serve as points of contact for any individual in the School to obtain advice and support in dealing with situations of concern, including challenges in advisor-advisee relationships and any instances of behavior incompatible with the environment of respect and collegiality that the School is committed to maintain.  Since the members provide safe and accessible points of contact, membership on the committee must be representative of the School, committed to the mission goals, and prepared to enroll in such training as may be required to fully accomplish those goals.   Thus, the composition of the CDC will be three members of the faculty (one of whom will serve as chair), one postdoc or researcher, three graduate students, and one member of the School administrative staff. Every year there will be a set of 2-4 undergraduate representatives asked to join our meetings and provide their unique perspective.  There are no term limits.  New faculty members are appointed by the Head of the School after discussion with the CDC chair.  Non-faculty members are recruited by the CDC from their various cohorts and selected based on their personal statement.  

View our original charge here, established in Fall 2016:

PDF icon spa_cc_charge_nov_1_2016.pdf

Contact us

Priscilla Cushman:
PAN 327

Lindsay Glesener:
TATE 262

Jennifer Kroschel:
TATE 130-05

Jessie Duncan:
TATE 201-15

Brett Heischmidt:
PAN 217

Lis Valor:
PAN 221

Aaron West:
TATE 201-15

Matt Fritts:
PAN 43

Tanmay Agarwal:

Kat Couteaux:

CSE Alliance Liaison for International Students:
Ke Wang:
PAN 228