Author: Belter Ordaz Mendoza

Physics Department Joins APS-IDEA Network

The Physics Department’s Diversity & Multiculturalism Committee (DMC) was accepted into the APS Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Alliance (APS-IDEA).

Despite years of efforts on local and national levels, the diversity in many physics departments is not reflective of the diversity nationwide. Our department is no exception in this regard. The new APS initiative was created to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in physics by establishing a community of transformation. The international network is formed of teams from over 90 physics departments, laboratories, and other organizations from USA, Canada, Brazil, Germany, and Finland that share the same EDI goals.

The inaugural virtual workshop took place this Summer with over 180 attendees, including APS, AIP, advisory board, and the APS-IDEA steering committee. The next workshop is scheduled for September and more workshops will be organized throughout the year. Acceptance of the departmental DMC positions the UConn Physics Department on the map of global institutions to collectively exchange ideas, learn, and enact strategies for improving EDI in physics. What can we expect? The vision of this initiative is to make physics community more inclusive. The participating teams will exchange ideas/experiences, deepen their knowledge of EDI research and effective practices, and receive guidance to prepare realistic sustainable plans for improving EDI.

Our APS-IDEA team consist of members at the Physics Department from all departmental levels (faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students). Current team members are: Elena Dormidontova (Chair of Diversity & Multiculturalism Committee), Gayanath Fernando, Gloria Fonseca Alvarez, Menka Jain, Aditi Mahabir, Belter Ordaz Mendoza (team contact), Dave Perry, Peter Schweitzer, Megan Sturm, Jonathan Trump, Diego Valente, and Susanne Yelin. The application was supported by the Department Head Barry Wells. All members of the Physics Department are invited and encouraged to join our APS-IDEA team. Together we can enhance inclusion and belonging in physics.