The Biology Department Inclusion Committee

The Biology Department Inclusion Committee was formed in fall 2021.  Current members include Prof. Mike Butler (Chair), Prof. Bob Kurt, and Prof. Khadijah Mitchell.  Student representatives for the 2022-2023 academic year will be added soon.  The Inclusion Committee meets approximately biweekly throughout the academic year.

A note about our vision and mission

The Biology Department is committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming community where everyone belongs and feels appreciated. We aim to initiate and organize actions that will produce and sustain a Biology program at Lafayette College that supports our core values:

  • The success of the Biology program at Lafayette College depends upon all of its contributors, including undergraduate students, staff members, and faculty of all ranks. From the reading of an acceptance letter, to the end of a decades-spanning career, everyone is a member of the community.
    • Cultivate the scientist’s mindset: Be inquisitive. Ask questions. Seek answers. If you do not know the answer, that’s okay! Extend your knowledge. Take it as far as you can…and go further. Thinking like a scientist requires hard work!
    • Explore the mentor and mentee relationship: Share what you have learned. Listen to what others know. Encourage creativity in others. Acknowledge your mistakes; grow from them. Be bold and support the bonds you develop. Foster relationships that lead to innovation and collaboration.
    • Cultivate the instructor’s intention and impact: Each student is unique, necessitating flexibility in teaching style and multiple pedagogical approaches. Know that students are empowered through the skills they learn and the knowledge they gain. Every student can grow and develop through patience and encouragement of both the teacher and student.
    • Embrace the power of diversity: Like any ecosystem, diversity within the department brings vivacity, strength, and resilience. Differences in experiences, perspectives, and approaches stimulate adaptation. Embracing diversity as a community promotes fertile ground for new ideas to germinate and grow in and out of the classroom.
  • The success of the Biology program will be evident when all members of the Biology community recognize that there are multiple ways to succeed as a student, instructor, mentor, and scientist. With a thoughtful approach to your individual-specific goals, you can define your own path of success.

The Biology Department strives to provide inclusive research-based experiences through its Science Horizons and SEA-PHAGES programs.