The Genomics Advocacy Committee

Updated ~October 3, 2023

The Genetics Advocacy Committee is the Genetics department’s student-run, grassroots advocacy group dedicated to improving and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the department. See the side-bar for our mission, brief history, and how to get in touch and involved. Also, feel free to contact our admin leads or project leads directly via email or Slack.

Current TGAC administrative leads:

Jon Judd ( & Matthew Gill (

Active Projects (#slack_channel):

1. Admissions (#proj_phd_admissions_process)

2. GenEthics (#proj_ethics)

3. STEM Outreach (#proj_stem_undergrad_outreach)

4. Wellness (#proj_retention_wellness)

5. Department Conversations (#proj_dept_conversations)

6. Training Camp (#proj_training_camp)

7. Civic Service


This project seeks to identify areas for improved equity in the department’s PhD admissions process with respect to applications, application review, recruitment & interview weekends, and direct communication and support for applicants.

Lead: Katie Hanson,


 GenEthics provides opportunities for socratic discussions on ‘hot’ topics at the intersection of biosciences and ethics, and currently runs a bi-quarterly dinner club for folks across Stanford Biosciences to hang-out, eat, and chat on these issues.

Leads: Tami Gjorgjieva,; Paloma Ruiz,

STEM Outreach:

This project holds online info sessions and Q&As with mostly undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to discuss topics including graduate school life, post-PhD careers, how to get involved in research, and the PhD application process.

Lead: Angela Hickey,


This project broadly aims to support the wellbeing of all students. Project members track the trajectories of students beginning at interviews, through graduation, to identify the shortcomings of existing diversity, advocacy, mentorship, and training initiatives. Together with Dawn Billman, the department Events Manager, this project also organizes department social events such as hikes and coffees.

Lead: Abby Bergman,

Department Conversations:

This project seeks to bring outside voices and perspectives to the Genetics department to speak on topics ranging from biomedical ethics to alternative career paths in science. Project members invite speakers to our Current Issues in Genetics (CIG) weekly seminar twice per quarter. Have speaker suggestions? Contact the project leads!

Leads: Naiomi Hunter,; Matthew Gill,

Training Camp:

The department's training camp is a week-long program for incoming PhD students to introduce fundamental skills for their success in the program. This project evaluates and implements new topics for the training camp curriculum. In recent years, these topics have included discussions about the societal impact of genetic research, self-advocacy training, and information about student support resources.

Leads: Jon Judd,; Naiomi Hunter,

Civic Service:

This project promotes volunteer opportunities and service-oriented initiatives. By collaborating with the Stanford Genetic Counseling Diversity Equity Inclusion Action and Outreach Committee (DEI AOC) and other grassroots organizations, it aims to increase department engagement within the community and foster a spirit of collective action.

Lead: Raeline Valbuena,

Missions of TGAC

1. Increasing diversity and representation at various stages of the academic pipeline.

2. Promoting equity and justice through education.

3. Improving student wellbeing and community.

TGAC Slack Workspace

Join our Slack, geneticsadvocacy! All Genetics department trainees, faculty, and staff are welcome to chat with us, offer suggestions, and/or sign up to join an active project. Follow this link (or search for geneticsadvocacy), request to join, then say ‘hi’ in the #general chat!


Have questions or suggestions for TGAC? Want to join one of our active projects? Email our project leads!


TGAC was founded in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd and in recognition of a need to establish unified efforts to benefit justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across the Genetics department. Click here to read the Genetics Department Public Statement of Solidarity and Department Chair Michael P. Snyder’s letter to the community. Click here to see a list of TGAC’s past or completed projects.