Latest information on COVID-19

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

List of active projects and contact information

Updated by Roshni Patel,  April 29, 2021

Want to get involved?

Visit our Google Calendar, join our Slack workspace, and email geneticsadvocacy@lists.stanford.edu for access to the shared Google Drive

Project leads for the Genetics Advocacy Committee can be reached at geneticsadvocacy@lists.stanford.edu if you have further ideas or want to start your own initiative. 

To sign up for specific projects, email the project lead(s) or join and message on the relevant Slack channels.

These projects in particular could really use additional help:

 

List of all projects

  1. Training Camp
  2. Retention and Wellness / Student Tracking
  3. STEM Undergrad Outreach
  4. Department Conversations
  5. Ethics
  6. PhD Admissions Process
  7. Advocacy Funding

Training Camp

Redesign the department's training camp, a week-long program for incoming PhD students, to introduce fundamental skills for their success in the program. Evaluate new topics for inclusion in the training camp curriculum including discussions about the societal impact of genetic research, self-advocacy training, and information about student support resources.

Team members

Lead: Sedona Murphy (student), sedonaem@stanford.edu

Will Greenleaf (faculty)

Julie Baker (faculty)

Anshul Kundaje (faculty)

David Kingsley (faculty)

Abbey Thompson (staff)

Kay Kobak (student)

Katelyn McKown (student)

Naz Koska (student)

Organization

Slack: #proj_training_camp

Google Drive: Training Camp

Retention and Wellness / Student Tracking

Follow the trajectory of current and former students in order to address issues related to graduate retention. Collect and analyze data about applicants, those who accept offers, and those who matriculate to provide identify the shortcomings of our diversity, advocacy, mentorship, and training initiatives. Maintain a centralized, easily accessible repository of mental health resources for trainees, staff, and faculty. Increase awareness of the importance of mental health maintenance in the PhD through talks at training camp, retreat, and other visible avenues. Advocate for more mentorship and management training for faculty. Install a genetics-specific ombuds person in the department that has the power to enact change when they are presented with issues. 

Team members

Lead: Jennifer Doherty (student) jsdohert@stanford.edu

Lead: Sedona Murphy (student), sedonaem@stanford.edu

Alex Urban (faculty)

Karla Kirkegaard (faculty)

Gavin Sherlock (faculty)

David Yao (student)

Kelsey Fryer (student)

Kay Kobak (student)

Michael Hayes (student)

Wendy Christiansen (staff)

Organization

Slack: #proj_retention_wellness

Google Drive: Retention and Wellness

STEM Undergrad Outreach

Hold graduate student Zoom info sessions and Q&As with (mostly undergraduate) students from underrepresented backgrounds and discuss topics including graduate school life, post-PhD careers, how to get involved in research, and the PhD application process.

Team members

Lead: Courtney Smith (student), courtrun@stanford.edu

Dylan Maghini (student)

Michael Hayes (student)

David Yao (student)

Rachel Ungar (student)

Dylan Maghini (student)

Rebecca Culver (student)

Usman Enam (student)

Michael Montgomery (student)

Tanner Jensen (student)

Organization

Slack: #proj_stem_undergrad_outreach

Google Drive: Outreach & Service Requirement > STEM Undergrad Outreach

Department Conversations

Foster ongoing conversations about justice and antiracism-related issues in the department. Invite speakers to speak about justice and inequality at our Current Issues in Genetics seminars on a regular basis which are followed up by department-wide facilitated discussions.

Team members

Lead: Adam Reeves (student) gareeves@stanford.edu

Emily Greenwald (student)

Laura Donohue (student)

Rahul Nagvekar (student)

Dawn Billman (staff)

John Pringle (faculty)

Mike Snyder (faculty)

Organization

Slack: #proj_dept_conversation

Google Drive: Department Conversations

Ethics

Ensure ongoing education of trainees, faculty, and staff on ethical issues within the field of genetics. Focus on the ethics of (1) the conduct of genetic research involving vulnerable and underrepresented populations, both past and present; and (2) the contemporary use of personal genetic data in healthcare and the consumer sphere. Develop persisting frameworks to provide education in a classroom, seminar, and/or discussion setting.

Team members

Lead: Rachel Ungar (student), raungar@stanford.edu

Lead: Roshni Patel (student),  rpatel7@stanford.edu

Julie Baker (faculty)

Nasa Sinnott-Armstrong (student)

Emily Higgs (genetic counselor)

Emily Greenwald (student)

Danny Cotter (student)

Pagé Goddard (student)

Massa Shoura (postdoc)

Abbey Thompson (staff)

Meena Chakraborty (student)

Tim Mackenzie (postdoc)

Alanna Pyke (student)

Daphne Martschenko (postdoc)

Organization

Slack: #proj_ethics

Google Drive: Ethics

PhD Admissions Process

Identify areas for improved equity in graduate admissions with respect to applications, application review, recruitment/interview weekend, and direct communication and support for applicants.

Team members

Lead: Katie Hanson (student), kjhanson@stanford.edu

Lead: Alissa Severson (student), aseverso@stanford.edu

Laura Donohue (student)

Sedona Murphy (student)

Kelsey Fryer (student)

Michael Hayes (student)

Lars Steinmetz (faculty)

Judith Frydman (faculty)

Organization

Slack: #proj_phd_admissions_process

Google Drive: PhD Admissions Process

Advocacy Funding

Find and apply for grants to fund TGAC projects. Manage keeping track of current financials, including our credit union account. Develop a budget and hiring plan for compensating student advocates for the department to fund.

Team members

Lead: Josh Tycko (student) joshtycko@stanford.edu

Emily Greenwald (student)

Roshni Patel (student)

Sedona Murphy (student)

Rachel Ungar (student)

Olivia de Goede (student)

Julie Baker (faculty)

Mike Snyder (faculty)
Dawn Billman (staff)
Randy Soares (staff)

Organization

Slack: 

Google Drive: 

 

Completed projects

Service requirement

Enact a 60 hour service requirement for Genetics PhD program.

Team members

Lead: Josh Tycko (student)

Lead: Abbey Thompson (staff)

Lead: David Yao (student)

International student crisis

Foster support and develop tools within the department, campus, and country to promote the experiences and mental health of international students.

Team members

Lead: Nasa Sinnott-Armstrong (student), nasa@stanford.edu

Lead: Shaila Musharoff (postdoc), shailam@stanford.edu

Anshul Kundaje (faculty), akundaje@stanford.edu

Resource curation

Curate resources and project information that can be shared on an outward-facing portal to benefit advocacy efforts in other departments and institutions. This includes updating the department website to include anti-racism efforts and content. Coordinate internal organization of advocacy efforts.

Team members

Lead: Katie Hanson (student): kjhanson@stanford.edu

Lead: Roshni Patel (student): rpatel7@stanford.edu

Abbey Thompson (staff)

Dawn Billman (staff)

Shaila Musharoff (postdoc)

Emily Greenwald (student)

Laura Donohue (student)

Olivia de Goede (student)

Organization

Slack: #proj_resource_curation, #proj_website

Google Drive: Resource CurationWebsite

June 8, 2020

Genetics Department Public Statement of Solidarity

The graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff in the Genetics Department at Stanford University express our solidarity with Black community members at Stanford and beyond. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Nina Pop, and too many other Black people are heart-breaking and unconscionable. These events have re-emphasized the ongoing racial injustices that Black people face and the struggle for police reform, criminal justice reform, and ending the murder of Black people. We share the outrage, anguish, and grief expressed by the Black community while recognizing that these recent events and underlying systemic racism affect us unequally. We commit ourselves to caring for our community and creating an equitable and empowering space that supports all department members, especially Black department members.

We support The Movement For Black Lives’ goal to reform police measures, and commit to supporting this change on the Stanford University campus through direct advocacy to the School of Medicine and University administrations.

Moreover, we stand with the Black community at Stanford in condemning the countless acts of anti-Black racism that go unrecognized and unresolved every day, including the recent use of racial slurs by Stanford faculty.

We acknowledge the grief and anguish felt by many of our community members, especially Black community members, as we mourn the losses of far too many Black people. We recognize that trainees and staff need more support than the department currently provides. As a first measure, the Genetics Department commits to supporting trainees in taking extra time to complete coursework and/or research responsibilities, staff in time in their work efforts. We will also advocate for these policies to the School of Medicine and University administrations on behalf of all trainees and staff at Stanford. Moreover, we commit to facilitating ongoing conversations within the department to determine how best to support our trainees and staff during this time.

We recognize that there is still much work to be done to fight systemic racism and advocate for the rights of Black people, both within Stanford and our larger communities. As a community, we commit to reading, listening to, and amplifying the voices of Black individuals, while also working to unlearn the racist, white supremacist rhetoric that pervades American society. We acknowledge that there is no space for indifference or silence on this issue while recognizing that this statement has not included the specific actions we will take to fight racism within our department. To address this, we held the first in a series of quarterly department-wide Town Halls to solicit anonymous feedback from department members. We also created a task force comprised of faculty, trainees, and staff that will work with the Black community and local organizations to develop and implement anti-racist measures. We will make the first round of these specific actions public by the end of June.

We hope that all community members, especially Black community members, are keeping well at this time. We see you, we support you, and we stand in solidarity with you. 

Sincerely,

The Genetics Department at Stanford University


Message from the Department Chair


Message from Michael P. Snyder
June 3, 2020

I write to express my personal distress over the pattern of racial injustice that has haunted our nation and was witnessed most recently in the death of George Floyd. This pattern is clearly unacceptable. The recent events have been particularly disturbing to the Black community, and we all must condemn and reject them. The latest event, on top of a pandemic that disproportionately affects communities of color, is terribly disturbing. We should all do our best not only to make all members of our community feel welcome and thrive, but to take a stand against injustice.

The Genetics Department values diversity at all levels and historically has embraced a diverse community. This diversity is part of our strength. We hope to make everyone feel welcome and supported, regardless of race, color, or personal background. We also hope to create opportunities and advances for the betterment of humankind. Our department strives continuously to diversify its programs through the enrollment and support of diverse graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff. We have devoted considerable resources to this endeavor, including outreach programs and a summer diversity research program. Additionally, many faculty, post docs, and graduate students in our program actively participate in diversity programs and research. But there is still much more work to do.

We need to make sure that all of our community feel supported, especially our Black citizens and others of color. Please be aware that there are support systems to help people in need.

Sincerely,

Mike Snyder


Genetics Advocacy Committee

The GAC has many active projects to improve equity and inclusion in the department. Have questions? Email the Genetics Advocacy Committee.

GAC Slack workspace

Join us on Slack! Anyone affiliated with Genetics is welcome to join, participate in discussions, and/or sign up to work on specific projects.

  1. Search for “geneticsadvocacy” at stanford.enterprise.slack.com, or follow this link. SUNet ID required.

  2. Click "request to join".

  3. Say hi in the #general channel! There is also a pinned post in #general with info on other channels you can join.



STEM Undergrad Outreach

Our graduate student-led one-hour session aims to reach students who might not have considered graduate school. We will have a short presentation about what doing a PhD looks like, why might someone want to do a PhD, and how to get into graduate school. This will follow with a Q&A session, the main part of the program. While this program is led by Genetics PhD students, there may also be panelists from Biosciences programs across Stanford. This program is intended for a professor-led class/group of undergraduates, and has zero associated costs. Interested? Sign up here and we will contact you.