SDI @ Science

UBC Science is committed to student diversity, equity, and inclusion.

UBC Science, in partnership with the Student Diversity Initiative (SDI) at the Equity & Inclusion Office, is working to achieve the following goals:  

  • Incorporate strategies into science and mathematics teaching practices and curricula to help all students feel included and be engaged
  • Build capacity within departments to sustain ongoing action addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in science education
  • Leverage diversity within our disciplines to broaden and enrich learning

Definitions

Diversity refers to the wide variety of visible and invisible differences that contribute to the experiences of individuals and groups. These include both individual and group/social differences. 

Equity refers to achieving parity in policy, process, and outcomes for historically and/or currently underrepresented and/or marginalized people and groups while accounting for diversity. 

Inclusion refers to actively, intentionally, and continuously bringing historically and/or currently underrepresented and/or marginalized individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy-making in a way that shares power.

Inclusive excellence refers to cultivating a diverse community that creates and sustains equitable and inclusive campuses.

Model

Committees

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is mandated to clarify the vision, direction, and goals for SDI@Science from start to finish. It is comprised of a core group of faculty and staff who work in close collaboration with other faculty, staff, and senior leadership.

Faculty Working Group

The Faculty Working Group supports the work of the Steering Committee by providing advice that contributes towards a shared vision for SDI @ Science. Its members are a core group of faculty representing most of the departments in UBC Science, and its members liaise with other faculty in Science departments.

Current projects

  • We recently hired an Educational Strategist, SDI to support faculty and staff. This role will be embedded in Skylight and supported by the Equity & Inclusion Office.
  • Christine Goedhart (Botany & Skylight) and Gülnur Birol (Skylight) are currently running interviews and focus groups with Biology students to gather insights about student experiences and needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the program. 
  • Alice Campbell (Computer Science and Skylight) is working with Elisa Baniassad and Rachel Pottinger (Computer Science) on students’ sense of belonging in a second year computer science course. 
  • Karen Smith (Microbiology and Immunology), Jared Stang (Physics and Astronomy), Jaclyn Stewart (Chemistry), and Christine Goedhart (Botany & Skylight) received funding from UBC’s Equity & Inclusion Scholars Program to enhance equity and intercultural understanding in introductory active-learning Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses by: developing EDI measurement tools to inform teaching and conduct research; identifying the inequities and inequalities that currently exist; and determining the characteristics of learning activities that support and engage all students.

Leadership and participation opportunities for faculty

Shape UBC Science’s approach:

  • Participate in meetings and workshops to develop UBC Science’s vision for student diversity
  • Join a Faculty-level steering committee or a subcommittee

Apply ‘inclusive excellence’ principles in your teaching practice:

To learn more about these opportunities, please contact one of the Steering Committee members.

Inclusive teaching resources

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology’s Inclusive Teaching @ UBC website offers resources for inclusive teaching and links to professional development and funding opportunities on campus for faculty and staff. It also provides faculty with links to resources they can share with their students to help them succeed and to create a more inclusive learning environment.

Bryan Dewsbury and Cynthia J. Brame created an online, evidence-based guide on inclusive teaching, which can be found at this link. For their recent article discussing inclusive teaching and the guide, please click here.