Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


DEI Blog

"Diversity is in our science"

April 30, 2021

Walid Sadok has written our Spring 2021 blog post, check it out!

"Diversity is the most important tool of our science. How else can we solve complex world food problems without a diversity of people, perspectives, scientific disciplines and even crops and varieties? How can we design innovative climate-resilient cropping systems for various cultural and socioeconomic contexts without testing a variety of perspectives, ideas and solutions against each other? For us, diversity is the vehicle for the creativity and the freedom of thought needed to address the immense societal challenge of feeding the world sustainably and equitably..."


Agronomy and Plant Genetics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Events Calendar

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Meet the committee

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Rex Bernardo: My wife and I live in downtown Minneapolis, and my awareness of DEI challenges increased markedly during the events surrounding George Floyd’s killing.

Mary Brakke: Increasing ways for students from marginalized communities to participate in, and succeed in, plant and agricultural sciences through summer programs and internships is a priority for me as an educator. My relationships with students and colleagues who are part of these communities have enriched me personally and professionally. It is my hope that I can give back to these communities through these efforts.

Jenny Kimball: As a first generation college graduate, I became aware of the DEI issues early on in my career. After living in several parts of the country, I have noticed that these types of issues are prevalent across the country. I am particularly interested in inclusivity and ensuring everyone feels they are welcome and valued in our department.   


Peter Morrell:  For many years, I’ve sought to train student scientists from a diversity of backgrounds. I have also helped establish local best practices for a fair and open hiring process. I’m currently co-chair of the subcommittee for equity and diversity oversight for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Minnesota.


Walid Sadok: Born and raised in Tunis (Tunisia), lived and worked in Montpellier and Paris (France), Gainesville (FL, USA), Louvain (Belgium) and now in the Twin Cities. I hope to help build a climate where people from various backgrounds engage in empathetic, rigorous and stimulating discussions as we work together to address worthy societal challenges.


Karen Beaubien: My experiences working with a diversity of co-workers in the Agronomy and Plant Genetics department led me to pursue the Office of Equity and Diversity Advanced Certificate



Claire Menard (PMB): Listening to my peers' experiences, as well as being a student, mentor and teaching assistant over the last several years have all led me to participate in DEI training, start clubs about DEI in STEM, better my own mentoring/teaching practices and actively participate in departmental discussions. Along with being the graduate student representative, I am also in the Inclusive Science Fellows program.


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