JEDI Mission Statement
The goal of the EECB Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee is to make EECB an inclusive and equitable space for students who are underrepresented and historically excluded from STEM, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), LGBTQ+, disabled, international, and first-generation students. To do this, we will collect survey data on the experiences, needs, and resource-access of underrepresented students and faculty members within EECB, and coordinate with the EECB Faculty Responsible for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in STEM (FRIENDS) to see these needs met. We will organize spaces and events for underrepresented students and seek to establish connections with diversity committees outside of our program to share ideas and community space. We will also share resources for students and faculty to learn about the issues that face underrepresented scientists, highlight the work of underrepresented scientists, and how to take action to support underrepresented students. On this website you will find resources for faculty and students, monthly resource guides, the program's diversity statement in response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and surge in hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), articles, announcements, and support for every person.
Valentina Alaasam (she/hers)
Valentina is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Jenny Ouyang’s lab. She studies urban ecology, focusing on how cities affect the evolution of behavioral and physiological traits in birds. Her career goals are to challenge and dismantle barriers that limit diversity in biology, STEM and higher education. She spends a lot of time thinking about effective communication (interpersonal and science) and advocating for work-life balance. Her favorite work-life balance activities include rock climbing, whittling, and swimming in alpine lakes. Follow Val on her Val's website, Val's Twitter, or Val's Instagram.
Stephanie Coronado (she/they)
Stephanie is a Ph.D. student studying ant-plant mutualisms and community ecology in Mexico and Costa Rica. Steph is a Chicanx ecologist originally from Oxnard, California. They co-founded this committee with Anjana Parandhaman and are passionate about increasing collaborations between Latin American and U.S. researchers as well as creating space for U.S. Latinx students in ecology. When not looking at insects or R code, Steph loves her bike and all things creative.
Cas Carroll (they/them)
Cas is a Ph.D. student studying interactions between grass and grass-feeding Lepidoptera in the intermountain west with Dr. Matthew Forister. Cas is a queer and trans scientist with experience with paleoveg, tree, and butterfly work. They are committed to challenging white supremacy, ableism, and gender-based oppression in academia, and enjoy learning about how to make STEM a more diverse and just place alongside other students.
Lydia Doan (she/hers)
Lydia is a Ph.D. student studying the taxonomy and systematics of neotropical Eois lepidoptera as part of both the Dyer lab and Forister lab at UNR. She is South-East Asian American from the Western U.S. and has experience with morphological classification of insects and lepidopteran genitalia dissections. Lydia is passionate about LGBTQ+ issues, racial justice, neurodiversity, and learning about BIPOC history. In her downtime, she loves cosplaying, pole dancing, and gaming.
Akhila Gopal (she/hers)
Akhila is a Ph.D. student studying behavioral thermophysiology in tropical lizards as part of the Logan Lab at UNR. She is South-Asian American from the Midwestern U.S. Akhila enjoys learning and teaching about LGBTQ+, disability, and BIPOC history and current issues, and dreams of revolutionizing STEM and STEM education into diverse and inclusive fields. You can follow her on Akhila's Twitter.
Anjana Parandhaman (she/hers)
Anjana is a Ph.D. candidate studying the impacts of climate and land use change on the Mojave Desert Tortoise in the Nussear lab at UNR. She is Indian-American but originally from Chennai, India and has a background in herpetological work across the western US and southern India. Her primary interests include exploring the intersections between environmental and social justice and learning how to apply and make this available to the community she lives and works in (for eg - by co-founding this committee with Stephanie!). In her spare time she enjoys blogging about sustainability, gardening, hiking, and playing ultimate frisbee. You can follow her work at Anjana's website, Anjana's Instagram as well as Anjana's Twitter.
Laura Shriver (they/them or she/hers)
Laura is a Master’s Student studying restoration ecology, evolution, and population genetics in Dr. Beth Leger’s lab at UNR. Laura is from New England and has done botany fieldwork across the country. Laura is passionate about LGBTQ+ issues, racial justice, combating sexualized violence and harassment, and making the environmental field a more inclusive and equitable place. In their spare time, Laura likes to rock climb, hike, camp, botanize, and take care of their houseplants.
Chanchanok (Saw) Sudta (she/hers)
Chanchanok (Saw) is a Ph.D. candidate studying ecological specialization of caterpillars (larvae of Lepidoptera) and their associated host plants in the Great Basin and tropical forests in the Dyer lab at UNR. She is an international student from Thailand. Saw is passionate about effective learning and universal design to higher education teaching in STEM. Saw spends most of her spare time helping friends with coding (R programming language), drawing, playing tennis, and hiking.
Lauren Benedict (she/hers)
Lauren is a Ph.D. student in the Pravosudov lab group at UNR. Lauren’s research focuses on how animals learn and use information about their environments. She works with a small team to conduct year-round field work in the Sierra Nevada to study learning and memory in a small food-caching bird, the Mountain Chickadee. Lauren is part of the EECB website committee and is excited about learning how to apply universal design to make online content more accessible and engaging. Lauren spends most of her spare time swing dancing, skiing, or hiking with her dog. Follow her at Lauren's Twitter or Lauren's Website