Diversity & Inclusion


The Department of Microbiology & Immunology is committed to promoting an inclusive environment among graduate students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. Our department strives to foster and sustain an environment of inclusiveness and equity that empowers us all to achieve our highest potential without fear of prejudice or bias. We commit ourselves to building an exemplary educational community that offers a nurturing and challenging intellectual climate, a respect for the spectrum of human diversity, and a genuine understanding of the many differences – including race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, and religion – that enrich a vibrant metropolitan research university. We expect every member of our academic family to embrace the underlying values of this vision and to demonstrate a strong commitment to attracting, retaining, and supporting students, faculty, and staff who reflect the diversity of our larger society.

As a department engaged in research and education, we must embrace our diversity. It is well known that multiple perspectives that can identify creative solutions to solving challenges increases performance. By working to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department’s culture, we will also improve scientific discovery and the sense of belonging and grit in our students, staff, and faculty.


Engagement activities for students, staffs and faculty that reflect our commitment:

Service and Leadership opportunities for students

  • Science Policy & Outreach Group (SPOG)
    • SPOG is a graduate student organization interested in helping others understand the importance of science. For more information visit their website: https://spogatuofl.weebly.com/
  • Learning Science Pathway (LSP)
    • LSP is program aimed at introducing high school students to scientific research career paths through a paid research internship. For more information visit their website: https://spogatuofl.weebly.com/louisville-science-pathways.html
  • Microbiology and Immunology Summer Transitional Research Experience (MISTRE) 

    • M&I’s summer high school program MISTRE provides stipends to two high school students who lack science exposure to participate in a 7-week summer internship in a research laboratory in the M&I department.  MISTRE is now merged with Louisville Science Pathways, which is the Science Policy and Outreach Group’s University-wide internship program lead by a M&I student. This merger provided exposure to weekly career seminars, and how to apply to two- and four-year colleges, with emphasis on careers in the biomedical field. 

M&I Diversity Book Club

  • The M&I Diversity Book Club meets monthly to discuss D&I topics relevant to students, faculty, and staff in STEM. The goal of the book club is to identify issues and propose solutions. For information, please contact Dr. Pascale Alard at pascale.alard@louisville.edu

Diversity Book Club Schedule



Resource Link





Becoming trustworthy white allies


Unpacking the Knapsack (privilege)




Implicit bias test from Harvard 


What is bias?


An AI saw a cropped photo of AOC.  It autocompleted her wearing a bikini (MIT technology review).


Image representations learned with unsupervised pretraining contain human-like biases (ACM Conferences)



Race and gender gap in academia

College faculty have become more racially and ethnically diverse, but remain far less so than students (pewresearch)


Sexism in the academy (n+1)


Racial and gender biases plague postdoc hiring (Sciencemag)


Strategies to improve equity in faculty hiring (MBcC)



Ways to be more inclusive and imposter syndrome (Guest: Ryan Simpson)


Microaggression and being a upstander (Guest: Mireia Guerau)

Language matters: considering microaggressions in Science (life sciences education)


Moving from bystander to upstander (NIH video)



10 simple rules for building an anti-racist lab





29-NovFirst Generation Graduates in Academia 
13-DecHealth Inequity (Guest: John Chenault)
7-MarNIH Diversity Supplements (Guest: LaCreis Kidd) 
1-AprMicroaffirmations and other inclusive Practices (Guest: Cynthia Ganote)
18-MayHow mentorship shapes scientific identity in STEM. (Guest, Dr. Johnna Frierson, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education
and Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity and Inclusion, Duke University)
22-SeptPromoting equity and inclusion through effective mentor-mentee relationship (Guest, Dr. Frierson)
24-OctImportance and impact of training the mentors 

Evaluation of a Culturally Responsive Mentorship Education Program for the
Advisers of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Program Graduate Students




12-DecSocialization of graduate students including underreprested students (Guest: Meghan Pifer College of Education and Human Development)
10-JanExploring White Supremacy Characteristics in our Organizations (Guest: Ryan Simpson and Kiana Fields HSC Office of Diversity & Inclusion)
14-FebWe Have to be ‘Twice as’ Good: A Review of Achievement Goals for BIPOC Learners (Guest: Christopher D. Seals, Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Advancement)
14-AugRacial, skin tone, and sex disparities in automated proctoring software” (Guest: Debbie Yoder-Himes Department of Biology)
20-NovHow to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Educational Settings: Behavior Change, Climate Surveys, and Effective Pro-Diversity Initiatives
4-DecDiscussion about resources at ABRCMS and SACNAS conferences


Resources at UofL:

Explore external resources: