Diversity

Education and public service have the potential to proliferate the effects of leadership, particularly within models of research where access, excellence and impact become the central components of the university enterprise. Martin Luther King Jr. put it best when he observed that “Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” These words, when combined with Nelson Mandela’s belief that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” put us in a powerful place to act now. It is a place where the promises of a democratic society are accessible to all its citizens. The importance of providing opportunities and successful pathways to all aspiring mathematicians and scientists must be recognized, and this goal systematically carried out, both to preserve the intellectual capacity of the nation and to broaden and enrich existing scientific and mathematical communities. This is a process of enrichment enhanced by the deliberate and systematic inclusion of underrepresented Americans into the wonderful and empowering world of mathematics and the sciences.

Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez will briefly address, in his introductory comments to this forum, why changes in cultures and models of training in mathematics and the sciences are critical to our success as an institution of higher education and to our survival as a regional, national and international engine of creativity and innovation in the 21st century. What should the role of state-supported math and science departments or universities be today? Why is the recruitment, retention and success of an inclusive class of American students good for everybody? Why do we need the engagement of every single faculty member?


We live in a diverse society. The College of Science believes that an understanding and appreciation of our differences enhances our ability to live and work together. Students have a better academic experience if they are taught in a climate that is diverse and accepting. Promoting diversity is essential both to society as a whole and to Purdue University. A diverse and scientifically educated citizenry is crucial to create and fill the scientific and technical jobs of the future. Moreover, diverse backgrounds and ideas lead to innovations and breakthroughs that might not occur otherwise.

Our Diversity efforts have three main prongs: 1) to expose middle school and high school students to the wonders of science and Purdue (and science at Purdue!); 2) to build diversity awareness for faculty, staff, and students and provide leadership training, and 3) to improve the recruiting, retention, mentoring, and promotion of faculty, staff, and students. 

Zenephia Evans Zenephia E. Evans
Director of the Science Diversity Office
MATH 914
765.494.1760
zevans@purdue.edu
Adrian Thomas Adrian Thomas
Assistant Director, Science Diversity Office
MATH 918
765.494.6095
atthomas@purdue.edu