As a unit that teaches and explores, arguably, one of the most diverse topics within the sciences, the Department of Chemistry at CU Denver affirms the importance of reaching out to involve every person in the scientific and science education enterprises. As our campus’ population reflects more the diversity that makes the city of Denver rich and prosperous, there is much work that needs to be done to achieve this quality in most STEM fields, not only within our campus but also beyond.
We want to emphasize that the Chemistry department values diversity and inclusion as qualities that make us stronger, wiser, and more impactful. By sticking to these core values, we believe that we can better address and solve the most pressing problems of our society while sharing our knowledge with our student population and beyond. By actively considering the voices of all people, regardless of their nationality, sexual orientation, gender, religious beliefs, cultural background, veteran status, disability, race, or skin color, we are sure that our decisions in the types of problems we decide to tackle, and how they are addressed, can result in a positive impact on our communities.
Since the early days of our campus in the 1960s, our department has worked with students considered as ‘not traditional’; such as first generation students, students holding jobs to support themselves and their families, students interested in re-starting their careers after years of involvement in other activities, students starting families, and much more. Six decades later, and with a much different campus, we continue to serve these populations, understand their challenges, and are proud to see them leave CU Denver with more tools to be successful in their next academic/professional step. As the campus population evolves, we are eager to continue working with traditional and non-traditional college students of all backgrounds.
We believe that the scientific enterprise and the concepts of diversity and inclusion are not separate. On the contrary, working with these values to understand and solve the scientific challenges that we are pursuing, will ensure our success. Just as important, their application in the classroom setting (virtual or in-person) will result in a positive and welcoming environment for everyone involved (student, TA, LA, instructor, etc).
Our department extends an invitation for everyone to contribute in learning and doing chemistry, whether in the classroom or in the laboratory, everyone is welcome in chemistry spaces. We strongly believe that these values will positively influence the future leaders arising from CU Denver.