Mission and Diversity Statements | Department of Biology

Mission and Diversity Statements

Mission Statement

The UNCG Department of Biology endeavors towards excellence in conducting research and teaching biological concepts and skills to biology majors and graduate students, to prepare them for professional careers and more advanced study. We introduce non-biology majors to the foundations and applications of biology. By involving undergraduate and graduate students in research, we contribute to and increase society’s knowledge across the broad spectrum of biology.  We train doctoral students in Environmental Health Science, a complex and rapidly changing discipline. Through laboratory training and directed research experiences we enhance our students’ technical and analytical skills so that they can contribute meaningfully to an increasingly technological world. Our leadership in scientific innovation and discovery serves our students, profession, and our local and global communities.

Diversity Statement

The UNCG Department of Biology is committed to fostering an atmosphere of inclusivity, supporting every member’s diverse background and heritage, and promoting fairness and compassion in the workplace. We are committed to a practice of not discriminating based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or mental or physical ability. We recognize that diversity and inclusivity extends to individuals with different backgrounds, living situations, families, levels of support, health challenges, and much more.  We embrace, value, and seek a diversity of ideas and perspectives and are committed to being open-minded and fair to all of our employees and students at all levels.

In particular, we are committed to: 

  • Learning about our implicit biases so we may acknowledge and address them appropriately to maintain an environment free of discrimination and harassment 
  • Creating an environment where individuals feel open to being themselves without a fear of judgment  
  • Developing a sense of belonging and community among our employees and students 
  • Advocating for individuality and diverse perspectives 
  • Promoting kindness and understanding in all aspects of work 
  • Providing educational and professional opportunities focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion broadly 
  • Recognizing inequities and learning addressing them in our community 

These commitments require continued learning (and unlearning) and effort. As such, the Department Head makes sure that employees are provided opportunities for Professional Training associated DEI.  This includes, 

  • Participation in the UNCG Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence Initiative.
  • Participation in workshops, seminars, and training opportunities provided by the University, College, Department, and outside agencies where appropriate. 
  • Mandatory DEI training for all search committee members involved in hiring new faculty 

Some active programs focusing on diversity and inclusion Biology Department faculty support and participate in directly include: 

  • NSF S-STEM Science, Technology, and Math Preparation Scholarships (STAMPS) focusing on undergraduate STEM majors with financial need. 
  • Spartans ADVANCE is a multi-year National Science Foundation funded project that seeks to address the need for increasing diversity and inclusion on our faculty, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) departments. 
  • MARC U-STAR at UNCG is supported by the National Institutes of Health and seeks to increase the number of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in biomedical sciences by preparing students for high-caliber graduate training at the Ph.D. level 
  • The SSS-STEM Health Sciences (STEM-H) program provides academic support to 120 undergraduate students who are first-generation, low-income, and/or have a disability, and are majoring in STEM-Health Sciences. 
  • The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program recognizes that the diversity of researchers is integral to scholastic excellence. It seeks to produce a new generation of scholars and researchers that will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences, and cultures represented in Academia. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students in doctoral degree programs who are low income and first generation undergraduates or students who come from groups underrepresented in graduate education; particularly African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.