BME Community, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

The Community, Diversity & Inclusion Committee is a committee created to advance the Walter H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community across two campuses. The committee will engage in education – educating our students, faculty and staff on how to learn and unlearn behaviors that hinder/promote inclusive communities and ; inclusion – recruitment of diverse students, faculty and staff; supporting, faculty and staff organizations and leading training on diversity, inclusion, and bias; support – providing appropriate resources and helping community members who have experienced racial harassment, microaggressions or other inequities; and response – problem solving, change management, and advise the chair of the department on all matters concerning community, diversity and inclusion for students and faculty and staff.  To attain true academic excellence, this committee consists of faculty, student, and staff representatives.

The CD&I Committee has 7 Subcommittees, each with their own focus:

  • Lab CultureMachelle Pardue
    •  Objective: to ensure BME’s research labs support their members’ sense of belonging and success, in part by providing faculty with the tools they need to assess and improve their lab’s culture and climate
  • Mental HealthJames Dahlman
    • Objective: to expand and maintain the capacity for mental health counseling to assist Black students who may be experiencing race-based traumatic stress; identify and report on department/ university strengths, deficiencies, and improvements.
  • ScholarshipMaysam Nezafati 
    • Objective: to normalize black and URM presence and excellence; to disrupt latent ideas/ assumptions of the incompetence of marginalized people by amplifying the visibility of black scholars through invited talks, honors, awards; identify and report on department/ university strengths, deficiencies, and improvements; to promote students’ sense of belonging; advocate for the broadening of the scope of teaching to be culturally intelligent
  • Campus PolicingPhil Santangelo
    • Objective: to advocate for efforts that demilitarize campus police, enforce conduct that achieves non-racist public safety, and promotes the use of de-escalation tactics.  
  • Training – Todd Fernandez
    • Objective: Train students and faculty to identify, address, and prevent microaggressions with a primary focus on BIPOC people and a secondary focus on all minoritized groups (e.g., LGBTQ+, people with disabilities).
  • CommunicationsAshley James
    • Objective: to amplify the visibility and voice of the CD&I; to ensure CD&I members are engaged in communications (e.g. from the BME Chair) to the broader GA Tech/ Emory community (e.g. condemning injustice, celebrating major anti-racist milestones
  • DataDana AbouelnasrKali Morgan
    •  Objective: To identify, gather, analyze and interpret data that the CD&I committee needs to direct and carry out its work.