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Westminster professor discusses DEI efforts in the classroom in blog post

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Posted on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

An essay about the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion in the science classroom, penned by a Westminster College biology professor, is the latest contribution to a National Science Foundation-supported blog.
“Teaching Outside the Textbook: Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the Science Classroom Using Real-World Experiences,” written by Westminster College Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Diana Ortiz, is currently featured on the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) blog site.

Ortiz—a member of Westminster College’s Equity and Justice Strategic Group and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Faculty Working Group—introduce readers to strategies used in her epidemiology course that incorporate DEI-related topics and explain how they have impacted her students.

Ortiz’s post includes a video featuring former and current Westminster students sharing their perspectives on the importance of integrating issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the science classroom and its impact on their educations. Featured students include current student Alexa Radinick ’22, a senior biology major from McDonald, Pa.; and 2021 graduates Nicholas R. Kearney ’21 of Cranberry Township, Pa. (biology), Kai Skinner ’21 of Titusville, Pa. (biology), Parker Redmond ’21 of Hermitage, Pa. (biology), and Zoe Cable ’21 of Brookville, Pa. (neuroscience/Spanish).
The blog—an initiative of the AAAS/Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (AAAS-IUSE) Program—was launched in January 2021 and features monthly posts on the theme of “leveraging this moment of disruption to empower evidence-based systemic change.”

Ortiz, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2014, earned her undergraduate degree from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico, her master’s from Jackson State University and her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.

The AAAS-IUSE blog is dedicated to exploring strategies that empower faculty and other stakeholders to create systemic change that improves diversity, equity, and inclusion at institutions of higher education and supports students from underrepresented and underserved communities to participate and succeed in STEM.

To view Ortiz’ post and view the video, click here.
For more information, please contact Ortiz at or 724-946-7784.