Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Inside the Classroom (Academia).
I am a member of the Organizing Committee for Reviewer Zero. Reviewer Zero's goal is to reimagine peer review to grow a diverse new generation of scientists. We work to support early-career underrepresented minorities (URM) groups in psychology, neuroscience, and the cognitive sciences through preliminary review prior to journal submission. Our community of highly-motivated reviewers seek to change the culture of peer review from the current model which often lacks fairness and equity to one that is both rigorous and unbiased.
I have been a graduate mentor every semester at Duke for the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Internship (CRNI). CRNI promotes equitable access to undergraduate research opportunities in psychology and neuroscience with the goal to successfully train and retain diverse students. Each semester I co-mentor, with another graduate student, two undergraduates, who have little to no research experience, in gaining the skills and knowledge neccesary to continue meaningful work in a lab of their choosing. So far I have worked with 6 students, 4 of which have successfully joined a lab at Duke! The image to the right is the CRNI group of mentors and interns from Spring 2022.
I am a Graduate Mentor for Project SHORT, "the first student-led organization committed to working to shrink the socioeconomic gap in medical and graduate school." Through this program I work with at-need students from all over the world to review their personal statements, develop their confidence through mock interviews, assist in school selection, and help them to expand their professional network.
I am a Graduate Mentor for the Duke Psychology and Neuroscience National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (NSF REU). This program provides students who have had more limited access to research opportunities and/or attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, or are students from other groups underrepresented in science or first-generation college students with hands-on research experience. A primary mission of this REU program is to help those The image to the right is of myself and the rest of the Summer 2022 NSF REU mentors and mentees.
In Spring 2021, I became the first then-active student in the Connecticut State Colleges and University System history to establish and personally endow a scholarship. This $25,000 endowment, lasting in perpetuity, will support many of Southern Connecticut State University's (SCSU) gifted but financially insecure students' (as a university comprised primarily of underrepresented and first-generation students) engagement in interdisciplinary research across SCSU's Psychology Department and Data Science Program.
Outside of the Classroom.
As a Graduate Fellow of the Duke Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE) program, I am part of the mission to unify, expand, and enhance the School of Medicine's diversity and inclusion initiatives. However, some of the most meaningful work that I get to do is helping those at need in the local community. The image to the right shows some of my fellow BioCoRE members and I after volunteering at the Durham Rescue Mission.
During the first 8 months after leaving active-duty service, I had the honor to mentor at-risk/high risk youth in my community as part of V.E.T.T.S. This involved one-on-one mentoring for urban youth who were in foster placement, disruptive homes, residential treatment facilities, on parole or probation, or currently in juvenile detention. This mentorship involved the development of the youth’s competencies through recreational and educational activities, civic engagement, and career exploration. The images to left are of two of my wonderful mentee's first time recording their own music in a professional studio and first time fishing.