Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The College of Arts and Sciences affirms that academic excellence depends upon recruiting and supporting a diverse population of faculty, staff and students to pursue innovative research, transformative teaching and learning, and engaged outreach.

Diversity and inclusion is everyone’s goal, everyone’s priority and to everyone’s benefit.

As perhaps the most expansive arts and sciences college in the country, we have the unique qualification — and the unique obligation — to address the complex issues related to fostering an inclusive and diverse community both inside and outside the academy.

Building a Community of Scholars: A New, Bold Initiative  

In 2016, the college launched a multi-pronged initiative to achieve greater diversity in our professorial ranks, foster an inclusive university community, and promote research and teaching on topics central to race, ethnicity, gender, sex and disparities in modern society.

“Understanding Race, Ethnicity, Gender/Sex and Disparities in Modern Society Initiative to Promote Diversity” addresses three critical areas:

  • faculty cluster hiring
  • graduate student recruitment and retention
  • undergraduate preparation for graduate school

Whereas other diversity and inclusion programs focus only on faculty diversity, the College of Arts and Sciences takes and expanded approach by addressing the needs of minority students as undergraduates and as they advance into and through graduate school.

Faculty Cluster Hiring Initiative

The first strategy is cluster hiring with a hire in each of the eight departments in the division of social and behavioral sciences, where research and teaching on these topics are central.

The mission of the hiring activity is to hire diverse candidates conducting research on topics related to diversity. The new cluster will be part of a network of many established, committed professors to develop cross-disciplinary coordination to create a broad community needed to support, sustain and promote diversity and inclusion in the professorial ranks.

In August 2017, we will welcome the first wave of new faculty:     

  • Economics: Adam Dearing, assistant professor (applied microeconomics)
  • Geography: Madhumita Dutta, assistant professor (social geographer)
  • Political Science: Christian Phillips, assistant professor (race and gender in politics)

Graduate Certificate Program

To enhance recruitment of underrepresented students at the graduate level, the college is developing a graduate certificate program to position these students for success. The 12-credit hour certificate will be available to graduate students matriculating in any area of study across campus, or as a stand-alone certificate for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree. Achieving this certificate would demonstrate a student’s commitment to diversity in their career goals.

The graduate certificate program will begin enrollment in autumn 2018.

Undergraduate Bridge Program

The college will unveil a new Graduate School Preparation Program to assist our undergraduates with admission to and success in top-ranked graduate programs. This bridge program will help students identify what degrees and programs are best for them, prepare strong graduate school applications and provide course advising to ensure that they are well-equipped to succeed at the graduate level.

The bridge program will begin in autumn 2018.

In Support of Diversity

Program for Advancing in Scholarship and Service (PASS)

Arts and Sciences' Program for Advancing in Scholarship and Service (PASS) is a selective first-year academic learning community for arts and sciences students who have a shared interest in the academic, cultural, career and community benefits of diversity. PASS links you with your academic advisor, faculty, community and peers in ways that ensure your academic success and engagement.

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program supports underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in chemistry, computer science; geosciences; life/biological sciences; mathematics; physics; and astronomy by providing them with experiences working with faculty in laboratory settings; introducing them to academic and professional resources; providing a strong foundation upon which program participants will succeed.

Sampling Advanced Mathematics for Minority Students (SAMMS)

The goal of the Sampling Advanced Mathematics for Minority Students (SAMMS) is to inspire undergraduate students from under-represented minorities to pursue graduate studies in STEM fields with an emphasis on graduate education in mathematics. The immersive mini-course program provides students with a “sample” experience similar to what they would have in an established graduate math program at a large state university.

Society of Women in Physics (SWiP)

The Society of Women in Physics (SWiP) is an undergraduate and graduate student academic club whose goal is to promote the engagement, career development and sense of community of young women in physics. SWiP hosts monthly meetings and networking events where lots of pizza and snacks are encouraged!

Momentum: Students with Disabilities in STEM

Momentum: Students with Disabilities in STEM, assists in the education and support of students with disabilities in STEM fields. Through student mentoring, student workshops, and by creating an open and positive student community where students feel encouraged, Momentum works to increase the number of students with disabilities successfully graduating.

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM)

oSTEM aims to provide support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight ally students by educating peers, organizing social events and connecting with professionals in industry. For more information on oSTEM, contact the club at

Community of Appalachian Student Leaders (CASL)

CASL connects and engages students from the Appalachian region — many, first-generation students  — with student, faculty and staff mentors from the region while working towards developing students’ academic, professional and leadership skills. 

Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research

Wendy Smooth, assistant professor, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, is leading Ohio State’s participation in a national initiative to increase research on women and girls of color. Ohio State is a member institution of the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research, established in 2015 to increase understanding and highlight the status of women and girls of color — a growing demographic in the United States that remains underrepresented in academic research.


The Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is an organization of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists — from college students to professionals — to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. The Arts and Sciences partners with SACNAS to provide mentoring, outreach and research-focused workshops.

MS to PhD Bridge Program in Physics

Established in 2012 — with unanimous support of department faculty and staff — the goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM PhD programs. The Bridge Program was one of the first two such programs directly supported by the American Physical Society and the NSF. Since the Bridge Program’s inception, the physics graduate program has increased the diversity of its students from less than 3 to 21 percent.

The ASL Club

The American Sign Language Club, started in 2004, is comprised of students, staff, faculty and members of the deaf community. The group has meetings, events and socials during the school year. The club is involved with the local deaf community and encourages members to increase their knowledge of ASL and the deaf community.