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Inclusive Excellence Submission for
the Physics Department

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Physics is historically in need of Inclusive Excellence. As an example, women and minority students are nationally underrepresented in this field, and our program currently follows this trend.

The physics department has always addressed diversity and inclusion in several ways. For example:
1. Physics faculty are involved in mentoring underrepresented groups in physics, through the Girls in Science, Girl Scouts, and McNair programs.
2. Several years ago, a Women in Physics student group was formed to encourage the undergraduate women students in physics to support and mentor one another
3. Our annual laser outreach shows for school groups are free of charge, so are open to all, regardless of economic status
4. Several physics faculty have received nominations for the SAPA award

Recent Department IE accomplishments:
1. Our department recognized the need for greater diversity among our faculty and staff and students. Including recent hires, fifty percent of our faculty is currently diverse (2 women, 2 minorities)
2. Our department created an Inclusive Excellence Committee to explore possible ways to improve our recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups.
3. All faculty attended the workshop: “Five Steps to Bring Diversity into Your Course” from the UW-L Conference on Teaching and Learning (1/19/10)
4. We received an APS Travel Grant for Women Speakers to support expenses for Physics seminar speakers, which allowed us to widen the pool of women seminar speakers.

Current Department IE Goals:
1. Re-write the department recruitment letter to be more welcoming to all
2. The committee will explore the research on how various pedagogical choices affect underrepresented groups in STEM courses, attempting to identify possible changes that could be made. For this, we will be using the Diversity Resources Literature Review available at the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning: http://www.cirtl.net/.

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