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DEI liaisons

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The DEI Liaisons Program supports undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdocs who are interested in creating a more inclusive school community.

The DEI Liaisons work closely with other school DEI liaisons, the DEI office, and local program/department student services officers to advance efforts in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

If you have any questions about the program and would like to share your interest, please contact DEI director Lupe Carrillo at lupec@stanford.edu.

Alejandro Schmieder

Ph.D. Student in Earth System Science

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Deep-sea microbiology; high-pressure microbes
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Yoga, tennis, cooking, hiking

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I am passionate about science equity, inclusion, and accessibility. I believe that the lack of diversity in our current science sends a poor message to future scientists, and we need better representation and better perspectives in STEM. I want the future of STEM to be filled with diversity, representative of our diverse and beautiful world. As a DEI liaison, I know I can increase awareness and advocacy for these failures.

Alexis Wilson

Ph.D. Student in Earth System Science

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Soil Biogeochemistry, Environmental Justice, Soil Contamination, Urban Agriculture
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Painting, Dancing, Reading, Binge-watching shows and movies

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I decided to become a DEI Liaison because I am passionate about not only increasing the diversity of students at the school but creating a safe space for us to thrive and succeed. I would like to see a strong community formed and a support system put in place for underrepresented students in our school.

Bianca Santos

Ph.D. Student in E-IPER

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Marine conservation and policy
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Running, cooking, reading

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I was interested in becoming a DEI liaison because I am passionate about increasing access and equity in STEM fields. I hope to help create a more inclusive school community and encourage feelings of belonging amongst my peers.

Jayson Toweh

Ph.D. Student in E-IPER

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Climate impacts on health, and co-benefits of a sustainable energy transition
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Marathon running, filmmaking, watching and playing all sports

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I decided to become a DEI Liaison because I wanted to make the school a more inclusive place where everyone can thrive. I was looking to serve as a resource to current and prospective, along with interested youth to enhance the experience of those not represented as much through the community.

Karli Moore

Ph.D. Student in E-IPER

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Sustainable agriculture development for Tribal Nations
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Travel; puzzles; cross-stitching; Netflix; food

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  For me, being a DEI liaison is an opportunity to combat the erasure of Indigenous people in environmental research while learning more about the experience of other diverse communities.

Kyle Pietrzyk

Ph.D. Student in Energy Resources Engineering

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Multi-scale Modeling for Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, and Reactive Mass Transport
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Rollerblading, rock climbing, running, and backpacking

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I think it is important to identify and address the biases and inequalities existing within our community. Being a DEI liaison gives me the opportunity to do just that!

Margariete Malenda

Ph.D. Student in Geophysics

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Experimental Rock Physics for Geothermal Energy
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Baking, exercising, traveling, gardening

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I joined the DEI Liaison group to help normalize conversations around DEI. I want to help foster an inclusive, environment for all members in the SE3 community and celebrate the diversity within our school.

Natalie Cross

Undergraduate student in Earth Systems Program

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Marine Conservation and Environmental Justice
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Photography, hiking, crocheting, spending time in and around the ocean!

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  There is a lot of progress that needs to be made to make the school, and the field of environmental science more broadly, into an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all backgrounds. This DEI liaison program is just a start, but has strong potential when it comes to creating and strengthening community within students from underrepresented backgrounds. It consists of primarily graduate students and therefore I decided to join to bring in some of an undergraduate perspective to these matters.

Omar Rosales-Cortez

Ph.D. Student in Geological Sciences

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Geomorphology, Coastal Geology, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Cycling, Drinking Tea, Cloud Photography and listening to R&B

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I decided to become a DEI Liaison to help create a more welcoming environment for all underrepresented students at Stanford and especially within the Earth sciences. This effort will require the collaboration and input of many students from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that we can develop a student body that is both respectful and open-minded. Through this work, I hope that we can create a student culture where everyone can feel comfortable in all their identities.

Rita Esuru Okoroafor

Postdoctoral researcher in Energy Resources Engineering

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Writing, author of two fiction novels (Against The Perfect Will, Morning Does Come)

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I believe in the school's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mission and vision. I wanted to contribute in my little way to support the initiative, especially creating a sustainably inclusive environment for members of the Energy Resources Engineering community.

Samir Chowdhury

Undergraduate Student in Earth Systems Program

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Tackling environmental injustice through policy and entrepreneurship
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Swimming, hiking, and cycling

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I decided to become a DEI Liaison to emphasize the importance of DEI in leadership and environmental issues and how they intersect with other social issues students face.

Sergio Sánchez López

Ph.D. Student in E-IPER

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Energy justice
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Swimming

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I decided to become a DEI Liaison to contribute to bringing different voices to the environmental movement.

Sierra Castaneda

Ph.D. Student in Earth System Science

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Agricultural GHG emissions, food sovereignty
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Running, hiking, meditating, cooking with loved ones!

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  I decided to become a DEI Liaison to get involved with my community at Stanford in a meaningful way and facilitate important conversations around DEI-related concerns, events, and people in the field of Earth System Sciences.

Sofia Mantilla Salas

Ph.D. Student in Geological Sciences

Preferred pronouns: She/her
Main research topic: Geostatistics
Hobbies/non-academic activities: Dancing, reading, hanging out with friends

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison?  DEI topics were very new to me. Where I come from, there is not much conversation about them. I wanted to learn more about it and help the school become a more inclusive place, especially for international students.

William Scott

Ph.D. Student in E-IPER and GSAC Representative

Preferred pronouns: He/him
Main research topic: Climate change mitigation policy and particularly how the use of multiple overlapping policy instruments can alter trade-offs between environmental, economic, and social objectives
Hobbies/non-academic activities: When I am not pursuing my academic interests, you can find me walking my dog Fitz or spending weekends reading, hiking, skiing, and/or rock-climbing

Why did you decide to become a DEI Liaison? I want to help lower the barriers that exclude under-represented groups from academia and make Stanford a more inclusive and equitable space for all.