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 CAW Mission Statement:

In the Department of Integrative Biology, we embrace people of different backgrounds, races, nationalities, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, beliefs, religious beliefs, socio-economic statuses, physical abilities, neurodivergent perspectives, and more in students, postdocs, visiting scholars, staff, and faculty. We  welcome, respect and encourage the varied perspectives of everyone regardless of their background. Our strength and success as a department, graduate program, and university is built on the foundation of a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

We center our efforts on: 

Community-Building - The committee supports communication across career stages, including research, teaching, administrative, and public engagement activities and beyond. The committee promotes an environment where suggestions and concerns can be raised without judgment or fear of retaliation.  Examples from previous years include discussion groups, town halls, the development of strategic plans, and allyship workshops.

Improving Accessibility  - The committee provides strategic advocacy for key accessibility issues, needs, and resources. Examples from previous years include holistic graduate admissions processes, GRE Waivers, gender-neutral bathrooms, lactation rooms, and land acknowledgement statements.

Promoting Well-being - The committee supports activities that improve individual sense of meaning and purpose as well as community-level climate and vision. Examples from previous years include the creation of formal mentorship programming across career stages, implementation of climate surveys, and creation of conflict resolution working groups.    


CAW Committee Composition:

Faculty representatives:

Shalene Jha (sjha@austin.utexas.edu)

Norma Fowler (nfowler@austin.utexas.edu)

Steve Phelps (sphelps@austin.utexas.edu)

Carlos Botero (carlos.botero@austin.utexas.edu)

Amy Wolf (amywolf@utexas.edu)

Kelly Zamudio (kelly.zamudio@austin.utexas.edu)


Postdoctoral representatives:

Joel Tripp (joel.tripp@utexas.edu)

Chatura Vaidya (chatura.vaidya@austin.utexas.edu)

 PJ Lariviere (pj.lariviere@utexas.edu)


Staff representatives:

Theresa Kelly (theresa.kelly@austin.utexas.edu)

Tamra Rogers (tamrabrogers@utexas.edu)

Blinda McClelland (mcclelland@austin.utexas.edu)


Graduate Student representatives:

Kristina Black (kblack@utexas.edu)

Sarah Ortiz (sarahortiz147@utexas.edu)

Smruti Pimplikar (smruti.pimplikar@utexas.edu)

Daisy Flores (dmflores@utexas.edu)


Additional Resources

Links to be added soon


Graduate Student's Bill of Rights: 

The IB Graduate Student Bill of Rights clarifies what graduate students are entitled to and should expect from their advisor(s) and the IB department. It serves as a strategic tool to advocate for graduate student support and resources and it applies to all graduate students who are advised or co-advised by a faculty member with an IB affiliation.


IB Working Groups:

  • Code of Conduct Working Group 
  • Field Safety Working Group
  • Conflict Resolution and Anti-Bullying Working Group 
  • Pre-candidacy Grad Student Mentoring Working Group, Revealing the Hidden Curriculum 


Lactation and Quiet Rooms:

PAT 339 - This room is currently under renovation. After the renovations a new room in PAT will be established. Contact theresa.kelly@austin.utexas.edu  with any questions

NHB 1.320 - You will need to pick up a key from NHB 1.406

EER 2.856 south level - You do not need to check in/pick up a key. Since the room is labeled as a "quiet room" sometimes students use the room to study. If you come across students in the space, you may politely ask them to leave and explain the purpose of the room.

More locations and information on Lactation and Quiet rooms can be found at the HR website: https://hr.utexas.edu/current/services/lactation-quiet-rooms

Gender neutral restrooms:

We have gender neutral restrooms in both Patterson (1st floor) and Biology Laboratory (3rd floor) buildings. The College of Natural Sciences policy is that all single stall restrooms be labeled gender neutral.