Why Underrepresented Minorities Need Community to Thrive in the Academy

Three friends and peace sign
Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Diversity and inclusion aren’t enough. A sense of belonging is central to diversifying Academia and STEM careers.

I write as a Chicana faculty. American born, Mexican raised. Surrounded by Hispanic culture, language, and family. I belonged to this community. Taquerías, raspas, and the roller skating rink. …

Vanilla poitaei, Maricao, Puerto Rico

Vanilla doesn’t come to mind when you think of Puerto Rico. Yet the history of vanilla is intricately tied to the history of the island.

Mexico’s Totonac are the first known cultivators of vanilla. …

On Being A New Mom In Academia

I’m seven months in. My hair is growing back after falling out in fistfulls. I’m finally starting to lose weight. The Baby is just starting to crawl. First tooth.

We survived the winter. We survived our first flight to Puerto Rico to visit…

There is a space in the universe where time does not exist in its present form. A place where day and night are interchangeable. Where dawn and dusk become a ballet. This is the place where I first met you.

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

The dawn came suddenly but in that timeless place the…

Race versus ethnicity.

I am Hispanic.

I make a sassy Selena check mark.

But I am not White, Black, Asian, Native Hawaiian, or American Indian. So I always skip this check box.

A new job means I’ve been filling out paperwork. And questionnaires about my gender, ethnicity, and race. It’s…

Catherine Hulshof, PhD

I am a tropical ecologist. I write about life in the field and in academia. https://biodiversityresearchlab.com

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