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UW Microbiology

Department of Microbiology Diversity Statement


The Department aims to recruit, hire, train, retain, and support individuals with a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences. We strive to create a community that nurtures the talents of everyone across socioeconomic status, disability, race, religion, culture, gender, or sexual orientation. The Department recognizes that diversity among our faculty, staff, and students strengthens and enriches our community. We are thus committed to implementing policies and practices that broaden diversity in every facet of the Department’s operation and mission to advance research and education in Microbiology.


The Department promotes and supports excellence and achievement in microbiology research and education for all individuals in order to advance an understanding of the natural world, to improve human health, and to encourage the development of new technologies. The Department recognizes the power imbalance, institutional subordination of minorities, and current and historical oppression of many individuals both outside and within our scientific community. These practices sent the message that affected individuals were not valued, created mistrust between affected individuals and scientific institutions/communities, and ultimately inhibited or prevented the success of affected individuals. We strive to mitigate inequities with policies that allow all to excel.


The Department values the contributions that diversity brings to our research and educational programs. We are committed to maintaining a safe and accepting environment that strives to understand, respect, and support the diverse challenges experienced by each individual. We welcome efforts and insights from everyone in our community. We encourage the discovery and development of new programs, collaborations, and innovative approaches to educate and inform an increasingly interconnected and complex world on the importance and value of fostering an inclusive environment.


The Department recognizes that despite our intentions and efforts, we are currently not meeting the goals described above. For this to happen, we must work towards eliminating the causes underlying existing inequities and advocate for the respectful, fair treatment of all individuals. In addition to the principles outlined above, we are also committed to hearing and responding to incidences of bias, discrimination, or harassment in a timely, just, and transparent manner to ensure accountability and prevention of such incidents in the future.

Committee Members:

  • Amy Gundlach Ritter, (she/her/hers), Graduate Program Advisor/Post Award Manager,
  • Beth Traxler, PhD, (she/her/hers), Professor and Commitee Chair,
  • Chelsea Stamm, PhD, (she/her/hers), Postdoc, 
  • Deborah Fuller, PhD, Professor,
  • Elizabeth Fones, PhD, (she/her/hers), Postdoc,
  • Joselyn Landazuri Vinueza, Galloway Lab, Graduate Student,
  • Joshua Woodward, PhD, Associate Professor,
  • Michael Lagunoff, PhD, Professor,
  • Michelle Reniere, PhD, (she/her/hers), Associate Professor,
  • Patrick Mitchell, PhD, (he/him/his), Assistant Professor,
  • Robin Cagle, Fredricks Lab, Graduate Student,
  • Sora Kim, PhD, (they/them), postdoc,

The Microbiology Department is proud to participate in the UW Allies program, which serves graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in basic science labs at UW. Allies are faculty who provide trainees with support during conflict with mentors and lab mates, assistance in navigating institutional barriers to success, and connection with institutional and community services. Allies stand in solidarity with trainees, so they don’t have to face challenges alone. For more information and to request an Ally, go to