Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Biostatistics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee Charge

The Biostatistics DEI Committee aims to create a welcoming environment for faculty, staff and students where everyone feels respected, supported, and valued.  We strive for fair treatment in all aspects, including opportunities within the division. We are proactive and intentional in identifying and eliminating barriers for students, staff, and faculty to participate in our efforts and feel included in our division.

  • Address systemic bias in our field
  • Promote policies where everyone feels valued and heard
  • Create opportunities for connection within the division
  • Identify areas that need improvement

Committee Members

Name Role
Mark Fiecas Chair
Erika Helgeson Member, Faculty Representative
Jue Hou Member, Faculty Representative
Eric Lock Member, Faculty Representative
Tanvi Mehta Member, Student Representative
Marta Shore Member, Faculty Representative
Aparajita Sur Member, Student Representative
Helen Voelker Member, Staff Representative

Division DEI Strategic Goals & Current Projects

  1. Create a division environment where DEI and antiracism are central to all aspects of work: research, teaching, and service/outreach
  2. Increase the diversity of faculty, staff and students through alignment with school efforts on recruitment, hiring, and retention of faculty, staff and students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color

Biostatistics DEI Events

Biostatistics DEI Monthly Lunch

The Division of Biostatistics & Health Data Science hosts a monthly lunch meeting (currently via zoom) for discussing and learning about diversity, equity, inclusion, race and bias on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 12:00-1:00 pm.  These discussions may be based on readings or podcasts, which can be reviewed in advance but are not required for participation. These lunch meetings are open to students, faculty, and staff.  For more information, see Biostatistics Events Calendar or SPH Events Calendar.

Current Activities

Division Outreach Activities

The Biostatistics Community Outreach and Engagement (BCOE) Committee works with schools and organizations serving K-12 students in the Twin Cities to integrate biostatistics and data science into their curriculum.  By introducing kids from diverse backgrounds to biostatistics and data science, the BCOE committee’s work supports the DEI committee’s goal of increasing diversity in biostatistics.

The BCOE committee work also supports the School of Public Health’s Strategic Plan for Antiracism’s goal 4 for students.  The BCOE committee’s work builds relationships with “high schools that have high populations of students who are historically oppressed, disenfranchised, and underrepresented in public health” (see SPH Strategic Plan for Antiracism, p.12, Goal 4, Tactic 1) and delivers learning materials that expose those students to the field of Public Health, especially data science and biostatistics.

See the division BCOE Committee webpage for more details on these activities.

Schoolwide Diversity & Inclusion Activities Division Faculty & Staff Participate In

Educational Resources

The Division of Biostatistics & Health Data Science faculty and students have created learning modules related to the role of biostatistics in perpetuating and addressing racism and health inequalities. We encourage you to use these modules in the classroom.

The concept of data provenance, where data comes from, is an important consideration when teaching and learning statistics. Finding datasets that are interesting, usable, and publicly available can be a challenge. A further challenge is that the ones that are available tend to be WEIRD (Western-Educated-Industrialized-Rich-Democratic). This video reviews the limitations of WEIRD data and provides examples of some publically available datasets with more diverse populations. (Video presenter: Jonathan Kim)

How We Approach Data – WEIRD Data (video)

Bias in Statistical Design and Analysis
This module highlights several forms of bias in statistical design and analysis.  By being aware of how bias can happen, we can bring a critical eye to both the research we conduct and the research of others.  (Video presenter:  Sarah Samorodnitsky)

Bias in Statistical Design and Analysis (video)

School of Public Health/University Resources

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