GCD Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (GCD) is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty. Each of our core missions in research, teaching, and service is strengthened by integrating a broad range of perspectives and life experiences. We aim to welcome, support, and advance all members of the GCD community. Towards this end, the GCD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee brings together members of the GCD community to promote educational events and trainings, identifies key DEI issues, and develops tools and best practices to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at the department level.

Get involved!

Attend one of our events - details found in the calendar below.

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PDFs of our previous newsletters including Resource Corner information can be found here.
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Anonymously report an issue related to GCD.DEI

Complete the form here. Submissions will be reviewed by the GCD.DEI co-chairs.

About us and resources

Committee Members


  • Deanna Koepp (Associate Professor, GCD)
  • Ian MacFarlane (Research Assistant Professor, GCD)


  • Randi A. (MCDB&G Graduate student)
  • Roj Cosiquien (GCD undergraduate student)
  • Alicia Wong (MCDB&G Graduate student)
  • Evalyn Beall (MCDB&G Graduate student)
  • Heewon Lee (Assistant Professor, GCD)
  • Kit Leffler (Admin Associate – Laboratory [Staff-Civil Service])
  • Hiroshi Nakato (Professor; Director – Developmental Biology Center)
  • Abrahm Neuser (Program Assistant – Genetic Counseling [Staff-Civil Service])
  • Katie Roos (GCD/MCDB&G Graduate Program Coordinator [Staff-Civil Service])
  • Sivaraj Shivaramakrishnan (Professor, GCD)
  • Nikunj Somia (Associate Professor, GCD)
  • Stuti Thakkar (GCD undergraduate student)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is the policy for hiring new faculty? Must they demonstrate commitment to DEI issues? What would happen if a professor who has harassed students in the past (i.e. events that are public knowledge - that have been reported on in the press) applies to be a part of the GCD program? A: Potential GCD faculty must demonstrate sufficient mentorship skills and clean records. We will provide a link to this policy Winter 2021.
  • Q: Does the DEI committee wish for individuals to bring ideas that the committee can do or to report possible issues? A: Yes! Creating an inclusive environment is the responsibility of every community member. Please let us know if there is something we could be doing better or if there is an issue we need to address! We also would love to hear of new ideas on how to make GCD more inclusive and equitable.
  • Q: I am interested in getting involved with the DEI committee. How can I join? A: To join, please send an email to gcddei@umn.edu. Within the email please indicate your affiliation with GCD and why you are interested in serving on this committee. 

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Contact the GCD DEI Committee at: gcddei@umn.edu


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