Climate & Diversity

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Climate & Diversity Resources for Students, Staff, and Faculty

The Eberly College of Science Code of Mutual Respect:

The Eberly College of Science is a community dedicated to personal and academic excellence. The Code of Mutual Respect and Cooperation was developed to embody the values that we hope our faculty, staff, and students possess, consistent with the aspirational goals expressed in the Penn State Principles. The University is strongly committed to freedom of expression, and consequently, the Code does not constitute University or College policy, and is not intended to interfere in any way with an individual’s academic or personal freedoms. We hope, however, that individuals will voluntarily endorse the 12 principles set forth in the Code, thereby helping us make The Eberly College of Science a place where every individual feels respected and valued, as well as challenged and rewarded.

The 12 Principles of the Code are:

  1. Treat everyone equally and with respect
  2. Be courteous
  3. Be ready to communicate
  4. Encourage others and share your expertise with them
  5. Give and accept constructive criticism
  6. Be receptive to change
  7. Be a team player
  8. Get involved
  9. Have a positive attitude
  10. Be honest and accept responsibility
  11. Recognize other people’s priorities
  12. Strive to do your best

For more information:

Department Climate & Diversity Committee

David BoehrDavid Boehr - Faculty Member

I am a biological chemist interested in the role of protein structural dynamics in enzyme catalysis and regulation, which would enable rational enzyme engineering. As part of the Climate and Diversity committee, I hope to increase access and broaden opportunities to diverse and underrepresented groups., 107 Chemistry Building


Santina CruzSantina Cruz - Graduate Student Member

I am a fourth year graduate student in Ben Lear’s lab. My research focuses on probing how surface chemistry changes the electronic structure of metal nanoparticles. Outside of my studies, I enjoy participating in community outreach, spending time with my family, watching football, couponing, and reading. As a member of the climate and diversity committee, I hope to make a more inclusive and supportive environment for graduate students at all stages of their educational journey!, 113 Davey Lab


FreedmanMiriam Freedman - Faculty Member & Chair

I am an atmospheric chemist interested in ice nucleation and phase transitions of submicron aerosol particles.  I have been at Penn State since 2010.  I am interested in improving climate and increasing diversity in the chemistry department. Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, swimming, sewing, and knitting., 205 Chemistry Building


Lasse JensenLasse Jensen - Faculty Member

I am a theoretical chemist working on electronic structure methods as applied to computational spectroscopy, especially molecules interacting with metal nanoparticles. As a member of the climate committee, I look forward to opportunities to improve the climate and diversity in the chemistry department., 401E Chemistry Building


Kyra MurrellKyra Murrell - Graduate Student Member

I am a 4th year graduate student working in Frank Dorman’s lab. My research looks at developing analytical methods for the non-targeted analysis of emerging contaminants in environmental samples. I am passionate about science outreach and bettering the climate of the chemistry department. In my free time I like to read and go rock climbing., 103 Althouse Labs


Jacob SiegJacob Sieg - Graduate Student Member

I am a second year 2nd year graduate student working in Philip Bevilacqua’s lab. My research uses metabolomic methods to study ligands binding to riboswitch RNA and fluorescence spectroscopy to study RNA folding in biological conditions. I enjoy reading science books and home-brewing in my free time.

As a member of the climate and diversity committee, I want to understand how university policy and climate affect what demographics are excluded or included in the Penn State community. 


ConnieSmithConnie Smith - Staff Member

I am a research staff assistant.  I take care of various tasks for faculty/students and postdocs.  I have been a member of the chemistry department since 1997.  Outside of work I have a very active daughter who plays soccer, basketball and softball and I love attending all her sports events.

As a part of the climate committee, I hope to be able to improve climate and diversity among the members of the chemistry department., 308 Chemistry Building

Department Ombudspeople:

Each department has at least two ombudsmen who work to assist in conflict resolution when it arises. This includes facilitating communication between conflicting parties and referring people to a variety of resources for further assistance. For more information about the ombuds program go here:

The current ombudspeople for the Chemistry Department are:

Pshemak Maslak

Crista Spratt - Staff Member 

I organize Graduate Admissions, Open House and Orientation for new students. I keep track of all of the chemistry graduate students academic progress to ensure that all students meet the requirements and deadlines to achieve candidacy, pass their oral comprehensive exam and successfully pass their final defense exam for their PhD or MS. I also build graduate level courses in LionPath and provide maintenance on those courses with faculty input each semester. Outside of work, I like to garden and travel with my husband and three children.

Lasse Jensen

Kenneth Knappenberger

Kate Masters

University Offices:

ECoS Office of Diversity and Inclusion:

Affirmative Action Office:

Office of Global Programs:

Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity:

Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity:

Commission for Women:

Centre County CanHelp (suicide prevention hotline): 1-800-643-5432


ECoS Climate and Diversity Committee Information and Feedback Link:

The ECoS climate and diversity committee was formed by Dean Larson in 1999 and charged to foster an inclusive atmosphere within the college that promotes cooperation and tolerance among all its members.  The committee is a proactive policy-making body composed of faculty, staff, postdocs, students and administrators that works to identify areas in need of improvement within the college climate and the best approaches to address them.

Main Page:

The primary tools used by the committee to identify areas in need of attention are:

  • Feedback from departmental committees, ombudsmen and members of the college
  • A periodic anonymous survey distributed electronically to all members of the college
  • Anonymous suggestions via the committee’s website:

Feedback Link:

Resources just for students:

Gender Equity Center:

Counseling and Psychological Services:

Health Promotion and Wellness:

Penn State Learning (tutoring etc.):

LGBTQA Student Resource Center:

Multicultural Resource Center:

Office of Veterans Programs:

Student Disability Resources:


Student Organizations


African Students Association

Black Caucus

Latino Caucus

Native American Student Association

Penn State University Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.

Puerto Rican Student Association

Women in Engineering Program (WEP)

Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)


Graduate Women in Science

Numerous Religion-Focused Student Organizations


The Pennsylvania State University STEM Fall Open House

The Graduate School, in collaboration with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of Engineering, Eberly College of Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Information Science and Technology, College of Health and Human Development, Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Penn State, invite underrepresented junior and senior undergraduates with strong academic records and research programs to submit an application for our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Fall Open House. This program is intended for those interested in applying to graduate programs at the Penn State University Park campus.

All participants are provided with meals, hotel accommodations, and transportation to and from the program.

Program Highlights

  • Exploring research interests through individual meetings with potential research advisers
  • Academic program visits including a session with admission committee chairs
  • Information on University resources and the graduate education experience from Penn State faculty, staff, and students
  • Tours of campus and the State College community

Apply here: