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EDI Committee

The Department of Physics & Astronomy’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Committee was formed September 2020 to advocate for and address the needs of marginalized members of our community. The EDI Committee works to build equity in the Department’s education, research, and scholarship activities and provide equal opportunity.

This webpage will act as the communication hub for the Committee to engage with our community members. The Committee aims to work transparently and will provide regular updates on this webpage. The Committee also welcomes feedback and encourages members of the Department to communicate with us and hold us accountable.

The Committee members for the 2023-2024 Academic Year:

  • Chair – Dr. Pat Clancy
  • Past-chair – Dr. Robert Cockcroft
  • Vice-chair – Dr. Alan Chen
  • Faculty Representative – Dr. Hari Kunduri
  • Graduate Student Representative – Nicole Mulyk
  • Graduate Student Representative – Ben Dyer
  • Undergraduate Student Representative – Ashvini Muralitharan
  • Undergraduate Student Representative – Patrick Hamani
  • Post-doctoral Representative – Dr. Qiang Chen
  • Staff Representative – Dr. Dan FitzGreen

Goals & Initiatives

Student Support

  • Established a mentoring program to connect Level 1 students from underrepresented groups to upper-level mentors.
  • The newly established Physics & Astronomy Research Experience Award supports students in developing valuable research skills during their undergraduate experience. Funding will be awarded to students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized and who are pursuing research opportunities in Physics & Astronomy. We are currently accepting donations towards this award through the link in the Donate button. The first of these awards were made in the summer of 2022, and will continue for summers until at least the next few years.


  • Coordinating EDI training workshops and EDI-related colloquia in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
  • Establishing a departmental demographic/climate survey.

Communication/Community Building

  • Share and distribute useful resources and training programs on EDI-related topics within the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
  • Hosting a town hall for all members of the Department to open discussion and encourage feedback on all EDI issues and initiatives.


  • Incorporating non-western knowledge into the curriculum through the development of an Indigenous astronomy course with Indigenous collaborators on- and off-campus.


  • Bring physics to underrepresented communities:
    • Indigenous astronomy public outreach initiaive.
    • Acquisition of a portable planetarium to bring shows to schools from underrepresented communities.
    • Physics lab kits sent to students in underrepresented groups accompanied with a mentorship program.
    • Expand Girls in Science day to include underrepresented groups broadly.
    • Mentoring program for students from underrepresented groups (with high school students).


  • Working towards an award for students working to foster inclusivity.