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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the GSBS

Discovery, excellence and innovation 

Our services
• Dedicated staff
• Individual advising to students
• Recruitment and outreach
• DEI support to the GSBS community
• Promotion of institutional and national DEI efforts/opportunities

Message from the Associate Dean

Welcome to the home for GSBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I am happy to oversee GSBS DEI efforts as the associate dean for Diversity and Student Affairs. I like to say that the only thing bigger than our name is the heart we have for our students at the Graduate School. A large part of the heart and passion we have for our students comes from ensuring that all have a quality experience, and that we provide an environment where everyone can succeed.

Houston is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the United States. We want the GSBS to reflect not only this diversity, but also champion the scientific excellence and innovation that happens with the inclusion of diverse voices. With over 31% of our domestic student population composed of students historically underrepresented in STEM, international students making up 40% of our total population, and women represented at 60%, our school has made strides to reflect the diversity of our locality. However, we acknowledge that there is work to do on many levels.

Part of this work will include three key areas: assessment, culture, and outreach. As a part of our assessment, in 2020 we conducted a school-wide climate survey to evaluate the experiences of our whole community: students, faculty and staff. I invite you to review the results of this survey in the reports below.

After assessment, ensuring the existence and maintenance of diversity, equity, and inclusion involves refining the culture within the biomedical sciences. We are doing this through various programming for our student body as well as for our faculty, including mentoring training that is now required of all GSBS faculty. 

Lastly, we focus on outreach. Our outreach efforts include having a presence at major scientific conferences that focus on groups historically excluded in STEM to virtual outreach through our “Discover Biomedicine” series. Please peruse this site to learn about all of these efforts and many more. 

What is hard to capture are the intangible efforts, which center on the care we have for our students. Our country has experienced distressing events recently. We have seen many injustices, social unrest, and racial reckoning that undoubtedly has affected our scientific community as well. We care about what affects our students, even when it goes beyond the science. Only then, can we create a true sense of belonging and build an environment of scientific excellence with inclusion and equity at the forefront.


Cherilynn R. Shadding, PhD


Mission Statement

To promote success within the GSBS community by creating pathways for inclusive and equitable access to graduate education, open cultural expression and acceptance, professional development and achievement and holistic wellness.

Our Community

More than 2.2 million residents call Houston, Texas home, making it the country’s fourth-largest city. Many expect typical Texans to walk around in their cowboy boots and hat, always at the ready to ride a bull or two-step the night away on the dance floor. But visitors and transplants soon discover what this cultural epicenter truly has to offer: something for everyone. The Bayou City is the most diverse metro area in the country, ahead of both New York and Los Angeles. This diversity has boosted Houston’s food scene, with 10,000 restaurants serving the cuisine of over 70 different countries and cultural regions and has given rise to its own innovative culinary styles. Where else can you eat breakfast tacos, kolaches, fajitas, chimichangas, and viet-cajun crawfish all in one day? Our city and its chefs are regularly celebrated for their exciting food by the James Beard Foundation and was named the “newest capital of great food” by Food & Wine.

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**Current students who self-identify as LGBTQ+



Our Climate

The GSBS collected information about the culture and climate for training at our school and parent institutions. We captured personal experiences around various issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to specifically understand the role of race in our training community. The reports and presentation can be found below.

2020 Climate Survey Results:

Student Report

Faculty Report

Webinar Slides

Contact Us

The Office of Diversity and Student Affairs offers several DEI related services:
  • Are you a current student and have an idea or you need to talk to a team member?
  • Are you a faculty member and need guidance on inclusive conversations with your lab members?
  • Are you a faculty member/program staff at another university and you want to learn more about the GSBS and our culture?
  • Interested in us talking at your school?
Reach out to our office:

Cherilynn Shadding, PhD
Associate Dean of Diversity & Student Affairs
Student DEI concerns, DEI training/conversations/policies, collaborations, recruitment

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