Diversity statement

Diversity and gender equality are extremely important issues to me. Being from India, a country full of diversity, I have had this opportunity of experiencing diversity throughout my school and undergrad life. In school, we had people from different religions, backgrounds, castes together in one classroom. In undergrad, I studied in an out-of-state university where people from all states of India came and had so diverse cultures, values, languages. When I came to US for my PhD, I experienced diversity at a global level with people from different countries, ethnicities etc. Throughout my graduate studies, I have appreciated the cultural diversity that exists in US, whether in a classroom or in research. 

I have been a TA for undergraduate Introductory Physics courses and I love teaching these courses because they have a variety of students from many nations, many religions and beliefs and so the classes are full of diversity. This is the advantage of teaching undergraduate freshmen/sophomore courses. I have always tried my best to make the classes accessible to all, and make sure that everyone gets equal opportunity, resources and encouragement to succeed in the class. I always want everyone to do best they can and I absolutely see no gender or race differences. In this process, I think my ability to teach has enhanced because I get to work with students with diverse backgrounds and the questions they ask also reflect that and this has given me an opportunity to understand that everyone has their own way of looking and learning things and this helps me to connect to the students in a much better way. 

One issue that I would really like to work on is the underrepresentation of women in Physics, particularly in research. There is absolutely no evidence that there is a gender superiority in science, although many people believe in it. There are many cultural differences or cultural pressures which results in some stereotypes that a certain group is good or bad and most people fail to include these factors before stereotyping. I believe that no one should believe in these prejudices and feel that they are at a disadvantage. I want to work towards increasing the confidence and self-belief in women that they are as good as anyone else. If because of any circumstances, they feel that they are at disadvantage, I want them to come forward to talk about it, so that I can help. I believe that science is above all biases and prejudices and I intend to serve as a mentor and advisor to students from underrepresented groups to inspire them to believe in science.