Full disclosure: I had shoulder surgery last week, so this post is likely to be a little disjointed (pardon the pun).
I’m really proud to work at an institution that recognizes the value of attracting diverse students to higher education. NRES has a fellowship to support underrepresented students and there are many university-wide initiatives available to highly qualified students. It sounds cheesy, but there is real value in diversity. Ideological diversity is the key to creativity and novel problem identification and solving. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I am keenly aware of the ability of a new perspective to disrupt assumptions. Gender, race, class, geography, sexuality, and countless other differences shape our perspective on the world. Encountering and engaging across and life experiences allows the opportunity for greater synthesis and appreciation for the nuances of living on earth. In the highly political climate we’re living in, it is easy to shut off and shut down ideas that are different. But isn’t science all about testing assumptions? I think so. And I think that is my liberal education talking. (And by liberal, I mean – open to alternative viewpoints, not necessarily .)