Steward Observatory Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative


Our goal is to create a more equitable department by implementing actionable changes (i.e., surveys, mentoring groups, data collection, written recommendations, etc) through five major task forces:

  1. Admissions

  2. International Scholars

  3. Department Climate

  4. Mentoring

  5. Recruiting and Retention

SODEI Main Document

SODEI Handbook

Task Force Overview


  • Evaluating current training for the admissions and hiring committees and making recommendations for future trainings.

  • Identifying and removing barriers in the application process and making recommendations at the department and university level.

  • Promoting and advocating for applicants from under-represented backgrounds.

Department Climate:

  • Promoting efforts for inclusion at Steward Observatory.

  • Building lasting structures within the department that can continuously advocate for groups within the department.

  • Supporting a safe and inclusive environment for all.

International Scholars:

  • Facilitating the transition of incoming international scholars to their new life in Tucson.

  • Provide a support network for international scholars at all stages of their trajectory.

  • Fostering intercultural dialogue and strengthening mutual understanding and respect within the Steward Observatory community.

Mentoring Practices:

  • Identifying ways to increase support and retention of URM groups once they become a part of our organization through to graduation and beyond.  Effective mentoring practices is one important/effective way to accomplish this.

  • Looking to improve mentoring for URM retention improves mentoring for all students of all identities.

Recruiting & Retention:

  • Encouraging students from under-represented backgrounds (including Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, International, LGBTQ+, and Veteran) to apply to the Astronomy Department and other STEM departments at UArizona.

  • Supporting current students at UArizona so that they can continue their STEM journey with a reduced number of obstacles.