Diversity and Inclusion

Students in Newell Hall
Inclusive Excellence is the active process of including and respecting everyone as we strive for excellence and equitable outcomes in all we do at the University of Florida. Daily actions toward Inclusive Excellence are the responsibility of every one of us.

ABCs of fostering Inclusive Excellence at UF:

  • Advocate for everyone’s success.
  • Be an ally to others as you partner with your colleagues on DEI work.
  • Celebrate your successes!



Below you will find recommended links for information and opportunities.

Student Resources


Diversity Tips

Top Tips for Supporting Neurodiversity in the Workplace

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is the idea that having brain differences is normal, and being autistic or having other neurocognitive differences are not “abnormal,” they are just variations.
15% of people are neurologically different.
What steps can your organization take to support neurodivergent teammates?

  1. Do not make assumptions about your teammates’ abilities or needs. Every neurodivergent person is different, so do not assume that because someone says that they’re autistic or have ADHD they’re any less capable of doing their jobs.
  2. Use clear and simple language. Avoid ambiguity or excessive use of metaphors.
  3. Ask your teammate how they prefer to communicate. Adapt your communication methods accordingly.
  4. Understand that social situations can sometimes be challenging for neurodivergent team members. Keep this in mind if a teammate unknowingly says something rude or inappropriate. If such a situation arises and you need some assistance navigating it, ask your HR team for help.
  5. Some neurodivergent individuals are uncomfortable with eye contact.
    If your teammate is avoiding eye contact, follow their lead and avoid it as well.
  6. Consider introducing structure into your engagements. Neurodivergent individuals may thrive on and appreciate routines and repetition. Project management tools can be a big help for accomplishing this.

Welcoming People of foreign Backgrounds

It’s no secret that people with foreign backgrounds, more specifically foreign accents, tend to have a harder time assimilating into universities and workplaces than their American-born counterparts.

Here’s what you can do to bridge the gap within the walls of your own lab and classroom.


  • More than 1 million immigrants arrive in the United States each year with nearly half (45%) of the nation’s immigrants living in just three states: California (24%), Texas (11%), and Florida (10%)
  • Scientists are finding that the reasons for that discrimination may actually start with how are brains process foreign accents in the first place. For one thing, if you’re not used to it, it’s simply harder to understand someone who is speaking with a foreign accent.
  • “We’re less likely to believe something if it’s said in a foreign accent,” says Lev-Ari. In her view, negative judgments are the result of the additional effort that our brains must make to process foreign speech.
  • People with foreign accents find it harder to get hired and are perceived as less trustworthy, successful, and intelligent. In other words, foreign-born job candidates often fall victim to blatant xenophobia.
  • Researchers have several explanations for this.
    • First, the extra cognitive effort that it takes to understand someone with a foreign accent can trigger negative perceptions of that person.
      Second, an individual’s accent signifies their membership in an “in-group” or an “out-group.” We need to actively work towards the abolishment of this hierarchy, so to speak, and recognize that everyone within an organization is on the same team, working together to accomplish common objectives.
  • What can you do to make your workspace better for your ESL (English Second Language) students and colleagues?
    • The key is education. Make sure your team is well informed on the gravity that language discrimination can have on its recipients. Encourage other to learn about cultures other than their own.
    • We need to eliminate the false assumption that somebody having a foreign accent means that they are less intelligent or capable. A foreign accent means that they can speak at least one other language in addition to English.

Acknowledging gendered terms used when writing reviews for women

Having a Clear Understanding of What the Job Actually Requires

Besides ensuring that you won’t hire someone over or underqualified, it will highlight for your group the broadest set of must-have skills, experiences, credentials and working style that will excel in this position – allowing for a wider range of applicants to align with core requirements. It will also help prevent reviewers from shifting standards from application to application.

Giving the Reviewers Enough Time To Review Each CV

When people are rushed, they are more likely to select candidates with similar experiences and backgrounds to those who have been hired previously or to themselves. By giving people an appropriate amount of time to review and process the information thoroughly, they have more time to think through alternative backgrounds and appreciate the breadth of experiences that can successfully fulfill the opening.

Minimize quick rejects

Reviewers seek out reasons to quickly reject. We have a huge stack of applications to review, and we can only interview a tiny fraction of people, often less than 10 percent of all applicants. Once we spot a flaw in the application, it can easily feel as though we have done our job and narrowed down the pool of applicants. It is extremely tempting to quickly give a low rating and move on to the next application after finding a weakness. That has deleterious effects on minority and women applicants, who are often socialized to hedge expressions of their strengths by pointing out their own weaknesses.

Bias, Fairness, and Validity in Graduate Admissions: A Psychometric Perspective

The aim of World Religion Day, held on the third Sunday in January every year (Jan. 16 this year), is to promote inter-faith understanding and harmony. Started in 1960. Through a variety of events held around the globe, followers of every religion are encouraged to acknowledge the similarities that different faiths have.

World Religion Day also seeks to overcome historical differences between religious groups. Throughout history, many conflicts and wars have been caused by arguments over religion and beliefs. The day aims to overcome this and achieve a peaceful understanding between faiths.

Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels.

“If we go out to encounter other people, other cultures, other religions, we grow and we begin that beautiful adventure called dialogue.”

“Dialogue is what brings peace. Peace is impossible without dialogue.”

“All wars, conflicts and troubles we encounter with each other are because of a lack of dialogue,” – Pope Francis

If you happen to know the religion of a student or colleague, now is the time to write down some of their observances and celebrations so that you can wish them well on those days or at the very least be considerate of deadlines on or around those days.

In 2019, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan.) and Rep. Rashida Talib (D-Michigan), introduced a resolution to Congress to proclaim April as National Arab American Heritage Month.

Study points to strategies for closing the participation gender gap in engineering courses

For women and students from other underrepresented groups in STEM fields, decades of research have shown the importance of “feeling like they’re part of that community, that they can be part of the conversation and speak in a group setting, get clarity or answer a question with confidence

Women generally speak far less than men in undergraduate engineering classes, but this is not always the case, according to Princeton researchers. When classes are taught by women instructors, the gender gap practically disappears.

Women participated more frequently after another woman’s comment, regardless of comment type, which points to icebreaker questions as a strategy that instructors can employ to promote participation and refresh students’ attention. Conversational comments still had the effect of increasing participation by women is a really empowering result, because it means that you can solicit less intimidating forms of participation. The researchers found that after one woman participated in class, during the next minute the proportion of comments by women rose to 32.4% — an effect that decayed over time but lasted for nine minutes after the initial comment.

Take note of the participation patterns in your own classes. Even in classes with roughly half male and female students, women only spoke about 20% of the time.

Q: “What to do when you mistake the new junior faculty in the department for a student?”
A: DO NOT say “Oh I’m so sorry, you look so young I thought you were a student”.
DO say “I’m so sorry Dr. xyz, it was not my intention to be disrespectful. We are so excited to have you join our faculty.”

Q: what do you say when your Ph.D. student tells you that they are expecting a new baby?
A: Congratulations!

Faculty Resources

CS Teaching Tips

Tailor your teaching with Computer Science Teaching Tips. Click the thumbnails below to view or download a PDF.

Tips for Reducing Bias

Department Inclusivity


Help Seeking

Pair Programming




Introducing CS

CS Lab Rules




Committees on Inclusion Diversity Equity and Access (IDEA)

Kyla McMullen, Ph.D., has agreed to serve as CISE’s representative on the College’s IDEA committee.

In addition to having faculty representation on IDEA, the department also has a CISE IDEA committee, which includes faculty, staff and students.

Staff Members

CISE Marketing & Communication Specialist

Student Members



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