CMB Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct was created by CMB students, staff and faculty in 2022 in consultation with Naomi Nishi (Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, CVMBS), with the goal of clearly defining our culture and values for our current and prospective members. We expect that every CMB student, faculty and staff member will support and abide by this Code, which will be reviewed each summer by the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Outreach (DEI-O) Committee and updated as necessary. Please contact the faculty advisor to the CMB DEI-O Committee (Erin Nishimura) with suggestions, questions or concerns. The Code of Conduct was last reviewed in Fall 2022.
We are a community of graduate students, faculty and staff with diverse experiences and interests. We share a common goal of preparing the next generation of scientific leaders and researchers to make significant contributions in the field of Cell & Molecular Biology. We accomplish this by promoting a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, and an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative culture.
Diversity: Our strength lies in the diversity of our scientific expertise and interests, and in our varied life experiences outside of the academic environment. We value the voices of all members of our community regardless of physical ability, learning style, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, nationality, age, rank, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status or other identity. We understand that historically, many have been excluded and their voices devalued, and we commit to actively combatting that marginalization. We do this by continuously working to identify and counteract bias and systems of privilege and power that some of us benefit from. We recognize this is work we do within ourselves and in our community.
Innovation: Our graduates are prepared to meet the constantly growing and changing demands of industry, government, and academia. We are committed to providing state-of-the-art training in computational and bench research methods as well as supporting the development of interpersonal and professional skills such as communication, leadership, and management.
Supportive Environment: Our students rely on a network of informed and engaged mentors to thrive in graduate school and beyond. We encourage excellence in mentoring by supporting our CMB Peer Mentor Club, encouraging mentor training for faculty and students, recognizing, and rewarding exceptional mentoring, and providing opportunities for networking with alumni and other professionals.
We accept and welcome diverse people and perspectives. Although our graduates all leave with the same degree, they enter our program with very different backgrounds and experiences. Any gaps will be addressed through our coursework and training at the bench, but at the same time we ask those with experience —whether technical, intellectual, professional, or personal— to share it through seminars, mentoring, and/or teaching. Our goal is to help all our students identify their needs, recognize their strengths and achieve success.
Communication: Constructive criticism is a key component of teaching, learning and research, and can be challenging to give and receive. We expect that our members be thoughtful of the language and tone used when communicating opinions, advice and information in seminars, committee meetings and classrooms, and that those receiving constructive criticism assume the sharer is well-intended. We encourage those in our community to adopt the following guidelines when working with others:
- I will use “I” statements.
- I will listen when people are talking.
- I will allow people time to process.
- I will critique ideas, not people.
- I will ask for help.
- I will not ask someone to represent a group.
- I will treat my colleagues with respect.
Collaboration: The big questions we face in our research necessitate collaboration, so we invest in building collaborative skills and connections for our entire community to promote innovation and excellence in research, teaching and learning. We foster collaboration and interaction among seventeen departments and six colleges at Colorado State University by sharing our seminars, annual symposium, weekly email updates, social events and celebrations.
Career Preparation: Our trainees seek careers ranging from biotech to academia, from sales to technical support, and beyond. We prioritize professional development through student-organized workshops and seminars related to careers and soft skills. We facilitate and encourage career exploration through internships and connections with our extensive alumni network.
Rigorous and Ethical Research: Our graduates think creatively to recognize and solve complex problems through the development and testing of hypotheses. They communicate to broad and specialized audiences, support and train others, and challenge the status quo. Excellence in these endeavors requires honesty, integrity, transparency, and collaboration; values that are woven into our curriculum, and integral to all aspects of the graduate experience. All members of CMB are therefore expected to regularly engage in formal training and informal discussions surrounding responsible conduct of research.
Esprit de Corps: We are cognizant of the fact that our success as members of CMB impacts the perception of the program at CSU and beyond. We are proud to be part of this community and claim our affiliation in our publications, fellowship and grant applications and presentations. In return, we can expect that CMB will celebrate, support and advertise our achievements and activities.
Appreciation: The members of our community have commitments to their families, home departments, and research programs that demand their time and effort. Therefore, when our members freely share their time and expertise for committee meetings, seminars, and CMB-sponsored activities we respond by showing up, being engaged and voicing our gratitude.
Intervention: All members of our community are charged with creating and supporting a welcoming and inclusive environment for learning, teaching and research. This means intervening when we observe unwanted behaviors or language that may intentionally or unintentionally discriminate or invade personal boundaries. We applaud those who use their privilege to protect and support those with less power and encourage our members to speak up at the time. However, if intervention is not feasible or safe, the CMB program and CSU provide resources for reporting and resolution of concerns as described below.
Resources for Reporting Bias and Resolving Conflict:
- The Graduate School – Interim Dean Sonia Kreidenweis and Associate Dean Colleen Webb serve as advocates for graduate students and their faculty advisors. The CMB Director reports to the Dean of the Graduate School. All CMB members, including staff, may contact the Graduate School for advice or to express concerns about the CMB program.
- CMB Leadership – The CMB Director (Carol Wilusz), Associate Director (Jessica Metcalf), Chair of Admissions (Lucas Argueso) are all available to provide confidential guidance to CMB students and their faculty advisors.
- CMB Student Association (CMBSA) – The President of the CMB Student Association (Valerie Seitz), the Peer Mentor Club leaders (Seré Williams, Joey Stewart) and the DEI-O Student Chair (Kayl Ecton) and DEI-O Faculty Chair (Erin Nishimura) are appropriate avenues for students to express concerns and ask for advice. Concerns may be conveyed to faculty and administrative leadership anonymously through this route.
- CMB Members are encouraged to contact the CVMBS Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Naomi Nishi, with any questions or concerns around Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
- There are numerous resources at CSU for reporting and resolving conflicts and incidents in the workplace including the Office of Equal Opportunity, the Bias Reporting System, Student Resolution Center, Title IX and Gender Equity Office, Women and Gender Advocacy Center, and the Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office.
- All should be aware that a faculty or staff member serving as an academic or activity advisor has the responsibility to report to the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity any incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and/or retaliation of which they become aware, even if the person reporting requests confidentiality.
Resources for Training and Education:
- Mark Zabel and Carol Wilusz worked with the ADVANCE-Geo team to develop Code of Conduct and Bystander Intervention training for the CSU Life Science Community. These trainings are available for your lab or department upon request.
- CMB Members are encouraged to contact the CVMBS Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Naomi Nishi, for training in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
- The Research Integrity & Compliance Review Office offers Responsible Conduct of Research Training online or through various courses including NSCI575 and GRAD544. Contact Kim Cox-York.
- CSU Talent Development offers training in Inclusive Excellence (two parts), Crucial Conversations, Effective Communication and other skills for supervisors. The Supervisor Development Program is open to graduate students, staff and faculty.
- The Office of Inclusive Excellence offers DEI related training for Graduate Students and Employees
- The Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence is a year-long program for Faculty members that focuses on inclusive pedagogy, curriculum, and creating community in the classroom.
- CSU Principles of Community
- The Pride Resource Center offers Safe Zone Training for faculty, staff and students in support of LGBTQ Communities at CSU.
- CSU has many organizations to support and celebrate diverse identities including El Centro, Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center, Black/African American Cultural Center, Native American Cultural Center, Pride Resource Center, Student Disability Center, Women and Gender Advocacy Center
- Hollaback!‘s online training platform prepares participants to be effective bystanders to public harassment incidents based on the “5 Ds”.
- Project Implicit offers a series of online implicit association tests to help you identify areas you need to work on.
- The National Research Mentoring Network Unconscious Bias Course will help you address your personal unconscious bias, teach you about microaggressions, provide a solutions toolkit, develop your self-awareness, and discuss bias and disparities in medicine and health care. A certificate is awarded upon completion of these modules.
- The Stanford Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab has a variety of SeeBias|BlockBias resources and tools.