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. Full code of conduct can be accessed here.

Mission Statement

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.

Our Values

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:

Resources for Training and Education: