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Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory

Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory

FMEL - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access

IFAS-FMEL exhibit photo 1 at STEAM 2019
IFAS-FMEL exhibit photo 2 at STEAM 2019



What is IDEA?

We define Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access as:

  • Inclusion: All feel welcomed and valued
    Involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized, individuals are provided with a sense of belonging, and are treated fairly and respectfully.
  • Diversity: All the ways we differ
    Differences among people in their race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, culture, national origin, religious beliefs and identity, age, disability status, and political perspective.
  • Equity: All having the opportunity to fully participate
    A commitment to challenging and responding to bias, harassment, and discrimination against people from diverse identities and backgrounds
  • Access: Of any and all abilities
    Access refers to the commitment for everyone to be included in all programs and activities.

What FMEL IDEA Committees do?

Duties of IDEA Committee members include:

1. Promote the recruitment, retention and support of people from diverse backgrounds, including women and underrepresented minorities such as, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other POC groups, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the neurodivergent community, and persons with varying degrees of physical able-bodied status.

2. Promote access to tools, resources, and knowledge to promote the values and practices of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

3. Advise the FMEL Director on policies and procedures to enhance IDEA at FMEL

4. Devise and implement strategies for enhancing IDEA at FMEL.

5. Act as the facilitator in resolving IDEA issues.

6. Organize at least one public outreach program targeted for underrepresented minority groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics annually.

7. Other tasks as deemed relevant by Committee members, faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral associates.


IDEA member group photo

2021-2022 members: (from left to right) Lawrence Reeves, Ana Romero-Weaver, Yuexun Tian, Dongmin Kim, Natalie Kendziorski, Kristin Sloyer, Tanise Stenn, Sheila O’Connell, Eric Caragata, and Yoosook Lee (Chair).

Spring 2022 member: Xiaodi Wang, Valerie Nguyen (not shown in the picture)

Calendar of Events (FMEL calendar link) - 

Updates – meeting minutes, or announcements/notifications

Anonymous idea box ->


Resources for students:

UF Grad PD Workshop

Resources for Staff:

Online Professional and Workforce Development Considerations for Lab/Technical Personnel, TEAMS personnel, and Non-student OPS Employee Staff Members

Natalie’s testimonial for the following sources-

“As a temporary employee seeking to learn as much as possible about the research that I am involved in during my contract, I have tried out different types of additional e-learning in order to be better prepared for any task, invitation to participate, or situation that may come my way. The following is a list of sources with examples of online learning content. There are many others but for now this serves as an access to resources for individual e-learning and skills training via short courses through either UF/IFAS or connected platforms. These are available as considerations for incoming or already present FMEL staff employees who are also looking to learn new skills or acquire fundamental new knowledge to improve in their position and as workforce development practice."

1.  myTraining

a.  Employee development, lab safety, biocontainment safety procedure courses, shipping and handling of specimen courses, etcetera.

Available for registration through under myTraining and at-

2.  UF/IFAS Extension Online Learning

b.  Mosquito Training Program

c.  Tick Training Program

d.  IFAS Championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

3.  CITI Program

e.  Life science responsible conduct of research, G.L.P course, IRB, ethics, research design, writing research, and a variety of other topics through either UF subscription or individual subscription.

4.  LinkedIn Learning Platform

f.  Selection of free skills courses in numerous communications, management, and research topics. sign-on

Online Personal Development Considerations for staff health and wellness support

5.  The UF Employee Assistance Program

g.  Guidance and support from licensed counselors through Telehealth appointments

Anonymous Testimonial for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)-

“I have always suffered from anxiety, but recently it has become so bad it was starting to affect more of my life. I found a doctor who listened and gave me some resources to look into including the Employee Assistance Program she was pretty sure UF had. So, I sat down, and sure enough there it was, it was so easy to get started. I just registered answered a few questions and was sent a list of therapists that might fit what I was looking for. I picked one that looked like the best fit made my appointment by video and it was a great session she helped me understand what was happening to me when I was having anxiety and she gave me some tools to try to help and clear my thoughts. Overall this is a great program it was easy to access and there are a lot of resources to use and it is also available to your family as well.” -Anonymous User.

Resources for faculty:

Mental health resources for REC:

How to report title IX incidents:

UF Services:

Sheila is Campus Security Authority for reporting reporting any crimes including any sexual harassment to UF Police Department or UF Title IX Coordinator for FMEL members.

Yoosook is also expected to work as ‘Campus Security Authority’ and Responsible Employee’ as the TCGSO faculty advisor.

UF Mental Health facility in Vero Beach:

Federal Mental Health Hotlines:

Resources for members of the LGBT community:

Resources for People of Color:

Indian River County Wellness Programs:

Kelly’s testimonial for Talkspace

Grad school (and life) can be very, very challenging, so please take very good care of yourselves. Mental health IS health, and talking to a therapist, finding support groups, or doing whatever works to maintain your mental should not be stigmatized. I personally have battled depression, anxiety, and complex post-traumatic stress, which is why I will always be a huge advocate for mental health resources and self-care. Never be ashamed of taking care of your mental health. Shame is where troubles keep their power.

TalkSpace is free for graduate students through GatorGradCare. It allows you to text and video chat with a licensed therapist in Florida. My therapist has been with me on TalkSpace all 3 years I've been at UF. They give you a 30 session limit through GatorGradCare, which is usually determined by your therapist. There are a mix of text messages and FaceTime-type calls that your therapist will decide what 30 sessions are. However, you can re-up (or re-subscribe) as many times as you want or need! I usually just email to ask them to restart my sessions, and I have never had to go through the process of finding a new therapist once the sessions ended. I always stay with my current therapist.

Things that I would recommend: find yourself a therapist early and make sure that you get along with them. They are like any other long-term relationship, and you should feel comfortable communicating with the person you are seeing. If you don’t, don’t be bashful about finding someone else who is better fit. Also, don’t wait until you are in a crisis to find your therapist. It will be easier to open up about a crisis if you have already established trust with your counselor/therapist.

Training Available:


“Black History for White People” by #BHforWP, a multiethnic collective dedicated to loving black and brown people by educating, resourcing, and challenging white people to actively participate in racial justice (52 episodes as of Jan 2022; New episodes will be released on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.)

Further Reading:

Etc. pick from this list:

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