Mission statement

The Department of Botany and Plant Pathology promotes Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. We will advance diversity and inclusiveness in all facets of the department so that every department member feels valued, respected, and confident in their pursuits. We view diversity in thought, background, and experience as core elements of our department. The DEIB committee leads efforts to educate and engage our community by demonstrating the value that emerges from diversity in culture, race, religion, age, sex/gender, sexual orientation and disability. The department adopts proactive measures and inclusive policies to meet all of our mission goals and fuel growth of the Botany and Plant Pathology community.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Resource links

Conflict Resolution

Self Care


Research Integrity


Our Committee

Dan Szymanski (Chair)

Josephine Brigham
Sandra Gomez Gutierrez
Leandro Silva

Gyeong Mee Yoon
Lei Zhang





Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is the process of ending a dispute and reaching an agreement that satisfies all parties involved. Since conflict is an essential part of being human, effective conflict resolution is not designed to avoid disagreements. Instead, conflict resolution skills are used to facilitate discussions, increase understanding and control emotional responses (North Central College, 2019). Conflict resolution is a vital step to foster a diverse and inclusive team. Diversity and inclusion are ethical and social goals. However, they also come with challenges, such as misunderstandings, biases, and disagreements. Managing conflicts arising from diversity and inclusion policies at the workplace is critical to creating a positive work environment that values and respects the differences among employees (Babatunde et al., 2023).  

Explain the four step process of conflict resolution: 1) Understand the issue, 2) Know your objectives, 3) Discuss alternatives, 4) Agree on action. Also, explain other approaches such as Thomas-Kilmann (TKI) Conflict Model, Dual Concern Model of conflict resolution, etc. 

Conflict can emerge due to various factors, including disparities in personalities, communication approaches, cultural upbringings, values, anticipations, and objectives. While certain conflicts serve as constructive catalysts for creativity, innovation, and personal growth, others can be detrimental, fostering animosity, antagonism, and skepticism. Successfully navigating conflicts requires a thorough comprehension of their origins and consequences, coupled with an avoidance of assumptions or biases stemming from stereotypes or prejudices. Provide examples, descriptions of situations that can lead to conflict at the workplace. For example: Poor Communication, Different Values, Different interests, Scarce Resources, Personality differences, Disagreements, etc. 

Self Care

Encountering and dealing with discrimination can have negative effect on one’s mental and physical health. Below are common effects of discrimination.

  • Feeling a sense of being a community “outsider”
  • Perception of self as “less than”
  • Pressure to represent one’s community or to defy stereotypes.
  • Experience of anxiety, depression, anger, and a sense of helplessness. 
  • Physical symptoms, including decreased sleep quality/fatigue and change of appetite.
  • Often feeling left out or out of place in social settings.
  • Often feeling confused about whether what you experienced was discrimination.

A healthy mental state positively affects your personal growth and success. Outside conflicts such as discrimination or experiencing harassment can negatively affect your personal growth and success. Finding ways to cope and improve your mental state is important when working towards a positive lifestyle.

Below are some ideas of what you can do to cope with distress brought about by discrimination.

  • Inform your support system & ask for additional support
  • Work to embrace your strengths and identity
  • Decide what response is right for you
  • Speak up when you are ready
  • Take time to learn about yourself and your needs
  • Be sure you are meeting your physical needs (eating/hydrating/exercise/sleep)
  • Continue doing things that you enjoy 
  • Take “brain breaks” to give yourself permission to think about other things
  • Recognize and admit when you need more coping assistance

Your mental health is a major factor that affects your overall wellbeing. Taking care of your wellbeing is the first step in fighting against outside conflicts. Find ways that worked for you to take care of your mental and physical health. 

The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) encourages those experiencing distressing symptoms like the ones below to seek professional help as soon as possible.

  • Sleep disruption (not enough/too much)
  • Changes in appetite/weight
  • Difficulty completing basic daily tasks
  • Feeling Helpless or nothing can go right
  • Inability to concentrate
  • New loss of interest in activities you once found rewarding
  • Uncontrollable feelings of irritability, frustration, or restlessness
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harm to others

You can learn more about getting help on Purdue’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website or the NIMH website. You can also learn about finding support  and locating mental health services  in your area on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.


Harassment refers to any behavior, communication, or content that is intended to or has the effect of intimidating, threatening, or causing distress to individuals or groups. This includes but is not limited to verbal abuse, derogatory comments, unwanted advances, or any other form of unwelcome or offensive behavior.

Purdue University works to create a campus environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. Purdue has a dedicated Title IX Office that handles complaints related to sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender-based discrimination. This provides resources and support to individuals who have experienced harassment and ensures that complaints are promptly and thoroughly investigated.

Identifying whether you are experiencing harassment can sometimes be challenging, especially if the behavior is subtle or if you're unsure whether it crosses a line. Here are some signs that may indicate you are experiencing harassment (but are not limited to):

  • Repeated Unwanted Behavior: If someone is repeatedly engaging in behavior toward you that you find unwelcome.
  • Feeling Uncomfortable or Unsafe: If interactions with a person or group consistently leave you feeling uncomfortable, unsafe, or anxious.
  • Targeted Behavior: If you feel singled out or targeted because of who you are.
  • Power Dynamics: If someone is using their position of power to intimidate, coerce, or belittle you.
  • Persistent Contact: Harassment can involve persistent attempts to contact you, despite your expressed desire for them to stop.
  • Threats or Intimidation: If someone is making threats, using intimidation tactics, or engaging in behavior that makes you fear for your safety or well-being.
  • Impact on Daily Life: If the behavior is impacting your ability to function in your daily life, such as causing emotional distress, affecting your work or relationships, or leading to physical symptoms like stress or anxiety, it's important to take it seriously.

Dealing with harassment can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to address the situation and protect yourself. Here are some strategies for dealing with harassment:

Remember that you are not alone, and there are people and resources available to help you navigate this challenging situation. Don't hesitate to reach out for support and take action to protect yourself from further harm.

  • Set boundaries: Communicate to the person that their actions are unwelcome , be assertive and specific about what behaviors are unacceptable.
  • Talk to someone: Reach out to friends, family members, or colleagues whom you trust and feel comfortable. This can provide emotional support and help you in the situation.
  • Report the Harassment: Depending on the context, consider reporting the harassment to XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. They can provide resources, guidance, and assistance tailored to your needs.
  • Practice Self-Care: Dealing with harassment can be emotionally taxing, so it's important to prioritize self-care. Take time to engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, and consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor if needed.

Research Integrity

Explanation of sector/category and its importance in the context of the department and DEIB Research excellence is a central mission of the department of BTNY and we strive to maintain an
environment in which all participants can thrive as they learn, make new discoveries, and publish research findings. All faculty and research scientists in the department operate in a way that ensures that every individual, regardless of their level of experience or background??, will have equal opportunities to conduct research, contribute the intellectual environment of the lab, and receive fair credit for their accomplishments. The department promotes career development in the area of scientific research, and recognizes the synergistic value of diverse scientific skill sets and perspectives in the research enterprise. The importance research excellence in BTNY extends across national boundaries. The entire scientific community and the
continued trust from the general public relies on the accuracy and completeness of published research. Each faculty member is committed to maintain an environment in which the necessary training and mentoring is provided to promote career development. The purpose of this web resource to provide links to resources that can assist with success and support researchers if there are instance in which an individual experiences or observes instances of research misconduct.


ensuring that the research is certified. Below are resources to help you ensure that
you have conducted the required training: CITI training courses, lab safety? Others?

Learning materials in the space of Research integrity, ORI Introduction to the Responsible
Conduct of Research, Nicholas H. Steneck

Online training for Purdue Researchers
CITI online course in Responsible Conduct of Research: The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative
provides online training related to research ethics.
Courses in research ethics:
GRAD 61200 - Responsible Conduct Of Research. 1 credit. Overview of values, professional standards,
and regulations that define responsible conduct in research. Students learn the values and standards of
responsible research through readings and lecture/discussion and practice application of these values
and standards to research situations through class discussion of case studies from life sciences research.
Students must be registered for M.S. or Ph.D. thesis research in their home department. Typically offered
Fall Spring.
Research misconduct:
Avoiding plagiarism:
Purdue polices

As the types and amount of data generated as part of the modern research enterprise the challenges for accurate recordkeeping mount. These resources provide guidance for best practices and infrastructure for scientific record keeping. Scientific communication: Scientific communication takes the forms of poster presentations, oral presentations, and written publications. Success comes from hard work and continued

Data falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism constitute research misconduct and does harm to everyone involved in the research. Definitions, resources, and advice for how to respond if you experience or suspect research misconduct are provided. Icons for each along the bottom of the page with the titles above the icon.