DiversiTea is here to provide opportunities for targeted departmental discussions as part of our IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity Alliance) Team project. The DiversiTea events begin with a short video or podcast that people watch together and are followed by small breakout discussions of central themes or questions. The events finish by sharing insights from these breakouts in a large group discussion.

Spring Term 2021

DiversiTea break

Hi, All! DiversiTea would love for you to stop by the Anderson amphitheater on Wednesday, May 19th from 4-5 pm for cookies and some time to relax!  Bring your own tea/water/beverage, grab some cookies, and take a stress break!

Winter Term 2021

DiversiTea presents: Aspergers and Bullying in the Workplace

A conversation on bullying and high-functioning autism (Asperger’s) in the workplace. Join us during Common Time (12:25-1:25pm) on 6th Tuesday, February 9, 2021 for a video showing and discussion over Zoom. We will connect the issues discussed in the video with our efforts to make our physics spaces here at Carleton more welcoming. 

View a video presentation

Neurodiversity Definitions

Autism Spectrum Disorder: a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. 

High-functioning autism: an informal term some people use when they talk about people with an autism spectrum disorder who can speak, read, write, and handle basic life skills like eating and getting dressed. 

Aspergers: A diagnosis that as of 2013 has been incorporated into Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Neurodiversity: the variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions. 

Neurotypical: not displaying or characterized by autistic or other neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behavior

Discussion Questions

In your group, reflect on “Aspergers and Bullying in the Workplace”. Share your thoughts and/or consider some of the prompts below (30 minutes). Consider ideas you might wish to share with the larger group, particularly actionable steps towards strengthening positive social networks within our department.

Bullying Behavior: The presenter describes multiple ways that adults bully each other, including social isolation, withholding information, manipulation of reputation, passive aggressive criticism, or eroding self-esteem. What behaviors have you heard, observed, or experienced in phy

Grey Areas: What makes the difference between the bullying and non-bullying situations that the presenter described? What could turn a non-bullying situation into a bullying situation, even between friends?

Intervention Strategies: How can you as an individual intervene to stop bullying when you see it? Does it matter if the person being bullied asks for your help? Does the current virtual environment change your approach? Are there strategies that the bullied person can employ if there is no one else around to intervene?

Prevention Strategies: The presenter suggests that the best method to combat bullying is building social networks. How can we strengthen positive social networks within our department, particularly considering that many facets of identity can isolate people in different ways? Conversely, what kinds of spaces contribute to people feeling like they can get away with bullying, and how can we reduce those factors? 

Effective Reporting: The video discusses ineffective solutions to bullying, one of which is going up the chain of command. Is this an inherent fault to this type of solution? What changes would make reporting lead to more satisfying resolutions? 

Stereotyping: Whether someone is neurotypical or neurodiverse, do any of the three reasons the presenter shared about why certain people are bullied (they stand out from a crowd, a more socially isolated, and typically have low self esteem) resonate with you when you think about stereotypes of physicists? Defining Neurodiversity: “Autistic”, “Aspie” and “neurodiverse” are examples of labels that can be both empowering and potentially derogatory when used in different contexts. Consider some of those contexts – how might a label (of any sort) include or isolate someone in a community? 

DiversiTea & PUGs presents: Picture A Scientist 

Monday, January 25th 4:00-5:45pm on Zoom

This PHAS event is co-sponsored by Physicists from Underrepresented Genders (PUGs) and DiversiTea, a sub-team of the PHAS Inclusion Diversity Equity Alliance (IDEA) Team.

Movie Description: Picture a Scientist shows many of the challenges that women in STEM fields have experienced by following the journey’s of three women: biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring. Additionally comments from social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. 

The ability to view this movie was co-sponsored by the STEM Board and the International Film Forum.  It is available for viewing at Carleton with access through Gould Library.

Pre-Viewing Questions

Before viewing Picture a Scientist, please take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:

  • How do you picture a typical scientist? How do you picture someone who does science at Carleton? In what ways is the person you picture in each of these places similar to you and in what ways are they different from you?
  • What issues do you expect to see in a film about women and diversity in STEM?
  • Why are you watching the film? What are your goals?
  • Do you have any current events in mind when going in to watch this film?
  • Why is diversity in STEM important to you?

Participants were encouraged to participate in the post-film discussion open to students, staff and faculty on Thursday, January 28th during common time (12:25-1:25 pm). 

Fall Term 2020

Chandralekha Singh

DiversiTea presents: An Interview with Dr. Chandralekha Singh Professor of Physics, University of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 4:00-5:00pm

Film viewing and small group discussion on Zoom

On Being “One of a Kind” in Physics, and How People Learn Physics

View a Video Presentation

Discussion Questions

In your group, reflect on Dr. Singh’s interview. You may share your thoughts and/or consider some of the prompts below (20 minutes). 

  • Perceived Leadership: Discuss Dr. Singh’s anecdote about being a science fair judge. What is the difference between being in a position of authority vs. actually having authority? How does race, gender, ethnicity etc play into this?  If you were present in that encounter, how could you have stood up and addressed the situation?
  • Privileged Accents: What do you think about the idea of privileged accents? What does it mean for an accent to be privileged? What does this idea mean to you personally in your daily interactions on campus, in your classes? Can you think of accents within the US or outside the US that are privileged and others that are not?
  • Role Models: Dr. Singh talks about how physics has a scarcity of historical figures to serve as role models who aren’t white men. How can we address this issue and potentially change how the history of physics is presented to encourage diversity in the field?
  • Societal Impacts: What is the relationship between fostering diversity in physics and considering the societal impacts of physics research? Why is it not enough to simply do physics for physics’ sake, and how does this play into the issue of minority participation in physics?
  • Perceived vs Personal Identity: Dr. Singh observed that gender plays the greatest role in other people’s expectations for her as a physicist. What aspects of your identity make you feel like one of a kind? How do our expectations of others impact how we include or exclude individuals based on their perceived identity markers? How can we be intentionally more inclusive? 
  • Relieving Burdens: What costs might be associated with “being oneself” as a minority in a group? What methods can a group employ to reduce stereotype threat and recognise and ease the cognitive burden individuals may face due to their identities?