Lab Values

The Wetzel Lab strives to be a safe space for diversity in science. We aim to foster a lab culture that is inclusive and values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We strive for each member of our lab to feel supported as their authentic and whole self, and we aim to spread this value to our broader scientific community. We do this for basic human decency, and secondarily because diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to our ability to use science to generate knowledge that makes the world a better place.

We are united in our support of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement of the MSU Department of Entomology:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are important, interdependent components of everyday life in the Department of Entomology and are critical to our pursuit of academic excellence. To that end, the Department maintains a standing committee devoted to DEI with members who represent the perspectives of regular faculty, fixed-term faculty, academic specialists, staff, research associates, and students.

For the Department of Entomology, Diversity includes characteristics of race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, migratory status, disability/abilities, political affiliation, veteran status, family status and socioeconomic background. It also includes differences in lived experience, ideas, thoughts, values and beliefs. Embracing differences make us better learners, teachers, leaders, scholars, researchers, extension educators, employees and students. This is operationalized by embedding equity in all of our structures and practices.

Equity requires providing justice, fairness and access to opportunities and resources for all members of the department. In creating and sustaining a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, we are nurturing a success-oriented, cooperative and caring department where we attract and retain people and partners who feel comfortable contributing their unique wisdom, perspectives and experiences.

To be Inclusive is to respect everyone, value differences, acknowledge the impact of differences and to capitalize on those differences by drawing on the intellectual strength that produces innovative solutions from the synergy of our people. Our aim is to foster a culture where every member of the Department of Entomology feels valued, supported and inspired to achieve individual and common goals.

Foundational Principles

  • In keeping with the responsible pursuit of our land grant mission, we acknowledge that our work takes place on Indigenous lands and in Indigenous spaces. Within the Great Lakes region, the Department of Entomology resides on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg—Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi people. The Department of Entomology is committed to affirming Indigenous sovereignty, histories, perspectives, experiences and knowledge.
  • Our discipline has not been historically and is not currently representative of the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds that make up Michigan, our nation and our world.
  • The future of our discipline depends on our ability to incorporate emerging, as well as historically marginalized people and perspectives into our science, our teaching, and all of our work to meet current and future challenges.
  • As individuals, we all carry our identities into our personal and professional interactions. We encourage our community members to seek out opportunities to learn from those with perspectives different from their own.
  • All of our work relies on our individual and institutional ability to build authentic and trusting relationships and partnerships across all aspects of human differences.
  • The capacity to create inclusive environments is a professional leadership skill and we strive to provide opportunities for our professionals to develop those skills.
  • The processes the Department of Entomology utilizes to admit, grade, recruit, hire, retain, evaluate and grant continuing status and/or tenure to our faculty staff and students are opportunities to embed principles of equity in our structures.
  • The skills required to create and sustain inclusive environments and to work in diverse environments are vital to the success of our graduates in the future of entomology as a profession.
  • As a department we recognize the need for continual improvement and ongoing conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Because of that we maintain a standing departmental committee comprising members of various academic levels and backgrounds regularly meeting to discuss and develop climate and diversity issues and initiatives.
The Wetzel Lab is committed to the following community norms

To create an open and uninhibited climate of communication, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Commit ourselves to honest and civil communication across all levels of our community.
  • Respect and listen to those who raise different views.
  • Communicate and respect personal boundaries.
  • Recognize that conversations about personal conduct can be difficult and should be treated with respect and care.
  • Listen to those who raise questions or concerns about misconduct.
  • Reject retribution against anyone who brings forward misconduct issues.

To create a climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Be inclusive and reduce barriers.
  • Be accessible.
  • Value diversity.
  • Reject discrimination.
  • Accept and embrace our uniqueness.

To deal with biases, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Recognize and manage biases.
  • Respect all people.
  • Respect all cultures.

To deal with imbalances related to power differentials, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Act honestly and professionally.
  • Treat others with dignity and respect.
  • Allow others to express opinions or concerns without fear of retaliation.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of others.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Reward output based on contributions.

To deal with conflict, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Recognize that collegial conflict and knowledge conflict are separate things.
  • Recognize power differentials between ranks and positions.
  • Resolve conflict in a timely, civil and respectful manner.
  • Use formal grievance processes when needed.

To maintain high standards for knowledge production and learning, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Respect collaboration across disciplines.
  • Respect methodological and disciplinary diversity in research, teaching, outreach and Extension.
  • Respect each other’s expertise.
  • Discuss project expectations, intellectual contributions, and authorship credit early and iteratively in collaborative work.
  • Uphold ethical standards in the production of intellectual property and use of resources.

To promote high quality mentorship, the Wetzel Lab will…

  • Facilitate inclusive networking opportunities for all.
  • Be transparent about which conversations are mentor–mentee and which conversations are supervisor–supervisee.
  • Acknowledge and respect career opportunities beyond academia.

These community norms were developed with the Department of Entomology DEI Committee, on which several Wetzel Lab members serve (Dr. Wetzel was a founding member) with the goal of enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department and broader scientific community.

For further information, please see the DEI webpage of the Department of Entomology and the DEI webpage of the Department of Integrative Biology.