Plantae Presents: How to Build a Diverse and Inclusive Academic Space

Plantae Presents: How to Build a Diverse and Inclusive Academic Space

Featuring Renetta Garrison Tull and Gurleen Kaur

When: Thursday, February 23, 2023, at
09:00 AM PST | 12:00 PM EST | 5:00 PM GMT |
1:00 AM Beijing

About this Webinar

This one-hour Q&A webinar is designed to provide a systematic view of what the process of building a diverse and inclusive space entails and how individuals can contribute to building and supporting diverse and inclusive academic spaces. The challenges, policies, and roles of individuals in creating such spaces will also be discussed.

This webinar is hosted by the 2023 Plantae Fellows.



Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at the University of California, Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Before joining UC Davis in 2019, Dr. Tull was Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Professor of the Practice in UMBC’s College of Engineering and IT (COEIT). Dr. Tull is the Founding Director and Co-PI for the 12-institution National Science Foundation University System of Maryland’s (USM) PROMISE AGEP, and Co-Director/Co-PI for the NSF USM’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP).

An international speaker on global diversity in STEM, Dr. Tull has led discussions around the world on topics such as “Inclusive Engagement – Engineering for All,” “Cultivating Inclusive Excellence within Science, Engineering, and Technology,” work/life balance, family, and prevention of domestic and work-place abuse. Her recognitions include: 2015 O’Reilly Media “Women in Data” cover, 2015 Global Engineering Deans Council/Airbus Diversity Award Finalist, and the 2016 ABET Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity.

Dr. Tull has more than 50 publications, has given more than 200 presentations on various STEM topics, and is a Tau Beta Pi “Eminent Engineer.” She also engages the public on topics related to STEM and society, and was a speaker for “Diversity, STEAM, and Comics,” where “A” adds the “arts” to STEM, at Awesome Con in March 2018. She is a passionate advocate, global mentor, education policy strategist and champion for equity in STEM. Twitter: @renetta_tull


Gurleen Kaur

Gurleen Kaur completed a PhD in December 2022 at the University of Florida. Dr Kaur worked on understanding and improving tomato flavor using integrated omics and breeding techniques. She received her master’s degree from New Mexico State University, working on the high oleic trait in a peanut breeding program. Dr Kaur has been the chair of the National Association of Plant Breeders’ George Washington Carver program since August 2021. She leads a group of graduate students, post-docs, and researchers from academia and industry to support students from diverse groups in their plant breeding careers. She has served as an Early Career Representative of ASPB’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee since October 2022. As a first-generation graduate from a rural farm family in Punjab, India, Dr. Kaur believes building a diverse and inclusive academic space is of utmost importance. Twitter: @gurleenkaur_uf 






Alice Pierce

Alice Pierce is a plant biology PhD student at the University of California, Davis. She studies the relationship between intron-exon gene architecture and chromatin biology in the laboratory of Dr. Grey Monroe. She received her BS from UC Davis in plant biotechnology, where she was part of Dr. Alan Rose’s lab researching the effects of Intron-Mediated Enhancement on gene expression in plants. In addition to being a Plantae Fellow, Alice plays an active role in making science more equitable and inclusive by participating in monthly K-16 outreach to encourage students to remain scientifically curious. Twitter: @alicevpierce






Abdulkabir Omeiza Abdulmalik

Abdulkabir Omeiza Abdulmalik is a graduate student at CEPLAS Graduate School in Germany. Abdulkabir is interested in molecular plant-pathogen interactions and population genetics. He received his BSc in plant biology from Nigeria. During that time, he engaged several student communities within and outside the university walls on the importance of cross-cultural understanding, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the pursuit of research and academic excellence. Abdulkabir has a passion for science writing and food security advocacy campaigns. In his free time, he enjoys writing, discussing science, playing soccer, and enjoying nature views. Twitter: @Omeiza_PlantDoc






Eva María Gómez Álvarez

Eva María Gómez Álvarez is a PhD student in agrobiodiversity working in Italy. She is a Spanish, 26-year-old, feminist woman. At work, she studies cereal genetics and microbiome, and during her free time, she likes to play the flute, run, and read feminist books. Twitter: @eva_ga96