Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Human Physiology

The faculty in our department are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our department aims to increase the diversity and representation of both our faculty and our student body. 

We aim to incorporate diverse topics and perspectives into our courses and curriculum, and to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment to students of all backgrounds and identities. We commit to cultural and identity respect and awareness. Our work in these areas is ongoing and we will continue the process of learning and improvement in our efforts.

  • Total student enrollment is 230 undergraduate HPHY majors
  • 70% Female, 30% Male students
  • Race and Ethnicity: 34% of our students identify as other than white

The Human Physiology department has collectively highlighted the various Heritage Months throughout the academic year. Heritage Months are periods within the year that are designated to celebrate and acknowledge various ethnic and marginalized groups. These are times not only to celebrate, but also to educate others on various groups' histories and contributions. For each heritage month, HPHY celebrates with a display highlighting scientists and scientific achievements from each designated group. Click on the links below to see examples of featured months.


DEI Integration in HPHY 205 Experimental Design & Statistics: In HPHY 205, the instructors have worked to include topics relating to DEI as part of the course instruction and materials.

  • In one section, taught by Dr. Ryan McCulloch, students read current scientific literature about social determinants of health as a way of illustrating class concepts, exploring disparities in health related areas, and becoming familiar with understanding scientific literature. Some of the topics included: effectiveness of LGBTQ health topic education in medical schools, care inequities by race for prostate cancer,  socioeconomic disparities in Parkinsonism, and others. Activities included reading and understanding current scientific findings, tying their understanding to detailed statistical and experimental design concepts, and being able to explain complex findings.  Students worked in small groups and gained the benefit of learning from others in the class, and then those discussions were used to inform whole class discussions. The feedback (via administered survey) was overwhelmingly positive, with students expressing that not only did this raise their awareness of some of the determinants of health issues, but that it also enhanced their understanding of other course content.
  • In another section of the course taught by Dr. Janet Lea, students read research papers about diversity in education system, disparities in health-related areas, and articles about social stereotypes, discrimination, and the unconscious discriminative situations that our human society is facing in the big data era. Topics included in the section: race, poverty and its impact on SAT score, climate change in different areas in United States, health insurance and social economic status, health disparity and ambulance waiting time in United States, micro-aggression, and social stereotypes. Activities: Students read papers related to the area, and analyzed the simulated dataset based on publications related to the previously mentioned topics. Students reported and discussed their results based on results from the simulated dataset. Based on feedback from administered survey, students had very positive feedback on the topics and activities. Hands-on practice on simulated dataset was voted as #1 learning activity that students would really like to practice more. There were also several after-class discussions shared on Blackboard expressing interest in learning more on different topics.

In January 2023, the entire department completed the Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE) certification through the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center.  Department members participated in 3.5 hrs of training over two sessions to gain better understanding of best practices in how to be allies to those in the LGBTQ+ community.  We hope this will help us to better support both colleagues and students moving forward.


Gonzaga's Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center Website: https://www.gonzaga.edu/student-life/student-services/lgbtq-resources


Gonzaga University is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and improving the satisfaction of new hires with the hiring process. In support of these goals, we have partnered with WISELI (the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute) to train a group of Gonzaga faculty on evidence-based, inclusive recruiting practices. Dr. Jacqui Crissey, in our department, is among the first faculty leader cohort to develop and implement a search committee training program for those who chair and serve on faculty search committees tailored to Gonzaga’s campus.

  • Productive Discomfort - Faculty affinity group focusing on inclusive teaching; to expand and deepen culturally responsive instruction; providing best practices in facilitating difficult classroom discussions.
  • IMPACT - Intercultural and Multicultural Professionals Advancing Change Together is an affinity group of faculty and staff of color and their allies at Gonzaga University. The purpose of IMPACT is to support members and initiatives that create dialogue, raise awareness, and educate the campus and community on the richness of human differences that exist on campus, regionally and globally.
  • The Gonzaga University Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - The advisory body to the GU President, Provost, and Chief Diversity Officer, and aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan, pursues its mission by collaborating with Gonzaga employees and students working to advance diversity and inclusion, equity, and cultural fluency; GUCDEI includes staff, faculty and students.
  • Colleagues of Color - A cultural affinity group. Office of DEI and various partners on campus focusing on BIPOC faculty and staff across campus.