Business & Society

Celebrating Pride: Recruiting 'Guardians' for Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in STEM

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

Michelle Baker is the interim dean of USU's College of Science.

To celebrate Pride Month in June, a Utah State Today series is highlighting university employees and students who are conducting research, academic pursuits and other projects related to or that benefit the LGBTQIA+ community.

Michelle Baker

Interim Dean, College of Science; Professor, Department of Biology and USU Ecology Center

Area of Work

To address the need for greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the College of Science and Utah State, Baker led the effort to establish the college’s JEDI-STEM (Justice, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM) Collaboratory.

Summary of Collaboratory

Undaunted by challenging pandemic circumstances, Baker enlisted support from department heads and the Provost’s Office to initiate the “collaborative laboratory” by securing a cluster-hire of five tenure-track faculty positions. These positions will be filled with individuals committed to work together to advocate for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion across disciplines.

Why is this work important?

“Building a diverse and inclusive campus community of students begins, in part, with recruiting faculty members who embody justice, equity, diversity and inclusivity,” Baker says. “With this initiative, we’re building an innovative framework and taking active steps to enhance our Aggie culture.”


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


Michelle Baker
Interim Dean
College of Science

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