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December 2020 Newsletter

Hello from DEI Committee member
Kyle M. Diederichsen

I am happy to be serving on the ChemE DEI Committee as one of two postdoc representatives. Since arriving at MIT last year I have helped to restart the Postdoc Association’s (PDA) DE&I Committee, and am serving as the chair of that committee. I look forward to helping connect our department with postdocs around the Institute and advancing DE&I for postdocs in ChemE at MIT.

Within the PDA, we have been working to connect postdocs working on DE&I in different departments and working on a number of institute-wide initiatives. We run DE&I focused book and journal clubs, we are working to start a postdoc application support program similar to ChAMP (though starting MIT-wide) and working to start a pathways program where experienced postdocs could help guide new postdocs around the institute, and much more. Recently, we published a report seeking to examine the equity and inclusivity of postdoc hiring at MIT that can be found on our website here. This report represents a first effort to understand how postdocs are hired and recruited around the institute, and we hope will provide a stepping stone to future studies and improved practices. 

 If you have thoughts on DE&I for postdocs I would be happy to hear from you, and we invite all postdocs to join the PDA’s DE&I Committee.

Kyle Diederichsen


Program highlight

DICE Donation Drive

So far we've reached 66% of our goal! Faculty matching ends December 31st, so please plan accordingly. 

Diversity in ChemE (DICE) is running a department-wide donation drive for anti-racism organizations. Members of the community who are able to participate can donate to anti-racism organizations of their choice and ChemE faculty are personally pledging to match these donations! If you are able to participate in this drive and would like to have your donation matched: please donate to your desired charity, add your name to the participating student/postdoc/staff list (or “anonymous”) on the spreadsheet, and add your donation amount to the appropriate column. Donations and names are disaggregated for anonymity. You can email with questions or concerns.

We are promoting four organizations: The Massachusetts Bail FundBlack and Pink (Boston chapter donation link), Color of Change, and the Equal Justice Initiative. The MA Bail Fund, Equal Justice Initiative, and Color of Change are recognized through Community Giving at MIT and you can make a contribution through directly by payroll deduction. These are suggestions, and you are welcome to donate to any anti-racism organization of your choice.

Other news


In Case You Missed It

Two previous webinars are now available on-demand

A Conversation with Angela Davis (10/21, MIT only): A live moderated discussion and Q/A on allyship, anti-racism, and social activism

Doing Diversity: A Road Map to Change (11/5, hosted by Aero/Astro): Pamela Newkirk, Professor of Journalism at New York University and author of Diversity, Inc: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business

Human Rights Day Screening

Hosted by MIT and the MA Association of Consulting Planners

Worldwide screening of “I Am Not Your Negro” with discussion
Thursday, Dec. 10
6:30pm Gather online
7pm Film
8:30 Discussion

RSVP by Dec. 9 (movie slots are limited). For information call 617 270 3912.


The wellbeing event is over, but you can still find videos of sessions and explore new ways to take a break. Find events at

Support resources and will continue to be available indefinitely.

MIT Reboot is a time to recharge and take a break. We are inviting students, staff and faculty to find moments to refresh and enjoy one of the many events being held.

Visit the MIT ChemE DEI webpage for more information on our strategy, initiatives, and goals.

We want to hear from you

Do you have questions or comments about diversity, inclusion, and equality in the department, MIT, or in general? Let us know.

MIT Work In The News

Fast Company: The 'Coded Bias' documentary is 'An Inconvenient Truth' for Big Tech algorithms 

MIT Sloan: Former US CTO: Why inclusive work leads to better outcomes



The Institute Community and Equity Office hosts events throughout the year. Register at

How to Be a Good Ally to Under-represented Entrepreneurs
Susan Althoff, author of Launching While Female

Thursday, Dec. 10 @12:30 EST

Managing with Fairness: The Role of People Analytics
Thursday, Dec. 10 @5pm EST

ICEO Community Dialogues: Power & Privilege 2.0, Systems at Play
Susan Althoff, author of Launching While Female

Thursday, Dec. 17 @12pm noon EST


Undergrad Biopharma Program

NIIMBL eXperience

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is offering URM freshmen and sophomores real-world insight into career possibilities in the biopharma industry through direct interactions with industry professionals. Students learn about the operations of large biomanufacturers, cutting-edge technologies of small companies, training and education paths from academic institutions, and how the government plays a role in bringing life-saving treatments to patients.

June 14 - 25, 2021
Application deadline Jan. 31, 2021



Department of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
tel: 617.253.4561

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