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Working Groups

Community Building

Community Building Group is responsible for organizing ambassadors to the community, at WHOI, regionally, and at other oceanographic institutions.  This group works within the Institution to promote ongoing individual efforts.  This group also reaches further into the GeoSciences community, establishing relationships with other institutions and technical associations.

Contact: Catherine Walker & Mrun Pathare

Academic Recruitment

Academic Recruitment Group is responsible for enhancing the recruitment of under-represented groups to our Academic Programs (JP, postdocs, undergrad programs).  This group works with APO, PEP, and MIT to establish institutional relationships and pathways for access. Current initiatives focus on middle and high school outreach education, student and faculty recruitment strategies, and publishing the Through the Porthole newsletter which offers resources for undergraduate students considering applying to graduate school.

Contact: Julie Huber & Kama Thieler


The Messaging Group is responsible for composing, designing, and communicating our message within the WHOI community. This group is also responsible for designing and launching the life@WHOI Instagram.

Contact: Ben Weiss


Events Group is responsible for organizing the Committee participation in events we are invited to attend, events we co-sponsor or sponsor, and events we initiate.  This group also has developed and maintains the WHOI Inclusive Event Guidelines.

Contact: Stephanie Madsen & Bryan James

DEI Incubator

We will be piloting a new URGE-inspired CDEI working group, the “Incubator”. After reflecting on our goals and consulting with WHOI URGE Podleaders, while we still encourage participation in URGE, we have decided that it is beneficial for WHOI to have an effort independent of URGE to ensure institutional longevity, flexibility for specific needs, and engagement within our community.  Those conversations, and others across the WHOI community, have highlighted the need for an “Incubator” focused on flexible, rapid, and actionable projects. We define action to be any combination of new initiatives, policies, procedures, write ups, or calibrations of community needs. The incubator working group will develop community-proposed, relatively self-contained ideas by: 

  • Maintaining a list of previously proposed initiatives and soliciting new ones
  • Emphasizing short periods of high engagement to fit within variable time commitments
  • Assembling small, cross-functional, motivated teams and providing support and feedback throughout the ideation and design process
  • Amplifying your proposed solution to scale for lab, center, department, and/or institute level implementations

We hope that this structure provides a creative and supportive outlet to elevate DEI within WHOI. All are welcome, regardless of how much time you are able to commit or previous experience with DEI.

Contact: Eeshan Bhatt and Kayleah Griffen

See WHOI URGE progress here.

Room Naming

The Room Naming Working Group is charged with honoring the important contributions of people of under-represented races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and abilities at WHOI. This Working Group is composed of members of the Women’s Committee, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Workplace Climate Committee, International Committee, and Development, and will facilitate the naming of 10 conference rooms used by both academic and non-academic departments over the next 5 years.





Celebrating Humans of WHOI

By Dina Pandya | April 11, 2023

Thursday, May 11, 2023* 4:00-6:00 p.m. Fenno & Fenno Patio (rain or shine) Free pizza & beverages Join us and . . . Win prizes by participating in the dessert contest Play lawn games with friends and colleagues, Have your profile headshot picture taken (optional but encouraged) Share your story with the  #HumansofWHOI social media…

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and Women’s Equality Day

By bjames | September 6, 2022

There are two significant days celebrated in August, and both can encourage us to learn more about people in our communities and consider a viewpoint that is different from our own.   August 9 is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. To celebrate, you can educate yourself by listening to podcasts or radio programs…

Together for Mental Health

By bjames | May 6, 2022

National Mental Awareness Month is a time to acknowledge that mental health is as important as physical health, and that we should focus on it without fear or shame. One in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year, and so it is crucial to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for…

Jewish-American Heritage Month

By bjames | May 6, 2022

During May, we celebrate the contributions of the approximately 7 million Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture, and society. You can explore historic photographs, videos, and archival collections and exhibits at the Jewish Heritage Month website. This website is a joint collaboration between The Library of Congress, National Archives and…

April is Tartan Month, celebrating Scottish-American Heritage

By bjames | April 19, 2022

About 25 million Americans claim Scottish descent.  In North America, Tartan Day is celebrated on April 6, in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath on April 6, 1320. This document asserted the independence of the Scottish kingdom. Scottish barons wrote the declaration to the Roman Catholic pope, asking him to recognise Scotland’s…

Arab-American Heritage Month

By bjames | April 19, 2022

April is Arab-American Heritage month, where we celebrate the Middle Eastern and North African heritage of nearly 3.7 million Americans. This designation was made in 2017 and President Biden officially recognized April as Arab-American Heritage month in 2021.   Today, Arabs primarily inhabit the 22 member states of the Arab League. The Arab world stretches…

April 29 Rice Potluck Party!

By bjames | April 12, 2022

Let’s socialize over a delicious meal while taking pride and sharing in the many cultures at WHOI! Please complete this form if you would like to contribute with a dish or with ideas for the event.

Greek American Heritage

By bjames | March 16, 2022

March is Greek-American Heritage month, also known as Hellenic Heritage month. The celebration of Greek-American history coincides with Greece’s National Greek Independence Day on March 25th. Mass Greek migration to the United States began in the late 1800s and now, over 2.5 million Americans are of Greek descent. To learn more about Greek-American history and…

Irish American Heritage

By bjames | March 16, 2022

March is Irish-American Heritage Month, and while many will think first of St. Patrick’s Day and green beer, there is a great deal more to Irish culture than that! Ireland has a rich literary history, and is especially known for folk tales and fairy tales. Heroes like Finn McCool, tragic tales like the Children of…

Footprints Café

By bjames | March 1, 2022

If you are looking for another local bookstore that is not of the big-box variety, check out the Footprints Café! Located just over the bridge in Buzzard’s Bay, Footprints Café is a Black-owned, woman-owned bookstore that focuses on people and authors of color. A coffee shop is due to open soon, too! You can find…