Nash Hall Restroom Renovations

By MK English
As faculty, staff, and students in Nash Hall know, the six bathrooms in this building alternate genders by floor. The university is currently moving forward with improvements to all the restrooms in the building.
What's happened so far: The CVC and the MB graduate student association have been working on the bathroom situation in Nash. In April, some graduate students in MB and Fish & Wildlife met with staff in Administration and in University Facilities, Infrastructure and Operations to discuss converting at least one of the building’s bathrooms to a multi-stall, gender-neutral restroom. To our surprise, the staff were insistent that at least two restrooms be improved, and expressed a strong interest in improving all of them.

Short- and long-term plans: The university intends to meet with the deans of the College of Science and College of Agricultural Science to solicit the funding necessary for this project. Beginning this summer, the university has said they will convert at least 2/6 restrooms to gender-neutral restrooms containing three stalls each. To do so, nearly full-height partitions will be placed between toilets, and lighting and ventilation features will be moved to accommodate the reduced airspace (see glamorized photo; baby blue will likely be substituted by the more popular “autoclaved biohazard waste bag orange”).
Graduate students met with a university architect at the end of April and walked through Nash to discuss which restrooms would make the most sense to improve at this time. The second and third floors were proposed because they are the most heavily trafficked due to classrooms (if you have strong feelings about this selection of floors, please let MK or Grace know; nothing has been officially decided yet). If and when there is enough funding, all six restrooms will be converted. We’re excited for upgrades that improve access and equity!

Traditional Ecological Knowledge National Virtual Summit: May 10th-12th, 2022

By Emily Schmeltzer
The Core Values Committee and Department of Microbiology pledged $500 to sponsor the Elder Stories event through OSU’s Traditional Ecological Knowledge Club (TEKC) Summit from May 10th to 12th, 2022. We highly encourage everyone in the department to register for this special event!

The event will be held entirely virtually with free registration to make it more accessible to all who wish to attend. Attached is a link to their webpage and a flier for the event below, but also quoted here from their site: "The Summit will provide an opportunity for folks around the nation (centering Indigenous attendees) to learn from Indigenous Knowledge holders, Elders, and scholars in a respectful platform. It will additionally be an opportunity to celebrate and hold space within our communities for Indigenous music, ceremony, and Indigenous epistemologies (knowledges), and ontologies (ways of being)." 2022 National Traditional Ecological Knowledge Summit

For the Elder Stories Event we have pledged to sponsor Gayle Ross, a Cherokee Elder, who will be presenting a special storytelling session. From Lara Jacobs, one of the TEKC event coordinators: "Gayle Ross is a world-renowned storyteller, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, and a direct descendant of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee during the infamous Trail of Tears. Her grandmother told stories and it is from this rich Native American heritage that Gayle's beautiful storytelling springs." Here is a link to some of her videos: Cherokee Traditional Tales with Gayle Ross — monah

Our support and attendance at the Summit is a unique opportunity for the Microbiology Department to support the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Club and Indigenous students here at OSU while actively demonstrating our commitment to facilitating dialogue and uplifting our community.




Weekly Coffee Hours

Join us weekly on Tuesdays at 2 PM for a department-wide coffee and social hour! Take a break from the lab and grab a cup of coffee with colleagues. If the weather is nice, the event is held in the courtyard; if it's rainy, Pernot library. Don't forgot to BYO mug!


Core Values DEI Lending Library

By Amy Timshel

The Core Values Committee is cultivating a DEI lending library: a collection of books that support our efforts to educate ourselves about the history of inequities in our world, improve communication across social boundaries, and build a more inclusive culture. While this is a science department, and not a department of history, feminist studies, queer studies, literature, or sociology, our offering of these books is a reminder that we are humans first, with human obligations to justice and kindness. It’s also part of a broader mission to ensure that, in the words of the World Economic Forum: “Science is everybody’s party.”
This small (for now!), eclectic collection, located in the Pernot Library in Nash 218, has come together through the generosity of personal donations. Among the history texts, it includes Dr. Angela Davis' 1980 book Women, Race and Class (covering U.S. history from the trade in enslaved persons to the modern feminist movement), Dr. Paul Ortiz's 2018 An African American and Latinx History of the United States, and The History of White People published in 2010 by Dr. Nell Irvin Painter.
The collection also offers personal narratives such as 2020's Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad, as well as We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates' 2017 memoir of the Obama administration.
There is also A Terrible Thing to Waste, Harriet Washington's 2019 treatise on environmental racism, and James Baldwin's enduring antiracist testament, The Fire Next Time.
Both fiction and nonfiction works are represented in the collection. Nonfiction reports the facts – especially important when those facts are uncomfortable and personally challenging. Fiction opens a window into the mind of another person, allowing us to see as they see and feel as they feel. It can forge an understanding with someone with an entirely different experience of life than ours.
To that end, there is the classic of American literature, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. For modern fiction, we have Brit Bennett's 2020 novel The Vanishing Half, and The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie (winner of the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for debut fiction).
This cluster of books is only the beginning of a long-term effort toward a more thorough collection. We encourage donations of books that members of our department have found meaningful. All of the books in the DEI collection can be checked out using the card in the back cover (instructions are posted on the shelf).

Masks and Covid Safety

By Dr. Hannah Rowe
The improving COVID numbers on campus and in Benton County allowed OSU to lift the indoor mask mandate this term. This led to feelings of relief and joy, but also a lot of anxiety. We appreciate that the Micro community has continued to uphold our core value of compassion, by respecting people that are still masking for themselves, for their families and in solidarity with those that may have invisible immunocompromising conditions.


If you are an undergraduate in BHS or Microbiology and would like more information, please email Amy Timshel or Grace Deitzler

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