Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Department of Physiology stands strongly by our commitment to welcome and treat everybody with equity and respect for our common and undeniable humanity. We recognize that individuals are endowed with significant differences including sex, age, skin color, height and build, needs, abilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, geographical origins, cultural habits, and more. 

We are determined to continually cultivate an environment unequivocally anti-racist, where students, staff, and faculty feel safe to share, learn, and grow. We encourage everybody to join in these efforts, by taking every opportunity to educate ourselves in, and develop a strong responsibility to, supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in academia and research. 

The Physiology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Collective

The PSIO DEI Action Collective has been meeting regularly this semester and are continuing to refine & actualize our goals. Using SMART goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Bound), our objectives include reviewing all PSIO materials, presentations, practices for accessibility;  developing recommendations for making DEI involvement/training core expectations for staff and faculty; developing and providing a list of opportunities, resources, and training offered through UA and community organizations; examining existing data related to staff and faculty diversity in order to develop recommendations for updating recruitment practices; and many more.

Recent milestones:

  • As of Fall 2020, Safe zone training will now be required for Physiology TA’s
  • As of Fall 2020, the DEI work group has Increased awareness of use of pronouns among our department and TA’s. 
  • In Fall the DEI work group helped to lead the development of content for the new Physiology DEI Webpage on the Physiology website. New content on this page includes a statement from our Diversity champion, links to DEI resources from the COM, and a new DEI events calendar that will have content managed by members of our DEI working group. 
  • Development of a new course list for general education and elective undergraduate courses related to current events, social justice, and anti-racism. The first list was shared with undergraduate students before the start of the Fall 2020 semester. We will recreate this list each term to share with Physiology students as they register for courses. 
  • DEI working group meetings and professional development has allowed the advising team to be proactive in inserting critical information to students in weekly advising communications and website (including links to the student emergency fund, campus pantry etc.)
  • Plans are underway for professional development and training related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and anti-racism to be considered and expected for faculty and staff in review, tenure, promotion, and professional goal setting situations.
  • A list of recommendations was sent to the Physiology Undergraduate Program Director  that included DRC content that teaching faculty should review to prepare their course sites, materials and presentations in an equitable and accessible way. Link to recording of the related webinar: Re/Framing Disability
  • Through the DEI working group members we have collaborations now that cross over through the undergraduate program, the PS GIDP grad Diversity & Inclusion team, and ODEI and COM through our Diversity Champion. 

A Message from our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion

The Department of Physiology at the University of Arizona welcomes diversity of its student, faculty and staff, and strives to provide physical and intellectual spaces where everyone can enter the dialogue and feel included, heard, appreciated and supported. Such an environment is fundamental to the academic success of students and to the further development of the department as an establishment of higher learning. It is also critically important for human life. 

Physiology, the science of function, teaches that life is more than the simple sum of its parts, and emerges from the organization cohesion and cooperation of many dissimilar elements. A physiologist knows the need and benefits of diversity and inclusion, and recognizes the harmful effects that the lack of equity inflicts on an organism. 

Our bodies are made of trillions of cells of varied type and unique forms and functions. Side by side, cells from muscle, brain, skin, kidney, lung, liver or blood – just to name a few – look very different. They display common cell routines, but also perform specific jobs that are linked to their structural features that constitute their contributions to the whole. 

Thus, several cell types combine to form tissues, organs and systems. Within these organizations, every cell provides something important. Various levels of electrical and chemical communication, from cell-to-cell to long-range signals, exist to assure that cells convey their needs, and receive from the organism they build together the equitable resources to support their daily living and their eventual renewal. Survival, growth and performance of our bodies depend on this complex, uninterrupted, precise and strong dialogue between our disparate myriad units. 

The collective work of our “societies of cells” allows us to breath, see, hear, move, swim, run, smell, taste, eat, drink, digest, secrete, excrete, sweat, pee, feel, dream, think, learn, talk, write, get together, procreate, care for each other, communicate, create culture and, ultimately, build civilizations. 

When groups of cells do not receive the supplies needed for their function and survival, or succumb to the stresses of disease and structural dissolution, the body deteriorates and dies. 

Interventions, such as medical treatments, designed to support and improve the function of vulnerable or injured parts, are at times needed to restore the health of a failing organism. 

Society at large should aspire to the level of cellular collaboration and coordination that we demonstrate by our very existence. It is a matter of life.

José Ek-Vitorín, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion


Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Collective:

  • José Ek-Vitorín, MD, PhD, Diversity Champion
  • Maggie Ramirez, MA, Student Success and Retention Specialist
  • Claudia Stanescu PhD, Director, Physiology Undergraduate Program



University of Arizona Equity, Inclusion & Title IX

University of Arizona Health Sciences Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion-Focused General Education and General Elective Course Offerings

LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Resources

UA Health Sciences: LGBTQ+ Resources

Resources for Equitable Inclusive Excellence Amid COVID-19

UA Health Sciences: A large and evolving curated list of antiracism resources

Native Nations Institute

UA Indigenous Student Support Resources

Asian Pacific American Student Affairs (APASA): Sign Up for Therapy Sessions with Dr. Euodia Chua

Asian Pacific American Student Affairs (APASA): Coaching with Dr. Ishani Deo

Asian Pacific American Student Affairs (APASA): Advising With Rani Wijeweera

Coronavirus Resources for Immigrants

Reporting Discrimination

Anyone who experiences or is aware of discriminatory conduct is urged to report the concern without delay. The Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy strictly prohibits retaliation of any kind against an individual based on reporting a discrimination concern or participating in a resulting investigation.

Bias Education & Support Team (BEST) | Dean of Students Office 

The University of Arizona is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all members of our Wildcat community. We understand that members of our community may experience bias that makes them feel unsafe or unwelcome. When this happens, our institutional values call us to respond with integrity and compassion. 

The University of Arizona is also committed to the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution. While we may not always agree with the ideas and opinions of others, we must honor their right to express them.

Questions about BEST? Please contact bias@arizona.edu 

Office of Institutional Equity 

Anyone who experiences or is aware of discriminatory conduct is urged to report the concern without delay.  

There are several ways to submit a report and receive related information, help and resources. The Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy strictly prohibits retaliation of any kind against an individual based on reporting a discrimination concern or participating in a resulting investigation.


DEI Calendar 

Our Physiology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Collective created this calendar in order to highlight events that promote inclusion and understanding at the University of Arizona and beyond. If you have any upcoming opportunities you'd like to have listed on our calendar, please reach out to Miranda at mschubert@arizona.edu.

The majority of events are free and open to the public. Check it out!

Recordings of Past Webinars & Other Educational Opportunities

Anti-Racism Health Equity Series

A Liberating Praxis: Understanding the Intersectionality of Race, Gender, & Sexuality

Does My Bias Conflict with Myself & Others?

Disability Access As a Civil Rights Issue

Association of Black Cardiologists Webinars

  • At the Heart of the Matter: Unmasking the Invisibility of COVID-19 in Diverse Populations
  • Pulling at the Heart: Faces of COVID-19 Survival & Ongoing Disparities in Diverse Populations
  • Corona-Talks: On the Front Lines of Your Health
  • I Can't Breathe: Reflections on Racism, Anti-Blackness and a Path Forward Globally and In Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Optimizing the Practice of Cardiovascular Medicine in the COVID-19 Era: Telehealth and More
  • Avoiding Heartbreak: COVID-19 Complications and Risk Mitigation in Diverse Populations

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Racism and the Asian Experience in the US: Past, Present, and Future