Diversity and Equity Committee

Who we are

Like the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Political Science defines diversity broadly and believes it enhances the intellectual experience and achievements of this academic community. This faculty-student diversity committee seeks to: (1) improve the climate for current students and faculty from underrepresented groups; (2) recruit more graduate students from underrepresented groups to the department and discipline; and (3) give all students and faculty the tools to succeed in a diverse discipline.

Committee membership


Page Fortna
Yamil Velez
Gregory Wawro

Graduate students

Elena Barham
Jose Gomez

What we do

The Diversity and Equity Committee performs the following roles and activities:

  • Seeks and disseminates information about the experiences of women and members of underrepresented minority groups in the department;
  • Contributes to the recruitment of graduate students from underrepresented groups to the department by hosting an event for admitted students and by providing prospective students information about resources available to them;  
  • Invites outside speakers to share academic research on the origins of and potential remedies to unequal access to higher education and academic careers; 
  • Collects and disseminates information on programs giving faculty and students the opportunity to advise aspiring political scientists from underrepresented groups; 
  • Provides information on university resources pertaining to topics such as sexual misconduct and inclusive teaching.

Resources for faculty and prospective and current graduate students

Columbia undergraduates considering graduate study in political science:

  • may be eligible for a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship;
  • may apply to participate in the GSAS Summer Research Program, which matches undergraduates “with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion” with faculty mentors who will supervise a research project;
  • may want to attend the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program (RBSI) organized by the American Political Science Association (APSA);   
  • should consider the Emerging Scholars Program in the Princeton Department of Politics, which offers opportunities to conduct research with faculty mentors while taking graduate-level courses for a period of six to twenty-four months.
  • should consider applying for Yale’s ESI-PREP, a one-year program “giving participants a foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to be successful graduate students.” 

Prospective students considering applying to a Columbia Ph.D. program should know: 

Columbia graduate students and faculty who want to become better at teaching and advising an increasingly diverse group of students may participate in:

Columbia graduate students who are members of an underrepresented group may want to explore the resources and opportunities listed below.

Opportunities for students in the early years of Ph.D. study:

Opportunities for students at the dissertation stage:

Post-doctoral opportunities: