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CARES Committee

CARES logoAbout CARES: 

Our Mission

The Chemistry CARES Committee's mission is to promote excellence and foster community within the Department by actively representing and including individuals from diverse backgrounds.

  1. Climate and Community: We will regularly survey the Department in the form of focus groups and department-wide surveys to help guide action plans and establish community buy-in.
  2. Accountability: We report to the department each year.
  3. Recruitment, Representation, and Retention: We actively participate in TGS-based recruitment efforts.
  4. Education: We contribute relevant resource material for faculty, students, & staff.
  5. Support and Advocacy: We work with the graduate program office to promote the CARES concept within the department’s graduate program. 
CARES committee members:

Photo of Professor Geiger

Professor Franz Geiger

Chair, Faculty Representative

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Professor Stephanie Knezz

Faculty Representative


Songi Han

Spotlight on Songi

Professor Songi Han

Faculty Representative

A photo of Professor thomsonSpotlight on Regan 

Professor Regan J. Thomson

Affiliate Faculty Member


Christian Malapit

Spotlight on Christian

Christian Malapit

Faculty Representative


Jonathan Maendel

Strategic Partner

A photo of Abdallah

Spotlight on Abdallah

Dr. Abdallah Diagne

Alumni Representative


Caitlin Denise Coplan

Graduate Student Representative


Dr. David Zhi Hong Zee

Postdoc Representative

holloway_malenis168x210Spotlight on Malenis

Malenis Holloway

Staff Representative


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Dr. Steven Chapman

Postdoc Representative

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Kelly Levander

Staff Representative


Arindam Raj

Dr. Arindam Raj

Postdoc Representative


Why we CARE:

I am invested in the CARES committee because increasing DEI is an urgency and necessity to stay relevant as a premier hub to attract the greatest talents who, by the principle of statistics, are more likely to be diverse and will exercise their choice to join what feels like a welcoming place which makes DEI a priority. Northwestern Chemistry should thrive to be a magnet that attracts the most talented, forward-thinking, and driven young scientists from all over the world.  - Songi Han, Faculty Representative 


I defied a village tradition that dictated my destiny as a fisherman’s heir to become the first STEM PhD in my hometown. My journey to where I stand today is a result of hard work and guidance from my mentors, and I owe it to the next generation of students I work with to transform them into future leaders.

Christian Malapit, Faculty Representative


I work to continually educate myself and others about the critical intersection of science and social justice. When we identify the ways inequity and bias influence establishment science (as well as the other way around), we can empower students who typically feel a lack of belonging in our classes to understand how vital their participation in science is. I hope this can motivate a more diverse group of young people to pursue careers in science.

Stephanie Knezz,  Faculty Representative


Individuals from all around the world come to Northwestern. With different languages, customs, and traditions, we all speak the common language of science and discovery. Science and education are essential tools in helping to see a brighter future in such challenging times. Research Safety always welcomes everyone from everywhere.

Michael Blayney, Strategic Partner 


I am passionate about DEI initiatives in STEM because sharing the authenticity that’s part of our identities can help create inviting learning environments. Representation matters for every identity, and it’s our responsibility to share our stories and the lessons we've learned with the next generation of scientists. 

Steven Chapman, Postdoctoral Representative


Growing up as the child of a single mother working multiple jobs and attending college at the same time, I experienced first-hand the value of education. Sharing this value of education with those from all walks of life is a core tenant of DEI initiatives. I'm working with CARES to share the student perspective on higher education and working to improve the experiences and education of graduate students.

Caitlin Coplan, Graduate Student Representative


After years of both seeing and experiencing inequity in healthcare for women, I became a strong advocate for diverse representation in STEM. As marketing specialist, I am passionate about amplifying CARES' impact and supporting the department's efforts in this area. As a staff member, I wish to support and advocate for those behind the scenes who keep the department running smoothly.

Kelly Levander, Staff Representative



We thank our past members for their committee service