About the Rainbow Science Network
LGBTQ+ people experience unique challenges in life–in college and at work–and there are additional challenges that come from being a scientist. The Eberly College of Science recognizes the value that diversity brings to the research enterprise, and talented scientists are to be found among the LGBTQ+ community. The RSN is designed to support and facilitate research training for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and research staff.
The concept is simple: The RSN is a list of research faculty who have undergone two Penn State–provided training courses designed to increase the understanding of issues facing LGBTQ+ people and are committed to maintaining a welcoming and inclusive research group:
The RSN list can be used to help students, postdoctoral scholars, and research staff identify a group where they can bring their whole self to the research environment; however, there is no requirement to be ‘out’. Trainees can find additional details about research-active faculty and how to apply for research opportunities on departmental websites or through the programs listed below.
Please note: In all of these programs, consideration for admission does not involve being part of the LGBTQ+ community. You are under no obligation to disclose your status.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities in the Sciences
RSN Member Research Groups
|Jane Charlton||Astronomy and Astrophysics||Quasars and galaxy evolution; Astronomy teaching through video games|
|Fabien Grise||Astronomy and Astrophysics||Specializes in space-borne spectrographs for high-energy astrophysical observations|
|Randall McEntaffer||Astronomy and Astrophysics||Specializes in space-borne spectrographs for high-energy astrophysical observations|
|James Tutt||Astronomy and Astrophysics||Specializes in space-borne spectrographs for high-energy astrophysical observations|
|Jason Wright||Astronomy and Astrophysics||Exoplanets, stellar astrophysics, search for life in the universe|
|Melissa Rolls||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||Neuronal cell biology|
|Charles Anderson||Biology||Studies the dynamics of plant cell walls in the context of sustainability|
|Emily Davenport||Biology||Host - microbiome interactions|
|Janine Kwapis||Biology||Studies the neurobiology of learning and memory|
|Elizabeth McGraw||Biology||Studies mosquito:virus:symbiont interactions with potential applications in vector-borne disease control|
|Moriah Szpara||Biology||Utilizes comparative genomics in combination with clinical & lab-based studies, to investigate how viral genetic diversity impacts the outcomes of chronic infection|
|Claire Thomas||Biology||Cell and Developmental Biology: The role of the actin cytoskeleton in epithelial polarity|
|David Boehr||Chemistry||Studies the biochemistry and biophysics of enzymes important for bacteria and viruses|
|Chris Keating||Chemistry||Colloid and interface science|
|Eric Nacsa||Chemistry||Organic chemistry|
|Scott Showalter||Chemistry||Structural biology applied to eukaryotic gene regulation|
|Zhen Bi||Physics||Theoretical condensed matter physics|
|Neil Hatfield||Statistics||Studies how people think about and develop their understandings of foundational ideas in statistics and mathematic (Statistics/Mathematics Education)|
While a commitment to maintain an inclusive environment has been made by RSN members, there is no guarantee that disputes and bias events will not happen. However, through the training that RSN faculty members receive, they should have a deeper understanding of bias incidents that might occur and be in a good position to mediate a solution. RSN membership does not absolve research group members of their mandated reporter obligations. The RSN Resources page contains information on Penn State anti-discrimination policies, in addition to resources to report wrongdoing and information on the Eberly College of Science ombuds program where you can seek independent informal advice.