Gretchen Keppel-Aleks

Associate Professor, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering

College of Engineering

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

Mentoring diverse graduate students represents me at my best DEI self. No one sees the challenges and the sustained effort I put into it, but I am making a concrete difference to my students and to the field.

Wishes for the future: How would you imagine your environment needing to be for you to feel that you don’t have to do DEI work anymore?

The United States was founded on slavery, and grew by committing genocide against indigenous peoples. I can’t imagine in my lifetime that DEI work will not be required to make reparations against these injustices.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

It is very meaningful to know that other members of my community feel I am making a difference at the university.