My sixteen months teaching experience in Bangladesh helped me in thinking about diversity, equity, and inclusion in a classroom. I did not think about racial diversity as most of us looked the same in the classroom. However, I thought about religious diversity. Being grown up as a part of the dominant religion in Bangladesh, I never saw any prejudice in the classroom based on religion. Like the other places of the world, women are underrepresented in the STEM in my country. As a part of my commitment to the students, I always tried to choose two class representatives, one from the male student group and another from female students. Apart from that, there were students of different merit in every classroom. I made my lectures to make it understandable to everyone, which was the most challenging part. Test making was focused on all the groups of students with different merits.
At Virginia Tech, I have been working in a lab run by my Chinese professor. The majority of my labmates are Chinese, yet I never felt isolated from the team. We have American, Indian, European students in our lab, yet we thrived without any conflict. At one point, we had ten Ph.D. students in our lab. As it could be predicted, the quality and productivity differed from student to student. If you define it as “Intellectual Diversity”, I would say it requires delicate care and handling. My advisor expects different output from students with different productivity and never compares one with another. The division of workload in our lab depends on individual’s ability. I think this is something very valuable that I learned from my advisor.