EAPS and Chemistry welcome new DEI Officer

MIT Chemistry and EAPS News
Thursday, July 22, 2021

EmmaLee Pallai will disseminate best practices for recruiting, building, and maintaining inclusive and equitable academic communities, and promote shared values of excellence, belonging, openness, integrity, and mutual respect.

The Departments of Chemistry and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) are thrilled to welcome their joint-appointed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, EmmaLee Pallai. Pallai, who most recently worked as a diversity and inclusion trainer at the University of North Texas, expressed her eagerness to learn about the people who populate her new departments.

"I love hearing about what people are passionate about, what keeps them interested, and [about] their explorations and research," says Pallai. "A student once defined inclusion to me as ‘not feeling homesick, because you know you can be who you truly are, even at school or work’. I look forward to working with everyone, to hear how an inclusive MIT is being defined, and how to bring that to fruition so that we don’t need to feel homesick, because we are accepted and valued for all the dimensions and identities and experiences we bring with us."

Prior to her time in Texas, Pallai worked extensively with the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Transportation specializing in education and training in the areas of equity and shared values, and facilitated dialogues involving a wide range of faculty, staff, and student stakeholders. She has particular expertise in using storytelling and personal narrative to foster inclusive organizations. Pallai earned her bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master’s in fine arts from New Mexico State University.


Story Image: Image taken from a camera mounted underneath a DJI S1000 Flying Wings octocopter; photograph by AboveSummit with Christopher Harting