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Diversity and Inclusion

Mission and Goals

The Department of Food Science and Technology (FST) commits to diversity and inclusivity through fostering an open and welcoming environment for all former, present and future members and collaborators of the department. 

FST works to:

  • Promote a learning and working climate that acknowledges and celebrates diversity 
  • Promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect for all members of our community, especially those from underrepresented groups
  • Increase faculty, staff and student diversity


  • Empowering the FST Diversity and Inclusion Committee to lead initiatives that address the above-mentioned efforts 
  • Employing inclusive practices that ensure accessible and safe classrooms, labs, and shared department spaces
  • Organizing activities that strengthen our community through shared learning, relationship development, collegiality and communication. 
  • Rejecting all forms of injustice, unequal treatment and intolerance


Diversity and Inclusion Resources at Virginia Tech:


Diversity and Inclusion Committee Membership

Committee Chair: Dr. Lester Schonberger


Reporting an Act of Discrimination, Bias or Sexual Misconduct

The Virginia Tech Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Assault applies to all undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff at Virginia Tech. Anyone wishing to report an act of discrimination, bias, harassment or misconduct can do so formally to the Office of Equity and Accessibility (OEA) via their digital complaint form. For those who wish to speak to someone about this process prior to filing a complaint, please contact OEA to schedule an appointment. 

In addition, incidents involving students may be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students via their bias reporting page. This form is not anonymous but the reporter’s identity will only be known by appropriate university staff members, and any action taken as a result of submitting this report is driven by the reporter unless it requires the involvement of other campus resources.

The Graduate School has a form for reporting academic bullying, which is any intentional behavior throughout the academic space targeted at an individual or group that is repeated, hostile or offensive, and creates an intimidating and/or threatening environment which produces a risk of psychological and/or physical harm. More resources on recognizing and preventing academic bullying can be found on their Disrupting Academic Bullying page


Virginia Tech Principles of Community

As a part of Virginia Tech, FST embraces the VT Principles of Community in its on-going efforts to nurture and maintain a community that values inclusivity and equity. These principles serve as underlying guidance in all that the department does to make sure everyone feels equally a part of the FST family.