Advisory to the Director of the Museum, the Florida Museum and Department of Natural History at the Florida Museum IDEA Committees collaborate with other internal and external groups to cultivate a richer, more inclusive, and equitable experience for students, employees, and visitors by helping the Museum support, respond to, and reflect on the diversity existing in the many distinct communities it serves.


The IDEA Committee’s missions are to support inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility throughout the Museum and Department by promoting education, and awareness. Understanding the Museum is a workplace and community space, the IDEA Committees are working to build a welcoming, creative, and collaborative space for all employees, students, faculty, volunteers, and visitors. The Committees work within the Museum’s own Departments, Institutes, and Centers; with UF Colleges, Departments, and Organizations; and various stakeholders and community representatives for the purpose of embedding the IDEA values into the Museum’s culture. The IDEA Committees are responsible for making recommendations to the Chair of the Department and Director of the Museum on best practices for supporting inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility initiatives.

How do we do this?

Understanding that this work is ongoing, the IDEA Committees are committed to adaptation – responding to the changing needs and priorities of the Natural History Department, Museum, University of Florida, and society in general. Our current overarching goals include:

  • Promoting best practices that encourage the hiring, retention, and promotion of people from different racial, cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds regardless of their sexual orientation or disability status.
  • Offering faculty and staff educational resources that help us all better understand and address the racism and biases that contribute to the injustices often demonstrated at the individual, institutional, and systemic levels.
  • Promoting the integration of IDEA values into our teaching, research, exhibitions, seminars, and programming.
  • Actively soliciting feedback from and addressing the concerns of employees and visitors in an effort to enhance IDEA initiatives.
  • Collaborating with and connecting to likeminded groups and individuals to amplify efforts, share information, and ensure each other’s success.

Florida Museum Statement on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

The Florida Museum and its Department of Natural History are committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility as core values in our research, collections, exhibitions, and programming. These values are critical to the ongoing work of the Museum in promoting the understanding of cultural heritage, the natural world, and preservation of that knowledge for the future. We seek to demonstrate this commitment by creating an inclusive environment that values, welcomes, and supports all students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and visitors. We recognize strength in our differences and seek to recognize, engage, and reflect the diverse communities we serve. We are committed to conducting ongoing, self-reflection and evaluation that is necessary to continue to improve our ability to serve historically underrepresented audiences within the greater Gainesville community and beyond.

Museum IDEA Committee Members:

Florida Museum IDEA Committee:

Nicole Caldwell (DO member)
Nicolas Delsol (NH post doc member)
Roberto Ferrer (EPP member)
Kristen Grace (DO member)
Amy Hester (EPP member)
Andreina Hornez Peralta (DO member)
Alberto Lopez Torres (EPP member)
Makenzie Mabry (NH post doc member)
Darcie MacMahon (CDL)
Sadie Mills (TESI member)
Christian Pickles (DO member)
Donna Ruhl (NH member)
Kara Schwartz (DO member)
Beverly Sensbach (DO member)
Griffin Sheehy (Chair)
Sarah Steele Cabrera (Student member)

Natural History Department IDEA Committee:

Adania Flemming (Grad student member)
Akito Kawahara (NH member)
Taliesin Kinser (Grad student member)
Steve Manchester (NH IDEA chair)
Larry Page (NH member)
Mariela Pajuelo (NH member)
Juliette Rubin (Grad student member)

University Resources Available:

To schedule an appointment with the EAP, call (833) 306-0103. Your toll-free number gives you direct, 24/7 access to a licensed counselor. You will be asked for your name, employer name, address, phone number and date of birth. Online: or via the App: GuidanceNow. Web ID: UFEAP. This link will take you to a non-UF website. If it is your first time visiting, click the Register tab and enter “UFEAP” in the Organization Web ID field. You will create a unique user ID and password, which will ensure confidentiality. You will not use your Gatorlink username and password.


Staff, students, and faculty in the Florida Museum can make suggestions or comment on practices, policies, and procedures for promoting a more inclusive, diverse and equitable community. All feedback is anonymous. Messages are sent to Amy Hester, co-chair of the FM IDEA Committee.

Instances of discrimination, harassment and bias with identifying details should not be reported here.

Suggestion box


Thank you to the Natural History Department IDEA Committee 2020/2021 members Nicole Fuller, Adania Flemming, Lillian Hendrick, Michelle LeFebvre, Steven Manchester, Caroline Storer, and Shamindri Tennakoon for sharing original drafts the IDEA Mission and Statements for the Department, which was modified for this FM-wide IDEA page.