Glossary: "Who we serve"
Language is ever-changing. We attempt to make our definitions of terms that groups may prefer to identify with as inclusive as possible, and apologize if we should make corrections or have missed any. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest any changes.
Alumni - Any individuals who have graduated with an undergraduate or graduate degree from Caltech.
Asian/Asian American - Individuals who are native to or have origins from Asia, including East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Common related terms are AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) and APIDA+ (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) which is intentionally inclusive of South Asians (Desi) as part of the community. (source)
Beyond Caltech - Involving the community outside of Caltech e.g., high school tutoring, outreach to other schools, etc.
Black/African American -
- African American: Individuals of African descent living in the United States. Not a synonym for Black. (source)
- Black: Individuals of Black descent, regardless of national origin. Use Black only in this larger context. Use more specific terms such as African American, Haitian, etc. when race is known. (source)
Desi/Desi American - A term commonly used to refer to people of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent living abroad, but is also used to refer to people of South Asian descent more broadly. (source 1; source 2)
Domestic - Individuals with U.S. citizenship, U.S. Permanent Resident (Green Card), or those who are granted asylum or refugee status (source).
Faculty - Includes lecturers, visiting faculty, research faculty, teaching faculty, etc.
First generation - Individuals whose parent(s) and/or guardian(s) did not complete a baccalaureate degree. (source)
Graduate - A student in a master's, PhD or other professional program.
Hispanic/Latin(x) - Hispanic people are native to or have origins from a Spanish-speaking country. Latin(x) is a gender-neutral term used in lieu of "Latino" or "Latina" for people who are native to or have origins from a Latin American country. Chicano/Chicana people are native to or have origins from Mexico and are living in the United States. (source)
International - Individuals who are not domestic (see Domestic definition). (source)
LGBTQIA+ - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Allies, and more. An inclusive term for non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities. To read more, see this explanation of terms.
Low income - Individuals from family units with income falling below the 150% of poverty level income. See the U.S. Department of Education definition here.
MENA - An inclusive term for individuals who are native to or have origins from the Middle East and/or North Africa. (source)
Military/Veteran - Active or former members of the Armed Forces of the United States. (source)
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander - Individuals with origins from any of the indigenous communities of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands. (source)
Native/Indigenous - Includes Indigenous Americans, American Indians, First Nation. Whenever possible, Native individuals usually prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. (source)
Parents/Family - Includes individuals with dependents. Check out more family inclusive terms.
People with Disabilities - We use an inclusive definition of disability which refers to a broad range of conditions including, but not limited to, physical, cognitive, developmental, and learning disabilities, chronic illness, mental illness, and those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Sourced from the Caltech Disability Coalition's Caltech Accommodation FAQ.
PoC - People of Color -
- Describes all nonwhite people. Use specific terms (e.g., Black, Latino, Asian American) whenever possible. (source)
- Sometimes seen as BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) to highlight the systemic oppression faced by Black and Indigenous people.
Postdoc - A person engaged in postdoctoral research.
Staff/Admin - Includes administrative staff, technical staff, research staff, and other Caltech office staff.
Undergrad - A student in college or university.
Underrepresented - Individuals from any groups underrepresented or marginalized in the context, for example academia and/or STEM, including on the basis of race, gender and socio-economic status.
White/Caucasian - Defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, a white person is a person of descent from the original people of Europe. (source)
Women - We use an inclusive definition of "woman" that includes anyone who self-identifies as a woman or is interested in a women-focused space.
The Equity and Title IX Office has compiled a list of support resources both at Caltech and beyond, including if they are designated as a confidential resource.
Confidential resource - When contacting people designated as confidential resources, what you say is protected and is not reported. On campus, this includes Caltech's Counseling Center staff, Health Center staff and designated staff at the CCID (see more about Caltech's On-Campus Confidential Resources). Any other institute employee is required to report all incidents of sexual violence, non-sexual violence and other related crimes.
Mandated reporter - Institute employees who supervise minors are legally required to report any suspected child abuse or neglect. See Caltech's guidelines on mandated reporters for the full details.
Reporter - A contact point for reporting misconduct and discrimination.
Here we describe how we classify different programs and organizations into various categories. The aim is to make it easy for users to find the programs that are relevant to their needs.
Academics - Educational opportunities and support (e.g. tutoring, FSRI).
Admissions/Recruitment - related to undergrad admissions, graduate admissions and faculty recruitment (e.g. WAVE, admissions guides/committees, FUTURE Ignited).
Affinity group - Spaces to build community and find support based on shared identities and interests (e.g. Black Scientists and Engineers of Caltech, Women Mentoring Women).
Awards/Recognition - Awards or other formal recognition of contributions in DEI initiatives or targeting underrepresented groups (e.g. Dr King Award for Diversity, Caltech Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador)
Awareness - Opportunities to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion, including different identities, perspectives and lived experiences (e.g. STEMinars, Decoding Diversity workshop, HSS Critical Intersections Seminar Series).
Climate - Initiatives explicitly advocating for and taking steps towards improved climate (e.g. diversity task forces)
Committee - Includes diversity task forces and student groups (e.g. DEI council, GSC Diversity Committee, CPA, EAS Faculty Committee on DEI).
Community service - Any Caltech-affiliated voluntary work helping others (including on and off campus work).
Data/Transparency - Programs that collect data and/or publish progress to help identify opportunities for improvement and inform change (e.g. climate surveys, admissions committees).
Funding - Financial support for initiatives, outreach, fellowships and more (e.g. SURF, WAVE, Graduate Studies Office).
Mental/Physical Health - Programs that support mental and physical health needs (e.g. Health Services, Counseling Services, Occupational Therapy and associated workshops).
Mentorship - Programs involving guidance from more experienced community members (e.g. WAVE, Women Mentoring Women).
Networking - Programs that build professional connections.
Outreach - Ways to get involved beyond the Caltech community and support others (e.g. Rise tutoring).
Professional development - Opportunities for developing career, leadership and other professional skills.
Reporting - People or offices designated for reporting concerns of discrimination or related issues (e.g. Equity and Title IX Office, CARE team).
Research - Programs providing or supporting research opportunities (e.g. WAVE, SURF, AGEP).
Teaching - Opportunities supporting teachers, particularly with inclusive teaching practices (e.g. tutoring, CTLO Inclusive Teaching resources).