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Diversity in the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences

Interim Dean Bill McGinnis

Message from the Dean

In the Division of Biological Sciences, we not only support diversity in theory, we live it every day. It’s in our classrooms and hallways, laboratories and offices.

Building and sustaining diversity is a collaborative effort. Rather than working in isolation, we have discovered the power of working together as a community to make a difference.

First of all, we decided we must create a COMMUNITY Diversity Committee that includes representation by faculty, students, postdocs, and staff so we can develop and understand the big picture, understand each other’s needs and perspectives, and work together on projects.

For example, BioEASi, a grad student organization, used to do “its own thing,” but once we talked and understood that we have a shared vision, we realized working together allows us to address big issues without feeling overwhelmed.

Also, one of our professors initiated an outreach project at local underserved elementary schools, where our undergraduate and graduate students work hands-on with students hungry for knowledge of science. We enthusiastically supported his grant application to fund the project.

Other examples include training for teaching assistants developed by some of our postdoctoral scholars to enhance the diverse atmosphere in the classroom, and an Intergroup Dialog Course for undergraduates on building effective multicultural research teams.

Diversity is not just about numbers (but you can find them on our statistics page if you’re interested), it’s an attitude we embrace and embody. Diversity of people and ideas fuel our ability to learn, teach and research at the highest level.

Through our collective efforts, Biological Sciences is leading the way by example on the UC San Diego campus. I encourage you to find out more about our initiatives on this website, and to contact our diversity committee representatives with your ideas and insights. Working together, we flourish through our differences.

Bill McGinnis

Want to get involved or find out more? E-mail divcomm@biology.ucsd.edu.