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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Newsletter
Winter 2022

What's new?

Graduate oSTEM (Out in STEM)

Graduate oSTEM at UC San Diego is a new community for LGBTQIA+ graduate and professional students in STEM offering opportunities for both personal and professional development. While they have facilitated virtual and in-person events since the early summer, they are thrilled to be recognized as an official student organization as of this fall. Currently, they host two monthly events: the SQUAD invited speaker series and the Reading Rainbow book club. Open to all members of the UCSD community, SQUAD (Scientific Queers United in Academic Discourse) showcases the cutting-edge research being conducted by members of the LGBTQIA+ community at UCSD as well as the greater San Diego area and explores what it means to be LGBTQIA+ in STEM. Reading Rainbow is a book club that focuses on LGBTQIA+ literature, inviting members to reflect on the rich history, philosophy, activism, and art of their vibrant community. They are excited to have relaunched the Qtorship mentorship program, in which undergraduate oSTEM members work with graduate student mentors to identify and pursue professional development goals, in partnership with the undergraduate oSTEM chapter at UCSD. They are deeply thankful for the gracious financial support of the Division of Biological Sciences. Looking to the future, they are excited to host more in-person events (COVID-19 permitting) to further develop supportive spaces and resources for LGBTQIA+ STEM graduate and professional students on campus. To learn more about Grad oSTEM at UCSD, please visit their website or contact them at

AGEP Faculty Fellows

Ashley Juavinett is one of six inaugural NSF Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Faculty Fellows across four UC campuses, who will be working to developing more equitable and inclusive hiring practices for teaching professor searches.

Celebrating Women in STEM

Congratulations to Prof. Claire Meaders and Dr. Beata Mierzwa for their participation in a Smithsonian National Mall installation celebrating women in STEM.

Updates on Existing Efforts


The first cohort of STARTneuro students are working through their first year at UC San Diego, and almost all have joined research labs on campus. They are currently recruiting a second cohort to join this summer! Please reach out to any community college contacts you may have and point them to the website and Twitter (@STARTneuro). Interested students who have been accepted to UC San Diego for Fall 2023 matriculation should look out for the application on their website in late April.

EDI Courses

Congratulations to Prof. LaTisha Hammond for her successful course, BILD 60 (Exploring Issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Relation to Human Biology). This course examines diversity, equity, and inclusion within biological framework. It focuses on how underlying biological differences have been used to support bias and prejudice against groups such as women, African Americans, and Latinos. This course is approved to meet the campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) requirement. She taught this course in Fall 2021.

Also, congratulations to Prof. Sonya Neal for a successfully Winter 2022 launch of BGGN 209 (Social Issues in Biology), a discussion course that covers historical and contemporary readings about controversial issues related to biology and the social responsibility of scientists.

BioSci Student Success Center

The BioSci Student Success Center website compiles resources for students, from professional development material such as CV templates over announcements for events and internships to links to resources for mental health and food insecurity. The newest addition is an introduction to some of our wonderful BioSci Peer Mentors who support first year students in their transition to life as a scientist in training.

What Are We Working On?

Graduate Diversity and Science Lecture Series (DASL)

Graduate student Amanda Wacker was featured in DASL this quarter.

Graduate Student Reps partnered with students in the school of public health to conduct a survey on stress and burn-out in our graduate population.

The Biology Graduate Success Symposium held two holistic workshops aimed at promoting student inclusion: Navigating Allyship in STEM and Financial Literacy.

What Can You Do?

The UC San Diego IRACDA Fellows recently published a paper on the experiences of Fellows during the Pandemic in relation to caregiving, finances, and career. This paper has multiple suggestions on how to improve the retention of underrepresented scholars.

We encourage faculty to seek out funds to support undergraduates working in their labs and to help undergraduates find funding. For example, NSF provides supplemental funding for undergraduates seeking research experiences on NSF funded research. Similarly, NIH RO1's provide diversity supplements.

We also have a general list of all undergraduate funding opportunities.

In addition, please check out this one-stop website, the Undergraduate Research Hub for undergraduate research and funding opportunities at UC San Diego.

Check out the BioSci Diversity Calendar

There are many amazing events listed on the BioSci Diversity Calendar.

Interested in EDI? Have an Idea? Tell us what you are up to!

The Get Involved page on our Diversity Website has a webform that links directly to the Diversity Committee and is a permanent repository for all this information.

Get Funding to Improve BioSci EDI

The Division of Biological Sciences welcomes applications for funding projects aimed at addressing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues in the Division of Biological Sciences. Proposals could include any activity that you feel could have a positive impact to improving EDI in our Division and the campus as relevant to the Division.

Thank you for your commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

"There were lots of students who were prep school kids, like my husband, who knew all about Harvard. And that was not me. And I think the first semester I was really homesick. I was really questioning, 'Do I belong here? Can I make it in this environment?....And I was walking through the yard in the evening and a Black woman I did not know was passing me on the sidewalk...And she looked at me. And I guess she knew how I was feeling, and she leaned over as we crossed and said, 'Persevere.'"

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

James C. Nieh
Associate Dean, Division of Biological Sciences