Skip to main content

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Newsletter
Summer 2021

What's new?

Advancing Faculty Diversity Search

The Advancing Faculty Diversity Search committee and the Sections are hard at work looking through the great candidates (over 140) that have applied. The goal of this search to increase faculty diversity, advance research on and for communities of color, and to diversify curriculum in STEM affiliated with the DEI course requirement and the African American Studies Major and Minor. Please be on the lookout for email announcements about upcoming job talks by AFD search candidates!

BIPOC Grad Student Support (BSSC) coalition

The Diversity Committee provided funding to help create a website for the BIPOC Grad Student Support Coalition (UCSD BSSC), a group dedicated to creating safe spaces for students from marginalized groups. The UCSD BSSC has created a Slack workspace for Graduate Students to network and discuss issues of relevance to our BIPOC community. Please check the website, and then contact Professor Matt Banghart for more information and for an invitation to the Slack workspace (mbanghart@ucsd.edu). https://ucsdbssc.org/

Writing Retreat for Biology Faculty Mothers of Young Children

This summer, the Diversity Committee funded some of the conference costs for a group of BioSci faculty mothers with young children. The conference focused on writing, professional and personal community building, and mentorship. For more details, please contact Professor Kimberly Cooper (kcooper@ucsd.edu).

Building LGBTQ+ Community in Stem at UC San Diego

The Diversity Committee also funded a Science Seminar Series (SQUAD) to invite LGBTQ+ seminar speakers to campus and for a mentorship program (Qtorship) that will facilitate community building via mentor-mentee pairings. These programs are in collaboration with UCSD oSTEM. Please contact Saroj Gourkanti (sgourkan@ucsd.edu) for more details.

BUMMP Scholarship & Advertising Materials

The BUMMP program was also supported by the Diversity Committee, which provided funds for four new undergraduate scholarships (see below) and for items to help advertise BUMMP and increase a sense of community between mentors and mentees. For more information, please contact Professor Sonya Neal (seneal@ucsd.edu).

BioSci Mentorship Program

In collaboration with the Center for Empathy and Social Justice in Human Health, the Division of Biological Sciences is creating a new peer mentorship program. Please contact Professor Gentry Patrick (gpatrick@ucsd.edu) and Janni Pedersen (jpedersen@ucsd.edu) for more details.

Affinity Groups

Salk has a new affinity group (APIDAS - Asian Pacific Islander Desi at Salk) and they look forward to collaborating with the BioSci community. Please contact Shijia Liu (shl554@ucsd.edu) for more info.

In addition, our friends at Salk have two new EDI groups. Underrepresented Minorities Actively Supporting Excellence (URMase) was founded with the mission of building a community of support for Salk scientists who are from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM (contact: Melissa Kelley, mkelley@salk.edu). The Black Association at Salk (BAS) has the mission of maintaining a space of unity for the existing Black members of Salk, and ensuring a voice for those to come (contact Jasmin Revanna, jrevanna@ucsd.edu or Dr. Austin Coley, acoley@salk.edu).

Diversity & Inclusion Industry Panels

Beginning this Fall Quarter, BioSci will be creating panels to address diversity and inclusion in life sciences fields as related to industry. Panelists will include alumni life sciences leaders. The goals are to provide students with exposure to different career options, expand their professional networks, and help develop their professional skills. For more questions, please contact Sarah Turner (sturner@ucsd.edu) or Melissa Hoon (mhoon@ucsd.edu).

UC AGEP Alliance

The Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) University of California Alliance will use design-based research to develop, implement, self-study, evaluate, and disseminate a model to increase the number of Latina/o/x teaching-focused faculty. The Alliance will focus on creating inclusive processes and mitigating biases and in the hiring of Teaching Professors (TPs) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments at four University of California (UC) campuses: Irvine, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz – all of which are Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) or emerging HSIs. Please contact Professor Stanley Lo (smlo@ucsd.edu) for more information.

Updates on Existing Efforts

EUREKA! Scholars

We had an amazing summer class of 22 Eureka! scholars. Of these students, over 70% were eligible for financial aid such as Pell Grants or Cal Grants, over 13% were first generation, and over 70% were students of color. Over 50% of the students were female.

Research Opportunity and Orientation for Transfer Students (ROOTS)

The Biology Research Opportunity and Orientation for Transfer Students (ROOTS), a new NSF-funded program to help transfer students build laboratory skills and find a research position immediately upon starting at UCSD began this summer. An inaugural class of students participated in an intensive four-week workshop, building community with other transfer students and networking with UCSD Biology faculty seeking student researchers. For more information, please contact Professor Alisa Huffaker (ahuffaker@ucsd.edu).

BUMMP

The BUMMP Scholarship Program is flourishing. In the Winter and Spring Quarters of 2021, 18 undergraduates received scholarships through the BUMMP Research Apprenticeship Program. In addition, applications for the BUMMP Research Apprenticeship Scholarships (Fall 2021) are now open for both undergraduate and master's students (due by October, 8th 2021). The BUMMP Research Apprenticeship Scholarship is intended to support low-income, first generation college students, and students from groups typically underrepresented in graduate education that are interested in participating in research at UCSD.

STARTNEURO

The STARTneuro program launched this summer and trains and mentors diverse transfer students as they enter neuroscience research beginning with a 10-week summer research training program and provides ongoing mentorship and workshops to prepare students for PhD programs. Please contact Brenda Bloodgood at blbloodgood@ucsd.edu or Ashley Juavinett at ajuavinett@ucsd.edu for more information.

What Are We Working On?

Graduate Diversity and Science Lecture Series (DASL)

DASL invites you to join them for the 2nd Annual Diversity and Science Symposium on November 8, 9, and 10, 2021. The symposium will feature talks from a diverse array of scientists and activists in addition to panels and networking events designed to foster productive discussions about topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. Events are posted in the BioSci Diversity Calendar. Please contact Evan Boyle (eboyle@ucsd.edu) for more information.

Decolonializing the Curriculum

We are working with the Teaching + Learning Commons on the Changemaker Fellows program for faculty and graduate students. This program is focused on anti-racist pedagogies, and the BioSci Dean's Office pledged $10,000 to support two fellows. Please contact Professor Stanley Lo (smlo@ucsd.edu) or Professor Lisa McDonnell (lmcdonnell@ucsd.edu) for more information about these efforts.

What Can You Do?

Check out our updated resources in the Diversity Committee website. We have just added a new UC Learning training on "Gender recognition: A focus on transgender, nonbinary, and intersex awareness".

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. Such supplements are usually not difficult to obtain.

We also have a general list of all undergraduate funding opportunities. Please feel free to email Amy Geffre (ageffre@ucsd.edu) to contribute to this list. This idea arose from our IdeaWave.

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.


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

"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations."

Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

James C. Nieh
Associate Dean, Division of Biological Sciences