Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS)
With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2012, a team of committed faculty at UC Davis embarked on a visionary mission to expand the presence of women and underrepresented faculty in STEM at UC Davis. This vision of institutional transformation was rooted in the premise that attracting unique perspectives from both gender and cultural diversity within our faculty would increase UC Davis’ contributions to STEM and yield a research community with:
- career advancement that included mentorship and networking;
- an inclusive and equitable environment by integrating policies and practices that reflected an inclusive campus climate;
- research to understand barriers and catalysts to gender and multicultural perspectives in STEM; and
- enhancement of dual-career faculty support.
Support the discovery of knowledge by promoting women in science, starting with Latina STEM scholars and expanding to all underrepresented groups in STEM through building an inclusive environment that is diversity-driven, mentorship-grounded, and career-success focused.
The NSF ADVANCE grant initially prioritized the hiring of UC Davis faculty whose exceptional contributions to STEM research, teaching and service addressed issues affecting Latinas in STEM. Over time the vision grew to include all underrepresented voices to change the face of STEM science. To achieve ADVANCE’s goals, UC Davis matched NSF funds with an investment of over $3 million for incentive monies support the hiring and development of faculty who individually and collectively are transforming STEM education at UC Davis and contributing research and service to help solve society’s vexing problems.
Under the leadership of Associate Vice Chancellor Raquel Aldana and Faculty Director Mariel Vazquez, the vision of forming a community of scholars who bring gender and multicultural perspectives to STEM science became a reality through the creation of the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural perspectives in Science (CAMPOS). To date, twenty-nine exceptional ladder-rank faculty comprise the CAMPOS faculty scholars community. CAMPOS has created visibility for CAMPOS faculty scholars individually, collectively, locally, nationally, and internationally. CAMPOS hosts an induction ceremony each year to welcome, recognize its newest faculty scholars, and to disseminate their accomplishments. In addition, CAMPOS provides opportunities to its faculty scholars for mentorship, leadership skills development through the leadership institute, and programming to support regularly networking to share common experiences, deliberate potential team science from interdisciplinary perspectives, and discuss issues of common concern through the Cafecitos (coffee gatherings) and celebratory dinners. CAMPOS has also created a broader community of scholars by inviting other STEM faculty on campus to become affiliates and/or participate in many of the CAMPOS-sponsored activities, create new opportunities through team science, as well as partnerships that promote STEM science with the surrounding communities to encourage the next generation of STEM scientists.