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The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is delighted to announce Dr. Mariel Vazquez as the new Faculty Director of the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS). Dr. Vazquez is a member of the founding cohort of CAMPOS Scholars, having been inducted in 2014.

Dr. Mariel Vazquez
My vision for CAMPOS is centered in the success and retention of its scholars. In order to achieve true diversity in STEM we must level the playing field and focus our efforts on supporting research excellence. Without research excellence, all other efforts are diluted.

Professor Vazquez holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics (College of Letters and Sciences) and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (College of Biological Sciences). Her research lies at the interface of mathematics, polymer physics, and molecular biology and she specializes in the application of topological tools to study DNA architecture.

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2012, a team of committed faculty at UC Davis embarked on a mission to expand the presence of women and underrepresented faculty in STEM at UC Davis. This vision of institutional transformation led to the creation of CAMPOS.

As Dr. Vazquez notes, “The goals of the UC Davis HSI Taskforce Report issued in March 2019 include recruiting and attracting a broad profile of rising scholars and helping them strive and succeed. While these goals focus on our student body, they align closely with the goals of CAMPOS. Our CAMPOS scholars exemplify the role models and faculty mentors that these students need to succeed.”

Vazquez’s appointment begins October 1 and she is ready to carry the CAMPOS mission forward. In addition to continuing with some of the current initiatives, including the research colloquia as well as leadership and professional training opportunities for the scholars, she has plans for ambitious new programs to help advance the careers of CAMPOS Scholars. She will also explore opportunities to collaborate with the Kimberly Nettles-Barcelón, the Faculty Director for the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Social Science, Arts, and Humanities (CAMPSSAH). 

Both CAMPOS and CAMPSSAH are supported by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion under the leadership of Associate Vice Chancellor Raquel Aldana who has led the institutionalization of ADVANCE and establishing CAMPSSAH.

Dr. Vazquez takes over from Founding Director, Dr. Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, professor emeritus at the Betty Irene More School of Nursing at UC Davis Health. Professor de Leon Siantz is equally excited with the appointment of Vazquez: “She is without a doubt one of the most distinguished CAMPOS faculty scholars that we have had the honor of bringing to UC Davis. Recognized by President Obama and the scientific community for her contributions to the mathematical sciences nationally and internationally. Dr. Vazquez reflects the best qualities of CAMPOS faculty through her commitment to not only maintain the highest standards in research, teaching, diversity and community engagement, but also lead a new vision that will integrate STEM science with the humanities at UC Davis for the next generation.”

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From the CAMPOS Founding Faculty Director Mary Lou de Leon Siantz

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz“The Center for Multicultural Perspectives in Science (CAMPOS) was launched in 2012 by a team of visionaries, the leadership of Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, Professor of Nursing, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE funding that focused on the institutional transformation needed to support women in STEM starting with Latinas. “It was clear to me from the beginning,” de Leon Siantz notes, “that its mission was build a sustainable infrastructure that would not only promote the discovery of knowledge integrating the highest standards in research, teaching and engagement with diverse communities expected of UC Davis faculty, but also to build the leadership needed for transforming the face of STEM to reflect the diversity of a global society in the 21st century. CAMPOS quickly became a model program to support women in science for the NSF, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), and also helped to make UC Davis a university that Forbes acknowledged as a place where women in STEM would succeed.  While starting with Latinas, CAMPOS expanded its mission over time to showcase multicultural perspectives that embraced the best and the brightest scientific minds from all underrepresented groups in STEM. It has provided opportunities for scientific innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration locally, nationally, and internationally among diverse UCD faculty and students as well as through partnerships with diverse community programs like the 4H, CONACYT, and the Mexican Consulate of Sacramento.”