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UC Davis Receives a UC-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative Grant

Under the leadership of Karen McDonald (Principal Investigator) and Denneal Jamison-McClung (Co-Investigator), UC Davis has been award a competitive grant to enhance faculty diversity and pathways to the professoriate for underrepresented students from California Hispanic Serving Institutions.

The goal of “Advancing Diversity by Educating the Professors of Tomorrow” (ADEPT) is to develop, implement and evaluate an innovative training model to diversify the professoriate in STEM disciplines related to biotechnology. 

Biotechnology is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together basic and applied research approaches across the life sciences and engineering to solve problems in agriculture, health care and natural resource management. It is critical that diverse perspectives are brought to bear on the complex global challenges addressed by biotechnology research and that students along this career path have access to mentors and role models from diverse backgrounds.

Three ADEPT objectives will support diversification of the STEM professoriate, they include:

  1. Design and build the Path-to-the-Professoriate (P2P) mentoring network, a catalytic cross-institutional program to educate and prepare graduate students from historically underrepresented groups for transitioning to the Professoriate
  2. Build a vibrant, welcoming and diverse STEM graduate student research community through the establishment of the Advancement and Achievement via Graduate Education, Information and Opportunity (AdAGIO) Summer Research Fellowships
  3. Host the regional ADEPT Leadership Workshop & Symposium that will highlight milestones along the professorial career trajectory, explore ways to build a resilient science identity, build positive professional mentee-mentor relationships and introduce best practices for preparing a competitive faculty job application for both research intensive and comprehensive universities (e.g writing diversity statements, teaching philosophies, etc). Training will also touch on key concepts in post-secondary pedagogy ( e.g. preparing syllabi and lectures, student assessment, public speaking, classroom management) The workshop will be broadly advertised on both campuses, with priority registration for participating ADEPT students, but open to all interested STEM masters and doctoral students.

 

We are excited that UC Davis has been selected to implement this UC HSI grant as the campus continues in the quest to be designated a Hispanic Serving Institution. The ADEPT grant also extends the work that has been under the leadership of Josephine Moreno, the Graduate Diversity Officer for Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education, the HSI: Pathways to the Professoriate. Currently in its fifth year, this initiative is supported by a $5.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to prepare 90 students from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) for Ph.D. programs and increase the number of Latinx professors at U.S. colleges and universities. In partnership with three Hispanic Serving Institutions–Florida International University; the University of Texas El Paso; and California State University, Northridge–five majority research institutions, including UC Davis provide support to graduate students earning their PhD. Four of these students are now at UC Davis.

Each year UC Davis has hosted the new cohort of undergraduates in the program for students to meet with faculty and staff and tour the campus. During the year, Moreno hosts gatherings with faculty and HSI Pathways graduate students to engage and connect with one another. There is also an annual cross-institutional conference at which time 30 HSI Pathways undergraduate students (10 from each campus) present their research. The presentations this February (before the COVID-19) were of the highest caliber, as professional as any graduate student.

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