For Your Information | April 30, 2020

Volume 1, Issue 4

Quick Summary

  • Adrienne Lawson Receives Community Conscience Award
  • HACU's 25th Annual Capitol Forum a Success with Aggies in the Virtual Room
  • 2021-2022 Campus Community Book Project Topic

Download a printable version of this week's newsletter here.

Dear Friends,

In this issue, we will highlight some of the great work that has been undertaken by our Office of Student Resident Diversity (OSRD), which is housed at UC Davis Health in Sacramento. Our offices and centers have been working hard during this COVID-19 era. 

I’d also like to draw your attention to a great piece written by AVC Raquel Aldana (Office of Academic Diversity) about UC Davis’ participation in last week’s Hispanic Association of Colleges and University’s (HACU) Capitol Forum. The piece was recognized by HACU’s western regional and national Twitter sites. We also salute the great participation of School of Education graduate students Claudia Escobar and Alicia Garcia, who represented DEI, their school, and UC Davis at-large in a wonderful way that impressed all involved. 

We also bring attention to the great work that is being done by the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities (Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) as they provide webinars, forums, and television interviews in English and Spanish to reach communities. Further, we acknowledge the good work being undertaken by our DEI Education and Training unit (Office of Campus Community Relations), as they find innovative ways to remotely offer their engaging and comprehensive curricula.

The other week, I had an opportunity to join Chancellor May and meet with two of our constituent groups via Zoom, the Status of Women at Status of Women at Davis Administrative Advisory Committee (SWADAAC), and the Staff Diversity Administrative Advisory Committee (SDAAC), and I thank them for the warm welcome. 

For more information that I share, please feel free to see my Twitter account where I’ve discussed our fundraising efforts with the Ethnic Studies Departments on UC Davis’ Give Day, advocacy for HSIs at HACU’s forum, California’s #BlackStudentSuccess week (shared by our African-American Faculty and Staff Association), workshops for mental health from the School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, support for faculty and staff with disabilities, along with a short “Seventeen Seconds of Sunday Sounds” video that I recorded just to give myself a sense of calm. 

In all of this, thank you again for your hard work and dedication, for your stamina, and for all of the things that you are doing to take care of yourselves and others. We appreciate you!

Kind Regards,

Renetta G. Tull
Vice Chancellor

Please take the time to make comments on the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor candidate forums. The public forums will be recorded should you be unable to attend. You can find more information here.

New Guidance from Yolo County’s Health and Human Services

Yolo County’s Health and Human Services, one of our partners who guide our decisions and actions on the Sacramento and Davis campuses has issued new guidelines requiring face coverings be worn when in public. You can read a recent Dateline article about the availability of face coverings for staff who are still working on campus hereRead Yolo Order Here

Featured Resource Student-run Clinics

UC Davis medical students and physicians make significant contributions to the health of underserved populations in the Sacramento area through their volunteer efforts at several community clinics. These clinics train students in delivering primary care services while simultaneously improving access to care in underserved communities. Learn more about the clinics and communities they serve here.

Cindy Rubio Gonzalez Appointed Faculty Assistant to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Dean Jennifer Curtis (College of Engineering) welcomes Computer Science Professor Cindy Rubio Gonzalez to her leadership team as Faculty Assistant to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. This is a new position within engineering.

Dr. Rubio is a UC Davis CAMPOS Scholar, and has received awards from the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. Dr. Gonzalez and her committee within the College of Engineering will be engaged in a number of activities, including those related to UC Davis’ standing as an exemplar in the American Society of Engineering Education’s Diversity Recognition Program.

A Message from UC Davis Health | Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Greetings from UC Davis Health,

We hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and well. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us into unprecedented times with profound changes to how we now live our lives. Yet through the change and uncertainty, there is a story unfolding about the resilience of the human spirit, the rise of giving and compassion, and our unstoppable capacity to foster community beyond the space and distance that these times require. UC Davis is part of that story.

At the health system, it is “all hands on deck” to protect the health of California’s communities. This includes UC Davis health care providers who are at the frontlines, the environmental service and facilities teams that make sure our hospital and clinics are safe and clear, administrators who help ensure that the process of care is accessible and relevant, and researchers who are working hard to find new treatments.  

The Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) and our partners are also active on this front. As` the clinical members of our team continue to provide culturally responsive care to sick patients, we have developed a webinar series, “Coping as a Community: COVID-19,” to help the broader community develop practical approaches to coping and healing.  You can find these webinars at our website. We hope you can find some time to take a look and join us in fostering health during these unprecedented times.

The pandemic affects each community differently. Even as we work to foster health broadly, we must recognize and address the disparate and inequitable impact of the pandemic on diverse and minoritized communities. To improve awareness and support, we have posted COVID-19 resources on the HEDI website, and the Center for Reducing Health Disparities has an excellent resource page that is also translated into Spanish. Please help us share them widely! We are also working with regional partners and community-based organizations to outreach and support vulnerable communities. For example, Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and an internationally recognized expert on disparities research, recently interviewed with Univision to educate the Spanish-speaking public about COVID-19.  

Sheltering-in-place raises significant access barriers to health care. These barriers are even more pronounced in underserved populations and the clinics that serve them. UC Davis Health has a long history of using telehealth to break down these barriers for isolated communities across California. We are using our experience and expertise to improve access during the pandemic. Most of our outpatient clinical services now utilize video clinical visits which can be done securely over a smartphone and involve interpreters if needed. Additionally, Dr. Moon Chen, an internationally recognized UC Davis cancer disparities researcher, helped to secure telehealth equipment for the Health and Life Organization (HALO), a group of community clinics that serve predominantly Asian, Latinx, and African American people in the Sacramento Area.

Our health care teams, which include faculty, staff, and residents, are deeply committed to supporting the health of our communities. At times the need seems so great and the commitment resonates so deeply, that we are prone to forget about our basic needs for sleep, food, and water. The community has responded with an outpouring of support and donations. These donations not only help our health care professionals stay socially, mentally, and physically nourished, it is also a kind reminder that the work that we all do truly matters!  Thank you! We are truly grateful and inspired by your kindness!

Best wishes for health and community from our family to yours. 

The UC Davis Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team.


Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion | AVC Hendry Ton

On Friday April 17, the Office of Student and Resident Diversity (OSRD) hosted its first virtual Diversity Revisit Day for about 110 admitted applicants to the UC Davis School of Medicine. The team shared the School and Health system’s commitment to serving underserved communities and diversifying the healthcare workforce, alongside resources such as academic support and financial aid. READ MORE In addition to giving the students a warm UCD welcome, it provided information to advise their decision on where to matriculate into medical school. Most medical schools offer this type of event before the commit-to-enroll deadline (April 30), and applicants use these events to gauge the culture of the schools they may attend. While all admitted students are invited, we pay special attention to UC Davis’ mission to serve the underserved and diversify the health care workforce. This is an annual event that OSRD has hosted since at least 2008, though this was our first virtual session. While the vast majority of students joined us from Sacramento, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley (Redding to Bakersfield), we also had some students calling in from the Inland Empire (Riverside, San Bernardino) and southern Oregon (Medford). Among the many presenters included Dr. Jorge García – Faculty Director, Office of Student and Resident Diversity, Charlene Green – Director of Outreach, Recruitment and Retention and Shea Hazarian – Program Coordinator, Office of Student and Resident Diversity.

Senior Director for Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Adrienne S. Lawson, received the Community-Conscious award last month from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Omega Lambda Zeta Chapter at their 3rd Annual Finer Womanhood Week Luncheon at which she gave an inspirational and well received message about mentoring. Congratulations Adrienne!

Office of Academic Diversity | AVC Raquel Aldana

In mid-April 2020, Excelencia in Education released its most recent analysis of publicly available IPEDS data (2018-2019) on enrollment of undergraduate Latinx students across higher education institutions – 2-year, 4-year, public and private institutions. Based on the latest data, over the last 10 years the number of HSIs has almost doubled (from 280 to 539) across the United States. The analysis also captures 352 emerging HSIs. The majority of HSIs are 4-year public institutions and about 215 (40%) offer graduate degrees. Together, HSIs and emerging HSIs enrolled approximately 1.8 million Latinx students across the country. 

California continues to lead the nation with 176 HSIs and 46 emerging HSIs which enrolled almost 642,500 Latinx students representing 36% of all Latinx students served by HSIs and emerging HSIs. In California, a little over half (95 of 176) of HSIs are 2-year public institutions with 4-year privates (38) and 4-year publics (40) making up the other half of HSIs. An analysis of raw enrollment numbers across HSIs and emerging HSIs in California reveals that UC Davis’ enrollment of almost 6,800 students placed the campus in the 29th place of the 176 officially designated HSI campuses in California. UC Davis is continuing to take steps toward achieving our formal designation as a HSI. Additional information regarding Excelencia, their methodology, briefs and infographics can be found here

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities successfully hosted its 25th Capitol Forum the week of April 21 all on a virtual platform. Two exceptional graduate students from the School of Education, Claudia Escobar and Alicia Garcia, alongside Vice Chancellor Renetta Tull and Associate Vice Chancellor Raquel Aldana, represented UC Davis with incredible depth and heart during virtual meetings with the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and with Congressmembers John Garamendi and Doris Matsui.

HACU’s 2020 legislative agenda was responsive to COVID 19’s impact on higher education and in particular Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). It also included asks related to increased appropriations funding for MSIs, urgent passage of the DREAM & Promise Act (HR 6) by the Senate, and support for the HERE Act

The House of Representatives with all Democrat members and seven Republican members passed HR 6 with 237 votes in favor. It is now up to the Senate to act urgently in favor of the bill to ensure that the more than 450,000 undocumented students enrolled in college, only about 216,000 of whom are DACA eligible, remain in college. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) decided that DACA and undocumented students are excluded from the emergency aid to students under the CARES Act. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) have urged DOE to undo this decision, arguing that the CARES Act, which slated $6 billion to go directly to students through the Education Department, did not specify which students could have access to aid. 

The possibility of DACA’s end also looms large for DACA students who sent a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court not to affirm President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. The letter urges to Court to consider the impact of a negative decision right now when 27,000 dreamers are health care workers, including 200 medical students, and many are in the front lines in hospitals across the country. Even if the Supreme Court were to side with Dreamers, the holding’s implementation is uncertain under the current crisis when immigration agencies are largely shut down and its reach will be on fewer than half of undocumented students enrolled in college. Moreover, because the Supreme Court’s case only protects Dreamers already with DACA status when the Trump administration rescinded the program on September 5, 2017 very few undocumented students who will enroll in college in Fall will have DACA. Most were simply too young to apply for DACA when it was still available (an applicant must be 15 years old to apply).

In sum, without Congress deciding to create a path to legalization for Dreamers not only will they be excluded from the CARES Act but most will not have work authorization to earn money to afford the cost of attending college. DREAMERS in California fare a little bit better since many but certainly not all are eligible for in-state tuition and some state-funded student aid, which does not cover graduate or professional students or nonresident undocumented students. Likely, most still need the work authorization to afford college and/or participate fully in their educational experience such as serving as graduate research students (GSRs), as teaching assistants (TA’s) or other types of paid work study opportunities.  Thankfully, the University of California and California State University systems have said they will use their own funds to help the immigrant students during the pandemic. In a strongly worded statement, Chancellor May affirmed UC Davis’s commitment to our AB540, DACA and undocumented students. 

HACU’s request for increased funding for MSIs is justified by the exponential growth of these institutions and federal funding that is failing to keep up while disparities in resources and outcomes persist. For example, HSIsreceive 68 cents for every dollar going to all other colleges and universities annually, per student, from all federal funding sources. HSIs, moreover, educates more than 65% of all Chicanx/Latinx students in the U.S., and with supplemental federal funding, they are innovating to close opportunity gaps and function as important engines of social mobility. HACU’s ask included $170 million in Higher Education Act (HEA), Title V-Part A, $35 million in HEA, Title V-Part B; $55 million in National Science Foundation (NSF) HIS Program and $25 million in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) HSI Education Grants.

The HERE Act, introduced by Congressman Joaquin Castro, creates a new section under Title V of the HEA for a new grant program to support partnerships and collaboration between HSI colleges and universities and HSI school districts for the purpose of improving their educational attainment. HACU is proposing that $150 million be authorized to create the program. In California, the innovations that could emerge from these opportunities include closing significant gaps in the completion of the A-G curriculum and other inequities impacting  our Chicanx/Latinx students who comprise nearly 55% of all high school graduates.

Finally, with the expectation of a second stimulus package coming from Congress in response to COVID-19, HACU is asking for an additional one billion dollars in emergency funding for HBCUs, TCUs, AANAPISIs, PBIs and other MSIs. Not surprisingly, this was the ask that took up the most time and also the most heart. Below are the remarks provided by Claudia and Alicia. Kudos to each of them for speaking up so eloquently on behalf of Rising Scholars.  

Claudia Escobar’s Remarks: 
Like other students you may hear from in relation to funding for minority serving institutions, I am the first in my family to attend and graduate with a college degree. I am a bit farther along in my education trajectory since I have a bachelor’s degree in government, a master’s degree of public policy, and soon to hold a doctorate in education, COVID permitting. My parents are undocumented immigrants from El Salvador with an elementary school education and worked in jobs that in today’s Covid reality would have rendered them unable to provide a roof over my head and food on the table. 

A college education for me represents stability and a ticket out of poverty like many others who depend on public higher ed but especially minority serving institutions. It wasn’t until I had my first graduate degree that I stopped feeling as if I was just surviving and started to feel as if I was thriving. The bit of social mobility I achieved was far enough from poverty that I felt I could come back to school and secure a doctorate degree despite my student loans. My experience at UC Davis, has empowered me to believe that I am a social scientist and that my aspirations to be a Community College President are possible. We desperately need college presidents and leaders to reflect the students they serve. I hope to build community college transfer pathways for today’s low income firstgen students to attend a CalState or UC of their choice. But these institutions need financial assistance for that to happen. COVID-19 has reminded me of how tenuous social mobility paths are for low-income firstgen students of color, their families, and university service workers who are often the same. Not supporting future emergency relief funds for MSIs sets back years of work and efforts to diversify student pipelines that prepare our future scientists, faculty, and democratic leaders. Senator Feinstein’s support of emergency relief for MSIs safeguards the American Dream that me and many others have worked really hard to achieve with the help of postsecondary education. Low-income firstgen students and respective families, like mine heavily depend on institutions such as Los Rios Community College, Sacramento State, and UC Davis for stability today and their future. 

COVID 19 has hit higher education extremely hard. As the world’s largest public university system, UC is confronting many of the worst impacts of the virus all at once. We estimate that in March alone our losses exceeded 310 million in new expenditures and lost revenues, 80 million at UC Davis alone. UC is grateful for the much needed 26O million in direct assistance through the CARES Act but it is not sufficient to help us cover our losses in this first month of likely a prolonged crisis. California’s legislature is already preparing all our public postsecondary institutions for no increases to our already thin budgets in this next budget cycle given the enormous hit to state revenues. Our Community Colleges and CalStates have been similarly impacted by COVID as you’ll hear from them. I ask that Senator Feinstein consider and support our nation’s low-income communities in any future relief package by investing an additional $1 billion in emergency funding for HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, HSIs, AANAPISIs, Predominantly Black Institutions** and other Minority-Serving Institutions.

Alicia Garcia’s Remarks: 
My name is Alicia Garcia, and I am a first generation, Mexican-American, proud daughter of immigrants and an essential farmworker. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in Education at UC Davis studying the retention of underserved students in higher education, broadly. 

As a low-income student, I have always depended on the services offered to me by my university. When Covid-19 started here in the U.S., I decided to go back home, along with my siblings who are also in college, as we knew we had to combine our resources to help our parents and make ends meet through these difficult times. I was home for the last three weeks, but being from a rural community in the Central Valley, we have very limited access to Internet. In our household, we decided to get the fastest option for WiFi since we were all heading home, but even then, my internet crashed at least four times a day. Knowing that I had this HACU capitol forum, I made the difficult decision to leave my home to head back to Davis as I knew I would have a reliable internet connection here as I prepared for this forum. 

As I mentioned, as a low-income student, I have always been dependent on the services provided to me by my institution such as the food pantries, financial aid, discounts on meats and protein at the dairy farm, and easy access to CalFresh, for example. But now, with the increase in financial obligations, my dependence on resources provided by my institution has exacerbated. My home department, the School of Education, is assisting their students who have been financially impacted by Covid-19 by providing emergency grants to pay for resources and equipment needed to conduct our research and teaching responsibilities from home with hopes of alleviating some of the financial stressors. This financial support will be helpful and I am extremely grateful for it. As we know, financial stress not only impacts low-income students like myself, mentally and physically, but also our academics and ability to focus on our work when most of our time is spent worrying about and finding solutions on how we will pay our next bill. By investing an additional $1 Billion in emergency fund for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) who serve a large proportion of the nation’s low income and underserved students, the resources institutions of higher education could provide students like myself would be even greater. Thank you so much for your time.   

Find out more information about the CAMPSSAH and CAMPOS 2020-21 Faculty Scholar nomination process and the 2020 ADVANCE Scholar Award call for nominations here .

Office of Campus Community Relations | AEVC Rahim Reed

Diversity and Inclusion Education and Training Program continues to provide professional development opportunities in webinar formats. Since the COVID pause, the Diversity and Inclusion Education and Training Program completed 18 departmental training sessions across UCD and UCDHS to date, with more trainings scheduled through the end of the academic year. Classes also continue through SDPS, in addition to responding to training requests.

Campus Council in Community and Diversity (CCC&D) has chosen the topic --practicing social justice-- for the 2021-2020 Campus Community Book Project cycle. Call for book nominations will begin in July and a selection committee will be convened in the summer to review nominated titles.


Thursday, April 30

NADOHE Standards 2.0 and COVID-19 Part I: Advancing the Centrality and Capacity of DEI Work in the Context of Crisis Management
This crisis, and the many disruptions it has caused, has created significant opportunity to embed DEI work in the core mission of institutions and to help build capacity to understand how institutions can move forward in ways that are truly more inclusive in their structures and practices. LEARN MORE

Working remotely Support for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities
Coping with stress, anxiety and loneliness; accommodations in a virtual environment; tools and tips to build community. LEARN MORE

Science Café - Community Conversations
Join us for a virtual Science Café to learn from health and policy experts about COVID-19 in Sacramento. LEARN MORE

Meeting the Educational Needs of Black Students During and After COVID-19
From our colleagues at the African American Faculty and Staff Association for African American Student Success Week. LEARN MORE

FacultyConnect: A place to share experiences with remote teaching
What do Students Really Want from Online Instructors. LEARN MORE

The Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) Drop-in Support Group
Davis Campus Staff and Faculty on Friday, May 1 from 12:00 – 1:00pm or by phone: 16699006833/97406370392#.  There is currently limited to 30 people per session and the group is open to all UCD campus employees. 

The Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) Drop-in Support Group
UCDH Staff and Faculty, 12:00pm-1:30pm: Calming anxiety   

Friday, May 1

Student Voices: The Transfer Journey for African American Students to HBCU, CSU and UC
From our colleagues at the African American Faculty and Staff Association for African American Student Success Week LEARN MORE

The Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) Drop-in Support Group
UCDH Staff and Faculty, 1:00-2:30 pm: The ups and downs of sheltering in place 

Thursday, May 7

FacultyConnect: A place to share experiences with remote teaching
Five Ways to Foster Creativity in your Online Classroom. LEARN MORE

Thursday, May 14

FacultyConnect: A place to share experiences with remote teaching
Identifying and Supporting Struggling Students in Online Courses. LEARN MORE


Covid-19 has provoked deep reflection on multiple levels, including on how to continue to engage in the face of significant disruption to our students, our family, our community, the world, and our planet. We wanted to share with you a few communications that we have found especially insightful. If you have a recommended reading you’ve found helpful or insightful, please let us know

Beckie Supiano, “Why is Zoom so Exhausting?”
Zoom fatigue is a real thing!

France Córdoba, NSF Letter to Community Regarding COVID-19 
NSF Director Córdoba reminds us of the important role the NSF played in re-building society after WWII. 

Aisha Ahmad, “Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure” 
Ahmad’s wisdom, reminding academics to slow down and be human, is born from years of working within communities which unfortunately have more practice with functioning in crisis.

Emma Pettit, “As Professors Scramble to Adjust to the Coronavirus Crisis, the Tenure Clock Still Ticks”


  • All UC medical plans include comprehensive telehealth — and telemental health — services. to help you navigate the coronavirus. Here’s how to access the professional medical advice you need, from the comfort and safety of your own home.
  • UC's community is banding together, proving that in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic hardships, there are plenty of opportunities to practice compassion, show solidarity and bring conceptual research to reality.
  • The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley is now offering a series of short instructional videos with simple, science-tested practices to help cultivate resilience and connection during COVID-19.
  • Wondering where to turn for the latest coronavirus and COVID-19 news? Visit UCnet for current systemwide employee information, as well as links to location-specific, California, national and worldwide resources.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way California Capital Region has created a local relief fund to provide financial support to address the needs of individuals and families in the greater Sacramento area as well as the nonprofits who serve them. For additional information, visit here.

We invite you to share and submit your thoughts and items for our newsletter (either current or future news and events) at

Thank you for your dedication, and thank you for all that you do!