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Diversity: Current Activities

Get information about general diversity-related initiatives below, or find more specific diversity-related opportunities for:

Divisional Diversity Committee

The Division has addressed the need for internal coordination and effectiveness in achieving diversity goals by creating a Divisional Diversity Committee with the following membership: faculty representation from all sections, grad students, post-doctoral fellow, staff (MSO, Director of USIS and GSIS).

To align divisional diversity activities with those of UC San Diego as a whole and consequently boost our effectiveness, each member of the Diversity Committee also serves on campuswide committees that work to increase campus diversity and improve the campus climate. For example, one committee member co-chairs the campuswide committee that proposed and now implements the diversity graduation requirement for all undergraduate students.

Common Experience Project: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

UC San Diego is participating in an impressive program that includes San Diego State University, University of San Diego, California State University San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene University, Grossmont Community College and other local institutions to share a "common experience" in addressing Rebecca Skloot's book about a poor black tobacco farmer and cancer patient whose cells became one of the most important tools in medicine.

Representatives of the Division of Biological Sciences are members of the UC San Diego Rebecca Skloot workgroup. The Division will offer a Fall 2011 2-unit course, A Glimpse of Immortality (BILD 95), based on the book. The Division’s graduate student group BioEASi will develop a program to challenge students to create artistic works that represent various aspects in the book and to illuminate the essay challenge theme artistically.

The Common Experience team has collaborated widely to assemble an academic year filled with lectures, exhibits, symposia and other events designed to foster intellectual engagement and shared conversation. 

To assist faculty, the program organizers are developing an online resource center, openlearningcommons.com, that will feature writing prompts (by discipline), curriculum guides, video resources, audio resources, and the like.

In addition, a monthly lecture series sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology will be held the first Wednesday of every month through April 2012 at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

Partnership with UC San Diego Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools

For the past 3 years, faculty, staff and students have partnered with UC San Diego’s Admissions and Relations with Schools Office, the Black Student Union and a Biology alumnus, Dr. Tony Jackson (currently an ER physician in L.A.) to build relationships with high schools in ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles and San Diego.

King Drew (the alma mater of one of our participating faculty, Gentry Patrick) and Bravo High Schools in Los Angeles serve an almost exclusively African American and Latino/a populations, respectively. In San Diego, Otay and Helix High Schools serve predominantly first generation Mexican American and African American students. 

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) and the Preuss Schools, located at the Cal State Dominguez Hill and UC San Diego Campus, respectively, are charter schools that serve first-generation and socio-economically disadvantaged students.

In addition, DoBS faculty members have hosted Saturday events at the UCSD campus for these students that include hands-on lab tours in Biology faculty laboratories. Those efforts intensify in October and November, the time high school seniors apply to colleges.

To encourage the seniors from those schools to join UCSD, we visit the schools again after the students receive letters of admission in the spring. The Dean sends personalized e-mail messages and our students and faculty follow-up with phone calls.

Want to get involved or find out more? E-mail diversity@biology.ucsd.edu.