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⭐️ Presented by the Office of Academic Diversity, part of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Advancing the Retention and Success of Historically Marginalized Students in STEMM

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2023 Awardees and Invited Speakers

Elva Diaz, Professor, Pharmacology

"How to change your mind: Broadening access to Neuroscience by understanding mechanisms of Brain function in Learning and Memory"
Professor Elva Diaz, Pharmacology

I am a professor and scientist. I lead a research program focused on understanding how the brain works and how it is impacted by disease such as Alzheimer’s. I am motivated by the scientific discovery process and I aim to inspire life-long learning for undergraduate, graduate and medical students. As a native Californian born to parents originally from Mexico, I have developed a strong appreciation and respect for the benefits and advantages of a diverse population while recognizing at the same time the barriers that exist for some individuals. I am an advocate for an equitable and inclusive environment at the university. As a young person I was inspired by the motto “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I want students to look back at their time with me as a significant positive impact on their training and professional career success. I want people to think of me like I think of my high school biology teacher Mr. Okuda who recognized my potential and inspired me in my path of scientific discovery. 

Natalia Caporale, Associate Professor of Teaching, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

"Implementing data-informed, asset-based frameworks to understand and promote the success of all students in STEM"
Natalia Caporale

Efforts aimed at promoting the retention and success of students from minoritized populations in STEM have traditionally followed a student-deficit approach, where students are seen as the source of the problem and thus interventions are designed to "fix" students, either by "increasing their motivation", "strengthening their academic preparation" and/or "teaching them how to succeed in the academic environment". While this approach has indeed promoted the success of the students that participated in specialized programs and interventions, they cannot be seen but as a band-aid that ignores the more systemic problems within Higher Education that make such band-aids necessary. In this talk, I will share perspectives and findings from my research group that will encourage attendees to consider a shift to an institution/classroom-deficit paradigm that recognizes that accomplishing true inclusion in STEM (and all higher education, for that matter), requires institutional transformations that address existing discriminatory structures and policies and embrace asset-based approaches to student learning and success. Specifically, we will discuss the experiences and statistics of Latinx students on Academic Probation, studies on systemic gender gaps in upper division biology courses across several R1 institutions, how Ethnic Studies courses can support the success of all students at UC Davis and finally, we will also briefly introduce how we are working in our research group to adapting critical frameworks towards promoting the success of diverse students in STEM.

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Tentative Schedule

12:30pm Refreshments & Registration
1:00pm Welcome - Interim Faculty Director, Verónica Martinez-Cerdeño
1:10pm Presentation - Elva Diaz
2:10pm Refreshments & Poster Session
3:00pm Presentation - Natalia Caporale
4:00pm Panel discussion featuring Diaz and Caporale, moderated by Martinez-Cerdeño
Poster Presentations
Interested in presenting a poster? Undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs involved in neuroscience, teaching, mentoring, or bias in science education are invited to submit an abstract for a poster presentation. If you would like to present at the poster session, please complete the questions at the end of the registration page.
About the ADVANCE Scholar Award

The ADVANCE Award Symposium celebrates the contributions made by two ADVANCE awardees, and presents an opportunity for the UC Davis community to join together around the awardees’ research and commitment to mentoring, social impact and public outreach. In this event we will discuss technologies to improve accessibility, algorithms that prevent bias and how to involve community partners to empower marginalized groups. There will be three plenary talks, a poster session and ample time for discussion. We hope you will join us!

The ADVANCE Award is available for mid-career and senior UC Davis faculty who advance diverse perspectives and gender equity in STEMM through their teaching, research and service. Find details below about the Advance awardees who will be featured in this event.

Read the 2023 Announcement

Read the 2022 Announcement

Read the 2021 Announcement

Read the 2020 Announcement

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