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Faculty Newsletter
Spring 2021
Zachary Smith, JD, Joins Graduate Division
Please join the Graduate Division in giving a warm welcome to Zachary Smith, who is taking on the role of diversity and outreach program manager. Zach will be working closely with Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learner Success D'Anne Duncan on the many DEI and outreach efforts under her purview, with a special focus on supporting the IMSD program and the Summer Research Training Program, as well as leading the Graduate Division's presence at the annual SACNAS and ABRCMS conferences.
Zach is a double-UC alum, having earned a JD from UC Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in sociology from UC Santa Cruz. He was previously a labor and employee relations representative at UCSF.
Learner Activism
dei timeline
The UCSF Graduate Dean’s Office received two petitions from UCSF graduate students in the past year. The first was posted on social media in mid-June 2020. The second, written by the leadership of Black Excellence in STEM (BE-STEM), represented a re-centering of Black learner experiences and Black learner voices. This second petition was sent to then Graduate Dean Elizabeth Watkins on Oct. 20, 2020, and is now available on the Graduate Division website, along with a timeline of DEI efforts in the Graduate Division in response to learner activism
We encourage you to read the petitions and the responses carefully. Please consider this to be a call to action, but one that should be undertaken with care and intention. We are working carefully and mindfully with the graduate program directors, faculty, and staff to address the deep issues that these students have brought to our attention, and collective action is key to the success of our efforts. We will ask for your support and time in service of new initiatives and structural changes, and when that time comes we hope you will join us in action. For now, please contact Interim Dean Silva with thoughts, ideas, or questions.

Learners and Organizing
Postdocs | UC and the union that represents postdocs at UC (the UAW) will be back at the bargaining table again this month. According to the Union's website, postdocs may be asking for increases in compensation, relocation costs, expanded parental leave, and changes to appointment length. They also want UC to take steps to improve campus climate and address policing issues. See the preliminary list of demands.
Grad Students | Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) have recently made movements toward unionizing. The Graduate Division is awaiting communications guidance from the UC Office of the President. In the meantime, it is important that faculty understand that we avoid influencing the students one way or the other – it is their decision to make.
This and That
New Career Services
Timeline Tool

The Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) has launched a new timeline that will help PhD students in basic sciences optimize their use of career services and keep them on pace toward the career of their choice.
OCPD offers a robust array of programs and resources – so many that students may be overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. The new timeline will orient students to these offerings and help them get the most out of the resources available.
Please remind students that they are also entitled to five free and confidential career counseling appointments per academic year.
Grad Slam Event

On the morning of May 7, root for Anthony Venida, a PhD candidate in the BMS program, as he competes against grad students from the other nine UC campuses at this year's UC-wide Grad Slam competition

This livestreamed event will be emceed by UC President Michael V. Drake.

We hope to bring Grad Slam back at UCSF soon! Last year's local competition – traditionally held in March – was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The fun starts at 9:45 a.m. PDT.
Aim High!
Science in Space

Learn to design biology experiments for space. Spaceflight Technologies, Application and Research (STAR) is a NASA program for space biosciences training. The annual course targets principal investigators (PIs), senior research scientists, and postdoctoral scholars and aims to facilitate their entry to space biology and preparation for conducting spaceflight experiments using NASA and commercial platforms.

The course will be all virtual, September 2021 - February 2022.