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Faculty Newsletter
Fall 2021
Social Science Students Contribute to Graduate Division Efforts
Every year since 2013, Rosenberg-Hill fellows, who are all PhD candidates in one of UCSF's social science programs, have not only supported the Graduate Division's DEI efforts and day-to-day operations but have also conducted research that will benefit graduate students and postdocs at UCSF for years to come. As highly qualified social scientists, the perspectives, research skills, and energy the fellows bring to the work are invaluable.
 
In turn, fellows receive financial support for their studies, and they gain meaningful experience in university administration at a research-intensive institution, which helps prepare them for academic careers.
 
This fall, we say goodbye and thanks to our departing fellows Erin Johnson, Jenny Min, and Jeff Nicklas. We also welcome three new fellows (pictured at left): Antoine Johnson, PhD candidate in the History of Health Sciences program; Carlos Martinez, PhD candidate in Medical Anthropology; and Rebecca Wolfe, PhD candidate in Sociology.
 
Read more about our new fellows, their research, and their involvement in the Graduate Division.
Shining a Spotlight on Postdocs:
National Postdoc Appreciation Week, September 20-24
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Over 1,100 postdoctoral scholars constitute an integral part of the research enterprise at UCSF. They help plan and carry out research programs, build collaborative relationships between UCSF and other institutions around the world, mentor graduate students, and increase the inflow of grant support. Thanks to the work of postdocs themselves, together with the concerted efforts of the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars (OPS), the contributions postdocs make at UCSF – to both research and graduate education – are much more visible now than they were in the past. But have you directly acknowledged the efforts of the postdocs you know lately?
 
We're doing our best to shine a spotlight on UCSF postdocs in celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW), September 20-24. You can help! Send a message of thanks to the postdocs you know; give them a shoutout on social media (using #ucsfNPAW) or through UCSF's "recognize" platform. You may not be able to connect with your postdoc(s) in person right now, but you can send them a thank-you card or a take-out pizza. In whatever way you do it, please just be sure to appreciate the important work our postdocs do, now and all year long. There are some great ideas for how to throw a spotlight on postdocs on the OPS website.

2021-22 Faculty Development Workshops
professor and student chatting
As research mentors your role is crucial in ensuring the academic and career success of our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Your role as research faculty is also uniquely challenging; your job requires you to balance mentoring, supervisory, and educational roles for our trainees. As ever, we want to encourage you to take advantage of the many workshops and resources we've curated to support you in fulfilling your responsibilities to our learners.
 
Our next workshop, Sharpening Your Research Mentoring Skills, will be offered on October 12, 6 to 7:30 p.m., and October 14, 10 to 11:30 a.m. (Sign-up link forthcoming.) This workshop is a modified version of the workshop that Dr. Sharon Milgram presented in years past, and it is an excellent place for faculty to start. In the coming months, we will also be offering a new program designed to help research labs build and strengthen their sense of community and belonging using restorative justice practices. Faculty are also encouraged to participate in the DEI Champion Training, offered through the School of Medicine’s Differences Matter Initiative.
 
As a reminder, the Graduate Division Dean's Office tracks faculty participation in the trainings offered through the Graduate Faculty Development Program (GFDP), and we share the resulting data with the graduate program directors and administrative staff. Faculty may also be able to get credit for attending trainings offered outside of the GFDP. Please watch for announcements about upcoming workshops and visit the Program website (mentoring.ucsf.edu) often for program updates and new resources.
 
Graduate Division Implements No-Meeting Wednesdays
On the third Wednesday of every month, beginning September 2021, the Graduate Division Dean's Office will observe a "No Meetings Wednesday." Graduate Division staff members will be unavailable for scheduled meetings – with each other, other members of the UCSF community, and beyond – to have protected time to focus on complex projects and important work that is often deferred in favor of more immediate meetings and emails, which are particularly pervasive in the virtual workspace. We are piloting this policy for the sake of our learners, and in particular support of those who serve them.
 
This pilot is a direct result of the Black Lives Matter advocacy work within the UCSF community over the past year. As we have witnessed, Black staff, especially Black women, continually take on additional responsibilities in addressing white supremacy, systemic inequity, racial injustice and harm, and anti-Blackness that is embedded in academic institutions and policies. In addition to this small opportunity to combat anti-Blackness, we also believe that other members of the UCSF community who are in leadership positions, who are working for equity and justice, and who work to support others, may also benefit from a similar policy.
 
Please visit our website to see the full statement and details.

Summer Research Shines (through the COVID gloom)
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The Graduate Division was able to offer its Summer Research Training Program (SRTP) this year, despite the ongoing pandemic. Thanks to the nimble leadership of Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learner Success D'Anne Duncan and to the formidable energy and dedication of Zachary Smith, diversity and outreach program manager, and to the contributions of a village of faculty, postdocs, staff, and UCSF students, the program ultimately succeeded. Pivoting to an online-only experience necessitated a tricky switch from bench research to computational research; nevertheless, a group of 28 undergraduate students received a meaningful introduction to graduate-level education and to UCSF graduate programs in particular.

The Graduate Division would especially like to thank stalwart SRTP-partner Dr. Carol Gross and her assistant Jennifer Thompson, and programmer/analyst Tom Goddard, whose Chimera software was integral to the effectiveness of the online program. We also want to thank faculty members Paola Betancur, Tony Capra, Adam Frost, Michael Grabe, Martin Kampmann, Oren Rosenberg, and Kliment Verba, and postdocs Horia Todor and Jordi van Gestel, for conducting workshops and activities for students; Ryan Hernandez, for help in organizing and gathering faculty support; and the many faculty who served as mentors in this challenging year – Drs. David Booth, Bill De Grado, James Fraser, Natalia Jura, Tanja Kortemme, Hao Li, Aashish Manglik, Tomasz Nowakowski, Brian Shoichet, and Allison Williams; as well as Ann Lazar, who oversaw the UCSF CAN DO scholars who participated in the Program. Finally, we want to recognize the outstanding efforts of our four graduate student advisors, Dina Buitrago Silva (PSPG program), Nathaniel Meyer (DSCB), Ramiro Patiño (BMS), and Sean de la O (DSCB).
 
As a reminder, applications for the 2022 Summer Research Training Program will be accepted starting November 1. Please encourage any promising undergrads you encounter to apply! Information and the application will be posted on graduate.ucsf.edu/SRTP.