Volume 1 | Number 2 | January 2021
Initiative to Maximize Student Development |
From D'Anne...
D'Anne Duncan PhD
A Tough Summer and Fall

As I reflect on fall 2020, I recognize we experienced a rather desperate and agonizing time following the tragic loss of Black lives in the past year. I witnessed our student community divided, torn apart, confused and in deep pain over the traumatic national events and necessary but overdue discussion about racism in America and in academia. I shared in this pain and isolation, even though I am at home and at a distance due to the pandemic.

Nevertheless, over the course of the summer and fall, our student community remained resilient and began to mend wounds and rebuild strength. This provides me with a deep sense of hope and encouragement, and I love how invested our students are in one another’s success, safety, and well-being, as well as in the well-being of their dedicated mentors, including me. We will always remain in COMMUNITY.

Hugs and smiles,

From Our Students...
Trase Aguigam
Trase Aguigam, a first year student in Tetrad, shares his perspective on GRAD 202: Racism in Science, a new class first offered by the Graduate Division this fall. This introductory course explores the historical background of systemic racism in scientific research.

What was the best part about participating in GRAD 202: Racism in Science?
The best part about participating in the course was the opportunity to learn from some of UCSF’s most astute scholars. Aimee Medeiros and Antoine Johnson facilitated most of the discussion and used their combined expertise in the fields of medical anthropology and history of health sciences to engage the class in thoughtful dialogue.

What was one thing that surprised you about the content presented in GRAD 202?
I was surprised when I realized that not everyone was familiar with the overarching themes being discussed in this class. Some people knew quite a bit, and some people did not, and that’s okay. Participation in this class will serve to bring us all up to speed and get us on the same page collectively.
Berliza Soriano
Berliza Soriano, a first year student in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, reports on her virtual research rotations:

What was one thing that surprised you about your remote rotations?
I never imagined that the start of my PhD would be like this, but I have to say I am enjoying every bit of it. This year the rotations looked a bit different as in-person work was limited because of the pandemic. The best part of my remote rotation was realizing how passionate I am for science even when I am not physically working on it, envisioning the experiments, the results and the uncertainty. It also made me realize how resilient scientists can be and how we reinvent ourselves upon facing difficulties. On the other hand, I was impressed with and forever thankful to the PIs; even though they are also going through this hard time, they were going above and beyond to ensure that we had positive experiences and that we could get a sense of the lab, even if it was through socially distanced lunches in the park sitting six feet apart.
2021, Here We Come...
As we enter a new year, UCSF’s IMSD Program is doing incredibly well! In the summer of 2020, we welcomed 18 new students to our program. We immediately began to build community and a strong foundation for success by offering biweekly professional development workshops and community events in the summer, followed by monthly workshops in the fall quarter.

In just a few short days we will welcome our new Diversity and Outreach Program Manager, Zachary Smith, who will work closely with our IMSD students and support our programming and community building efforts. We are committed to and believe in our students and the IMSD community, and look forward to the continued growth of this program in 2021!
Don't Forget...