The management team oversees daily activities of the project and is led by PI Katehi, Faculty Director McDonald, Associate Faculty Director Bisson, Project Manager Barbu and Office Manager Blumenthal. The team also includes a Budget Analyst, Purchasing & Accounts Payable Specialist, and a Financial Analyst housed within the College of Engineering.
Sophie Barbu is the Project Manager for the UC Davis ADVANCE Program. She leads data research, collection and analysis, and internal program evaluation, and provides analytical support for publication/dissemination of project research results and federal reporting. In 2017, Ms. Barbu was selected for the competitive University of California Women’s Initiative for Professional Development award. She also serves as a member of the Status of Women at Davis Administrative Advisory Committee (SWADAAC) which is an advisory body to the Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.
Dr. Bisson is a Professor and Geneticist in the Agricultural Experiment Station in the Department of Viticulture and Enology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She co-chairs the Policy and Practices Committee of the ADVANCE program on the Davis campus. She served for several years on the CAP Oversight and Appellate Committees, chairing both.
Kate Blumenthal is the Office Manager for the UC Davis ADVANCE Program. She is responsible for supporting ADVANCE meetings and events, providing administrative and logistic support to reach program goals. Kate joins the UC Davis community from Philadelphia and brings six years of experience in a wide range of youth programming and project coordination roles.
Dr. Denneal Jamison-McClung earned her PhD in Genetics with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology from UC Davis in 2003. During the UC Davis ADVANCE award period, she contributed to the management team as program coordinator, including strategic communications, operationalizing project plans, recruitment and management of personnel, NSF reporting and sustainability planning. She continues to serve as a member of the CAMPOS Initiative Committee and on special projects to promote diversity and inclusion in STEM.
Dr. Karen McDonald leads the UC Davis ADVANCE Program as Co-Principal Investigator and Faculty Director and provides daily project leadership and management. In collaboration with Chancellor Katehi, Vice Provost Stanton, and Associate Director Shauman, Dr. McDonald is the main point of contact with the External Advisory Board, the Internal Advisory Committee, all initiative committees, Internal and External Evaluators and the NSF ADVANCE Program Officers.
The National Science Foundation began supporting ADVANCE initiatives in 2001, and has awarded over $130M in funding for a variety of programs. The most significant efforts seek to create permanent institutional transformation.
Professional disciplinary groups allow members to meet, engage, and share knowledge. This effort is particularly important to foster supportive, collaborative networks among scientists from under-represented groups.
We have compiled multiple publicly available databases of the published research related to NSF ADVANCE program efforts to increase diversity in STEM education and the STEM labor force. These include the literature on implicit bias, mentorship and other topics.
Balance is real challenge facing many faculty, particularly women with children. The perception (and reality) of the inflexibility and rigor of an academic career is one cause for the lack of diversity in STEM disciplines.