The management team manages the daily activities of the project and is led by Faculty Director McDonald, Associate Director Bisson, and Program Coordinator Jamison-McClung. The team also includes a Program Manager, Program Assistant, Communications Coordinator, Faculty Communications, Budget Analyst, Purchasing & Accounts Payable Specialist, and a Financial Analyst. This team is responsible for day-to-day operations, human resources management, communications, and coordinating relationships with other academic institutions and ADVANCE programs.
The Faculty Director and Program Coordinator are ex-officio members of each of the initiative committees, except for the STEAD and Social Sciences Research committees.
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.
Jonathan Eisen’s lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and he holds faculty appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine, and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. In addition he holds an Adjunct appointment at the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA. Dr. Eisen’s research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate).
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.
Denneal Jamison-McClung leads the UC Davis ADVANCE team as Program Coordinator and is responsible for managing and supporting the program and initiatives. In this role, she supports Faculty Director Karen McDonald by facilitating communication and outreach, project programming, NSF reporting, and logistical needs of the ADVANCE program.
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.
Karen is associate director of news and media relations, supervising public relations for the College of Letters and Science (divisions of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, and Social Sciences), Student Affairs and Admissions, and the schools of law and education as well as the Graduate School of Management. She also expands UC Davis’ presence in emerging media. She enjoys showing the rest of the world how UC Davis plays a role in analyzing, discovering and explaining world events.
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.