OCDS Wins Stanley Israel Award

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The UCLA Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) has been awarded the 2015 Western Region ACS Stanley Israel Award. Alumni Dr. Steven A. Lopez (Ph.D. Chemistry ’15, Houk Group) and Dr. Crystal E. Valdez (Ph.D. Chemistry ’15, Alexandrova Group) will accept the award on behalf of OCDS at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Western Regional Meeting in San Marcos, California, November 6-8, 2015. The Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences recognizes individuals and/or institutions who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region. The award consists of a medal and a $1,000 grant to support and further the activities for which the award was made. The award also will include funding to cover the recipient’s travel expenses to the ACS regional meeting at which the award will be presented.

Alumni Dr. Steven Lopez (Left) and Dr. Crystal Valdez (Right) will accept the Stan Israel award on behalf of OCDS in November. Members of the OCDS with advisor Professor and Chair Miguel Garcia-Garibay (Front, Center) .

Founded in 2006, originally as OCDC (Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry) a graduate student led group that operates under the advisement of departmental chair and long-standing advisor Professor Miguel Garcia-Garibay.  Recently, OCDC has expanded its efforts to all physical and life sciences and to reflect this change, OCDC has been rebranded as The Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS). With departmental support, OCDS has a history of showcasing diverse new science as well as promoting diversity through a special seminar series. OCDS will soon officially join the national non-profit organization Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering (ADSE), a graduate student run national non-profit organization founded by Lopez and Valdez when they were at UCLA. ADSE’s mission, like OCDS’, is to increase the participation of underrepresented groups (Women, Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, the LGBTQA community and persons with disabilities, etc.) in academia, industry, and government. 
To learn more about OCDS visit their website here or contact co-Presidents Alex Mendoza or Tejas Shah at amendoza@chem.ucla.edu or tshah@chem.ucla.edu.  The next UCLA OCDS meeting will be on September 11, 2015, at 2:00 pm in Young Hall 2033.