Outreach and Diversity Day

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On November 7, 2014, the Graduate Student Affairs Office held its first annual Outreach and Diversity Day, co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The event was created as a recruiting mechanism to invite prospective students from diversity-sponsored programs to visit the UCLA campus and learn more about graduate life in our department. Students from regional California State University campuses including Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, and Los Angeles, were invited to attend. The prospective students are current members of organizations that promote research diversity in the sciences, such as Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS), Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC), Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE), and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE).

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Event visitors with Prof. Neil Garg (Top Right)

Professor and Vice Chair Neil Garg welcomed the prospective students with an interactive presentation. Regarding the event, Professor Garg stated, “The student visitors were able to see all of the great things that UCLA has to offer. It is certain that the Outreach and Diversity Day will help us recruit some of the best and brightest local students, while enhancing diversity in our department.” Other UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty participants included Professors Robert Clubb, Richard Kaner, Benjamin Schwartz, Alexander Spokoyny, and Jorge Torres.

Current graduate students served as ambassadors for the event, with members of the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry (OCDC) providing laboratory tours and highlighting the department’s facilities. Members of OCDC and the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Association (CBGSA) joined the prospective students for lunch, providing backgrounds on research and life at UCLA. The visitors were also given a campus tour, which provided a glimpse of the expansive UCLA campus.

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Event visitors with UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate students

The Outreach and Diversity Day participants departed UCLA with an enthusiastic outlook of the department.  They expressed their interest in applying to the Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate programs. In closing, Professor Garg said, “Kudos to our graduate student affairs office staff for putting together this great recruiting event to help promote diversity in our department.”