UCLA’s OCDS hosts students from local community college

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On March 4th, the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) hosted students from Moorpark College for lab tours and a graduate student panel.

The event is a part of the ongoing program by OCDS to encourage and help community college students pursue a career in the sciences.

The day started off with lab tours to show the visiting students the wide variety of research conducted at an academic institution such as UCLA. The students toured Prof. Ellen Sletten’s chemistry lab, Prof. Pirouz Kavehpour’s mechanical engineering lab, and Prof. Päivi Pajukanta’s human genetics lab.


Moorpark College students and OCDS members

After the tours, the Center for Community College Partnerships provided valuable information on transferring to UCLA. OCDS graduate student David Gonzalez (a previous Moorpark College student) presented his research in Prof. Suzanne Paulson’s group in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department, and a panel of current UCLA graduate students answered questions ranging from the graduate student life to the experience of transferring to UCLA.

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Left: Graduate students Anna Kataki-Anastasakou and Maly Cosco show the visiting students a chemistry fume hood in the Sletten lab. Right: Graduate student Kelly Connelly explains her engineering project to students.
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Graduate student OCDS member David Gonzalez presents his research on urban pollution.

The next OCDS event is scheduled for May 13, 2017, where students from community colleges will be invited for the Spring Science Showcase which will involve lab tours, talks by UCLA professors, and workshops on applying to graduate school and fellowships. Interested volunteers should contact Kevin Cannon (kac@chem.ucla.edu) or Ethan Rosser (ethanrosser@g.ucla.edu).

The event was funded by generous support from the Division of Physical Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Originally founded in 2006 as the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry, OCDS is a graduate student led group advised by their long-standing faculty mentor and Dean of Physical Sciences and chemistry professor, Dr. Miguel Garcia-Garibay. Rebranded as the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS), the group has recently expanded their efforts to all physical and life sciences at UCLA. OCDS has a history of showcasing diverse new science as well as promoting diversity through a special seminar series. Please visit the OCDS website for more information.

This article and photos were provided by UCLA’s OCDS members.