A Celebratory Symposium for Graduate Division’s JEDI Leadership Course

Dr. D'Anne Duncan (center) chats with several students who've participated in the GRAD 210 course
Dr. D'Anne Duncan, center, GRAD 210 course instructor, chats with some of the participating students. (From left: Jason Garcia, Taia Wu, Robbie Díaz, Nadia Ayad, Dina Buitrago Silva, Duncan, Stephanie Wankowicz, and Shinyi Hsieh, course coordinator.) Photo by Noah Berger.

On September 14, 2022, to celebrate the student leaders that participated in the 2021 and 2022 GRAD 210: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Academic Leadership class, the Graduate Division held a symposium for students to present their capstone projects. The hybrid event included ten brief student presentations followed by remarks from UCSF faculty members Dr. Janet Shim and Dr. James Fraser that highlighted the importance of the course to the research mission at UCSF.

Celebrating each other’s visions of justice, strengths, and leadership styles is fun and necessary! Recognition is a habit and a gift that we have to give each other – all of the time.

Taia Wu, 2021 GRAD 210 student

PhD candidate, Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Launched in spring 2021, GRAD 210 is taught by D’Anne Duncan, PhD, assistant dean for diversity and learner success in the Graduate Division, in collaboration with the Rosenberg-Hill Fellows of the Graduate Division. The goal of the course, which is offered for advanced PhD students, is to bring together training in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) and leadership to prepare UCSF graduate students to incorporate JEDI values in scientific leadership roles.

The symposium featured the themes of community, mentorship, collaboration, institutional change, and personal growth.

Olivia Teter, a 2022 cohort member, discussed her project focused on improving mentorship by training laboratories on best practices to engage and support students. She also shared advice for students considering taking the GRAD 210 course: “I strongly encourage you to open yourself to curiosity, discomfort, and kindness during the course. We unlearn and learn each class through working through challenging topics and conversations. Opening yourself up to this will lead to personal growth and growth in your knowledge and practice of JEDI values.”

Throughout the symposium, students and faculty members acknowledged the leadership and support of Dr. D’Anne Duncan as she empowers each student to create change. Chase Webb, a 2022 cohort member, explained that “the seed” of building and finding community that Dr. Duncan planted when Chase arrived as a first-year student at UCSF grew as a result of Dr. Duncan’s mentorship during the course. Chase’s own capstone project provided research opportunities to local Black and Brown youth in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood as a part of the Bay Area Youth Science (BAYS) Program.

The spirit of the symposium was well-summarized by Taia Wu, a 2021 cohort member, whose project was titled Immortalizing the Visions of Campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leaders. Taia stated, “Celebrating each other’s visions of justice, strengths, and leadership styles is fun and necessary! Recognition is a habit and a gift that we have to give each other – all of the time.”

The Graduate Division is proud of the accomplishments of the students and the engagement at the symposium and plans to continue to host the event to showcase this work in future years.

As for GRAD 210 itself, planning for the 2023 course is well underway, and applications are currently being accepted from PhD students who have advanced to candidacy.

If you were unable to attend the symposium live, please view the Grad 210 symposium recording.

Symposium Presenters:

  • Olivia Teter | Redefining Mentorship at UCSF
  • Dina Buitrago Silva | Increasing Equity in Admissions Applications through Transparency and Clarity
  • Stephanie Wankowicz | Bettering Graduate Student Peer Communities
  • Chase Webb | Building Community Amongst Historically Excluded Groups
  • Nadia Ayad | Community-based Celebration of Black Scientists
  • Jessica Harrison | Toward Health Equity and Justice: Adaptive Structural Competency Training for Healthcare Practitioners
  • Roberto Efraín Díaz | Promoting Equity in Graduate Admissions using Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
  • Frances Cho | Strategies and Barriers in Identifying Faculty Allies and Mentors
  • Jason Garcia | DE-SILO (Diversity, Equity, and Sociology Training in Laboratory Organization)
  • Taia Wu | Celebrating the Vision of DEI Campus Leaders
  • Jesslyn Park | Advocating for Inclusive Visibility of Diverse Contributors, Visionaries, and Champions in UCSF’s Physical Spaces