Jacqueline Azize-Brewer, Ph.D., whose participation in challenging scientific research projects, faculty interaction and classroom experiences as a transfer student at the University of California, San Diego led to her earning a doctorate in neurosciences at UCSD and to her desire to assist other students towards their research and academic goals, has been named coordinator of UCSD’s California Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Program (CAMP).
“I believe my position enables me to interact with students, faculty, and administrators in order to help identify, recruit and support ethnically underrepresented science students at UCSD from enrollment to graduation and beyond,” says Azize-Brewer.
“If we can locate these students early and awaken them to their own potential as researchers, we increase the chances that they will seriously consider advanced degrees in science,” adds Azize-Brewer, who immigrated to California after graduating from high school in her native Honduras.
The UCSD CAMP program, under the university’s Academic Enrichment Programs (AEP) unit in Student Affairs, is intended to provide support and advancement opportunities to underrepresented undergraduate students who are majoring in chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, engineering, technology or other sciences.
CAMP is one of several AEP programs designed to expose undergraduates to challenging research experiences that motivate and encourage them to attend graduate school. These experiences include: providing opportunities for undergraduates to work on research projects under faculty mentors and to present their findings at research conferences before peers and established scientists; attending scientific lectures and workshops; participating in summer research experiences; touring research facilities; and learning about available fellowships, scholarships and other funding for graduate school, and assistance with the graduate school application process.
As CAMP coordinator, Azize-Brewer will continue these activities for the program’s undergraduate membership (which currently stands at 150) as well as enhancing the program with the following initiatives:
Increasing outreach to CAMP students who have transferred from two-year colleges and assisting them in adjusting to a four-year university.
Creating a password-protected, web-based environment (replete with information on past and present CAMP students, including their successes, goals and faculty mentors) to encourage CAMP undergraduates to network among each other and to provide each other with support, such as student-to-student tutoring and mentoring, and alumni-to-student advising on careers and graduate school.
Starting a book exchange among CAMP students to foster collaboration among them and to possibly spare CAMP members the expense of purchasing textbooks.
Increasing the involvement of parents of CAMP students by making parents more familiar with the goals of the program and with the students’ research projects, academic honors and other successes.
In her position, Azize-Brewer also serves as senior learning skills counselor for the McNair Program, another undergraduate research initiative under AEP.
Azize-Brewer transferred to UCSD as an undergraduate in 1990 after obtaining an associate’s degree in science in 1989 from Glendale Community College (Glendale, CA). She later received her M.S. and Ph.D in Neurosciences, both from UCSD.