March 17, 2006

UCSD’S Camp Program Awarded Fellowship From National Science Foundation for Graduate Students

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the California Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Program (CAMP) at the University of California, San Diego with a $972,000 fellowship to fund 12 graduate students who will be pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees at UCSD.

The fellowship, officially the Bridge to the Doctorate supplement to the university’s CAMP program, recognizes the CAMP program’s effectiveness in preparing its students for graduate school. According to members of the CAMP Statewide office at UC Irvine, the record of UCSD CAMP alumni who have completed, or who are currently enrolled in, graduate and professional schools was a determining factor in awarding the supplement, as was the enthusiastic cooperation of the university’s Office of Graduate Studies and Research (OGSR).

The UCSD CAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows (left to right): Pablo Garcia-Reynaga, Roberto Tinoco, Sergio Sandoval, Melanie Zauscher, Manuel Ruidiaz, Cynthia Perry, Kristina Pohaku, Esmeralda Ruiz, Alicia Gamez, Moses Tataw. Not pictured are James Marchel and Anthony Farina.

Bridge to the Doctorate will enable UCSD’s CAMP initiative to provide fellowship and enrichment support for 12 fellowship recipients during their first two years of graduate study. Following the first two years, UCSD CAMP, OGSR, and the respective departments of the new Fellows will work together to ensure academic and financial support for these graduate students as they make progress towards obtaining their advanced degrees.

The award was open to any alumni of a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program who accepted admission to a graduate program at UCSD for the Fall 2005 term. UCSD is the third campus in the University of California system to receive a Bridge to the Doctorate award from NSF since the fellowship was established in 2003. The other campuses are UCLA and UC Irvine.

CAMP seeks to broaden the pool of undergraduate students who enter master’s and doctoral programs by encouraging ethnically underrepresented students to pursue graduate degrees and careers in science, engineering and mathematics. To this end, the program offers numerous research opportunities with faculty mentors, including the chance for students to present their work before peers and faculty at research conferences around the country, as well as exposure to other enrichment for graduate school.

“I am very excited about this fellowship at UCSD because it will increase our ties to the graduate community, allowing us to not only prepare CAMP students for graduate school, but to also assist LSAMP students once they are admitted here as master’s or Ph.D. students,” says Jacqueline Azize-Brewer, Ph.D., coordinator of the CAMP Science Program, an integral unit of UCSD’s Academic Enrichment Programs under Student Affairs. In addition, students participating in the Bridge to the Doctorate program will serve as role models and mentors to CAMP undergraduate students who are considering graduate school, she explains. Such ties will help build the pipeline to master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as strengthen CAMP’s connection with OGSR.

Bridge to the Doctorate also stands to have an impact on increasing diversity in science, mathematics, and engineering at the graduate school level. “As we know, there is a severe lack of scientists from all communities across the country, but especially from historically under-represented minorities and women,” says Jorge Huerta, Ph.D., UCSD Associate Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer. “This program addresses that need in a positive, supportive way. I congratulate each of the Fellows and look forward to seeing them complete their graduate studies and succeed in their respective fields,” he says.

“This Bridge fellowship joins many, many different areas,” says David Artis, Ph.D., Director of Academic Enrichment Programs. “It helps people capable of becoming leaders in academia and research avoid some of the early pitfalls of the doctoral process. It connects UCSD CAMP with other LSAMP programs across the country.” He adds: “At UCSD, the successful partnership between AEP and OGSR strengthens the ties between undergraduate research and graduate school success. We hope our scholars will be role models not only for our CAMP students, but for younger students in their home communities. The Bridge puts these scholars on a road with no end in sight.”

Recipients of CAMP’s Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship at UCSD are: Anthony Farina, Biochemistry; Alicia Gamez, Biochemistry; Pablo Garcia-Reynaga, Organic Chemistry; James Marshel, Neurosciences; Cynthia Perry, Molecular Pathology; Kristina Pohaku, Chemistry; Manuel Ruidiaz, Photonics; Esmeralda Ruiz, Biomedical Sciences; Sergio Sandoval, Bioengineering; Moses Tataw, Computer Science and Engineering; Roberto Tinoco, Biology, and Melanie Zauscher, Mechanical Engineering.

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