Center Diversity

Project Leader: Lisa Hunter, University of California, Santa Cruz

Diversity Plan word document, pdf version

The CfAO is putting significant effort into recruiting underrepresented groups and will be attending several conferences each year to share CfAO information and opportunities. An example is CfAO’s September 2001, 2002 participation in the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) conference, which included a scientific session on adaptive optics; an information/exhibit booth; and posters presented by CfAO undergraduates on their summer internship projects.

Minority Serving Institutions (MSI's) near CfAO nodes: word document, pdf version
Community Colleges near CfAO nodes: word document, pdf version

The following activities have been implemented to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the CfAO:

SACNAS Conference (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.)
The CfAO continues its involvement in the SACNAS organization. Our involvement last year included a scientific symposium on adaptive optics, a CfAO sponsored booth, undergraduate poster presenters, and participation as judges for the poster competition. The CfAO sponsored attendance by four Center members and three students at the conference, which was held in Phoenix September, 2001. In September, 2002 four Center members and nine students attended the conference, which was held in Anaheim, CA.

Graduate Student Diversity Forum
In April, we staffed a recruiting booth at this event which brought approximately 1,000 high achieving underrepresented minority students to UC Santa Cruz to explore graduate school opportunities. Six CfAO members staffed the booth, generating a list of interested students who will be invited to visit the CfAO this fall as they begin the graduate school application process.

New Graduate Student Fellowship
The CfAO offers a fellowship to an incoming underrepresented graduate students at CfAO nodes. Our goal is to attract underrepresented graduate students into the field of adaptive optics and establish connections within our scientific community. In Year Three, this fellowship was awarded to a first year graduate student enrolled in a CfAO institution for summer salary, rather than a new graduate student. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a Hispanic graduate student at UCB, will work with CfAO member James Graham to explore his interest in CfAO research and hopefully become a member in the future.

Summer School
The CfAO Summer School provides an opportunity for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and occasionally advanced undergraduates to learn about Center research and technology. We promoted this event at the SACNAS conference and the Graduate Student Diversity Forum. In 2001, we were not able to attract any underrepresented minority students or postdocs to the Summer School. In 2002, we have three underrepresented minority students enrolled (all Hispanic graduate students). One of these students received a fee waiver in order to attend. We have made efforts to recruit more women to this event, and EHR is covering the full costs of a female student who is considering CfAO institutions for graduate school. We will continue to expand our recruitment efforts to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the Summer School, and ultimately we hope into our graduate and postdoctoral positions.

Stars, Sight and Science
Stars, Sight and Science is a residential science program that serves underrepresented high school students. This project increases motivation through inquiry based, project oriented approaches. Students are encouraged to take more science and math course, participate in related extracurricular activities, and in some cases continue their involvement through the SETT program (below).

ALU LIKE/LLNL Traineeship
The long-term goal of this project is to increase the participation of Native Hawaiians in the technical workforce of Hawaii, especially in the state’s astronomical observatories. To accomplish this, Native Hawaiian trainees are provided internships at LLNL, where they learn optical technician skills. They then work side-by-side with CfAO’s adaptive optics researchers (both astronomy and vision science), participating fully in actual observations and experiments to develop skills in optics and electronics. These mentor relationships and hands-on experiences integrate the educational and research elements of the program. The project also provides intensive follow-up and counseling for past interns to support career and educational development. A closely related goal is to work toward the development of a new Bachelors Degree program at the University of Hawaii, Hilo campus and Maui Community College.

Science, Engineering and Technology Training (SETT)
This project provides internships for undergraduate students, with an emphasis on underrepresented community college students. Students are placed at CfAO sites to complete an independent research project and become part of the research team for the summer. We focus on women and underrepresented minority students; however, we accept a few students who have other educational disadvantages, such as low income, or first generation college attendees.

Clustered Mentoring Project
The Clustered Mentoring Project is incorporated into several educational projects at the high school and college level. CfAO members participating in this project will be sensitized to the barriers faced by underrepresented students and the experiences and support structure that helps keep students committed to their education. Mentoring will be a theme at all CfAO events, with members sharing their successes and challenges with their peers.


Page last revised on: Tuesday, 28-Jan-2003 14:52:51 PST