UC Santa Cruz awarded SEA Change Bronze Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

UC Santa Cruz awarded the SEA Change Bronze Award.
UC Santa Cruz received a 2024 STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change Initiative Institutional Bronze Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Left to right: Shirley Malcom, senior advisor and director of SEA Change; Herbie Lee, vice provost for academic affairs, UCSC; Adrian Adrian Brasoveanu, associate campus provost of strategic initiatives, UCSC; and Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, deputy director of SEA Change. 

UC Santa Cruz has been awarded a 2024 STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change Initiative Institutional Bronze Award. The award recognizes the university’s commitment to long-term, sustainable institutional transformation in support of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) through self-assessment. Our campus’ commitment to disability inclusion and access was highlighted as a distinguishing feature of our ongoing work and Bronze Award action plan. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized for work we truly see as foundational — supporting students, being inclusive of all perspectives and backgrounds, and regularly asking ourselves how we can do better,” said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “An institution is enriched not just by the presence of people with a diverse range of backgrounds, but by their perspectives, experiences and ideas. Our scholarship, research and teaching ultimately benefit, as do the state, nation and world.”

Launched in 2018, SEA Change is an initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that supports institutions undertaking an in-depth self-assessment process to identify barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion for their faculty, which is the current focus, as well as students and staff.

In 2021, UC Santa Cruz became one of five new charter members of the initiative, joining seven other institutions around the country. Our campus SEA Change endeavor is a collaboration between UC Santa Cruz’s Office of the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (CP/EVC) and the Division of Academic Affairs, and is co-chaired by Adrian Brasoveanu, associate campus provost of strategic initiatives in the CP/EVC office, and Herbie Lee, vice provost for Academic Affairs, with the assistance of Veronica Forrette, special projects coordinator in the CP/EVC office.

Over the last decade, our campus has made significant strides in DEI work through a variety of initiatives and programs aimed at fostering a campus climate that values diversity and promotes inclusion, and the faculty have been a critical component of these efforts, working collaboratively with campus partners to promote a respectful and thriving environment for all​,” said Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer. “Equity-focused faculty development is a main focus of our SEA Change action plan, which will not only further our teaching and research mission through inclusive excellence across all divisions and disciplines but will also enhance and amplify the essential leadership role our faculty play in these efforts.

The comprehensive Bronze Award application process that took place over the last two-and-a-half years consisted of a self-assessment, conducted with a wide range of campus stakeholders, a comprehensive narrative summarizing the assessment, and an action plan. This process was a team effort, bringing together representatives from each of the academic divisions and other key campus constituencies. A peer review panel of experts in DEI, systemic and sustainable institutional transformation, and higher education evaluated the application. 

Along with the co-chairs, the 2021-22 Change Team included: Larry Andrews, professor of film and digital media; Karlton Hester, Arts Division associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion and professor of music; Peter Biehl, dean of the Graduate Division;  Yasmin Chowdhury, Graduate Student Association representative; Judith Estrada, assistant vice chancellor of diversity, equity and inclusion; Julian Fernald, director, Institutional Research, Assessment, and Policy Studies; Marcella Gomez, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at Baskin School of Engineering and professor of applied mathematics; Abigail Kaun, executive advisor to the dean of Baskin School of Engineering; Kim Lau, professor of literature; Judit Moschkovich, Social Sciences Division associate dean for equity and justice and professor of education; Stefano Profumo, professor of physics; Christina Ravelo, distinguished professor of ocean sciences; Su-hua Wang, Social Sciences Division associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor of psychology; Elani Zissimopoulos, assistant vice provost and assistant dean of financial and human resources, Undergraduate Education Division. Erika Wolford, executive assistant to the vice provost for Academic Affairs, provided staff support.

The Bronze Award is the first in a series of awards recognizing institutions for their sustained commitment to DEI and transformational DEI work.The award was presented during the annual meeting of the AAAS on February 16 in Denver.

Participation in SEA Change strengthens the campus’s ongoing work to ensure the faculty reflects the diversity of the student body, advance student success, increase the impact of campus research and foster a more inclusive campus climate, as reflected in Leading the Change, UC Santa Cruz’s new 10-year strategic plan.