Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience (DECADE) works with Faculty Mentors and graduate student representatives to improve the climate in graduate programs to help all students succeed. DECADE mentors share best practices in graduate admissions and work with graduate admissions committees in their programs to recruit diverse and talented students. Mentors receive ongoing training and access to DECADE resources on topics ranging from admissions, successful mentoring, diversifying department culture, and helping students navigate campus resources. Finally, DECADE mentors work with graduate student representatives to create an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environment in their programs.
History of DECADE
Founded in 2010 by Graduate Dean Frances Leslie, DECADE was originally funded through a Department of Education grant. The grant combined student programming with faculty mentorship into a comprehensive program aimed at improving the overall climate in graduate education at UCI. Provost Enrique Lavernia institutionalized the DECADE program in 2015. In 2016, the Office of Inclusive Excellence appointed Professor Roxane Cohen Silver to direct the DECADE Faculty Mentor Program. As of 2021, Associate Director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence, Sharon Block, oversees the DECADE Faculty Mentors.
Beyond its direct work with faculty Mentors and graduate students, DECADE has hosted a variety of programs, including various informational lecture series, a book club, publications, and workshops. DECADE Mentors additionally plan local events promoting graduate community building and education on career success, equity, and inclusion.
The DECADE program is now housed in both Graduate Division and the Office of Inclusive Excellence. UCI Graduate Division continues to manage the student portion of the DECADE program. For graduate student DECADE resources and events, visit: Graduate Division DECADE.