DECADE Template

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DECADE, founded in 2010 by Graduate Dean Frances Leslie, was originally funded through a Department of Education grant. The grant combined student programming with faculty mentorship in a comprehensive program to improve the overall climate in graduate education at UCI. The DECADE program is now funded by Graduate Division and the Office of Inclusive Excellence. In 2016, the Office of Inclusive Excellence appointed Professor Roxane Cohen Silver as the Associate Director for the ADVANCE Program, with a primary responsibility of directing the DECADE Faculty Mentor Program.

The term DECADE, Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience, reflects the campus aspiration to achieve diversity parity in graduate programs with undergraduate education within ten years. Since the founding of the program, however, undergraduate enrollment has grown, while graduate enrollment has stagnated. Faced with the challenges of fostering access to graduate school admission and retention and the growing enrollment gap, a great deal of work remains to meet the program’s original goal.

Provost Enrique Lavernia institutionalized the DECADE program in 2015. It is now housed in the Office of Inclusive Excellence, where Associate Director Roxane Silver oversees the DECADE Faculty Mentors, with a focus on graduate admissions, mentoring current students, and engaging faculty with the graduate student population to create an inclusive environment. UCI Graduate Division continues to manage the student portion of the DECADE program including the DECADE Student Council, DECADE Press, DECADE Speaker Series, and the DECADE Journal Club, among other programming.

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DECADE  Mentors are committed to fostering and inclusive environment within their academic programs, and promoting diversity within the student population. They serve as a resource to graduate students and faculty alike, collaborating with Equity Advisors and Graduate division to accomplish the program’s goals. The DECADE Mentor Program is directed by Professor Roxane Cohen Silver, Associate Director of the ADVANCE Program.

There are currently 38 DECADE Mentors campus wide, each covers a specific graduate program within the school.

Find out who your DECADE Mentor is:

School Graduate Program DECADE Mentor
Arts Art Daniel J. Martinez
Dance Jennifer Fisher
Drama Lonnie Alcaraz
Music Darryl Taylor
Biological Sciences Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Ray Luo
Ecology & Evolutionary Bio Ann Sakai
Neurobiology & Behavior Norbert Fortin
Business Schoolwide Cornelia (Connie) Pechmann
Education Schoolwide Susanne Jaeggi
Engineering Biomedical Engineering Jim Brody
Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Martha Mecartney
Civil Engineering Farzin Zareian
Electrical and Computer Engineering Ozdal Boyraz
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Lorenzo Valdevit
Grad Division Sponsored Programs Network Systems Amelia Regan
Nursing Sciences Lorraine Evangelista
Public Health David Timberlake
Transportation Sciences Priya Ranjan
Humanities Comparative Literature Annette Schlichter
English Elizabeth Allen
Film & Media Studies Bliss Cua Lim
History Mark le Vine
Spanish & Portuguese Ivette Hernandez-Torres
Information and Computer Sciences Computer Science Amelia Regan
Informatics Melissa Mazmanian
Statistics Hernando C. Ombao
Medicine Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Experimental Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology Hoda Anton-Culver
Biological Chemistry, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Anatomy and Neurobiology, Physiology and Biophysics Rob Steele
Physical Sciences Earth System Science Charlie Zender
Math Natalia Komarova
Physics & Astronomy Tammy Smecker-Hane
Social Ecology Criminology, Law & Society Sora Han
Planning, Policy & Design Martha Feldman
Social Sciences Anthropology Tom Boellstorff
Chicano/Latino Studies Ana Elizabeth Rosas
Cognitive Science Emily Grossman
Economics Priya Ranjan
Logic and Philosophy of Science Jim Weatherall
Political Science Simone Chambers
Sociology Ann Hironaka

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Campus-Wide DECADE Student Council

Doctoral students across campus may get involved on a larger scale by working with the UCI Campus DECADE Student Council to put on events and produce a quarterly newsletter. To get involved please contact Jason Cruz at

School Based Decade Student Councils

Five schools on campus currently have a school-based DECADE Student Council, reach out to your DECADE mentor to get involved:

  • Claire Trevor School of the Arts and the School of Humanities
  • Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences
  • Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  • School of Education

Interested in starting a DECADE Student Council in your school? Please discuss with your peers and your DECADE mentor, and reach out to Jason Cruz at

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Campus-wide DECADE Student Council – contact Jason Cruz at to get involved

School-Based DECADE Council – contact your DECADE mentor to get involved

Upcoming DECADE events – open to students and faculty

Faculty interested in getting more involved, please contact Samantha Anderson-Mekhail in the Office of Inclusive Excellence at

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Mentoring Fellowships

Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) **

DECADE Mentor Graduate Diversity Awards *

  • The Graduate Division will provide annual funding to support graduate program diversity efforts. One-year grants of up to $30,000 each will be awarded to support activities that improve recruitment, climate, academic progress and career success for a diverse student population in Ph.D. or M.F.A. programs.
  • Eligibility: This program is open to faculty members in any doctoral or M.F.A. program. The principal investigator must be a faculty member who has been designated as a DECADE mentor. In the past, students have written proposals supported by the faculty mentor.
  • Permitted Use of Funds: Awards may be used only for graduate student support. Staff salaries, operations or other expenses, if needed, must be provided by another source (note: SoE has traditionally matched funds). We encourage plans that incorporate student perspectives/ input in evaluating the current environment for diversity in the program(s) and in developing innovative approaches for improvement.

Dissertation Fellowships

President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship (PDY) **

Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship (GDDF) **

Differences between PDY and GDDF:

  • Amount of funding: PDY pays $21,600 plus fees. GDDF pays up to $18,000 plus fees.
  • Eligibility: PDY is a diversity fellowhip that has criteria similar to the Faculty Mentor Program. GDDF is a merit fellowship open to all students.
  • You can apply to both but can only receive one.

*Typically announced in February

**Typically announced in March

Other Funding

DECADE Student Travel Awards – Graduate students who actively participate in DECADE are eligible and encouraged to apply for funds to support their travel to professional development or research conferences. Awards of up to $1,000 are available.  [/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Find Out More” open=”no”]

Students looking to find out more about the campus wide DECADE Student Council, please contact Jason Cruz at To find out more about forming a school-based DECADE council in your school, please contact your DECADE Mentor.

To find out more about upcoming DECADE events and activities, please visit the DECADE webpage.[/fusion_toggle]