STEM students Collaborating

Driving Change

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

UC Davis Driving Change Awards

As part of the UC Davis HHMI Driving Change initiative, we have created the Driving Change Awards to highlight programs and activities that are identifying ways to significantly push the boundaries of what is possible on our campus to achieve goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

STEM students in the field

The goals of the Driving Change Awards at UC Davis are to:

  • Recognize contributions of programs and individuals to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at our institution (with a particular emphasis on inclusion in STEM and a focus on undergraduate education and experience).  
  • Identify our current strengths at UC Davis, i.e. methods and current efforts aimed at increasing diversity, equity and inclusion, the assessment of the effectiveness of these efforts, and what we have learned from these efforts.
  • Increase visibility of existing programs/activities/initiatives on campus, the people leading and/or supporting them, and for proposed areas of future impact.
  • Build a Driving Change Community at UC Davis

Driving Change Awards

  • General Information
  • Deadline for Nomination/Submission: December 17, 2021 at 11:59pm

    -Award amount = $250 for individuals (or per person for team of 2), $500 for teams of 3 or more

    -Winners and programs featured on website

    -More than one award may be given in each category depending on number and quality of  nominations/submissions

    -Must be currently enrolled or employed to nominate/submit, or a UC Davis alumni (although teams can include members from outside of UC Davis)

  • Categories 

  • (some categories have both an individual and team awards)
    1. Undergraduate Student – both Individual and Team awards!
    2. Graduate Student – both Individual and Team awards!
    3. Alumni - individual or part of a team with other categories
    4. Staff – both Individual and Team awards!
    5. Faculty – both Individual and Team awards!
    6. Staff or Faculty Administrator (dept chair, director, assoc dean, etc)

    7. Team combining more than one of the above categories

  • Application Details

  • Application will be submitted using a google form with the following details:

    -Name, email, position, name of nominator (if not a self nomination/submission)

    -Title of Driving Change initiative/program/activity
    -Summary of initiative/program/activity and how it is Driving Change at UC Davis (500 words or less)
    -How can you/we build upon what you/our campus is already doing so that greater progress toward inclusion can be achieved?
    -Link to websites, PDFs or other supporting materials (optional, if relevant)


    For questions about applications and nominations, please email: akfranz@ucdavis.edu

Click here to APPLY or NOMINATE! https://forms.gle/pKYLBoCHoUHnfMKV9
 Deadline for Nomination/Submission: December 17, 2021 at 11:59pm

Details about the HHMI Driving Change Initiative at UC Davis

In 2020, UC Davis was selected as one of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Driving Change finalists, just one of 38 awards selected from 100 institutions.  The Driving Change Initiative recognizes and encourages efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion that focus on race and structural racism in the context of our institution. The goal of Driving Change is to effect genuine and lasting culture change on research university campuses so that undergraduate students from all backgrounds, particularly those who belong to historically excluded groups, will excel in STEM and graduate from college well prepared to pursue advanced degrees and eventually assume leadership roles in STEM.  UC Davis is also part of a Driving Change Learning Community that HHMI created so that members at different institutions can support one another as we work to create inclusive environments, support student success, and recognize the institutional practices that are barriers to inclusion.

Click here to visit the HHMI Driving Change Home Page

UC Davis has implemented an institutional self-study that allows us to develop a deep understanding of the strengths and challenges of our institution with respect to diversity and inclusion in STEM (with a focus on undergraduate education and experience). We will leverage an understanding of this self-study to lead long-term change to develop a concrete strategy, including goals and metrics for measuring progress.  At UC Davis, our self-study builds on recent campus work, which include a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision” (2017), an HSI Taskforce (2018) and Closing the Preparation Gap committee (2019), each of which produced reports.

Driving Change Impact Potential

HHMI aims to support this community as we come to terms with the ways that we and our institutional structures stand for and uphold systemic racism. With a deepened perspective, we can then re-examine programs that have been successful at changing structures and overcoming barriers to achieve goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We must strive to be curious and identify ways to significantly push the boundaries of what is possible on our campus.

HHMI Driving Change Leadership team at UC Davis:

  • Annaliese Franz (Director), Professor of Chemistry
  • Marco Molinaro (co-Director), Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Effectiveness
  • Renetta Tull, Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Sheri Atkinson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life, Campus Community and Retention Services
  • Ralph Aldredge, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, College of Engineering
  • Marcela Cuellar, Associate Professor, School of Education
  • Aldrin Gomes, Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences
  • Analisa Shae Brown, Graduate student Researcher, School of Education
  • Kristin Lagattuta, Professor of Psychology, Faculty Advisor to the Provost on Closing Student Opportunity Gaps