DEI Graduate Leaders Fellowship

2023-2024 Fellows

The School of Physical Sciences strives to create a community where students, staff, researchers, and faculty are able to bring their full selves to the classroom, to their research, and to their work. To propel the school’s mission and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the UCI School of Physical Sciences is pleased to offer several DEI Graduate Leaders Fellowship opportunities for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Learn about previous fellows



Leslie Liu (she/her)

As a woman of color in STEM, I aspire to make the graduate student environment in the school of physicals sciences a safe and inclusive space. I joined the Peers Offering Wellness Education Resources program (POWER) in 2022 because I especially wanted to promote mindfulness and wellness in the student community. Graduate school is known to be an extremely stressful time and I hoped that by becoming a POWER ambassador, I could help my peers access resources for their needs and promote workshops that would empower them. 

Jordan Thompson (she/her)

I am a fourth-year graduate student at the University of California, Irvine, in the School of Physical Sciences. I am passionate about mentorship. I am a part of the graduate peer-to-peer mentorship organization ChemUNITY, where my roles on the Leadership Team include Co-Lead, Social Media Head, and Events Coordinator. Additionally, I am a mentor for the UROP Research Discovery Program, which seeks to prepare undergraduates to conduct research during their time at UCI. I am also on the 2023-2024 executive board of the Iota Sigma Pi (ISP) Calcium chapter as the Secretary. ISP is a national honors society that supports women in chemistry and celebrates scholastic achievement. Lastly, I am looking forward to becoming a DEI Graduate Leader!

Catherine Seo (she/her)

My name is Catherine, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry under Prof. Rachel Martin's mentorship. As a DEI fellow, I am leading a peer mentorship program in my department called ChemUNITY. Our mission is to provide holistic mentorship to the incoming graduate students in our program. We are planning a handful of exciting events to achieve our goal this quarter.

Maya Silverman (she/her)

I'm a PhD candidate in the department of Physics and Astronomy at UCI. Outside of astrophysics research, I'm interested in developing fellowship writing support for students, particularly students who identify with underrepresented groups. As a fellow, I'll be developing and implementing a School of Physical Sciences Fellowship Writing Support Program, which will include a Fellowship Mentorship Training program for graduate student mentors and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) Kickstarter workshop for senior undergraduate and first year graduate students. For resources on applying to the NSF GRFP or similar fellowships, check out the Fellowship Application Roadmap that I developed based on Dr. William Head's NSF GRFP Primer. I look forward to working with you!

Riya Singh (she/her)

I am a second-year Chemistry Ph.D. student with a deep passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Hailing from India, my journey has been marked by a commitment to bridging gaps and fostering understanding among diverse communities.During my first year at UCI, I worked alongside DEI fellows, actively contributing to the organization of events that promoted unity and inclusivity. Additionally, I am a ChemUNITY mentor, offering support and guidance to incoming graduate students. As a DEI fellow, I am committed to actively execute immersive project planning, collaborate with international student organizations, host welcoming events, and establish a resilient community for international students facing the challenges of studying in a new country.

Hui Wang (he/him)

As a first-generation college student with four years of teaching experience at UCI, I've learned that the right guidance and support are critical in encouraging undergraduates from underrepresented communities to pursue academic careers. Consequently, my primary focus has been on this initiative, as well as on bridging the gap between undergraduate and graduate students. I am actively involved in the mentorship project in ESS, which aims to facilitate networking and mentorship opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students. I am also engaged in organizing the PROmoting Geoscience, Research, Education, and Success (PROGRESS) program. PROGRESS's objectives include providing career development support, networking opportunities, confidence-building, and research opportunities, all aimed at closing the gender gap and promoting diversity and inclusion in geosciences. I aim to nurture an environment that encourages curiosity, inclusivity, and growth for all.

Yasmeen Baki (she/her)

I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the mathematics department. My research interests are in non-commutative ring theory, and I am advised by Dr. Manuel Reyes. I am passionate about making mathematics accessible and inclusive to those of all mathematics backgrounds. Some of my efforts include implementing specifications/skills based grading in undergraduate mathematics courses, and intentionally cultivating an atmosphere of collaboration and community to help combat negative stereotypes about what it means to be a mathematics major.