2015 Speaker Biographies
Sylvia Hurtado is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and served for over a decade as Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
She has studied the longitudinal impact of science interventions, undergraduate research experiences, and specific college contexts on STEM degree production through 12 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health. She has conducted several national projects on diverse learning environments and retention, diversification of the scientific workforce, preparing students for a diverse democracy, and innovation in undergraduate education. She served as President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in 2005, and received the 2015 Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (Higher Education Division J). She has written over 150 publications that focus on student development in college, sociology of education, and diversity in higher education. She received her degrees from Princeton in Sociology (A.B), the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed.M.) and UCLA (Ph.D.), where she also served as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the department of sociology.
David Asai is Senior Director in Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He directs the HHMI Undergraduate and Graduate programs, which include: (i) grants to colleges, research universities, and HHMI Professors; (ii) research fellowships to undergraduates, graduate students, and medical students; and (iii) the Science Education Alliance.
Before moving to HHMI in 2008, David was on the faculty for 19 years at Purdue University and for 5 years at Harvey Mudd College. He served as Head of Biological Sciences at Purdue and was Stuart Mudd Professor and Chair of Biology at Harvey Mudd. David served as a member of the boards of trustees of the National PTA and the Higher Learning Commission-North Central Association. He is an elected member of the Purdue Teaching Academy and was inducted into Purdue’s “Book of Great Teachers.” He currently serves on several advisory committees, including the Progress Through Calculus project of the Mathematical Association of America, the Interdisciplinary Teaching About Earth for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate) NSF STEP center,the University of Delaware NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation project, the Minority Affairs Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology, the Understanding Interventions project, the Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS) of the AAAS, Research Enhancement for BUILDing Detroit, and the NIH Advisory Committee of the Director’s Working Group on Diversity.
David received the B.S. in chemistry and M.S. in biology from Stanford University, and the Ph.D. in biology from the California Institute of Technology. He was a Muscular Dystrophy Association postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, and an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Until 2010 when he closed his lab, his group studied the structure and functional diversity of the molecular motor dynein in sea urchins and Tetrahymena thermophila.
Dr. Mica Estrada received her Ph.D. (1997) in Social Psychology from Harvard University and now is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Institute of Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Her research program focuses on social influence, including the study of identity, values, forgiveness, well-being, and integrative education. Currently she is engaged in several longitudinal studies, which involve the implementation and assessment of interventions aimed to increase underrepresented minority student persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers (funded by NIH, NSF, and HHMI). With the NSF Climate Change Education grant, she directs an interdisciplinary team, to provide learning opportunities to San Diego leaders about the changing climate. Dr. Estrada’s scholarly work has had two areas of emphasis. First, her work is theory driven. Specifically, she assess how educational interventions result in greater integration into a community and increased engagement in the normative behaviors of that community. She utilizes the Tripartite Integration Model of Social Influence (TIMSI; Estrada et al., 2011) to inform the design of educational interventions as well as form the basis of evaluation and research used to assess if and why educational interventions work (or do not work). Second, Dr. Estrada’s work focuses on ethnic populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education, most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and have the potential to provide diverse and creative solutions to the pressing challenges of our day. As a leading scholar on issues of diversity and inclusion, she is currently serving on a National Research Council Committee.
Photo by Nick Bruno of Lea Bruno Productions
Andrew Eppig is the Institutional Research Analyst for the Division of Equity & Inclusion at UC Berkeley. He has worked as an analyst at UC Berkeley since 2010 looking at representation, access, persistence, campus climate and other diversity issues facing students, faculty, and staff. Andrew holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan.