Discovery for All: Empowering Inclusive Communities in Integrative Biology
Discovery is the foundation for innovation and the development of creative solutions to global challenges. Discovery forms the core of individual journeys to achievement and success. The Department of Integrative Biology seeks to establish a roadmap for the institutional change necessary to allow all Berkeley students the opportunity to engage in an authentic, discovery-based undergraduate experience. Diverse mindsets are needed in the next generation of leaders and change-makers. At present, however, participation in discovery-based experiences is significantly biased toward students who are already familiar with academia, who have critical community and financial support, and who have the independence and confidence to pursue such opportunities. To make these experiences more accessible to all students, we will create an early, welcoming “on-ramp” that empowers students to embark on the discovery process: They will become members of an inclusive community built around original, creative exploration. Our proposed program consists of three interconnected efforts that promote curiosity (authentic discovery), community (a sense of belonging to enduring peer networks), and careers (translation of the Berkeley experience to diverse professions). Collectively, these efforts will pave the way for broad scale change in undergraduate education at Berkeley and beyond.