UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States. Since we were founded in 1905, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society. Our 5,300-acre campus is in the city of Davis, a vibrant college town of about 68,000 located in Yolo County. The state capital is 20 minutes away, and world-class destinations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley are within a two-hour drive.
UC Davis joined the VIP consortium in January 2016, with nine inter- and multi-disciplinary research groups having committed to VIP teams. These teams are from the College of Biology, Letters and Science, Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Agriculture. The VIP teams are engaged in exciting projects like employing protein scaffolds for novel nanomaterial fabrication, investigation of sudden oak death disease, nanoscale materials for cancer drug delivery, design of addressable biomembranes for nanomedicine, structure guided vaccine designs, sustainable and resilient ecological landscape design, real-time data analytics for the assessment of pathologic patient-ventilator interactions, predicting stem cell potency and effectiveness, and practical learning analytics for undergraduate education. The VIP students will receive credits and grades through the Science and Society (SAS) program administered through the College of Agriculture. The VIP program is closely aligned with a number of programs for recruitment of undergraduate students particularly from underrepresented groups such as the Undergraduate Research Center, the University Honors Program, Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE), Mentorships for Undergraduate Research Participants in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences (MURPPS), Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP), Mentorship for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters, and Science (MURALS), and the School of Veterinary Medicine Undergraduate Mentorship Program. UC Davis was classified as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) from the 2017-18 academic year and was able to share with the consortium members the perspective of a VIP program in an underrepresented minority serving institution. In this regard the Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) program at UC Davis is focused on recruiting and retaining Latinas for faculty positions across disciplines. The program has been successful in recruiting 10 Latina faculty and has a goal to recruit a total of 16 Latina faculty. The participation of these faculty in the VIP program will facilitate the recruitment of Hispanic undergraduate students. More female students than male students and a large percentage of first generation students are enrolled in STEM disciplines at UC Davis. The VIP teams at UC Davis will represent research across disciplines and will share with the consortium the experiences of inter- and multi-disciplinary research teams. The Educational Effectiveness Hub (EEH) within Undergraduate Education provides student analytics for the VIP program and shares the software and visualization tools with the consortium members.