Scripps' 2011 UC San Diego Diversity Award recipients Josh Jones, Noelle Bowlin, and Farooq Azam with Scripps Director Tony Haymet
Scripps Celebrates Diversity
Three Scripps diversity champions honored at UC San Diego ceremony
Three exemplary members of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography community were recently for their commitment to enhancing campus diversity. Scripps graduate student Noelle Bowlin, Staff Research Associate Josh Jones, and Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology Farooq Azam were all celebrated for their extraordinary efforts fostering a spirit of diversity at Scripps at UC San Diego’s 17th Annual Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity Awards.
Noelle Bowlin- Scripps Graduate Student
Third-year ocean biosciences Ph.D. student Noelle Bowlin received a diversity award for her commitment to inspiring young scientists from diverse backgrounds. She is highly respected and valued by her colleagues at both Scripps and at NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. In addition to being an excellent student scientist, Bowlin has an extraordinarily strong sense of community and is deeply committed to inspiring others. She strives to seek ways that her work can help improve the world. Bowlin has personal experience with the challenges facing minorities, especially in the sciences, and she has devoted considerable time and effort to inspiring others to overcome these hurdles. She has sought to educate and empower disadvantaged students in middle school, high school, and college to recognize and grasp opportunities that seem beyond their reach. These efforts include:
accomplished all of this while negotiating a demanding academic schedule as a
Scripps graduate student.
Josh Jones- Scripps Staff Research Associate
Scripps Staff Research Associate Josh Jones was honored with a diversity award for his extraordinary efforts in bringing marine science to underrepresented high school students. Josh has been the driving force behind the SeaTech program at Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) in Sitka, Alaska. MEHS is a State of Alaska-funded public boarding school of 400 students, 90% of whom are Alaska natives, from 110 different communities throughout the state.
Josh worked hand-in-hand on an almost daily basis with the SeaTech student interns, teaching them how to analyze marine mammal acoustics data and preparing them for presentations on Arctic marine mammals. The students presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, an event where they are the only high school students in attendance out of 1,100 scientists. Last year, with Josh’s help, two SeaTech high school interns placed in the top five of 40 Master’s degree students’ poster presentations
Josh’s SeaTech interns also travel to Scripps Institution of
Oceanography every spring to present the results of their research to members
of the Whale Acoustics Laboratory and other Scripps scientists. Josh hosts this
event and provides support as the students create posters and talks to present
to the scientific community. The
confidence the students gain from producing work at this level instills in them
a desire to achieve more. They begin looking at colleges from the perspective
of which college will provide them the best opportunity to succeed, not which
college will accept them. The constant availability of Josh to the student interns
of the SeaTech program, has not only prepared these students for the rigors of
college academics, but poised them to excel.
To learn more about Josh’s work in Alaska, view this explorations now “Call of the Arctic” video.
Farooq Azam- Scripps Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology
Scripps Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology Farooq Azam was honored with a diversity award for his significant outreach efforts. He was the sole faculty sponsor for the teacher component of the “Focus on the Future” program, which brought Compton High School teachers into his lab for three weeks of hands-on training. In Farooq’s lab, these educators were introduced to all facets of marine microbiology research and designed class modules they implemented with their students back in their classrooms. As part of that program, Farooq and his lab provided support to these high school teachers throughout the year in the form of tutorials, on-site lab tours, live Skype demonstrations during classes, materials and supplies.
Also in support of area high school students, Farooq is an advocate for the annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl, encouraging his graduate students to mentor teams from underserved local schools.
His involvement goes beyond high school students to that critically important stage in the development of future scientists – undergraduate education when more than half of the nation’s science, engineering, and math majors switch to different fields, often because they lack encouragement and support that someone like Farooq offers by nature. He has participated in summer programs providing research experience and mentorship for minority undergraduate students, including hosting scholars from the UC STARS program and the Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellowship, programs that offer hands-on experience in Scripps research labs and preparation for graduate school.
Within his own lab at Scripps, Farooq fosters a diverse group and an open, positive working environment, reaching out to anyone who asks for guidance in the community.
In the words of Melssa Garren, one of his former students and previous UCSD Diversity Award recipient herself: “His personality is one of generosity and inclusivity—he makes teaching and mentoring a top priority, and he adjusts his teaching style based on the needs and desires of each individual student.”
April 16, 2012