Professor Mariel Vazquez has been appointed as the new faculty director of the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science, or CAMPOS, succeeding the founding faculty director, Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, professor emeritus at the Betty Irene More School of Nursing.
“My vision for CAMPOS is centered in the success and retention of its scholars,” said Vazquez, whose appointment took effect Oct. 1.
Vazquez holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics (College of Letters and Sciences) and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (College of Biological Sciences). Her research lies at the interface of mathematics, polymer physics and molecular biology, and she specializes in the application of topological tools to study DNA architecture.
CAMPOS began in 2012 with funding from the National Science Foundation to expand the presence of women and underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, at UC Davis. The center began appointing CAMPOS Scholars in 2014, and Vazquez was among the first cohort.
“She is without a doubt one of the most distinguished CAMPOS faculty scholars that we have had the honor of bringing to UC Davis,” de Leon Siantz said, noting that Vazquez has been recognized by President Barack Obama and the scientific community for her contributions to the mathematical sciences nationally and internationally.
“Dr. Vazquez reflects the best qualities of CAMPOS faculty through her commitment to not only maintain the highest standards in research, teaching, diversity and community engagement, but also lead a new vision that will integrate STEM science with the humanities at UC Davis for the next generation.”
In furthering that new mission, she will explore opportunities to collaborate with Kimberly Nettles-Barcelón, associate professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, faculty director of the newly established Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Social Science, Arts and Humanities.
This article originally appeared on UC Davis Dateline