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Lecture to Highlight Campus’s Diverse, Interdisciplinary Spirit

March 14, 2016

UC Merced is launching a new public lecture series that combines the campus’s emphasis on interdisciplinary scholarship with its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez

The Chancellor’s Dialogue on Diversity and Interdisciplinarity will host its inaugural lecture at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, in the Classroom and Office Building, Room 120. A reception will follow in the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library, Room 355. Those interested in attending the events should RSVP by March 15.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez, a regents professor and the Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology at Arizona State University, kicks off the series with a lecture titled, “The Importance of Being Interdisciplinary and Inclusive.”

Castillo-Chavez, founder and director of the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI), has served as a research mentor to hundreds of students. Since its inception in 1996, MTBI has recruited and enrolled more than 423 undergraduate students, many of whom are women or members of underrepresented minority groups. Most of those students have gone on to enroll in graduate school.

His work has earned acclaimed recognition including three White House awards, an American Mathematical Society Distinguished Public Service Award, the 2003 Richard Tapia Award and the 2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentor Award.

“We are really excited about this lecture series,” said Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Marjorie Zatz. “It brings two of our signature elements to the forefront — interdisciplinary scholarship and the importance of diversity. It is also a great way for our nation’s leading scholars to learn more about UC Merced.”

Said Castillo-Chavez: “I feel extremely honored to be asked to deliver the inaugural lecture of the Chancellor’s Dialogue on Diversity and Interdisciplinarity. UC Merced is doing what we all aspire to in this country. It has already become a 21st-century model of research and education that puts interdisciplinarity, excellence and inclusion at the center of its academic enterprise.”

Lectures in the Chancellor’s Dialogue on Diversity and Interdisciplinarity series will be held twice a year, and the next talk is scheduled for Fall 2016. For information, call 209-228-4723 or visit the Graduate Division website.

This lecture has also been covered by local news media here.