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Long Beach, CA. October 11-12:The Coordination and Evaluation Center, on behalf of the Executive Steering Committee, hosted the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC) third annual meeting at the Hilton Long Beach with over 110 attendees from across the country. Over the two-day period, representatives of the various BUILD and NRMN programs across the country participated in various activities focused on the theme, “Making Science Smarter: Improving the Biomedical Think-Force through Diversity.” The activities highlighted consortium-wide achievements, prospects for the coming year and best practices on how to demonstrate consortium achievements to a broader audience.
To achieve one of the goals of the annual gathering (i.e. strengthen connections within the consortium), representatives from the various BUILD institutions worked with like-minded consortium members to discuss numerous aspects of their work. Dubbed "affinity groups," the sessions covered a wide array of topics, including sharing of BUILD and NRMN implementation challenges, sharing of BUILD and NRMN best practices, and effective ways for disseminating knowledge through different publication platforms. Participants from the various BUILD programs were also encouraged to discuss and share with the CEC, including an outline of what they expect to be their short term most important outcome(s) for the coming year and how they plan to quantify them. Representatives from BUILD, NRMN, CEC, and the NIH also led focused breakout sessions based on specific themes. For example, "Maximizing Resources and Leveraging HERI: BUILD & NRMN Data Analysis", "Curriculum Innovation and Dissemination, "The Role of Site Level Data in Demonstrating DPC Achievements", and "Successful Engagement of Large Academic Networks". For a copy of the program, you can visit the conference program page here.
In line with the theme of the meeting, guest speakers addressed the consortium on aspects of institutional change. Dhushy Sathianathan, Ph.D., the Interim Vice Provost for Academic Planning at California State University Long Beach, delivered a presentation focused on “Fostering a Data-Driven Culture for Student Success.” Sue Rosser, Ph.D., Special Advisor on Research Development and External Partnerships and former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at San Francisco State University, presented on “Making the Project Smarter: Using Data to Inform Institutional Transformation Projects to Avoid Bias."
To demonstrate its commitment to the overall objectives of the consortium, the National Institute of Health (NIH) had a strong presence at the gathering. NIH representatives provided insightful perspectives through their engagement in multiple session activities and breakout groups. A surprise guest appearance from Hannah Valantine, M.D., Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at NIH, highlighted the importance of the consortiums’ work and closed out the conference on a very high note.
For more on the sights and sounds from the DPC annual meeting, please visit us @NIH Diversity Program Consortium on Facebook and follow us @NIHdpc.
The following hashtags were also used to engage attendees during the activities of the meeting and for social media community: #DiversityMatters #BiomedDiversity #DPC2016. Be sure to stay connected!
We are looking forward to next year's DPC Annual Conference scheduled for October 10 and 11, 2017 in the Bethesda/Washington DC area!
The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.