Graduate Division


"DECADE offers an opportunity for professional development while fueling an imperative mission for students who are passionate about our country's social climate."

DECADE stands for the Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience. In collaboration with the Office of Inclusive Excellence, this program provides a diverse group of UCI graduate students with a supportive community consisting of faculty, staff, and students; resources tailored to fit specific needs, and a wide variety of professional development and leadership opportunities. DECADE seeks to improve inclusive excellence by increasing the participation and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in graduate programs. As part of the program’s mission to promote inclusive excellence in graduate education, DECADE provides a wide range of resources that all graduate students are welcomed to take advantage of, such as:
  • Competitive Edge Summer Research Program
  • DECADE Community Meetings
  • DECADE Faculty Mentors
  • DECADE Learning Communities
  • DECADE Press
  • DECADE Speaker Series
  • DECADE Student Council
  • DECADE Student Travel Awards
  • WATzUP Community Outreach

To find out more about DECADE events, programs, and intiatives

 subscribe to the DECADE listserv HERE


DECADE Competitive Edge Summer Research Program

The DECADE Competitive Edge Summer Research Program is a summer pre-entry program geared towards incoming Ph.D and M.F.A students who are underrepresented in their disciplines. Participants conduct faculty mentored research and participate in workshops that prepare them to successfully transition to graudate school.

DECADE Community Meetings

DECADE meetings provide a safe space and serve as platforms for students to speak freely about their experiences in graduate school.  They also serve as a venue for students to connect with their peers and discuss topics related to diversity and campus climate. 

Community meetings take place twice each quarter.  

Equity Advisors

DECADE will transform campus climate by adapting and extending the work of ADVANCE Equity Advisors to include graduate education.  Equity Advisors within each school provide a critical link between central administrative support services and individual faculty and graduate students.  Equity Advisors are senior faculty members who participate in faculty recruitment by approving search strategies and raising awareness of Best Practices. Additionally, they organize faculty development programs, with both formal and informal mentoring, and address individual issues raised by women and underrepresented minority faculty.  Equity advisors will also collaborate with DECADE Faculty Mentors to develop best practices for nurturing an inclusive climate for all graduate students.


To find out more about DECADE events, programs, and intiatives subscribe

to the DECADE listserv HERE

Winter 2018

DECADE New Year Social 

    • Friday, January 11th from 5:00-9:00pm (Location: Anteater Pub and Grille)


DECADE Winter Community Meeting 

    • Tuesday, January 22nd from 12:00-1:30pm (Location: Graduate Resource Center)


DECADE Speaker Series - Terrance Mayes

    • Tuesday, February 26 from 10:30-11:45am (Location: Graduate Resource Center)

Additional information forthcoming. RSVP HERE

DECADE Faculty Mentors

Through collaborations, Faculty Mentors foster inclusive excellence at the graduate level. They work with students, faculty and administrators to improve climate, inclusion and access within their academic programs.

DECADE Learning Communities

Learning communities serve as spaces for members of our campus community to come together on a regular basis to share ideas, opinions, advice, and needs regarding a specific topic. Furthermore, these settings will serve as an additional opportunity for DECADE community members to work towards building interdisciplinary and meaningful connections with one another.

Winter 2019 Learning Community - Preparing Future Faculty

  • More information forthcoming 


The Student Council produces a quarterly newsletter that informs graduate students about upcoming events, career planning and professional development opportunities. The newsletter also provides spotlights on faculty and current graduate students, and reflections on past events related to diversity and other topics relevant to graduate education. Hardcopies of the most recent DECADE Press can be picked up at the Graduate Division (Aldrich Hall 120) or the Graduate Resource Center

A copy of the most current DECADE Press can be found below:

DECADE Press Winter 2019

Past DECADE Presses:

DECADE Press Fall 2018

DECADE Press Spring 2018

DECADE Press Winter 2018

DECADE Student Council

The Student Council, which is comprised of current graduate students, serves as an advisory role to DECADE leadership, Faculty Mentors and Equity Advisors, and the Graduate Dean's Diversity Council. They help plan and organize DECADE programming and events.  Click here for more info.

For information on getting involved contact Claudia Campos or any of the Chairs below:

Nominations for the 2019-2020 DECADE Executive Council are now being accepted through Monday, April 15th, 2019. To submit a nomination, please CLICK HERE. To learn more about the available officer positions, please CLICK HERE. 

Council Co-Chairs:

STEM: Maryam Asghari (

HASS: Steven Mejia (


Edith Medina Huarita (

Education Chair:

Melissa Thone (

Public Relations Co-Chairs:

Lead Editor: Melina Pinales (
Public Relations: Janielle Vidal (

Recruitment Co-Chairs:

Elena Dominguez (
Daniel Jaimes (

Campus Coordinator Chair:

Adrien Arias (

DECADE School Based Councils

While we we invite students to be involved with the campus-wide DECADE events that we organize, we also recognize the importance of school-based councils that can gather students to discuss school specific issues and resources based on the needs of each discipline.  We strongly encourage the formation of school-based DECADE student councils that will:

  • Provide a safe space for graduate students to discuss issues they may be facing
  • Promote opportunities for graduate students to implement programming regarding diversity
  • Promote more dialogue between graduate students and faculty, especially regarding diversity
  • Build and sustain an inclusive school-wide culture for all graduate students

If you are looking to start a school-based council in your school or department, please contact our Campus Coordinator, Adrien Arias

As of Spring 2018, below are the current school-based councils on campus. Please contact the students directly if they are from your program/school to learn about becoming involved. 


Student Contact


Arts & Humanities

Erica Cheung & Wujun Ke,

Biological Sciences

Caitlin Surie


Doron Zinger

ICS & Engineering

Laia Ferrer Argemi & Zahra Montazeri

Physical Sciences



Public Health

Bridgette E. Blebu, Ivy Torres & Samantha Garcia,,

Social Sciences

Stephanie Pullés & Jessica Kang,

If your school/program has an active student council and it is not listed here, please email Adrien Arias and Claudia Campos.

DECADE Speaker Series

This program features distinguished speakers from across the country to present on issues related to diversity in higher education and provides an opportunity for the DECADE community to engage in the dicussion of inclusive climate and diversity in graduate education. Please email if you have any speaker suggestions.

Winter 2019

Terrance Mayes, Ed.D. - Tuesday, February 26, 2019

  • Wellness Matters: Cultivating a Culture of Wellness and Resilience Among Graduate Students 

See past events below

Mark Lawson, Ph.D. - May 17, 2018

  • Supporting Diversity and Success in Graduate Training: Novel Approaches to Preparing for Entrance Into and Exit From Graduate and Post-Doctoral Training. 

Charis Kurbrin, Ph.D. - March 9, 2018

  • Rethinking Crime and Immigration

Tyrone Howard, Ph.D. - December 5, 2017

  • Creating Access and Equity for All Students

DECADE Student Travel Awards

Graduate students who actively participate in DECADE are eligible and encouraged to apply for funds to support their travel to professional development or research conferences. Active partcipation includes, but is not limited to, holding leadership positions in campuswide and school-based councils, organizing diversity and inclusion-based programs with DECADE Faculty Mentors, and holding mentoring positions for Graduate Division programs including DECADE PLUS, Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and Competitive Edge.

Awards of up to $1,000 are available. 

The 2018-2019 DECADE Travel Award application is now available here

We Are Them (WATz Up) Community Outreach

At UC Irvine, we are committed to engaging similarities and differences with respect and humility in order to create an inclusive environment for our diverse campus community.  As an extension of this commitment, the Graduate Division at UC Irvine has developed a program called ‘We Are Them’ (WATz Up) to provide workshops for our local K-12 schools, with WATz Up Jr. designed for our younger friends. The workshops use interactive activities to promote the importance of communication and kindness. The primary goal is to help students develop the skills needed to be successful in the classroom and beyond.  These workshops are facilitated by UCI staff and current graduate students involved with our DECADE program.  DECADE stands for Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience and its mission is to promote an affirmative climate for all graduate students.  For questions or to set-up a classroom visit, please contact Dr. Phong Luong at 949-824-0246 or email at