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Four honored with UCSF Chancellor Awards for Diversity
By Suzan Revah / Tue Nov 14, 2023
Four members of the School of Pharmacy were honored with UCSF Chancellor Awards for Diversity at Mission Bay’s Robertson Auditorium on October 24, 2023, recognizing their outstanding leadership in expanding diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and advancing anti-racism, while reflecting the School’s commitment to UCSF PRIDE values.
Executive Vice Dean Sharon L. Youmans, PharmD, MPH, a faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, received the Chancellor Award for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership. Two PhD students in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics (PSPG), Jaysón Davidson and Sydney D. Williams, also received the award, as did Christina A. Stephens, a grad student in Biophysics (BP). The PSPG and BP programs are administered by the School of Pharmacy.
Sharon L. Youmans
Youmans received her PharmD from UCSF in 1985 and received the Founders’ Champion Award in 2016 for her contributions to DEI initiatives. She teaches on the topics of public health, communication, and cultural humility, and has been dedicated to centering access and equity in education.
“The work in the DEI space is heart work, and it’s also hard work,” Youmans said in her acceptance speech. “But there’s a lot that I’m able to do and say here [at UCSF] that I know that my colleagues across the country and in other schools of pharmacy cannot do.”
Jaysón Davidson, Christina A. Stephens, and Sydney D. Williams
Davidson, a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics (PSPG), focuses on research in the Butte Lab that explicitly involves social determinants and clinical informatics. He is also a Diversity Scholar in the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI). Stephens is a PhD student in the Biophysics program, as well as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and UCSF Discovery Fellow. She is in the Grabe Lab, in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, where she uses molecular simulation to explore the structure and function of membrane proteins. Williams is a PSPG PhD student as well as a University of California-Historically Black Colleges & Universities (UC-HBCU) Fellow and UCSF Discovery Fellow. Her work in the Lakkaraju Lab is aimed at understanding causal mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration.
Davidson, Stephens, and Williams received the award for demonstrating exceptional leadership of the graduate student organization BE-STEM (Black Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), which aims to increase Black representation in STEM and to mentor the next generation of Black scientists. The team was acknowledged for expanding student outreach, community-building, and professional development through collaborative action.
In his acceptance speech, Davidson said that being present is ultimately all that’s needed to contribute to DEI, but he said that he appreciates UCSF for empowering him to help others. He also shared a message for all the leaders in the room: “Continue to lead, because you never know who is looking,” he said, “and you never know who you might inspire along the way.”
About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.