Diversity Matters


Two graduate students and one recent graduate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have been inducted into the prestigious Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.

The three new members from Scripps—Ph.D. students Ayana Johnson and Ty Samo and recent alumna Elisa Maldonado—are among the first class of inductees since UC San Diego became an institutional member of the Bouchet Society in fall 2008.

The Bouchet Society, first established in 2005 for graduate students at Yale University in cooperation with Howard University, is named for Yale alumnus Dr. Edward A. Bouchet, who was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in North America.

The society seeks to recognize and continue Bouchet’s pioneering contributions to doctoral education by developing a network of preeminent scholars who serve as examples of leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education.

The society honors minority and non-minority students who are engaged in research activities that address issues of underserved groups in the areas of humanities, social science, and the sciences.

The Scripps honorees were officially inducted into the Bouchet Society during a ceremony at the 7th Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education held March 26-27, 2010, at Yale University.

“It is my pleasure to be a member of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society and advocate the importance of inclusivity, scholarship, leadership, character, and service in graduate research and education,” said Samo.

Maldonado, Johnson, and Samo were all honored for their outreach work at Scripps promoting diversity in graduate education, a mission that is a top priority to the institution. With activities ranging from conducting fisheries research in Curacao, Caribbean, to leading summer training programs with undergraduate students in Scripps labs, they have all been involved in programs that enhance opportunities for underserved groups and encourage science education.

“I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of Edward Alexander Bouchet,” said Scripps alumna Maldonado, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. “I hope that I can honor him by achieving what racism prevented him from obtaining -- a tenured faculty position.”


--Shannon Casey

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