We are a team of faculty and staff who teach and work in diverse areas within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) at UC Davis. We are deeply committed to ensuring that every student in our college and across campus has an opportunity to succeed in their educational goals. As faculty and staff who identify as women and/or as members of underserved and first-generation populations, we have at times, during our own professional journeys, faced barriers and implicit or explicit biases that have impacted our paths, our views of higher education and our commitment to success for all students. Our roles as faculty, administrators and campus leaders have provided us with in depth opportunities to see first-hand, the struggles and barriers our students often face in the classroom, laboratory and as a result of institutional policies and practices. As a team that represents agricultural, environmental and human/social sciences, pillars of our college, we are excited about the impact we can have together on STEM education in our college and on campus. 


Kristin Kiesel

Kristin Kiesel is an associate professor of teaching in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. This department administers the undergraduate major in managerial economics, one of the largest majors in the college and campus-wide, with more than 1,300 students. Professor Kiesel teaches large enrollment economics classes taken by students spanning many disciplines, as well as more focused marketing and behavioral economics classes within the managerial economics major. Kiesel is committed to inclusive teaching practices and has been a leader in CA&ES and on campus on a variety of student and faculty facing efforts that have enhanced the student experience. These include development of an FAQ resource page created as a Canvas Learning Management System plug-in that provides an easy to use list of academic, health and wellness, career/internship, and a campus community support resources for all students (a list that received more than 100k views in the 2022-23 academic year); development of faculty resources to support equitable online instruction; and leading faculty and staff workshops on use of interactive clicker systems and use of videos in instruction. Kiesel also leads a collaborative pipeline program that supports underserved students from community colleges and UC Davis in gaining research experiences, obtaining graduate degrees, and developing leadership skills for future academic and professional careers. 


Jorge Rodrigues

Jorge Rodrigues is a professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. This department administers and co-administers four undergraduate majors with a total of 675 students in atmospheric science, environmental science and management, hydrology and sustainable agriculture and food system. Professor Rodrigues teaches in the campus-wide introductory biology core course series, reaching more than 1,000 students in STEM majors each year. He also teaches focused courses on microbial ecology and soil microbiology. Rodrigues has been a campus and college leader in the Academic Senate, serving as chair of the CA&ES faculty executive committee during the pandemic when college and campus academic flexibilities to support equitable student learning were discussed and implemented. Rodrigues has an active outreach program with local K-12 schools and teachers and international partnerships to lead workshops that support training of students in Ecuador and Brazil. He is committed to ensuring that all students have equitable opportunities to participate in undergraduate research experiences and hosts underserved students with interests in STEM degrees in his laboratory through numerous programs, including UC LEADS


Sue Ebeler

Susan Ebeler is the associate dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs in CA&ES and a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology. CA&ES is the second largest college at UC Davis with more than 7,400 students across several diverse disciplines in agricultural, environmental and human and social sciences. In her role as associate dean, professor Ebeler’s contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion encompasses implementation of a campus-wide belonging program to support the transition of first year and transfer students to the university. Based upon the research of Yeager et al. 2016, this work has been shown to boost retention of underserved students. Along with colleague Kali Trzesniewski (Department of Human Ecology) Ebeler has also implemented growth mindset programs with campus faculty in a diverse array of STEM fields–animal science, math, chemistry and psychology–with positive outcomes on students’ individual growth mindset, grades, and use of learning assistants and peer tutors. She has worked to increase college enrollment of underserved students from rural areas of California and developed an innovative support program, Aggie Jumpstart, for first generation and underserved students to boost their connections to campus and their academic outcomes


Caren Weintraub

Caren Weintraub is the director of communications for CA&ES and a founder and co-chair of the college’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee. She manages communication strategy, publication development and media relations, works closely with the CA&ES Dean’s Office, Development and Undergraduate Academic Programs teams, academic departments and centers and institutes to develop communication plans, web content and provide consultative support. Caren has been engaged in supporting diversity, equity and inclusion on campus for more than a decade. She oversaw the development of the CA&ES DEI website, and the college’s Name Recording Tool for faculty. She works closely with the college’s faculty and staff DEI subcommittees, and helps facilitate inclusiveness and engagement among faculty departmental DEI groups. She is an active member of the campus’ Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity (IDARE) Task Force initiative, and the White Accountability and Anti-Racism Collective. She’s worked closely with the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, the State of California and community-based organizations to establish and implement an effective communication strategy to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates and inform underserved farmworkers throughout California during the pandemic. She also helped establish several successful new and existing yield events and programs in Undergraduate Admissions, which were designed to increase the number of underserved and first generation students, including: Experience UC Davis, a program that hosts underrepresented admitted students and their parents to experience campus first-hand; African American and African Alumni Association (5A) receptions; targeted phone banking projects, and communications for 100+ regional, national and international events and campus fly-up programs.