Graphic of a diverse group of people: header image

Research shows that culturally diverse teams outperform and out-innovate culturally homogenous teams, and lead to better science. But addressing cultural diversity can be daunting. In recent times, we have been confronted with the difficulties of racial discussions and the legacy of racism in our institutions. Research is not insulated from these dynamics.

Culturally aware mentoring (CAM) guides faculty mentors to understand the sources and impact of bias graduate trainees from diverse backgrounds to improve the training environment for students from underrepresented (UR) groups. The program was developed by Dr. Angela Byars-Winston at the Center for the Improvement of Mentoring Research Experiences (CIMER), which is part of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The novel intervention aims to increase mentors’ skills for interacting with mentees from different racial, ethnic and social backgrounds than the mentor. Find out more here.

This CIMER CAM workshop is one effort toward achieving inclusive excellence. While there are many aspects to cultural diversity, the CIMER CAM workshop focuses on race. Extrapolations can easily be made to other aspects of our identities.

The program’s learning objectives are:

  • Identify how cultural beliefs, worldviews, and identities influence mentoring practices;
  • Recognize how cultural diversity can impact, complicate, and benefit research mentoring relationships;
  • Acknowledge the impact of conscious and unconscious assumptions, privilege, stereotype threat, and biases on the mentor-mentee relationship; and
  • Apply evidence-based strategies using case studies to reduce and counteract the impact of biases, stereotype threat, and privilege to foster trusting, culturally responsive mentoring relationships.

Next CAM Training is coming Spring of 2024.

If you’re interested in attending an upcoming CAM training, please email Training will be for faculty and academic staff. Future training will be available for graduate students and postdocs. 

Information for CAM Participants:

The CIMER Culturally Aware Mentoring workshops are conducted at an advanced level and assume familiarity with equity and inclusion in mentorship practices. This workshop was designed for those who have been introduced to core mentorship education concepts and have reflected on their practice. All participants at the event will be expected to have had some prior mentor training. This prerequisite can be fulfilled in a number of ways such as:

  • Attend a CIMER Mentoring Training (previously offered at UCI)
  • Completion of four hours of other mentor training
  • Completion of the Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring (OPM) from the University of Minnesota – online training.

Participant Pre-Work:

In addition to having completed prior mentor training, CAM participants are asked to complete an online module, iCAM, and to complete a personal reflection exercise, Culture Box. These two pre-work assignments will require 1-2 hours of time in total. These pre-work assignments will be forwarded to confirmed participants two weeks prior to the training.

UCI CAM-Trained Facilitators

Four members of the UCI community completed CAM Facilitator Training with CIMER (members of the inaugural cohort of trained facilitators) and will be providing CAM training to the UCI community at least once a year. 

Michael Yassa, associate professor of neurobiology & behavior and neurology, and colleagues found that people who selectively recalled positive information over neutral and negative information performed worse on memory tests.

photo:  steve zylius/UCI

Michael A. Yassa, Ph.D.
Bio Sci Associate Dean of DEI


Christie Fowler, Ph.D.
Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior


Manny Azizi, Ph.D.
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Manuella Oliveira-Yassa, Ph.D.
CNLM Director of Outreach and Education

Listing of those who completed CAM Training at UCI

First Name Last Name Department
Nancy Aguilar-Roca Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Steven Allison Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Bogi Andersen Biological Chemistry
Aileen Anderson Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Rosa Andrade Medicine
Herdeline Ardona Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Manny Azizi Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Kevin Beier Physiology and Biophysics
Suzie Bohlson Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Adriana Briscoe Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Remi Buisson Biological Chemistry
Anne Calof Developmental and Cell Biology
Lulu Chen Anatomy and Neurobiology
Liz Chrastil Neurobiology and Behavior
Susana Cohen-Cory Neurobiology and Behavior
Karina Cramer Neurobiology and Behavior
Brian Cummings Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Monica Daley Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Javier DIaz Alonso Anatomy and Neurobiology
Peter Donovan Developmental and Cell Biology
Nir Drayman Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Laura Ewell Anatomy and Neurobiology
Leora Fellus School of Medicine Office of Graduate Studies
Christie Fowler Neurobiology and Behavior
Alan Goldin Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Shane Gonen Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Joshua Grill Neurobiology and Behavior
Patrick Guidotti Mathematics
Tobin Hammer Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Elizabeth Head Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Brad Hughes Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Autumn Ivy Anatomy and Neurobiology
Young Kwon Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pablo Lara-Gonzalez Developmental and Cell Biology
Melissa Lodoen Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Gyorgy Lur Neurobiology and Behavior
Stephen Mahler Neurobiology and Behavior
Matthew Marsden Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Jennifer Martiny Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Selma Masri Biological Chemistry
Edwin Monuki Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Dequina  Nicholas Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Manuella Oliveira Yassa Neurobiology and Behavior
Nick Pannunzio Biological Chemistry
Hannah Park Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Michael Parsons Developmental and Cell Biology
Eitan Schechtman Neurobiology and Behavior
Bert Semler Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Christine Suetterlin Developmental and Cell Biology
Vivek Swarup Neurobiology and Behavior
Leslie Thompson Neurobiology and Behavior
Katie Thompson-Peer Developmental and Cell Biology
Roberto Tinoco Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Douglas Tobias Chemistry
Ana Garcia Vedrenne Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Armando Villalta Physiology and Biophysics
Craig Walsh Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Katrine Whiteson Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Marcelo Wood Neurobiology and Behavior
Xiangmin Xu Anatomy and Neurobiology
Michael Yassa Neurobiology and Behavior
Kyoko Yokomori Biological Chemistry