DLDP Community Engagement Projects 2020

Learn about the different ways our DLDP students applied their understanding of differences, improve their ability to address complex issues through projects, and cultivate an inclusive environment in an organization or workplace!

Group Projects

Tackling Imposter Syndrome

The goal of Tackling Imposter Syndrome (Wendy, Xinyu, & Vansh) focused on helping students who suffer from imposter syndrome by developing a better understanding and raising awareness about imposter syndrome in our society. They define imposter syndrome as a psychological phenomenon that has the potential to significantly hurt students’ confidence. It is not an illness and people should not feel ashamed about it. The group's purpose for this project was to understand more about this syndrome and the different ways in which people have discovered how to best handle it. They conducted research through a survey asking people whether they think they have this syndrome and what are some of ways that help them deal with their struggles. They made a poster and website for people learn more about this syndrome that included some basic information and knowledge about imposter syndrome, along with the results from the surveys they conducted in regards to how individuals felt and ways they handled it. They hope that through this project, students are able to recognize their value, the importance of their work and learn to be more confident in themselves.

Imposter Syndrome

The purpose of this group's project (Cici, Emita, Maire, & Reyna) was also to raise awareness about Imposter Syndrome, to encourage people to speak up and have discussions about this psychological phenomenon. Their project on Imposter Syndrome aimed to bring awareness to this issue and provide resources to those who experience it. Imposter Syndrome is more common than many people think, and it tends to be more prevalent in minority communities. The team wanted to educate other students on this topic by creating resources with easy to digest yet comprehensive information. Through careful research, they created a simple and easy to read infographic that provided a holistic overview. They also created a comprehensive guide with more detailed information and sources that provides an in-depth compilation about Imposter Syndrome. They shared these resources with several UC Davis communities to publish on their community newsletters, emails, and websites. Some of the centers reached out to include the LGBTQIA+ center, SOL y LUNA, and the Undocumented Student Center among many others. The group wanted to explore this topic because having some of our group members personally experience Imposter Syndrome and knowing others in our communities who have also experienced it, they wanted to help others who are currently experiencing it. They wanted to get a better understanding of what it was, why it occurs, and how to move past it in order to share with other people. Their hope is that the resources continue to circulate in these networks and beyond to reach even more people!

STEM Awareness & College Outreach

This group (Alyssa, Ammara & Ziqi) aimed to answer the questions, what is STEM and what is university life like? Their goal was to increase awareness around STEM and higher education in general to elementary and high school students in marginalized communities. They did this by showcasing how varied the pathway to college can be, and that anyone can learn to succeed in a STEM field. This group designed a presentation that highlighted each of their unique stories, alongside information on their respective fields of study and the different activities that can make college enjoyable. They also included broad suggestions for figuring out the array of possible future careers that are available and where to find help in learning more about college accessibility. They hoped to change the student perspective about attending college from "we SHOULD go to university", to "I WANT to go to university". Their goal was to present to several schools in the area and were in communication with a few principals, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit they were no longer able to do so. So, they adapted and converted their presentations lightly to include recorded commentary and packaged it all together into a YouTube video, which they posted online. They also created a Google form that they plan to keep up for a few weeks to garner feedback on the effectiveness of the information and to answer any lingering questions the community may have.


Individual Projects

Mental Health/Trauma

Ryan's project focused on research surrounding the state of mental health among individuals who have been harassed and policed by police officers, an issue that has not been studied enough. The country is split between Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter arguing that police officers need to change their tactics but also stating that they are doing what they are trained to do. Ryan feels that research needs to be done on the trauma of individuals who have been harassed and policed by police officers as well as any family and/or members of the community who witness this atrocity. His research is to focus on and publicize the trauma that occurs in communities by police officers and their outdated tactics. The broad results of his research suggests that individuals experience more trauma caused by police officers than is known publicly. In the end, Ryan hopes his research will be used to show both qualitative and quantitative methods to provide mental health workshops and healing spaces for these individuals. As well as implement new legislation that will hold police officers accountable for using excessive force, harassing, and over-policing individuals in these communities.

Bully Awareness

Hadia’s project was to spread Bully Awareness in elementary schools throughout the Sacramento district. A child is most susceptible to bullying during in their primary ages and Hadia wanted to help them recognize bullying and what to do if they were being bullied. Hadia felt that one of the unique things about her project was that she was not the one to spread awareness about bullying, but it was the local high students in the Sacramento area. She decided to have high schoolers teach elementary school students about bullying, because not only do younger students learn about bullying, but the high school students also have the opportunity to develop their own leadership skills. Many high schoolers have never had a leadership role before, especially in low income communities, so Hadia realized that she could help two groups of students by having them help each other. She would project manage high school students and they in turn would communicate with each other to create a plan on how to spread awareness in elementary schools. The high schoolers did a great job in creating activities, but unfortunately due to the Coronavirus, their plans were halted. Nonetheless, the high schoolers did an amazing job in pivoting digitally and with Hadia’s leadership and guidance they were able to spread awareness through an online flyer that was sent out to teachers.

Internship & Volunteer Positions

Global Education for All - Fellowship

Balvinder held a Global Fellowship position under the Global Education For All (GE4ALL) Initiative that embodied what he had learned in his SED classes regarding social equity and promoting a global education experience that would be free for all. He worked with an amazing team that was critical in creating a foundation for an arts and culture event that would showcase a global experience for everyone to enjoy. Being a Global Fellow has opened Balvinder to sustainable solutions, innovative STEM ideas, arts, and other concepts that exist around the world. This program correlated with the DLDP program through emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion and his peers in GE4ALL consisted of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives. As a result of this experience, Balvinder learned the importance of implementing diverse ideas to create a better outcome and is now considering pursuing higher education or a career with a focus in global engagement.

Orientation Team Lead

As an Orientation Team Lead, Marah was involved in helping plan one of the largest and most significant events at UC Davis: New Student Orientation. Due to a shift in following a new Orientation model for this Fall, the Orientation office needed to hire around 600 Orientation Leaders to work with new students. As a Team Lead, Marah’s work centers around training and supervising a group of Orientation Leaders. One of the most rewarding elements of this position for Marah was “the opportunity to reflect on my own leadership experiences and share my advice and strategies with my team of Orientation Leaders.” She helped facilitate communication between Professional Staff and Orientation Leaders and feels that her job is a testament to the detail and effort that goes into planning Orientation every year.

Diversity and Disparities Lab

Duyen’s involvement with the Diversity and Disparities Lab has helped her gain more knowledge about factors such as trauma, society, culture, and family, relating to Alzheimer's disease and the effects of caregiving on patients’ health. It also gave her a chance to give back to the community around her. When she first started working in research, her research interest was focused only on the Vietnamese community. However, the knowledge and experiences that she has gained in the internship expanded her research interest to include other racial/ethnic minorities. Additionally, her experience in the lab has helped her developed both her professional and interpersonal skills. In the future, she wants to create public health programs and strategies that are responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served. In addition, her goal is to one day form a community-based organization that provides free services such as health care, quality education, and social support to reduce health disparities in rural areas.

ASUCD Pantry Internship

Harshanna volunteered and interned at the ASUCD Pantry. The goal of the Pantry is to provide access to nutritional food and decrease the amount of food insecurity felt in college communities, serving thousands of people from the UC Davis community. Being part of this organization allowed Harshanna to give back to her community at UC Davis and helped ensure that everyone is being taken care of. UC Davis is a very diverse campus and being a part of something that embraces inclusivity and allows people to be themselves was a great opportunity for her to apply what she learned in DLDP to an actual situation. As she continues to be a part of the Pantry, she hopes to contribute to its growth and make it accessible to even more people in need.

Native American Retention Initiative Internship

The purpose of Anastasie’s internship project in program outreach was to identify best practices used by Native American students in higher education and to help develop leadership and research program ideas that could potentially increase identity building of Native students on campus.  She reviewed current literature and research on Native American students in higher education, written by Native Americans, from which she created a program and research ideas. Anastasie finished her project by proposing a programming addition to Undergraduate Admissions that includes ways to encompass best practices and leadership roles for students to work alongside with Undergraduate Admissions when conducting outreach programming.

Center for Leadership Learning Volunteer

As a marketing and communications volunteer for CLL, Constance was able to pass on information, events, and resources that CLL had to offer for undergraduate students. Through written communication, such as newsletters, she was able to inform the student community about opportunities as well as provide the motivation they were looking for. One takeaway was that Constance felt accomplished in being able to help bring students together for a major leadership event known as Aggies Leading the Way Conference.

Child Life Internship & Crisis Counselor

UC Davis Medical Center -Child Life Internship: As an intern in the Child Life department, Jessica worked with other interns to maintain the cleanliness of the playroom and teen room. She supervised the playroom when pediatric patients would come by to play, walk around the unit and encourage other patients to come and join the fun. Jessica also spent one-on-one time with patients who would want to play, but were unable to leave their room. Child Life interns give pediatric patients time to play in the playroom, either by themselves or with other pediatric patients. Playing during childhood is vital —it’s a way for children to learn about the world around them while also growing their communication and social skills. Playtime is essential for pediatric patients, but it also offers an important respite to their caregivers who may need to step away to get food from the cafeteria, run errands, or simply take a break. This is also helpful for nurses, who may not have enough time in their day to supervise patients themselves.

Crisis Text Line -Crisis Counselor: As a crisis counselor, Jessica worked with a team of counselors and supervisors to help texters in crisis move towards a state of calm. Crisis counselors support texters by building a personal connection, exploring the texter’s crisis, identify a goal, and brainstorm next steps. Our goal as counselors is to make sure that texters feel heard and ensure that they leave with a plan and resources that can help them moving forward. Crisis counselors offer vital mental health support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They see an increase in the volume of conversations in the evenings and at night, when other mental health resources may be unavailable. Counselors support texters through any and all crises, and often deal with difficult topics such as suicide and self-harm. They have also been an important resource for many individuals struggling with the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Facilitator Internship

Thu-Huyen interned at Willett elementary school and Emerson middle school, where she had the opportunity to help students and facilitate their learning. She met with many students and each of them were unique in their own ways. Thu-Huyen says that, “one of the most frustrating parts as a learning facilitator is that sometimes I cannot accommodate many students at once. Some students need more help than others and I tried to spend as much time as I could to explain the concept clearly. And often, that took time away from helping other students.” Another challenging aspect of her work was that she saw students giving up before trying, making it more difficult for her to motivate them when they do not see the purpose of doing the work. Despite these challenges, she found the intern position to be very rewarding by getting to see students thrive. Their eagerness to learn, engage, and interact with the lessons and fellow classmates made the class extra fun. As a facilitator Thu-Huyen was able to show the students her experience as a college student, “one time, one of my students was complaining about the classwork assignment. He said, “this is tedious”.  I told the student to push through and I took an extra minute to explain to him that not everything is going to be exciting and entertaining. Sometimes, tedious moments help us realize what is fun to us and it engages our brain to be creative. I also added that college is going to be hard and I told him to enjoy his tedious moment while he has it.”

CALPIRG New Voters Project Internship

Athena interned at CALPIRG, a statewide student activist group operating within several college campuses. They are a non-partisan organization running campaigns on issues that 80% of student populations agree are important. Topics range from environmental issues to food insecurity to new voter projects. The goal is to amplify student voices, CALPIRG interns and volunteers work together throughout the year on different projects and changes that students want and need. Some examples of what CALPIRG does include; fundraising for campus food pantries, run grass roots campaigns to help students register to vote, or contact administration on campus to encourage the implementation of more zero-waste products on campus. There are many other goals and ideas within each campaign, but the main purpose of CALPIRG is to help students mobilize in making differences in the world that they want to see.