Smadar Naoz is the recipient of a UCLA Diversity Award

Academic Senate, Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

From a June 7, 2019 letter from Joseph Bristow, Chair, Academic Senate and Antoinette Gomes, Chair, Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

Faculty Career Commitment to Diversity DEI Award Recipient

Smadar Naoz, Professor of Astrophysics is this year’s Faculty Career Commitment to Diversity DEI Award recipient. Professor Naoz is an extraordinary Astrophysicist who is pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge. She is the chair of both the Physics Diversity Committee and the Astronomy and Astrophysics Diversity Committee. Both committees share the same goal, which is to raise awareness for inclusion and diversity in the Physics and Astronomy department, and diversify its student, postdoc, and faculty population.

Professor Naoz has organized numerous workshops on topics ranging from Implicit Bias, Imposter Syndrome, Coping with Stress and Anxiety, and Growth and Fixed Mindsets, and initiated a new diversity-related monthly journal club, DiversiTea. She coordinated a visit from the American Physical Society Committee to discuss the status of women in Physics and ways to improve the departmental climate for underrepresented minorities. Professor Naoz also organized a university-wide event at which Professor Mahzarin Banaji, a psychologist from Harvard and founder of Project Implicit, visited and presented a lecture entitled, "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People."

As chair of the Physics Diversity Committee Professor Naoz also created the New American Physics Society-UCLA Physics Bridge-Program (APS). This program is aimed at doubling the number of Physics PhDs awarded to underrepresented minority students in the nation and UCLA. The APS Bridge Program is currently bringing more underrepresented graduate students to the department. In addition to chairing department committees, Professor Naoz is a mentor in the Cal-Bridge Program.

The Cal-Bridge Program is a California based partnership between the California State University and University of California systems designed to increase the number of unrepresented students obtaining PhD in physics and astronomy. Professor Naoz’s contributions to diversity equity and inclusion are exemplary.