Professor David Wittman was selected as a recipient of the 2023 Chancellor's Fellowship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This fellowship recognizes exceptional contributions in supporting, tutoring, mentoring, and advising underrepresented students and/or students from underserved communities and comes with a $5,000 award.
Professor Wittman has a long history of exemplary work aimed at increasing diversity in physics and astronomy. In 2009, he and other physics and astronomy faculty at UC and CSU campuses founded the California Professoriate for Access to Physics Careers (CPAPC). CPAPC connects faculty at the different schools, letting them run ideas by each other and plan activities. In 2010, as a CPAPC effort, Professor Wittman initiated a weekend ``boot camp" for rising juniors and seniors to introduce them to the Physics Subject GRE exam. Participants came mainly from CSU schools and were often from underrepresented groups. The boot camp has evolved over the years and is now known as the Physics Graduate School Boot Camp. The event has taken place at UC Davis each year except 2013-2015, when UC Santa Cruz hosted it, and 2020-2021, when it was done remotely, and it has proven successful in many ways, leading to improved scores by participating students on the GRE and in drawing students' attention to the exam and the value of preparation and study. Dr Wittman has also played an instrumental role in the rise and success of the Cal-Bridge program, targeting first-generation CSU students, often from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in physics. Currently about two dozen participants, most from underrepresented minority groups, apply to Physics or Astronomy graduate programs each year.
Further, Dr. Wittman has mentored students in the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program, been an active participant on the department's faculty Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and an active member of the American Physical Society Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance. All of this work and more over many years shows Dr. Wittman's deep and effective involvement with diversity issues.
Congratulations to Professor David Wittman on this highly deserved recognition!