University of California President Janet Napolitano has selected UC Merced student organization RadioBio as one of two recipients for the 2020 President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership.
RadioBio, a science podcast that discusses topics ranging from molecules to ecosystems, was created in 2016 by graduate students to increase access to research in the sciences.
Napolitano and the selection committee were impressed with how RadioBio makes scientific research more accessible to the broader community through the production of podcasts and events that highlight the role of science in a variety of fields, including climate change, carbon neutrality, food waste and natural resources management, among other topics.
The organization was nominated for the award by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Nies.
RadioBio President Julia Alvarez said the $1,500 award will be used to further RadioBio’s core mission of communicating science and its societal implications to the Central Valley community.
“We’re excited and honored to receive this prestigious award. We put so much hard work into educating the public about science and research,” Alvarez said. “We are all interested in broadening participation and literacy in science, and we want to make sure we are inclusive in who we are reaching.”
“RadioBio’s leadership in making science accessible and meaningful in people’s lives has a positive impact in our community and serves as a role model for all scientists,” School of Natural Sciences Dean Betsy Dumont said. “We could not be prouder of their dedication, hard work and success.”
This year, the club hosted 13 podcasts and landed a twice-a-week slot on Mariposa Public Radio.
In addition to the podcasts, RadioBio hosts an annual event in the Merced community, called ValleyBio, intended to give the larger community access to research performed in the community and on campus.
To celebrate student success on campus, RadioBio hosts two annual campus events. GradStory, an event that takes place during research week, highlights graduate students’ research and their journey to graduate school. The club also collaborates with the campus’ Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) group to bring a seminar speaker to campus.
Napolitano will publicly recognize RadioBio during today’s virtual Regents meeting.
RadioBio’s leadership in making science accessible and meaningful in people’s lives has a positive impact in our community and serves as a role model for all scientists.