It is my pleasure to inform you that, after a systemwide search process, Dr. Tanya Golash-Boza, Professor of Sociology at UC Merced, has accepted the position of Executive Director, UC Washington Center (UCDC). UCDC is an 11-story systemwide residential, instructional, and research center that provides UC students and faculty with opportunities to study, research, work, and live within our nation’s capital, Washington, DC.
The Executive Director position is unique within the UC system. As Executive Director, Dr. Golash-Boza will be responsible for leading a team in providing diverse cohorts of UC students in Washington, DC with an unparalleled experiential learning opportunity to participate in internships with governmental offices including executive and legislative branches, public and private foundations, non-profits, NGOs, advocacy groups, media outlets and museums; to take courses built around DC’s experts, community, and history; and to experience life in the nation’s capital.
In this role, Dr. Golash-Boza will have an opportunity to further refine the UCDC program and to expand and diversify its reach, from actively engaging with public life in DC to strengthening UCDC’s alumni network. She will also have an opportunity to explore ways to ensure maximum use of the facility by UC students, which includes building strong relationships with UC campuses to enhance recruitment. In addition, she will oversee the management and operation of the Center, providing a unified vision for UCDC, and ensuring that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) plays a central role in all aspects of the program and the Center’s operations.
A Washington, DC native, Dr. Golash-Boza brings a wide range of experiences to the position, having served in leadership roles in campus administration and the Academic Senate, as chair of the UC Merced Committee on Diversity and Equity (2015-17), and later as chair of the systemwide University Committee on Affirmative Action, Diversity, and Equity (2017-18). As a member of the UC Merced Divisional Council, she worked to establish the campus Faculty Equity Advisor (FEA) program and served as an FEA, training faculty search committees on best practices to reduce implicit and institutional bias and ensuring compliance with federal Affirmative Action guidelines in hiring. In 2019 she was tapped to chair the Department of Public Health; in this role she managed staff, planned curriculum, developed policies regarding faculty appointments and implemented processes that increased transparency and equity in departmental decisions.
She has a deep level of commitment to DEI and to undergraduate and graduate education at UC, having served as Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Sociology at UC Merced, taught numerous courses in race and ethnicity, and issues of racism and immigration at UC Merced, and supervised research teams of graduate and undergraduate students as Director of the Racism, Capitalism, and the Law Lab. She also has an extensive record of mentoring students at the graduate and undergraduate level.
Dr. Golash-Boza has also worked with a number of systemwide academic programs, having served on the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) Advisory Board, UC Press Editorial Committee, and UC Advancing Faculty Diversity Advisory Group.
Prior to UC Merced, Dr. Golash-Boza served as Assistant Professor of Sociology and American Studies at the University of Kansas from 2012-2015. In spring 2022, she served as Visiting Professor at the Université de Côte d’Azur in Nice, France. She has written and presented extensively on race, racism, and immigration issues and is a recipient of numerous honors and awards for her published works and public lectures. She is the recipient of the 2019 UC Merced Senate Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentorship.
Dr. Golash-Boza succeeds Executive Director Helen Shapiro, who retired from the University in June of 2022. Since then, Interim Executive Director, Dr. Jennifer Diascro has provided valuable leadership at the Center and we are thankful for her service. She successfully maintained operations of the facility, serving as a strong advocate for UCDC and its staff throughout her tenure thus far.
Dr. Golash-Boza will begin her tenure at UCDC in January 2023 for an initial five-year term. In the meantime, I look forward to working with Dr. Golash-Boza and Interim Executive Director Diascro to ensure a smooth transition at the Center.
Michael T. Brown, Ph.D, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, UCOP