In 2010, UC Davis received funds from a UC multi-campus research program grant to establish the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies. The Center, modeled after the successful UC Berkeley Blum Center, draws upon UC Davis’ unique strengths and history as a leader in research, theory and applied science in Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Energy, Public Health, Veterinary Medicine, and Entrepreneurship.
Finding solutions that have a lasting and tangible impact on people living in poverty is the Blum Center’s main goal. This objective has been accomplished through:
- Education - merging theory, critical thinking and practice with hands–on experiential learning.
- Application - encouraging applied research through field work geared towards understanding the causes of poverty, its impact and effect while exploring opportunities for change.
- Engagement - partnering with communities, building local capacity and implementing co-generated solutions that are sustainable.
In recognition of the UC Davis Blum Center’s work and its commitment to fighting poverty in its various forms, the Chancellor’s Office and UCOP have allocated funds to support the Center’s diverse activities, among which are to:
- provide high-quality undergraduate and graduate courses that engage UC Davis students and faculty on development issues.
- convene hands-on labs, where students learn about and build alternative energy technologies, complete market research, and analyze projects through the "four lenses of sustainability".
- bring inspirational leaders and practitioners to campus to share their stories and experiences working on developing issues abroad.
- support innovative technological, financial, business/marketing and social solutions for alleviating poverty through awards programs for faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
- collaborate with other UC Davis Centers to encourage greater engagement of graduate, undergraduate, and professional students to work on practical applications in the field.
The four UC Davis Undergraduate Colleges - including the 3 specific divisions of the College of Letters and Science – have partnered with the Blum Center to create the Blum Center Summer Fellowship Awards. Through this program, exceptional students representing each college will be sponsored to go to a developing country of their choice to work with a community struggling with poverty.
“The UC Davis Blum Center is delighted to count on the funding received from the Chancellor’s Office, UCOP, and the four undergraduate Colleges. Their support attest to the Center’s work and results, and we are happy to be an existing channel on campus through which students, faculty, and the local community can be engaged in the fight against poverty domestically and abroad”, says Professor Lovell (Tu) Jarvis, the Faculty Director for the Blum Center.
What was once an initiative at only one UC campus now has expanded to all UC system wide. Each of the 10 campuses has established a Blum Center on site, and together they are working as a Federation to address the needs of poor communities in California and globally. This mission aligns directly with the University of California Office of the President’s priorities of global impact, including the President’s Initiative on Poverty and Social Justice, and thematic areas such as sustainability and climate, food and nutrition, equity and social justice, and health.
For more information on UCOP’s support for the Blum Federation click here. Science and technology have made it possible for creative students to develop scalable and sustainable solutions. As a result, the Blum Center is proud to see how some of its students’ social projects have become a major breakthrough in international development. You too can help make a difference in the world by supporting projects that change lives worldwide. Your generosity will support this multi-disciplinary, cross-campus initiative that engages undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, faculty, researchers and local community partners through education, applied research and outreach.