Site Director, UC Davis

Davis, California, United States · Full-Time expand job description ↓


POSITION: Site Director


Full-time, salaried with benefits

About Us and Our Philosophy:

SMASH Academy, a program that US News and World Report called “Perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields” is heading into its 15th summer and national scaling and exposure. SMASH is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Founded in 2001, SMASH ( is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH), a year-round STEM-focused academic program that serves underrepresented high school students. A research-based organization, SMASH informs and leverages research projects examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields. SMASH is funded by private donors, foundations, and corporate giving and is currently expanding in exciting ways.

Working at SMASH is about fast growth, personal commitment and the tenacity to challenge the status quo. This is a pivotal time for SMASH as we begin building on the success of our education programs, we are embarking on an aggressive expansion strategy to achieve national impact. This is not for the faint of heart. But if you think you have what it takes to dare to change the face of STEM. Join us.

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the Program Director, the Site Director (SD) will serve as the Director for the SMASH Academy at the University of California, Davis. The SD is responsible for building, sustaining and improving the transformative educational experience that SMASH Scholars need to pursue, persist and succeed in STEM. SMASH site instructional, residential and operations seasonal teams will report to the SD. SMASH site size ranges from 30 to 100 rising 10th through 12th grade students. SDs, with the help of the Central Office, are responsible for hiring, training and overseeing the site teams, typically between 15 to 30 staff members, along with student recruitment responsibilities and admissions decisions. The SD provides leadership, vision and direction to SMASH Scholars, their parents and other community constituent groups aligned with the SMASH mission. With SMASH’s latest growth strategy and impact initiatives, this person will be critical to the Programs Team with the scaling of SMASH and placing it squarely on the map of national models.

Key Responsibilities:

Program Management (60%)

  • Build, implement and sustain a vision of commitment to high standards and the success of all SMASH Scholars at respective program site
  • Oversee the various components of a year-round academic enrichment program, including a five-week residential program at the host university/college, while actively developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, e.g. SMASH leadership, Scholar and Family Community, University Partners, Corporate Partners, Donors, etc.
  • Hire and directly supervise Residential Director, Lead Instructor and Program Coordinator
  • Support the Lead Instructor with (in tandem with Curriculum + Instruction Director):
    • Hiring and performance management of Instructors
    • Classroom reservations, logistics, supplies and activities planning
    • Administration and proctoring of assessments
  • Support the Residential Director with:
    • Hiring and performance management of Residential Advisors
    • Planning and implementation of SMASH Academy residential programming
    • Enforce program policy and actively manage scholar behavior
  • Lead recruitment and admissions processes of SMASH Scholars
  • Plan and facilitate program events and activities throughout the academic year and SMASH Academy, including field trips, supporting CS Saturday Academy, workshops and volunteer opportunities
  • Uphold academic rigor and program code of conduct
  • Facilitate and manage all site processes, operations and logistics
  • Work with Accounting and SMASH Program Director to establish site budget; oversee and manage site operating budget
  • Manage all event space reservation procedures
  • Manage volunteer programs, conduct training and necessary communications

Scholar, Alumni and Family Relations (20%)

  • Regularly communicate with applicants, scholars, and parents regarding SMASH hosted events, local opportunities and STEM exposure activities
  • Oversee SMASH Parent Representative Program through regular communication, guidance and event planning support
  • Facilitate alumni information requests from various SMASH departments, e.g. Research, Development, etc.
  • Ensure scholar engagement and/or commitment to SMASH
  • Oversee implementation and collaborate on strategic direction of SMASH Alumni Program

Relationship Development, Management and Strategic Partnerships (20%)

  • Act as liaison and primary contact with university/college, school district, school and community organization partners
  • Identify strategic relationship and partnership prospects
  • Cultivate potential funding relationships
  • Manage the alignment of individual site needs with SMASH priorities
  • Create a relationship-driven site team culture and implement innovative site staff retention strategies
  • Participate in conferences and community outreach to establish SMASH as a leading national STEM program and stay current with relevant developments.
  • Travel as needed for planning and programming


Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor degree in the STEM field; Advanced degree in STEM or education preferred
  • 3+ years in program management in education and/or youth development, or equivalent
  • Strong leadership abilities including an encouraging, motivating presence to help with culture and team building, prioritization and planning, mentoring and coaching.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in working with youth from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, presentation and facilitation skills
  • Self-starter with ability to work on multiple initiatives at the same time; excellent project management skills.
  • Ability to be flexible, resilient and adaptable to changing priorities
  • Detail obsessive with strong organizational skills; solid and creative problem-solving skills
  • Energetic and entrepreneurial spirit about innovative education models and nonprofit organizations
  • Desire and ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative, team environment
  • Demonstrated commitment to STEM diversity
  • Exemplifies SMASH Organizational Values -- Focus on Impact, Strengthen Our Communities, Balance Passion and Practicality, Experiment, Evaluate, Modify, and Implement, Be a Strong Link in the Chain, Celebrate and Have Some Fun

Work Demands:

  • Regular evening and weekend work may be required leading up to summer program launch during March - June
  • A minimum 3-year commitment to role is desired


SMASH provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, and an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life/disability insurance, paid time off, 401k, volunteer time and flexible spending accounts (i.e. parking, transit, medical and dependent care). Our collaborative office is located in Oakland’s dynamic Uptown District. SMASH shares the building with several professional service and nonprofit organizations. We also hold community-building events and have a collegial atmosphere with a shared mission for social justice and educational equity.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination/ harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/ domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Above and beyond discrimination/ harassment based on "protected categories," SMASH also strives to prevent other, subtler forms of inappropriate behavior (e.g., stereotyping) from ever gaining a foothold in our office. Whether blatant or hidden, barriers to success have no place at SMASH.

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