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Fall Quarter 2022 Welcome

September 22, 2022


Dear Student Affairs Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to Fall Quarter 2022! 

The energy on Library Walk, in Town Square, and throughout campus over the last few weeks has been incredible. Watching our students welcome one another, share resources, explore our beautiful campus with loved ones, and make new friends through TWOW events and various activities is yet another affirmation of the importance of our work together. To all of you who have collaborated to develop and deliver welcoming and inclusive TWOW programming: THANK YOU!

Triton Weeks of Welcome (TWOW)

As you’re well aware, TWOW is in full swing! Be sure to visit the new @UCSDStudentAffairs on Instagram for a recap of the week’s events and activities, as well as this weekend’s remaining TWOW events – like University Centers’ First Friday, Recreation’s Meet the Beach, and the Triton Fest Fair at the Square, among others. 

The OASIS Open House was packed yesterday, and the HDH Sunset Bazaar had more than 1,800 students come out on Sunday night. At Tuesday’s new student welcome Convocation, AS President Sky Yang, Alumni Board President Ping Yeh, and Associate Professor Dr. Angela Booker welcomed our new Tritons with personal stories of strength, courage and reminders to reach for their dreams.

From my vantage point on the stage, each of the Undergraduate College communities cheered for their respective Provosts with equal enthusiasm, but Muir and ERC were especially rowdy. Our students seem thrilled to be back! 

2021-2022 Student Affairs Impact Report

I am always proud to share the annual Student Affairs Impact Report, because it showcases the creative, equity-driven work of the talented and dedicated Student Affairs professionals and paraprofessionals at UC San Diego – and this year is no exception. Please, take a moment to peruse this report, and join me in celebrating the collective student-centered efforts and accomplishments of our colleagues and close campus partners.


Student Centeredness, Defined

You may recall that in 2021 – after nearly two years of discussions, focus groups, and feedback sessions – a definition of student centeredness at UC San Diego was developed, reflective of our community’s efforts to articulate what it truly means to be “student centered”:

student-centered-whiteCircle.png“UC San Diego is committed to being a student-centered research university by putting all students first; inviting and respecting their voices and existing strengths; and honoring the intersectional identities of our Triton community. As a campus, we hold ourselves and each other accountable to transformative action that ensures equity, inclusion, and success across all aspects of the student experience at UC San Diego.”

Recognizing and celebrating acts of student centeredness – both big and small – contributes to the creation and sustainability of a welcoming, inclusive, student-centered university community. In this spirit, I encourage you to visit our Student Centeredness website, where you can nominate someone in recognition of their student centeredness, and learn more about the history of developing the definition above.

Opening Soon: Epstein Family Amphitheater

Please join me in celebrating our campus’ newest student-centered venue, the Epstein Family Amphitheater (EFA). The most recent in a series of transformational developments on the UC San Diego campus, the EFA will create engagement opportunities for our students and the San Diego community while showcasing performing arts, local and international talent, as well as student, campus and community events.

I would love to see some of you next month at the San Diego Symphony and the sold out Death Cab for Cutie performances, as these events will give us all a “sneak peak” of the EFA. 

Some Summer Shoutouts

I’d like to “shoutout” the Summer Bridge team and the Teaching+Learning Commons, for supporting the more-than 700 students who recently participated in this year’s Summer Bridge program – ensuring a smooth and successful transition from high school to university life. We also successfully piloted Triton Edge, a summer transition program for our Transfer Tritons.

I also want to acknowledge our division’s partnership with the office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (VC-EDI) and Enrollment Management, for hosting the second annual Black, Latinx and Native American Family Orientation from Sept. 9-11. Nearly 800 students and their family members and loved ones participated in this year’s three-day event.

While we’re still in the midst of our iOrientation welcome programming facilitated by the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO), more than 2,500 students have already taken part – including 550-plus Tritons who attended sessions while earning credit toward their Globally Engaged Tritons Co-Curricular Record! From Global Coffee Hours to International Mixers and “You See San Diego” bus tours, it’s been incredible to see the vast majority of our international students’ welcome activities return to in-person modalities on and around campus.

Announcing: Triton CORE

tritonCORE-square-fullColor-white-bg.pngIn partnership with the Graduate and Professional Student Association, Associated Students, Resource Management & Planning, UC San Diego Police Department, UC San Diego Health, the Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, I am pleased to report that our work to launch a psychological emergency response pilot remains on track for a fall quarter deployment.

The team, aptly named by our GPSA and AS leadership, will be known as Triton CORE (COmpassionate REsponse). With leadership from Dr. Reina Juarez and Andrew Hua, thus far Triton CORE team members have been hired, draft protocols have been developed with campus partners, the process for the team’s training certification has been developed, the website is under construction, and formal rollout plans are in the works.

Welcome: New Colleagues

Please join me in celebrating the recent appointments of some of our valued Student Affairs colleagues and close campus partners:

Executive Director - Student Health & Well-Being

Susan Fila, Ph.D. has recently joined us as the new Executive Director of Student Health and Well-Being. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Fila, and in thanking Dr. Angela Scioscia, Dr. Stacie San Miguel, and Dr. Reina Juarez for their collective leadership and expertise while we’ve navigated the hiring for this important role – most of which took place during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Fila will provide leadership, oversight and coordination of Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Promotion Services, as well as Student Health and Well-Being Administration.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Initiatives

Tamara Cunningham has been appointed as the new Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Initiatives – effective Nov. 1, 2022.

As the AVC-GI, Cunningham will provide strategic leadership in advancing the university’s endeavors internationally through a Collective Impact model – including identifying and creating access for students to high-impact global learning opportunities, supporting faculty in pursuit of global research, and championing all students, scholars, staff and faculty as global changemakers with a deep commitment to the intersection of internationalization and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Director, Student Governments, Auxiliaries & Services

Alfredo Barcenas recently joined the Student Life team as the new Director for Student Governments, Auxiliaries & Services.

Alfredo previously served as the Interim Executive Director for the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) at Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB), and is a member of the CSUSB Latino Alumni Chapter Board of Directors, an alumnus of the Sidley Austin LLP Pre-Law Program, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the Postsecondary National Policy Institute.

Save the Date: Student Affairs Staff Awards - Oct. 25

Finally, I hope to see you in-person or via Zoom at the Student Affairs Staff Awards on Oct. 25.

The annual Staff Awards are designed to encourage Student Affairs team members to showcase their work, celebrate each other, and recognize the creativity and student-centered innovation that consistently emanates from our division in support of our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan. This year’s awards ceremony will take place during the Student Affairs All-Staff Meeting on Oct. 25. More than 60 nominations were submitted for consideration at the ceremony! I am looking forward to honoring our colleagues and partners for their contributions to advancing student centeredness at UC San Diego.

Until then, I hope to see you either on Zoom or on campus and, if you have time to get a cup of coffee, please let me know: I would love to catch up.


Be Well,