Skip to main content

Congratulations Annual Staff Awards Recipients!

October 27, 2022


Dear Student Affairs Colleagues and Friends,

It was such a treat to get to see so many of you earlier this week, as we celebrated your collective good work at the Second Annual Student Affairs Staff Awards on Oct. 25.

I don’t take these opportunities for granted: getting to share an excellent breakfast (those HDH breakfast burritos were a hot commodity!); honoring our colleagues and partners who positively impact the student and staff experience; and catching up with many of you to hear about how your fur babies, kiddos and hobbies are keeping you busy.

It was a time to rejoice in our shared humanity, have some fun, and recognize one another – which made for a particularly uplifting convening – as did the cheers, applause and celebratory hoots shared when our colleagues (most of whom were not aware that they had been selected to receive an award this year) took the stage or Zoom screen to be honored.

As we acknowledge the 2022 honorees one year after our inaugural Staff Awards ceremony, I also invite you to revisit the excellent work of our 2021 awardees.

Please join me in congratulating the 2022 Student Affairs Staff Awards winners:

Student Experience: "Student First Award 2022"

  • Triton Esports Center Team, Recreation
  • Tessa Opperman, Recreation

Student Success: "Student Advocate Award 2022"

  • Study Abroad Advising Team, Global Initiatives
  • Andy Hoffman, Center for Student Involvement

 Well-Being: "Triton Health Award 2022"

  • COVID-19 Specialist Team, Student Affairs Case Management Services
  • Kia Neri, University Centers

Inclusion and Equity: "Equity Matters Award 2022"

  • ART of Inclusive Communication Workgroup, Center for Student Involvement
  • Jessica Ison, VCSA Human Resources

 Community Partnership: "Team Player Award 2022"

  • APIMED Symposium Committee, Campus Partners
  • Adam Weaver, University Centers

Collective Impact: "Erasing the Opportunity Gap 2022"

  • Assessment, Evaluation, and Organizational Development, VCSA Office
  • The Hub Basic Needs Center, Student Life

You’ll find a few photos from the event here:


Recognizing Student Centeredness

You may have seen some folks donning cute little Student Centered pins around campus over the last couple weeks, or picked up one of our WEAR/SHARE cards at the Staff Awards on Tuesday. 

sc-pin-front-10-26.pngIf you weren’t able to attend the ceremony in-person or didn’t receive a pin, please send an email to so that we can send one out to you – or arrange a good time to pick one up from our office.

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 wear these pins with pride and visit our Student Centeredness website to nominate a colleague who also puts UC San Diego students first.

Epstein Family Amphitheater Grand Opening

I would like to offer a HUGE kudos and congratulations to the Campus Performances and Events Office and the MANY campus teams, architects, volunteers and construction partners for their work to officially unveil our campus’ newest student-centered venue, the Epstein Family Amphitheater (EFA). The EFA’s debut was marked by sold-out performances – and long nights! – a testament to the dedication of our colleagues who helped to make it such a success.


Tonight at the EFA: Hasta La Muerte

The EFA will also host a world premiere this evening (Oct. 27), as part of the second annual UC San Diego Latinx History Month celebration. Hasta La Muerte is an enthralling new production rooted in the indigenous Mexican practice of celebrating Life and Death, universally known as Día de los Muertos. I hope that you are able to join us in celebration as Latinx History Month draws to a close.

Get Out and Vote!

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Please remember to vote, and take advantage of paid time off to do so as needed.

Beginning Oct. 29, the Seuss Room in Geisel Library will house a San Diego County Vote Center – where Tritons and community members can cast their vote or return a mail-in ballot.

Welcome: Director of Online Student Experience

Please also join me in welcoming Dr. Maricela Alvarado, who recently joined the Student Retention and Success team as the new Director - Online Student Experience.

 In this role, Dr. Alvarado will serve as a principal advisor to the Student Affairs leadership team, leading a variety of initiatives and strategic projects that facilitate change and positively enhance access to our students’ online experiences. Dr. Alvarado is a first-generation college graduate with more than 18 years of experience in higher education in various Student Affairs areas, including: Student Conduct, Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Program, Summer Bridge, Student Life, and Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Save the Dates

Professional Development Day and VCSA Holiday Party - Dec. 12-13


This year’s Student Affairs Professional Development Day will be spread out over two half-days, with virtual sessions being held on Dec.12 and in-person sessions taking place on Dec. 13. So that more folks can join us in-person, we’ve combined the Dec. 13 sessions with the VCSA Holiday Party on the same day.

Halloween with IFSO - Oct. 31

The International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) is sponsoring "Halloween with IFSO" on Oct. 31 – a kick-off event highlighting the various in-person programming that IFSO will offer throughout the academic year. Enjoy refreshments, learn more about IFSO, and enter for a chance to win tickets to SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.

International Education Week - Nov. 14-18

International Education Week (IEW) is returning to UC San Diego for the 18th consecutive year from Nov. 14-18. IEW, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, is an international campaign celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange.

The Office of Global Initiatives (formally Global Education) and various areas of campus are hosting a wide array of programs, activities and events that showcase our diverse and internationalized university. This year’s IEW is both in-person and virtual, with program offerings for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) is offering micro-grants to UC San Diego departments, colleges, and/or UC San Diego registered student organizations celebrating international education, global engagement, and internationalization. To learn more, apply for micro-grant funding, and view the calendar of events, visit

If you managed to make it to the end of this message, thank you! So, I will share a gentle reminder to get some fresh air on your lunch break or take some vacation time to recharge – you have earned it. 


Be Well,