Skip to main content

AVC Area Updates, Black History Month, 45 years of Summer Bridge, and more

February 13, 2023


Dear Student Affairs Colleagues and Friends,

There is much to celebrate at UC San Diego! Black History Month, new resources for Triton employee wellness, and the 45th anniversary of Summer Bridge.

In this celebratory “45 Years of Summer Bridge” video – which is a big-hearted valentine to our Summer Bridge team – you’ll hear from four generations of Triton Summer Bridge alumni as they reflect on the program’s transformative impact on their lives; your cup will be filled. And, this video is another example of the important contributions you each make to the lives of our students and the expertise you bring to ensure that the mission of UC San Diego is realized each day.

Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, the UC San Diego campus community will be celebrating Black History Month. There is an array of events remaining, including free film screenings, workshops and more. Learn more at Student Affairs will also be hosting tables at the 21st Annual Black History Month Scholarship Brunch on Saturday, Feb. 25. If you would like to join us at this fantastic event, please email

New Web Home for Employee Wellness

Self-care is critical to our collective ability to be student-centered professionals. I encourage you to take a look at, a website that was recently developed by the team in Recreation. This site features resources, events, programs, and information dedicated to the well-being of UC San Diego employees.

Broadening Global Experiences for all Tritons

Check out the recent UC San Diego Today article featuring the efforts of our AVC for Global Initiatives Tamara Cunningham to develop and implement a strategic internationalization plan while growing opportunities for worldwide research, teaching and collaborations at UC San Diego. Have ideas for advancing internationalization or want to collaborate with the Global Initiatives team on this high-impact work? Reach out to AVC Cunningham at

Area Updates from our AVCs

As part of our monthly communications to the division of Student Affairs, I am excited to share that you’ll now see regular updates and relevant information from our Assistant Vice Chancellors.

Area Update | Global Initiatives

AVC Tamara Cunningham

Global Initiatives (formerly Global Education) is starting off 2023 with a multitude of exciting programs and activities.

The Global Initiatives team has secured a highly competitive grant to host a delegation of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows for workshops from March 13-17. Administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), Humphrey Fellowships are awarded to top international professionals and leaders who collaborate to address local and global challenges and foster change for our collective good. UC San Diego will host 30 Fellows for a workshop series focused on Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions™ that will provide Fellows with an interdisciplinary, interactive training in climate change adaptation and mitigation from the unique perspective of our geographic location in the CaliBaja region.

Study Abroad UC San Diego’s scholarship application cycle for Summer and Fall 2023 is open until March 1! For this cycle, 14 scholarships are available to UC San Diego students who intend to embark on a high-impact international experience via a faculty-led Global Seminar over summer or an academic year exchange. For any students participating in a Study Abroad program who wish to apply for a scholarship, please direct them to Study Abroad UC San Diego’s Financial Aid and Scholarships page for details.

The International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) resumed in-person programming for international faculty and scholars and their family members this academic year, adding these social, educational, and cultural programs to our already standing programs offered remotely.  Our new programs welcome our scholars – who arrive on campus throughout the year – as they settle into their research programs and look to connect with UC San Diego community members.  Hundreds of scholars and their families participate monthly in IFSO’s program offerings, including a docent-led Stuart Art Collection walk, Friendsgiving, game nights, salsa night, kayaking and hiking trips with our Outback Adventures partners, donuts and coffee with IFSO staff, and a lunar new year celebration with our Mommy, Daddy, and Me program.

In anticipation of June’s commencement ceremonies, the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) is providing international students and their families with travel- and visa-related resources and support again this year on the Graduating from UC San Diego page. Please feel free to refer international students here who may be seeking guidance and letters of support for travel to their year’s ceremony. Congratulations Class of 2023!

Area Update | Student Retention and Success

AVC Maruth Figueroa

Last month, UC San Diego established a new campus tradition by participating in our inaugural National Mentoring Month. Occurring annually in January, National Mentoring Month is a time to come together in community to celebrate the supportive and meaningful mentorship relationships that assist many in realizing their dreams.

This month-long celebration also recognized the many ways that students can get connected to a mentor, by way of one of UC San Diego’s 30-plus undergraduate and graduate mentoring programs – including peer-to-peer, faculty-to-student, and staff-to-student opportunities.

VIDEOS: My Mentoring Story

Over the course of the month, students, faculty and staff were invited to share their personal stories on how mentoring has made an impact in their lives. To view some of the video submissions, please take a look at the National Mentoring Month website.

National Mentoring Month culminated with a Mentoring for All luncheon, where students had the opportunity to be in community, thank their mentors publicly, and write a personal thank you note to their mentors. Mentoring for All is one of UC San Diego’s initiatives designed to erase opportunity gaps via a Collective Impact framework.

Area Update | Student Life

AVC Patty Mahaffey

This past Fall, Student Life welcomed an eager and engaged student population – both new and returning students alike. Our teams throughout Student Life continue to stay busy supporting, advising and programming for more than 500 student organizations, all of which are excited to be back in-person and involved, connected and engaged on campus.

On this note, each of our events this year have seen strong attendance – from our MLK Parade and Day of Service reflecting our students' continued commitment to helping others, to an award-winning voting turnout in the midterm elections and our Triton Fest event series featuring the ever-popular Asian Night Market and Fair at the Square.

With an eye towards their future, student interest has similarly been strong for our popular Discover the Law program that is currently underway.

Ensuring that our students’ basic needs are being met is of utmost importance to UC San Diego. Get to know our Hub Basic Needs Center team that has been leading the campus’ efforts to support students’ food and housing security, and learn about the menu of available services that support both undergraduates as well as graduate and professional students by watching this “The Hub Basic Needs Center” video.

Finally, be sure to stop by the Price Center and Student Center where some large student-approved renovations have recently been completed – including the PC West dining area and the (soon-to-be-complete) Student Center Courtyard. Additional refresh/modernization projects were recently completed in the Student Center lounge and Blue Pepper dining area, as well as the Price Center Theater lobby. We are looking forward to a full redesign of the Price Center Plaza, which will commence this Summer 2023.

Area Update | Student Affairs

AVC Piya Bose

I’m the new AVC - Student Affairs, having started almost a month ago on January 16. I’ve been so grateful for the warm welcome from folks across the campus!

For some background about me: I grew up in Florida, Delaware, and Michigan; I went to college in New York, and came to California 19 years ago. Providing support and advocacy for students, while valuing justice, development, integrity, life-long learning, and collaboration are what brings me to work every day. It’s a privilege serving future leaders across a wide range of disciplines. For fun, I enjoy the ocean, Big Bang Theory, music, science and technology, museums, and most new adventures!

As this is a new position, folks keep asking about my portfolio – I am working with an amazing team in the following areas:

  • Assessment, Evaluation, and Organizational Development (AEOD) leads strategic initiatives, assessment, and evaluation using a framework that focuses on innovative, student-centered, and equity-minded planning, decision-making, and advocacy.
  • Residential Experience is the unit in Housing * Dining * Hospitality that supports all of our student-facing engagement, leadership and residential program teams for both undergraduate and graduate residents.
  • Student Affairs Case Management Services (SACM) creates a culture of care via assisting students and navigating inclusive, comprehensive support services that empower UC San Diego students to address all aspects of their health and well-being.
  • The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) leads and manages the UC San Diego non-academic student conduct, student compliance, and restorative justice programs.
  • Additionally, I will be collaborating closely with our colleagues in Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion to advance strategic initiatives.

I hope to meet everyone soon, I appreciate your patience while I have a lot to learn, and I’m excited to be a Triton!

Save the Dates

UC San Diego Fulbright Day - March 9, 2023

This March, Global Initiatives will host the 6th Annual UC San Diego Fulbright Day, which highlights the impact and opportunities of the Fulbright Program for our campus community. The Fulbright Program is a prestigious fellowship that provides funding to graduating seniors, graduate students, early career academics, faculty, and higher education administrators to teach English, study, work or conduct research abroad in support of intercultural exchange.

Global Initiatives is also partnering with Global TIES to pilot a spring quarter course for Fulbright applicants that will provide guided preparation, support, and academic credit for the rigorous Fulbright application process. More information will be available at

NASPA Region VI SoCal Social - March 11, 2023

On Saturday, March 11, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) will host a regional networking event locally in Mira Mesa. More details will be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Triton Days - April 8 and May 6, 2023

Triton Days provide admitted UC San Diego students with an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and connect with fellow Tritons. For many students and their families, Triton Days will be their first chance to explore our dynamic campus in-person – and your participation may serve as a vital part of sharing the spirit of our Triton community. Please visit the Triton Days website to learn more.

Sun God Festival - May 13, 2023

2023 marks the 39th annual Sun God Festival – UC San Diego’s student-curated, daytime music and arts festival. Named as one of Live Nation's Top 5 College Concerts That Should Be Actual Festivals, the Sun God Festival is continuously reimagined to deliver students with thrilling moments and life-long memories from live performances by national touring artists, diverse food vendors, vibrant art and décor, and interactive brand activations.

Let me know if you would like to take a walk on campus, grab a cup of coffee together, or hop on a Zoom to connect – just send me an email at

Until I see you next, please take good care.


Be Well,