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UCSD Alumni Association
Announces New Board Members

Largest board of directors to date reflects the growth of
UC San Diego’s alumni group

November 3, 2009

By Kristin Luciani

The UCSD Alumni Association announces the appointment of five new members to its Board of Directors: Karen Garsson, ’88; Tony Jackson,’74; Joe Leventhal, ’99; John Liu, ’87; and Mark Neville, ’93.  The Board of Directors oversees the strategic development of the Alumni Association and represents more than 130,000 UC San Diego alumni through leadership, advocacy, philanthropy and service.

The new directors will join the 33-member board and provide counsel and advice to university leadership.  “The caliber and passion of the board members will further engage alumni as we prepare to mark UCSD’s 50th anniversary in 2010,” said Sheldon Engelhorn,’72, president of the UCSD Alumni Association.

The Alumni Association launched numerous programs in the last year that have increased alumni participation and brought record-breaking numbers of alumni back to campus. The organization recently received three awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for AlumnIdea, a “crowdsourcing” platform for alumni feedback; the Alumni Discovery Initiative, a program for re-engaging alumni through student interaction; and @UCSD, the Alumni Association magazine.

“We are heartened to see the bond between the university and its alumni strengthened as never before,” said Armin Afsahi, ’90, who serves as assistant vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs as well as executive director of the UCSD Alumni Association. “We hope to build bridges between students and alumni and impart the pride of being a member of the Triton community for life.”

The new Alumni Association board members come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including law, medicine and business, and bring exceptional talent and energy to the board:

Karen Garsson, ’88, is vice president of corporate responsibility at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where she promotes strategic corporate citizenship involving employee engagement, community outreach and environmental sustainability initiatives.  Garrson also serves on the boards for Athena San Diego, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Science Alliance.

Tony Jackson, ’74, is an emergency room physician and dedicated mentor to under-represented middle and high school students.  In 2007, he created “A Day at UCSD,” a program to encourage low-income, high-achieving students from the Los Angeles area to attend college.

Joe Leventhal, ’99, is a litigation attorney with Cooley Godward Kronish, specializing in advertising and commercial communications law.  Before joining this firm, Leventhal was deputy assistant to former vice president Dick Cheney.

John Liu, ’87, is senior director for reimbursement strategy at Astellas Pharma Inc., leading the company’s reimbursement efforts for currently marketed products and candidates in the pipeline.  Liu has also worked on Capitol Hill as legislative counsel and as a health policy analyst.

Mark Neville, ’93, is the associate executive director and director of communications for the Holiday Bowl, managing marketing, advertising and public relations efforts for San Diego’s annual Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl.  He has served as the “voice” of the University of San Diego’s basketball team since 1992.

The UCSD Alumni Association Board of Directors began as a group of 10 volunteers in 1974.  Today, the board includes loyal alumni leaders from a variety of industries and backgrounds, and from four decades of graduates. Each member may serve two three-year terms.  The board meets throughout the year to establish goals and objectives for the Alumni Association and, through the work of its committees, guides and assists the staff in the implementation of programs for alumni.  For more information visit http://alumni.ucsd.edu/aboutus/board.htm.

 

Media Contacts:
Kristin Luciani, kluciani@ucsd.edu, 858-822-3353
Malinda Danziger, mdanziger@ucsd.edu, 858-822-0063


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