Alumnus Tim Lee wasn't supposed to be a comedian. A biologist by training, he graduated in 1993 magna cum laude from UC San Diego with honors in biology. He went on to complete his Ph.D. at UC Davis. He spent years developing simulation and analytical models of population dynamics before he discovered that this bored him to tears. So he tried comedy, and has become an underground sensation, with over 4 million views on his YouTube videos. He now sells out performances from New York to Sydney. In this interview, Tim talks about his transition from biology to comedy, and how his biology research recently helped him out in a San Francisco coffee shop.
Getting people to change their behavior is much easier than getting them to maintain it. That is one of the key challenges Dr. Bess Marcus has faced over the course of her career as a clinical health psychologist. She has spent the last 25 years conducting research on physical activity behavior, and her primary research interests are in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and the promotion of women's health. Now she serves as Chair of UC San Diego's Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.
You don't have to take a class to learn something new at UC San Diego. Just take a tour. Every Sunday, knowledgeable adult volunteer guides offer free tours of the campus through the UC San Diego Visitors Tour program. The guides present a general overview of our 1,200-acre campus, imparting their insight about UC San Diego's history, architecture, and our mission of education, research and public service. This interview features a conversation with the program's director and three of the tour guides; keep reading and you'll probably learn something you didn't know about our university. For more information on the bus and walking tours, click here.
Being Director of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) at UC San Diego is a 24/7 job that requires quick thinking, resourcefulness and preparation. Fortunately, we have Garry Mac Pherson leading the department, and he is a self-professed "Plan B type of guy." He came to UC San Diego in 2009 after serving more than 30 years as a fire division chief in fire prevention, emergency management services, and operations and training for the City of Poway. On any given day on campus, he's dealing with a wide range of high-tech and low-tech issues, from coyotes to cancer research. In this interview, Mac Pherson talks about the significant role EH&S has at UC San Diego and how the campus dealt with the recent regional power outage.
Paul Glick, a second-year mechanical engineering student from Washington, DC, has lived in some of the oldest student housing at Revelle College and now lives in some of the newest—the Charles Keeling apartments.Â The residence features a rooftop garden, solar panels, a storm-water management system, efficient plumbing fixtures, rain and sun screens, high ceilings, modern furniture, eco-friendly landscaping and some of the best views on campus.Â In this interview, Paul talks about what he likes best about living on campus, the research he worked on over the summer, and why it’s important to him to be “green.”
Many of you know Suresh Subramani as the Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC) of Academic Affairs. And you probably know that he is a highly distinguished cell and molecular biologist. But you may not know that he has worked at UC San Diego for 30 years, or that he is a vegetarian, or that he has two favorite places on this planet and they are nowhere near each other. In this interview, he talks about his responsibilities as the campus' chief academic and operating officer; his long career at the university, from faculty member to EVC; and he gives us insight into the future of education and research at UC San Diego.
After the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation scare in Japan, scores of volunteers have descended on the northeastern region of the country to help survivors deal with the massive devastation and debris removal. One of those volunteers is alumnus Jacob Searing. He lives in Tokyo, Japan and traveled several hours by bus to the affected area, where he spent eight days scooping mud out of homes and parking lots. He wrote about his experience on his Facebook page, which led an alumni coordinator to contact him and recommend that he log his hours on the university's Volunteer50 website, which he did. In this interview, Jacob talks about his volunteering experience and how he ended up living in Japan.
Even though she's a staff member, Anna Gandolfi looks forward to commencement every year. And she starts thinking about it way before June. That's because she helps to plan the numerous graduation ceremonies. In addition to her duties as the business officer at John Muir College, she took on the additional commencement coordination duties in 2008 when the Council of Provosts appointed her to the position. She has worked at UC San Diego for more than two decades and was named a UC San Diego Exemplary Employee of the Year in 2006. She has also served as Chair of the Staff Association. In this interview, she talks about the challenges and fun of coordinating so many commencement ceremonies, her volunteer work and what she's learned about UC San Diego over the years.
From "Glee" to "The Sing-Off," television shows are bringing a cappella singing into the mainstream. And a new a cappella group at UC San Diego—Acamazing—is gaining popularity right here in La Jolla. Composed of 19 students, the group has a number of songs under their belts, which they've performed both on and off campus. You can see video of their concerts on their website and on YouTube. Freshman Caitlyn Cibulsky serves as the administrative affairs officer for the group and, in this interview, she talks about why Acamazing is special.
As the new Vice Chancellor for Research, Sandra Brown oversees an office responsible for many of the university's key functions, including Organized Research Units, contracts & grants, technology transfer, animal care and welfare, research ethics and postdoctoral scholars, among others. A professor and researcher herself, she knows firsthand both the rewards and challenges of UC San Diego's research enterprise. She was appointed to her position in December 2010, just after the university surpassed $1 billion in research funding for the first time, a milestone that included bringing in more federal stimulus dollars than any other UC campus. In this interview, she talks about why research is an integral part of UC San Diego's mission and 50-year history, and what's next for the Office of Research Affairs.