Q&A with Antigone Blackwell

Antigone Blackwell is using her skills as a fundraiser, and her passion for diversity and access, to raise money for programs at UC San Diego that attract the best and brightest students from underrepresented communities. As the Director of Development for Diversity Initiatives, she has been working with students, faculty and staff all over campus, and individuals and groups in the community, to identify, cultivate and steward major gift prospects for various diversity activities. She came to UC San Diego from DePaul University in Chicago, where access was part of the school’s mission. In this interview, she talks about her priorities, the importance of collaboration, and the challenges and opportunities she faces.

March 13, 2012Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Shandy Pinkowski

Shandy Pinkowski is going to be an exceptional lawyer. When she sets her mind on something, she makes it happen. And it doesn't hurt that she likes to argue. To say that she is determined is an understatement. She has lived on her own since she was 16 years old. She grew up in a difficult home, and briefly lived in foster care. But through it all, she had her mind set on going to college, and she dreamed of traveling. She says it was her way out — of her small hometown in California and the way of life she grew up watching. In this interview, Shandy talks about her motivation to pursue a higher education, her experiences studying abroad, and the important role mentors and other supporters have had in her life.

February 28, 2012Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Carlos Coimbra

Carlos Coimbra, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has been named the new Faculty Director of the IDEA Student Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering. He joined the Jacobs School in fall 2011. He is originally from Brazil, got his Ph.D. from UC Irvine, and has been on faculty at the University of Hawaii and UC Merced, where he was involved in many outreach and academic research programs for undergraduate students. Coimbra's professional goal is to develop the smart solar power farms of the future. He uses a network of solar observatories throughout the University of California system to harvest data for forecasting solar power output. He analyzes this data using artificial intelligence methods and a new, sophisticated type of variable order differential equations he developed. He answered some of our questions about his new role, the programs he has been involved with and the importance of diversity.

February 14, 2012Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Tim Lee: Biologist Turned Comedian

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.

January 31, 2012Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Dr. Bess Marcus

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.

January 18, 2012Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with the Visitors Tour Program

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.

November 14, 2011Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Garry MacPherson

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.

November 14, 2011Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Paul Glick

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. 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. 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.”

October 10, 2011Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Suresh Subramani

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.

September 26, 2011Q and A, Q & A

Q&A with Jacob Searing

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.

August 22, 2011Q and A, Q & A

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