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UC San Diego Extension Celebrates its 50th Anniversary by Looking to the Future

Image: Mary Walshok

Mary Walshok

Much has changed in the last 50 years, and the University of California, San Diego Extension has changed right along with it, tailoring its offerings to keep pace with innovation and societal shifts.

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, UC San Diego Extension will embrace its ever-evolving legacy by casting an eye to the future. Throughout 2016, Extension will be asking people to imagine the changes “The Next Fifty” years will bring with a variety of initiatives and programs, including $50,000 in scholarships.

Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension, said the yearlong celebration will provide a window into the breakthroughs that will be occurring in everything from the arts to technology to science.

“For more than 50 years, Extension has been inventing and reinventing its programs and educational offerings to meet the needs of San Diego,” Walshok said. “We don’t want to spend our 50th Anniversary looking back. Instead we want to continue our work to help individuals and organizations stay ahead of the curve and get ready for what’s next.”

As part of its efforts, Extension is offering ten $5,000 scholarships that recipients can use toward Extension’s courses and certificates. The scholarships are open to those with at least a high school degree or equivalent and who would like UC San Diego Extension’s help to advance their career or pursue their passions. The applicants are required to write a 500-word essay on how Extension can help them prepare for the future.

Image: Extension staffer Azra Mukanovic

Extension staffer Azra Mukanovic networking with students.

The deadline to apply for “The Next Fifty” scholarships is July 1, 2016 with the winners being announced by Aug. 26. To find out more about the scholarships, visit scholarships.

Another component of the 50th Anniversary celebration is a weekly “Voices of the Future” feature that will showcase thought leaders including UC San Diego faculty as well as industry and civic leaders on the technological and social advances envisioned in the next 50 years.

These stories, which are being posted each week on Extension’s blog, cover a wide variety of topics and highlight the life-changing advances happening on campus, in the San Diego region, and in the education sector itself. Recent subjects include Barry Lopez, an award-winning environmental writer; Dr. Razelle Kurzcock, a pioneer in personalized cancer therapy; and Stephen Mayfield, director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology at UC San Diego.

Image: Tim McConnell

Jazz guitarist Peter Sprague teaching at UC San Diego Jazz Camp.

UC San Diego Extension will also offer a variety of public lectures and programs to deliver on Extension’s anniversary celebration’s core mission and message, which is to prepare individuals and institutions for change. These events include Extension’s Career Week, which runs from March 22 to March 24 and will focus on emerging careers, as well as a May 16 conversation with Bill Keller, former editor of The New York Times, on the future of criminal justice reporting and the exponential growth of broadcast channels and online media.

To find out more about UC San Diego Extension’s anniversary scholarships, blog features and events, visit here.