UC San Diego News Center


Campus Celebrates National Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week

They teach, they discover, they create and they are part of what makes UC San Diego one of the world’s top-ranked public research universities. No, we’re not talking about faculty; this time, we’re talking about graduate and professional students—young scholars who are in a unique position of receiving in-depth educational training while pushing the frontiers of academia and creating new knowledge. During the week of April 2 to 7, UC San Diego will join universities across the nation in celebrating these scholars with National Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week.

“Graduate students help drive UC San Diego forward,” said Kate Baker, a fifth-year electrical engineering Ph.D. student and vice president of internal affairs for UC San Diego’s Graduate Student Association. “Their research contributes to the amazing breakthroughs, technology and innovations that the university is known for.”

Baker’s own research involves finding ways to make solar panels a more cost-effective energy option by developing new methods of constructing solar cells that use materials more efficiently.

Established in 1993, Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week is a national initiative to celebrate and raise awareness of the impact and value of graduate and professional students across the country. This is the first year that UC San Diego is participating, and the university is one of the only institutions in California to participate.

UC San Diego’s Graduate Student Association and Office of Graduate Studies are leading efforts to organize a variety of events, from workshops designed specifically for graduate and professional students to social and networking opportunities, as well as programs open to the public that showcase student work. The week closes with the Visual Arts Open Studios on April 7, where the public can visit nearly 50 studios and meet the artists. The event also coincides with the campus-wide Triton Day Experience, a day of free activities and entertainment celebrating all that UC San Diego has to offer.

Following is a sample of the activities planned for Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week. For a complete calendar of events, visit

  • Monday, April 2, 7 p.m., Price Center Theater. “Piled Higher and Deeper” The Movie (or, “The PHD Movie”) captures the unique and humorous culture of academia through the stories of four graduate students as they struggle to find balance between research, teaching and their personal lives. Event is open to UC San Diego graduate and professional students.
  • Wednesday, April 4, 3 to 6:30 p.m., Price Center East Ballroom. At the Interdisciplinary Research Celebration, the capstone event of the week, recipients of the Interdisciplinary Scholar Award will present their work to the public. Topics range from history, anthropology and global health to mechanical and aerospace engineering. Event is open to the public.
  • Thursday, April 5, 8 to 11:30 p.m., Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The annual Skaggs Luau invites graduate and professional students from across campus to break out their Hawaiian shirts and flip flops for this annual event. Event is open to UC San Diego graduate and professional students.
  • Saturday, April 7, 1 to 7 p.m. Visual Arts Facility. The Visual Arts Open Studios will showcase nearly 50 artist studios. Visitors can interact with the emerging talent at UC San Diego as master’s and doctoral art practice students share their artistic process and finished pieces. Event is open to the public.

Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week offers the UC San Diego campus and the public an opportunity to learn about the valuable role that graduate students play at this university, from conducting cutting-edge research to teaching undergraduates and even helping to attract world-class faculty to the university. Yet, with decreases in state funding, private support is needed to ensure that talented graduate students are able to attend UC San Diego. To learn more about this need for support, or to make a gift to graduate student fellowships, visit

Related Links:

UC San Diego Graduate Students Take Their Research to Sate Capitol

Get an Insider’s Look at UC San Diego at Triton Day Experience