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Celebrating Being a Triton

About 24,000 people pack inaugural Triton Day on campus

“I am choosing UC San Diego because I like the feel of the place,” said incoming freshman Anna Yamamuro. “I think it has a collaborative atmosphere, which is what I think a college should be like.”

Yamamuro was one of the many newly admitted students who accepted their offer to attend UC San Diego by submitting their intent to register at the Lenovo Lounge after a fun-filled day at the campus’s first-ever Triton Day Experience.

Anna Yamamuro

Anna Yamamuro

About 24,000 UC San Diego prospective and current students, faculty, staff and community friends came together Saturday at Triton Day to celebrate what it means to be a Triton. The event, a combination of Admit Day and Open House, showcased the endless opportunities and vibrant campus community at UC San Diego. From a beach party on Library Walk, to a sustainability showcase, college planning session and free lama rides, the event featured education and fun for the whole family.

“I came to the Green Open House last year and brought my daughter,” said UC San Diego development officer Stuart Krantz. “We came again this year because it’s a terrific event and a great way to showcase the university and all it has to offer.”

The “Meet the Minds” portion of the day featured many of UC San Diego’s premier academic departments with interactive displays that gave attendees a close-up view of the university’s groundbreaking research.

The department of chemistry and biochemistry showcased a “dry ice cream” experiment where liquid nitrogen was added to a mixture of milk, sugar, heavy cream, and other flavoring ingredients, to create a savory and scientific “dry ice cream” treat.

Triton Day

Dry ice cream experiment | Photos by Alan Decker

The department of cognitive science had a Lego Mindstorms robot and other displays to illustrate how the department works with neuroscience and human computer interaction artificial intelligence to attempt to understand how the mind is constructed through the interactions of brain, body and world.

The display was showcased by graduate students in the department including cognitive science Ph.D. candidate Jeremy Karnowski

“I think that when students here at Triton Day see their future possibilities, it will only help motivate and excite them to learn and make their own mark on the world,” said Karnowski. “This makes me happy and brings me out to events like Triton Day.”

Many families and community members gathered at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Showcase, which featured a motorcycle powered by biofuel from algae, live star fish, sand dollars, sea cumbers and preserved sea creatures from the deep ocean, including a Humboldt and vampire squid. Visitors also got to experience the undersea world of giant kelp through a hands-on presentation with kelp samples from the world’s oceans.

The display was a highlight for newly-admitted student Jonathan White, and his mom, Jan. “The whole day has been exciting,” said Jan. “The displays and entertainment are all really interesting.”

Although Jonathan was still undecided about which university he will attend, he said he is really excited to be admitted to UC San Diego.

Triton Day

Scripps Institution of Oceanography booth

“I am really impressed by Scripps Institution of Oceanography,” Jonathan said. “It’s a world-leading oceanographic institute. If I become a student at UC San Diego, I would like to definitely take classes there.”

Also part of the Triton Day Experience was the Green Car Show and Sustainability Showcase featuring a Chevy Volt, hybrid Superloop bus, a compressed natural gas (CNG) powered van and a formula hybrid racing car, designed by students at the Jacobs School of Engineering. In addition, staff from the Sustainability Resource Center showed how UC San Diego goes green by demonstrating self-powered elliptical trainers that generate enough power to light a light bulb.

The vast educational opportunities at the Triton Day Experience were accompanied by live entertainment throughout the day. On stage at the Price Center Plaza, students showcased their musical talents with a variety of performances from UC San Diego’s Gospel Music Society, Zumba, Asayake Taiko and more.  In addition, the UC San Diego Bookstore hosted an “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” fashion show featuring all the apparel a UC San Diego student needs from freshman year to graduation.

The early portion of the day was dedicated to welcoming newly-admitted students with events that included college sessions, campus tours and an academic and student support seminar.

Newly-admitted students also got the opportunity to attend special sessions where they met and talked with some of UC San Diego’s star students, faculty and alumni, including Albert Yu-Min Lin, ’04, M.S. ’05, Ph.D. ’08.

“I believe the core of any great university is an engaged student population, and growing that population is what the Triton Day Experience is all about,” Lin said. “I am proud to be a part of this event and to show our prospective students how incredible the UC San Diego experience can be.”

Triton Day

High-Altitude Ballooning Outreach

At the Faculty Club, more than 200 middle and high school students and their families learned helpful tools to plan for, get into and pay for college at the Charting the Course College Planning and Information Session.

At the event, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox encouraged the students to one day apply to and attend UC San Diego. Following Fox’s speech, UC San Diego faculty, staff and students and gave presentations on the ins and outs of the college process.

“We are truly a world-class university, a jewel in your backyard,” Fox said. “So stay motivated, stay on course, and you can attend one of the best universities in the country.”

UC San Diego staff member Mona Powell brought her niece and nephew to the planning session. “They are both in middle school,” Powell said. “So, this is a great opportunity to give them exposure to a college campus early in their life and to let them know what colleges are looking for.”

Not far from the Faculty Club, was Thurgood Marshall College’s 34th Annual Cultural Celebration. The event invited the community to explore, create, and engage with arts and education from around the world. The Cultural Celebration’s continuous entertainment included a variety of performances from the Japanese Student Association, UC San Diego Hawai’i Club, UC San Diego Hindi Film (Bollywood) Dance team, the Afghan Student group and others. The event’s children’s village was popular with families, who explored the rock climbing wall, rode on free llama rides and jumped in a giant “bounce house.”

On Library Walk, more than a 130 student organizations participated in a “beach party” with beach-themed tables. The students sported inner tubes and Hawaiian shirts while they soaked up the sun and promoted their organization to prospective students.

UC San Diego junior Zac Haan was on Library Walk to promote the Jimmy Buffet appreciation club. “This is a great opportunity to showcase the great weather, beach culture and fun there is at UC San Diego,” Haan said. “All students should take advantage of the proximity the campus has to the beach. It makes UC San Diego truly unique and fun place to be.”

Triton Day