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Chancellor Khosla Launches Scholarship and Fellowship Challenge

New gifts will be matched 1:2 to increase access for the next generation of changemakers

Chancellor Khosla with students.

All photos taken pre-pandemic. Photo credit: Erik Jepsen/University Communications.

In the summer of 2020, Tyler Barbero had the chance to study how residents near the Salton Sea in east San Diego are impacted by large-scale dust storms. A recent graduate in oceanic and atmospheric sciences, Barbero’s research was made possible through the Philip and Elizabeth Hiestand Endowed Fund for Summer Research Programs. This support allowed him to gain hands-on experience in meteorological forecasting under the guidance of faculty supervisors and graduate student mentors. “I gained priceless experience and now have a better understanding of what going into this field means,” said Barbero.

Tyler Barbero

Tyler Barbero ’21 received a summer research scholarship that allowed him to do hands-on research and explore career possibilities in his area of study.

Scholarships embolden students to think big about their future. They provide an avenue to higher education and enhance experiential learning opportunities for those who may be facing financial constraints. To expand support for undergraduate and graduate students, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla has committed to providing a $1 match to every $2 donated in support for students, up to $5 million. The Chancellor’s Scholarship and Fellowship Challenge will multiply eligible gifts given to undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and health-related professional school scholarships through the close of the Campaign for UC San Diego on June 30, 2022.

“Of all our shared goals as a campus community, there is none more important to me than helping students succeed; the Campaign for UC San Diego is making this possible,” said Chancellor Khosla. “Our Student Support and Success efforts are a critical campaign priority, and ongoing support for a broad range of scholarships and fellowships ensure that we continue to attract and retain a student community that is talented, ambitious, curious, inclusive and reflective of California’s diversity.”

1,960 minutes to give

The Chancellor’s match launch coincides with UC San Diego’s annual Day of Caring, a 1,960-minute campaign—which honors the founding year of the university. All faculty, staff, students, alumni, patients and community members are invited to contribute gifts of any amount to a cause they care about between May 13-14. Gifts of all levels to undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and scholarships for students at the School of Medicine, Wertheim School of Public Health and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ensure that we continue to attract and retain a vibrant student community—both undergraduate and graduate.

UC San Diego enrolls more than 8,000 graduate and professional students, who generate leading-edge ideas and technologies that become foundational for progress. They also serve an important role in advancing the education of undergraduate students as course instructors, lab guides and research mentors. Fellowship support is critical to recruiting talented scholars to the university and ensuring that access for underrepresented students continues to grow.

For Thoshna Arasappa, who earned an MBA in 2018 from UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management, receiving a fellowship helped her transition from technology sales to a career as a business architect at Cisco. She was awarded the Anklesaria Endowed Fellowship, created by Jimmy Anklesaria and his wife Jennifer, which supports the innovative education of business leaders. Jimmy has been involved with the Rady School since its inception, including teaching for more than a decade.

Thoshna Arasappa, Jennifer and Jimmy Anklesaria.

Thoshna Arasappa, MBA ’18 was awarded an endowed fellowship funded by donors Jennifer and Jimmy Anklesaria.

Arasappa was drawn to the Rady School for its top-notch faculty, the small cohort structure and the university’s location. “Rady is a school where entrepreneurship is the essence of its cultural fabric,” she said. “This doesn’t mean you need to be an inventor, founder or person with a great business idea. However, you need to be a self-starter wanting to create a path of your own.”

UC San Diego’s strategic vision is to grow the number of graduate students and graduate fellowships. The university’s graduate programs are consistently recognized among the top in the nation by U.S. News and World Report; the campus’s highest ranked programs include bioengineering (3rd), political science (8th), engineering (9th­) and economics (12th). To remain a top choice for the most sought-after scholars, UC San Diego seeks to fortify the fellowship support offerings for masters and doctoral students in all fields.

A multiplication of matches fuels future scholarships

A catalyst for driving scholarship growth is the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program, which was established in 2014 by Chancellor Khosla and provides scholarships ($10,000 per year) to low-income and first-generation enrollees. Eligible scholars include graduates from underserved high schools, transfer students from select San Diego and Imperial Valley community colleges, as well as registered members of federally recognized tribes in California.

“This scholarship has really helped me be able to live on campus and pay for a lot of my books and supplies for school; it has also relieved a lot of financial burden from my parents,” said junior Nidya Preza Campos, a Chancellor’s Associates Scholar recipient.

She went on to explain, “People should donate to UC San Diego because there are a lot of students out there who are amazing, talented, hardworking and studious, but they just unfortunately cannot afford the tuition at a university. A lot of students who come from minority, low-income neighborhoods, their parents work two to three jobs in a day just to help the family to get by. And sometimes that’s not enough.”

Chancellor Khosla, Nidya Preza Campos, Karen and Jeff Silberman.

Chancellor Khosla; Nidya Preza Campos, Muir College ’22; and donors Karen and Jeff Silberman at the 2020 Hearts and Scholars Dinner. Photo credit: Bob Ross Photography.

Chancellor Khosla’s challenge match is being paired with two more opportunities designed to exponentially expand support for Chancellor’s Associates Scholars. After the success of Karen and Jeff Silberman’s Chancellor’s Associates Inspiration Challenge in 2017, they have established a second inspiration challenge to spur additional support. Together with the Chancellor’s Scholarship and Fellowship Challenge, eligible current use gifts to Chancellor’s Associates Scholarships will receive a special 1:1 match, up to $667,000.

“We were greatly inspired by the impact of our first Inspiration Challenge which gave so many extraordinary students an opportunity to pursue their dreams,” explained the Silbermans. “After observing the positive impact of our first gift, we wanted to encourage other generous donors to join us again to provide many more opportunities to support our talented and deserving scholars who will become the future changemakers!”

In addition, philanthropists are invited to help build endowed support to sustain 800 Chancellor’s Associates Scholars on campus in perpetuity. An existing challenge created by Sandra Timmons ’81 and Richard Sandstrom ’72, Ph.D. ’78 will also be combined to continue to grow a permanent source of funding. Through the Timmons/Sandstrom Chancellor’s Associates Endowment Challenge, endowed gifts to create new named Chancellor’s Associates Scholarships are eligible for a special match of $1 per $4 of gift up to $1 million. These gifts would also multiply through the 1:2 Chancellor’s Challenge match.

“Sandy and I believe we need to grow support for the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarships to ensure that learning is affordable and accessible for all. We need more philanthropic investment if we are to give greater access to qualified, but under resourced students each year,” said Sandstrom.

He added, “This endowment will ensure that we continue to attract and retain students who are qualified, talented, ambitious and competitive without regard to their families’ ability to pay for a UC San Diego education. And in return this highly educated population will pay dividends in our community.”

All gifts that qualify for the Chancellor’s Scholarship and Fellowship Challenge contribute to the Campaign for UC San Diego—a university-wide comprehensive fundraising effort concluding in 2022. Alongside UC San Diego’s philanthropic partners, the university is continuing its nontraditional path toward revolutionary ideas, unexpected answers, lifesaving discoveries and planet-changing impact. To learn more about supporting UC San Diego, visit the Campaign for UC San Diego.

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