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UC San Diego Welcomes Alysson Satterlund as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Alysson Satterlund

Alysson Satterlund

With more than 20 years of progressive student affairs leadership experience, Alysson Satterlund has taken the helm as UC San Diego’s new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA).

A first-generation college graduate, Satterlund is deeply committed to and has led strategic campus-wide initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, as well as student retention and success.

“We are honored to welcome Alysson Satterlund as our new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “As a proven student advocate, she brings knowledge and experience that align well with UC San Diego’s strategic vision to be a student-centered public university.”

Satterlund’s appointment officially began Nov. 1. She most recently served as the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at California State University (CSU) San Bernardino for the last four years. Her student affairs leadership experience has been in both public and private higher education environments. The California native is thrilled to be joining UC San Diego and the University of California system.

“Public education is transformational,” Satterlund said. “I couldn’t be more proud to contribute to the UC system, which sets the standard for public higher education for the nation and world, producing important research and promoting upward social mobility.”

At CSU San Bernardino, Satterlund provided leadership in the administration of a range of policies and services across the two campuses--San Bernardino and Palm Desert--including the development of an award-winning summer college readiness and residential developmental math and English programs.

As VCSA, Satterlund serves as the campus’s chief student affairs officer, providing executive-level leadership and vision for a comprehensive range of initiatives, services and policies to ensure an extraordinary student experience at UC San Diego. Key areas of oversight and partnership include admissions and enrollment management, residential life and housing, student health services, counseling services career services, athletics and recreation.

"My first goal is to invest the time in learning more about the dynamic culture of UC San Diego,” she said. “Student leaders, colleagues and collaborators have been graciously giving their time to share their perspectives on what they expect from Student Affairs as a partner to further enhance an inclusive and student-centered learning environment."

Satterlund added she looks forward to being a part of UC San Diego revolutionary growth, as the campus moves to expand its enrollment, facilities and undergraduate colleges. In addition, she is proud to join a growing cohort of female leaders across campus.

From a small town, to graduate school, university leadership and beyond.

Like many of UC San Diego’s students, Satterlund grew up in a rural community. Satterlund is from the Sutter Buttes, less than an hour from CSU Chico, where she enrolled as an undergraduate at the university.

“CSU Chico was an incredible opportunity for me,” she said. “It was close to home and I assumed I would go there, but thought that would be the extent of my college-going experience. Graduate school was just not something discussed in my community. However, my world opened up once I went to college.”

As an undergrad, Satterlund worked as a cashier to help finance her education and got involved in a community engagement program, which sparked her passion for the field. After developing mentorships with faculty and staff, she found the courage to pursue graduate school. While earning a Master of Arts in Information & Communication Studies at CSU Chico, she continued to work in student affairs at the university. Her scholarship eventually brought her to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a doctorate in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, while simultaneously working in student services, but this time at the neighboring Duke University.

“I had the experience of working both in and out of the classroom as a teaching fellow and in student services, but at some point I had to make a choice,” she said. “I realized my passion was really making an impact on students’ lives, helping them get involved, explore their interests, get access to the support they needed to reach their goals, and contribute to others’ lives through their leadership experiences

She added, “My education was a transformative experience, and I feel so grateful to get to pay it forward to other students whose lives are enriched by the vast opportunities higher education provides.”

Satterlund’s career has taken her across the country, but she has remained a Californian at heart. “The beauty of our state is its great diversity and complexity,” she said. “We serve students from big cities, students who are from communities like the one where I grew up, students from every country in the world with all of them contributing to the culture of the state, region and our campus community.”

For more information about Student Affairs at UC San Diego, go to https://vcsa.ucsd.edu/.