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Extended Studies Showcase 2023 Brings Campus and Community Together for Powerful Partnerships

UC San Diego Extended Studies Dean Hugo Villar at Extended Studies Showcase 2023
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UC San Diego Extended Studies Dean Hugo Villar welcomes attendees to Extended Studies Showcase 2023

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UC San Diego Extended Studies hosted a full day of learning, discovery, and exploration on Thursday, September 21, in celebration of powerful partnerships. 

Offering in-person experiences at UC San Diego Park & Market with virtual sessions accessible from anywhere, the all-day event brought into focus the valuable services and programs Extended Studies offers to UC San Diego faculty and staff, as well as the community–including individuals, families, organizations, and businesses, both here and abroad.

“Extended Studies is an integral part of the founding of the university. We serve as a two-way connector,” said Dean of Extended Studies Hugo Villar in his welcome remarks. “We are building bridges between the university and the community and among the different stakeholders interested in serving as catalysts for positive change by advancing global access, equity, social and economic mobility throughout the educational enrichment across the lifespan. It’s our mission statement.”

In addition to the hundreds of courses and certificate programs Extended Studies has offered to lifelong learners for nearly 60 years, the division also fuels economic and cultural growth through partnerships, programs, and services. Resources include everything from grant research and proposal assistance, program development and administration, and custom upskilling and professional training to event management, space rentals, arts collaborations, television programming through UCSD-TV, and much more.

In her introductory remarks, Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons underscored the importance and relevance of UC San Diego Extended Studies within the university and how the relationship is evolving. 

“We are in the middle of a profound philosophical shift of how Extended Studies exists within the university as a cross-cutting division, alongside the Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, that is able to move into a liminal space between degree programs and programs,” said Simmons. “We are now working collectively across all of Academic Affairs, including Extended Studies, to drive innovation and fuel economic growth and enable diverse learners to meet the goals they set for themselves and to be able to make an impact on our campus, in our city, and our region. It’s an exciting part of the history of Extended Studies right now.”

EVC Elizabeth Simmons speaks at Extended Studies Showcase

Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Simmons speaks about relevance and evolution of the Division of Extended Studies

To demonstrate firsthand how Extended Studies is engaged in collective impact, Showcase 2023 invited exploration of the variety of ways that the division partners both on and off campus.

Highlighting the soaring mixed-use, multipurpose Park & Market venue in Downtown San Diego’s East Village, a partner panel discussion in the Guggenheim Theatre delved into creative and optimized partnerships. Speakers Carlos D. Jensen, Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Innovation; Wendy Hunter Barker, Assistant Dean, Strategy and Operations at the Rady School of Management; and Colleen Kollar Smith, Executive Director of the Campus Performance and Events Office illuminated how they work with Extended Studies to leverage resources and expertise that amplify their goals and impact.

“Part of Educational Innovation’s role is to make all these wonderful ideas and visions that our fantastic faculty have a reality. And a big part of that is connecting them with the right partners who can help them with everything from market research and shaping ideas so it will have the impact they dream of to the partners who can actually help them do outreach or deliver the programming or bring together the community marketers,” said Associate Vice Chancellor Jensen. “The Division of Extended Studies has been able to help us in all of those different aspects, from ideation all the way to actual program delivery and enrollment. It’s the flexibility and entrepreneurial nature of the Division of Extended Studies that make it an ideal partner.”

Associate Vice Chancellor Carlos Jensen speaks during panel at Extended Studies Showcase 2023

Associate Vice Chancellor Carlos Jensen speaks about how Educational Innovation partners with Exended Studies to bring impactful programs to life

Following the panel conversation, a Taste of UC San Diego Extended Studies session took place with Greg Horowitt, Director of Design Innovation at UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization. This dynamic presentation was a crash course in using design thinking to approach problems and devise new solutions. Ultimately, it was a bite-sized sample of Horowitt’s Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Innovation course offered through Extended Studies and demonstrated both the nature and quality of Extended Studies classes and certificates and the value of partnerships with leading-edge instructors.

After the presentations, tours of Park & Market allowed access to the events and office spaces throughout the venue and showcased UCTV’s 30th anniversary of excellent television programming, with a special exhibition in the Public Gallery and a film retrospective in the Digital Gym Cinema, both located on the second floor.

Virtual sessions throughout the afternoon brought together community educators impacting college readiness, business pioneers utilizing Lean Six Sigma project management principles to optimize efficiencies and increase the bottom line, and healthcare professionals creating job pathways to support the next generation of health practitioners. Just a sample of the types of partnerships that Extended Studies supports, these webinars provided inspiration for all that can be accomplished from a two-way campus to community connection.

The Showcase capped off the day with scintillating arts and culture programming at Park & Market, demonstrating the personal enrichment opportunities that round out Extended Studies’ partner offerings. 

An artist reception launched a brand new exhibition, Sol y sombra: Immigrant Experiences in California featuring Julia San Román’s captivating series “The Hours” in celebration of the resilience of immigrant workers. The final event of the day was a musical performance with Park & Market’s acclaimed Intersections Concert Series featured the Don Byron Quartet, noted as one of San Diego Union-Tribune’s top concert picks of the season.

“One of the ways Extended Studies sees itself is empowering individuals to achieve their goals,” said Dean of Extended Studies Hugo Villar. “We do not focus on professional development alone. We also serve the entire needs of individuals.” 

All Extended Studies Showcase 2023 in-person and virtual sessions are available for viewing on UC San Diego Extended Studies Youtube channel.

To learn more about Extended Studies partnership opportunities, please visit

Please visit to explore partnership opportunities, download a brochure or access a virtual tour, learn about event facilities and services, and discover arts and culture programs.

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