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Meet the 2024 Alumni Award Honorees

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This spring, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and campus leaders will pay tribute to seven remarkable individuals who are pioneering innovative solutions and creating a positive impact worldwide. Dynamic, inspiring and accomplished, this year’s extraordinary honorees are not only at the top of their game but, in many instances, have written the rules in their respective fields.

“For 45 years, UC San Diego has celebrated our exceptional alumni,” said Chancellor Khosla. “As trailblazers, changemakers and emerging leaders, this year’s outstanding honorees truly reflect the Triton spirit — embracing curiosity and pushing boundaries to create new solutions for our world.”

In March, the honorees will be celebrated at the 45th Annual Alumni Awards to be held in Los Angeles and New York City.

Here are this year’s honorees:

Trailblazers

Marsha Stephanie Blake

Marsha Stephanie Blake, MFA ’01

MFA in Acting | Department of Theatre and Dance
Award-winning performer

Marsha Stephanie Blake has enjoyed a long career on and off-Broadway, and in television and film — most recently earning Emmy and Critics Choice nominations for her role in Ava DuVernay’s miniseries “When They See Us,” and a SAG Award for “Orange Is the New Black.” Notable stage productions include, “The Merchant of Venice" with Al Pacino and “Othello" with Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo. Blake credits her experiences at UC San Diego with strengthening her resolve to speak truth to power, leading her to a career dedicated to giving voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.

Alison Tatlock

Alison Tatlock, MFA ’95

MFA in Acting | Department of Theatre and Dance
Television writer, playwright

Alison Tatlock is a television writer-producer currently working on the new Untitled Vince Gilligan series. Previous credits include “Better Call Saul,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Stranger Things” and the HBO drama “In Treatment.” Formerly a theater actor and playwright, Tatlock also worked for many years with the youth violence intervention organization Street Poets, Inc., bringing poetry workshops into detention facilities and underserved schools. She now serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. 

Changemakers

Deborah Bronston-Culp

Deborah Bronston-Culp ’80

Economics | Muir College
Managing partner/co-founder, Samothrace Partners

Deborah Bronston-Culp is a veteran Wall Street executive, with more than 25 years leading equity research departments at large investment banks. Her experience as a UC San Diego undergrad so dramatically demonstrated the university’s commitment to student success that she decided to carry that torch. Bronston-Culp is a Trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation and serves as chair of the organization’s Investment & Finance Committee. She sits on the Chancellor’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council and co-chaired the New York Regional Campaign Cabinet.

Michael C. Litt

Michael C. Litt ’83

Writing (Department of Literature) | Revelle College
Strategic Asset Allocation Advisor, Managing Partner

In 1975, Michael Litt began his career in the securities industry, cutting his teeth at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. Nine years later, he began a 17-year career with Morgan Stanley in asset management, equity derivatives and heading up the global pensions group.  In 2001 he became a founding partner at FrontPoint Partners, a global multi-strategy hedge fund. Litt is well known among global asset allocators for his numerous research papers on strategic and tactical asset allocation. His insights on behavioral factors influencing investment decision-making have made his work unique in the field.

Alondra Nelson
Photo credit: Dan Komoda

Alondra Nelson ’94

Anthropology | Marshall College
Harold F. Linder professor, Institute for Advanced Study

Social scientist Alondra Nelson was writing a book about the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy when President Biden recruited her to the leadership of that office, and ultimately appointed her as its acting director. There she led the drafting of the nation’s "Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights" to ensure that innovation aligns with democratic values and civil rights. An acclaimed researcher, Nelson is also a global policymaker, serving on the United Nations Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence, and deliberating alongside world leaders at the UK AI Safety Summit.

The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor

The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor ’80

Political Science | Muir College
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

As Bishop of Los Angeles since 2017, John Harvey Taylor is chief pastor and leader to 55,000 Episcopalians in six counties, serving a large swath of Southern California. His diocese includes 180 parishes, missions, schools and other institutions. In a nod to UC San Diego values, Taylor’s broad range of experience has allowed him to leverage new perspectives throughout his career. Taylor is a former newspaper reporter, post-chief of staff to former President Nixon, and director of the Nixon library in Yorba Linda where he opened Mr. Nixon’s tapes and other records to scholars.

Emerging Leader 

Mayly Tao

Mayly Tao ’12

Communication | Sixth College
Marketing/business consultant | Owner, Donut Princess

Mayly Tao is the author of “An American Dream with Sprinkles,” a memoir documenting her family’s journey surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. Tao is LA’s self-proclaimed Donut Princess, having founded Donut Princess Los Angeles, a donut bouquet delivery concept. As a community leader and host of the podcast “Short N’ Sweet,” she advocates for women’s empowerment while uplifting the AAPI community through discussions about identity. In elevating Asian American voices, Tao aims to create a legacy for the next generation. 

As one of the highest honors at UC San Diego, the Alumni Award recognizes alumni who, through their distinguished work, have exemplified Triton spirit and positively contributed to the university's legacy.

To learn more or register, visit the Alumni Awards event page. If you know an outstanding Triton, we invite you to visit our nomination page.

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