After losing a college professor to AIDS, and later close friends to the disease, Steffanie Strathdee has dedicated herself to HIV-prevention and research. Now the Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Director of the Global Health Initiative at UC San Diego, she is focused on enhancing collaboration and communication among global health researchers on campus. She remains engaged in a number of HIV prevention research projects and training programs in international settings including Mexico, India, Canada and Afghanistan, and she leads three NIH-funded studies about HIV risk behavior. In addition, she is a Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine. In this interview, she talks about her research, the importance of collaboration in addressing global health issues, and how she and others at UC San Diego are taking action.
Jessica Baltmanas is connecting to her roots — the garden variety that is. You can often find her exercising her green thumb in UC San Diego's community gardens. As an environmental policy major, she believes in the power of farming to provide cost-efficient, sustainable food and to reduce dependence on other food sources. This is just one of Jessica's many green practices; she is also an EcoNaut who spreads the word to other students about environmentally friendly living. In addition, she's a sustainability coordinator with the Price Center. In this interview, she talks about why it's important to her to be green and her role in UC San Diego's upcoming 50th anniversary Green Open House.
Tony Jackson is in the business of helping people. As an emergency room physician in Los Angeles, he saves lives. As a UC San Diego alumnus and volunteer recruiter for the university, he helps students succeed. He believes it's in his genes to educate and mentor people. After all, he is the great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. Jackson has organized numerous trips for underrepresented students in Los Angeles to visit UC San Diego and he says he enjoys guiding young students to the campus that he loves. Jackson also serves on the UC San Diego Alumni Board and is co-chair of the Campus Climate Council.
Teresa Scroggins, a freshman from Imperial Valley, developed a love of languages and culture through her childhood experiences as a Navy daughter. She has lived all over the world including Japan, Washington state and California. She is fluent in both Japanese and Spanish, and hopes one day to travel the world again and work at an embassy. In the meantime, she spends her free time mentoring students at Chula Vista High School and motivating them to pursue their college dreams. She says it's her way of giving back since she had such a positive experience with the Early Academic Outreach Program when she was a high school student in Imperial Valley.
As Director of UC San Diego's Mechanical Engineering Design Center, Nate Delson believes in project-based learning and teaches students how to construct myriad contraptions—from robots and clocks to medical devices. An alumnus of UC San Diego, Delson received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and then went on to get a doctorate in mechanical engineering from MIT. Since he returned to UC San Diego in 1999, his introductory design course has been in demand, with student enrollment more than doubled in the last decade. One of Delson's group projects will be featured at UC San Diego's 50th anniversary Innovation Day Expo on Feb. 25. In this interview, he talks about the innovation that will be showcased and what lured him back to UC San Diego.
As UC San Diego's fourth alumnus, John Pierce received his doctorate in physics in 1964. He was one of the fortunate few students who worked alongside our world-renowned founding faculty and administrators in the early days, including the university's first chancellor, Herb York, and oceanographer Walter Munk. They had a tremendous influence on his career path, leading him to spend most of his career in government service. In this interview, John talks about what it was like to be one of the first students at UC San Diego, how the university and its founders shaped the direction of his life, and why he flew across the country from his home in Virginia to attend the campus' 50th anniversary Founders' Day celebration on Nov. 18.