Shandy Pinkowski is going to be an exceptional lawyer. When she sets her mind on something, she makes it happen. And it doesn't hurt that she likes to argue. To say that she is determined is an understatement. She has lived on her own since she was 16 years old. She grew up in a difficult home, and briefly lived in foster care. But through it all, she had her mind set on going to college, and she dreamed of traveling. She says it was her way out — of her small hometown in California and the way of life she grew up watching. In this interview, Shandy talks about her motivation to pursue a higher education, her experiences studying abroad, and the important role mentors and other supporters have had in her life.
Carlos Coimbra, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has been named the new Faculty Director of the IDEA Student Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering. He joined the Jacobs School in fall 2011. He is originally from Brazil, got his Ph.D. from UC Irvine, and has been on faculty at the University of Hawaii and UC Merced, where he was involved in many outreach and academic research programs for undergraduate students. Coimbra's professional goal is to develop the smart solar power farms of the future. He uses a network of solar observatories throughout the University of California system to harvest data for forecasting solar power output. He analyzes this data using artificial intelligence methods and a new, sophisticated type of variable order differential equations he developed. He answered some of our questions about his new role, the programs he has been involved with and the importance of diversity.
Alumnus Tim Lee wasn't supposed to be a comedian. A biologist by training, he graduated in 1993 magna cum laude from UC San Diego with honors in biology. He went on to complete his Ph.D. at UC Davis. He spent years developing simulation and analytical models of population dynamics before he discovered that this bored him to tears. So he tried comedy, and has become an underground sensation, with over 4 million views on his YouTube videos. He now sells out performances from New York to Sydney. In this interview, Tim talks about his transition from biology to comedy, and how his biology research recently helped him out in a San Francisco coffee shop.
Getting people to change their behavior is much easier than getting them to maintain it. That is one of the key challenges Dr. Bess Marcus has faced over the course of her career as a clinical health psychologist. She has spent the last 25 years conducting research on physical activity behavior, and her primary research interests are in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and the promotion of women's health. Now she serves as Chair of UC San Diego's Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.
You don't have to take a class to learn something new at UC San Diego. Just take a tour. Every Sunday, knowledgeable adult volunteer guides offer free tours of the campus through the UC San Diego Visitors Tour program. The guides present a general overview of our 1,200-acre campus, imparting their insight about UC San Diego's history, architecture, and our mission of education, research and public service. This interview features a conversation with the program's director and three of the tour guides; keep reading and you'll probably learn something you didn't know about our university. For more information on the bus and walking tours, click here.
Being Director of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) at UC San Diego is a 24/7 job that requires quick thinking, resourcefulness and preparation. Fortunately, we have Garry Mac Pherson leading the department, and he is a self-professed "Plan B type of guy." He came to UC San Diego in 2009 after serving more than 30 years as a fire division chief in fire prevention, emergency management services, and operations and training for the City of Poway. On any given day on campus, he's dealing with a wide range of high-tech and low-tech issues, from coyotes to cancer research. In this interview, Mac Pherson talks about the significant role EH&S has at UC San Diego and how the campus dealt with the recent regional power outage.
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