UC Santa Cruz campus plays host to all ages during the summer

With most of the traditional students gone, UCSC is playing host to a varied clientele this summer, from youngsters honing their cheerleading skills to scientists holding an annual meeting.

About 12,000 visitors--many from abroad--are expected to take part in more than 100 conferences, academic institutes, camps and outreach programs on campus this summer. The 10-week conference season began on June 16 and wraps up on August 14.

This year's conference lineup has been affected by university budget cuts and the economic slump, said Nancy D'Angelo, assistant director of the Colleges and University Housing Services. "It does tend to affect us. Our business is cyclical," she said.

Budget cuts at the Educational Partnership Center forced it to scale back a few of its summer programs at UCSC, D'Angelo said. On the other hand, early indications point to an increase in sports programs for grade school and high school-age youngsters. D'Angelo speculated that this could be a result of tighter family budgets. "Many times people don't take vacations, but they want to see that their children are taken care of," she said.

In addition to their direct benefit for participants, summer programs also serve to showcase the campus. "Each of these precollegiate visitors is a potential student. It's a wonderful opportunity," said D'Angelo, noting that the Admissions Office offers campus tours for visitors.

Conferences have an impact on the surrounding community as well. Many of the sports camps draw youth from nearby, and visitors from outside the area explore community attractions, shopping or spending money at the Boardwalk, and elsewhere, said D'Angelo.

UCSC receives more than $4.2 million annually from the summer programs. Conference guests stay at UCSC residence halls and apartments, purchasing food and other services from the campus. Income from summer visitors helps offset room-and-board rates for UCSC students by about $200 per student each year. Income is also returned to UCSC's colleges to help support student programs.

Programs for adults include:

The 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. The major goal of this meeting, August 7-11, is to bring together scientists whose interests are in the broad area of food and fluid intake and its related aspects in humans, laboratory animals, and other species. The program will include a keynote lecture by UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood called "Research in the Post 9-11 Era: Challenges and Opportunities."

The Dickens Project. The Dickens Project will return to the UC Santa Cruz campus for its 22nd consecutive year in early August to bring together scholars, graduate students, high school teachers, and members of the general public for a week of study and Dickensian conviviality, called "The Dickens Universe." The program includes formal lectures by internationally distinguished scholars, seminars, small discussion groups, films, performances, exhibits, and a variety of informal social activities. Regularly attended by more than 300 participants of different ages and backgrounds, the Universe provides a relaxed and supportive environment in which to pursue serious intellectual inquiry.

UC College Prep Initiative. In partnership with the College Board, the UC College Prep Initiative, July 21-26, hosts an AP Summer Institute annually. Presenters provide high school teachers with opportunities to develop and refine their skills as Advanced Placement instructors.

College Board Summer Institute. The Institute, July 27-August 1, is designed for new or relatively inexperienced admissions and school relations staff and will cover admissions case studies, transcript evaluations, visiting high schools, giving oral presentations, financial aid, testing and testing preparation, stress management and survival skills, international students, and ethical considerations.

Programs for children and youth include:

The Center for Talented Youth. This comprehensive, university-based initiative promotes the academic ability of children and youth throughout the world. Formally established at John Hopkins University in 1979, it is a leading force in educational reform and improvement in the United States and abroad. By bringing together academically talented students from all over the country, the summer programs are able to offer an unusual educational experience, one geared both to the students' high abilities and to their need for peers who share their academic abilities and their love of learning.

COSMOS. The California State Summer School in Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) at UC Santa Cruz is an academic, four-week residential program for talented and motivated students in grades 8-12. The short courses, not traditionally taught in high school, include astronomy, Earth science, mathematics, ocean science, and more. COSMOS' mission is to motivate the most creative minds of the new generation.

Excel, Putney Student Travel. The mission of Excel programs is to provide challenging, active, fun summer enrichment programs that give students insight into college life while fostering a balance of personal and intellectual growth. Students are invited to broaden their minds, sharpen their athletic talents, refine their artistic abilities, and contribute to a community, while making lifelong friends.

S. E. A. Lab. SEA Lab is a recent addition to UCSC's summer lineup. Sponsored by the SEA Lab Monterey Bay and Monterey Bay Sanctuary, SEA Lab provides one-week residential camp experiences for children in the 5th through 7th grades. In daily excursions to the shoreline just down the hill, campers discover and learn about the ocean as a precious natural resource while enjoying a weeklong camp experience.

United Spirit Association (USA) Camp. Celebrating 52 years, USA brings students, advisers and coaches of cheerleading, drill teams and other spirit groups together for training and encouragement.

Nike Sports Camps. U.S. Sports offers a variety of programs for youth and adults, featuring UCSC coaches in tennis, volleyball, and basketball.