Video chat with Chancellor Blumenthal

Chancellor Blumenthal reflects on spring commencement, recent campus achievements and challenges, and the 25th anniversary of the banana slug becoming the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz. Added attraction: His cell phone ringtone plays the fighting banana slug theme song.

Some highlights of 2010-2011

Sandra Faber honored by American Astronomical Society
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has awarded the 2011 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship to Sandra Faber, University Professor and chair of astronomy and astrophysics. The Russell Lectureship, awarded annually on the basis of a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research, is one of the most prestigious awards given by the AAS.

Renee Tajima-Peña wins a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2011
Renee Tajima-Peña, graduate director of UCSC's masters Social Documentation program, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2011.

Earth scientist James Gill receives Humboldt Research Award
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has elected James Gill, UCSC professor of Earth and planetary sciences, to receive a Humboldt Research Award conferred in recognition of lifetime achievements in research, and recipients are invited to carry out research projects in cooperation with specialist colleagues in Germany.

High-tech test-grading system designers win Business Plan Competition
UCSC engineering graduate student Paul Abumov and McMaster University astrophysics graduate Nicolas Pettitclerc won the top spot at this year's Business Design Competition. A patent is pending for their innovative, high-tech test-grading system.

Shakespeare Santa Cruz announces 30th Anniversary Season
Santa Cruz artistic director Marco Barricelli announced the company’s 2011 lineup, noting some exciting new developments as the acclaimed theater company heads into its 30th anniversary season.

UCSC's once-subversive banana slug mascot turns 25
This year marks the 25th anniversary of UC Santa Cruz's famous banana slug mascot, a once-subversive symbol on campus. For the slug’s earliest fans, rallying behind the mollusk was a mischievous gesture, a thumb in the eye of the status quo.