Slug success

To: UCSC Community

From: Chancellor George Blumenthal

It's a good feeling to head into commencement weekend knowing the Class of 2014 has learned from some of the best. Please join me in congratulating recipients of the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Awards:

• David Anthony, professor of history
• Frank Bauerle, lecturer in mathematics
• Rebecca Braslau, professor of chemistry and biochemistry
• Kim Cardilla, lecturer in psychology
• Michael Chemers, associate professor of dramatic literature
• Alan Christy, associate professor of history
• Jody Greene, professor of literature
• Martha Zuniga, professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology; winner of the Ron Ruby Award for Teaching Excellence in the Physical and Biological Sciences

Two of our researchers earned top honors earlier this spring when biologist James Estes and seismologist Thorne Lay were elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Excellence in teaching and research go hand in hand at UC Santa Cruz.

We capped our celebration of student achievement with the announcement of the recipient of the Steck Family Award, which this year went to Beau Norgeot, a bioengineering major who designed a new treatment for skin cancer. Congratulations to all our Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards winners.

It's gratifying to know we are building on our success with the introduction of three important new undergraduate programs:

• I am particularly pleased that we are finally able to launch a new major in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES), a program students and faculty have been wanting for years.
• A new minor in Sustainability Studies reflects this campus's leadership in "green" initiatives and the depth of faculty expertise in this area.
• Students interested in the law will benefit from our new 3 + 3 partnership with UC Hastings College of the Law, the first of its kind in the UC system. Participants will be able to a B. A. and J.D. in six years instead of the usual seven, saving time and money.

Thanks to the entire staff and faculty for their hard work this year. Your dedication and expertise are invaluable, and our students are the primary beneficiaries. Thank you.

Most importantly, to our newest graduates who are about to take center stage, I hope you'll remember this: There is no better investment you can make in yourself than education. Your diploma is an important reminder that you have the discipline and persistence to accomplish your goals. Congratulations on your achievement!

And as you capture the festivities in photos, don't forget to share your commencement photos on social media using the #ucscalumni hashtag. Welcome to the family of proud UC Santa Cruz graduates!