Campus prepping for commencement ceremonies

More than 5,200 UCSC students are earning undergraduate and graduate degrees for work completed during the 2018–19 academic year

Students at commencement
On Friday, UC Santa Cruz Alumni will welcome the Class of 2019 with a barbecue on the Lower East Field. The soon-to-be graduates will be joining an alumni community of more than 120,000 Banana Slugs.

UC Santa Cruz is poised to send another class of Banana Slugs into the world with with commencement ceremonies just over a week away.

Hosted by the 10 residential colleges, graduate division, and Baskin School of Engineering, the ceremonies are scheduled for June 14–16 and will be held in the Quarry Amphitheater and on the East Field. Additionally, many of the ceremonies will be live-streamed.

On Friday, UC Santa Cruz Alumni will welcome the Class of 2019 with a barbecue on the Lower East Field. The soon-to-be graduates will be joining an alumni community of more than 120,000 Banana Slugs.

A complete list of commencement events including times and locations can be found online. Other celebrations organized by individual departments and resource centers will be held throughout June.

More than 5,200 UCSC students are earning undergraduate and graduate degrees for work completed during the 2018–19 academic year. Nearly 2,700 undergraduates have applied to participate in college commencement ceremonies.

A total of 4,488 undergraduate students are candidates for bachelor degrees for work completed in the arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences.

Spring candidates for bachelor degrees total 2,784, according to the UC Santa Cruz registrar’s office. Another 1,700 completed coursework and applied for their degree after the summer, fall, or winter quarters.

Additionally, 205 doctorates will be awarded for the 2018–19 academic year; 107 for work completed in summer, fall, and winter quarters, and 98 to candidates who have applied for a June degree.

Another 500 graduate students are eligible to receive master’s degrees; 255 have been awarded already, 245 students have applied for spring. Approximately 200 graduate students are expected to participate in the Graduate Division’s commencement ceremonies, Friday, June 14.

Fifty-six graduate students are scheduled to complete UCSC’s education teaching credential and master’s degree program in late summer.

The 10 colleges, the graduate division, and the Baskin School of Engineering have invited an array of speakers to share insights and advice with soon-to-be alumni.

Speakers include:

Friday, June 14

Division of Graduate Studies—Chancellor George Blumenthal

George R. Blumenthal is UC Santa Cruz’s 10th chancellor. He joined the campus in 1972 as a faculty member in astronomy and astrophysics and was named chancellor on September 19, 2007, after serving as acting chancellor for 14 months. Blumenthal’s appointment as chancellor followed many years as a distinguished professor, researcher, and campus leader.

College Nine—Deana Slater

Deana Slater has dedicated more than 30 years to working in higher education with an international and multicultural focus. Early in her career, Slater spent two years teaching English in Japan and the next year traveling around the world. Deana came to UCSC in 1997 as the senior director for Merrill College. As senior director of student life at College Nine and College Ten, she is responsible for the oversight and development of the student affairs side of the colleges.

Baskin School of Engineering—Michael Hilton (Crown ’86, computer and information science, and math)

Mike Hilton is the chief product officer at Accolade, a health technology company providing personalized health and benefits solutions to employers, health plans and their members. He is responsible for Accolade’s product, technology and analytics efforts. Prior to Accolade, Mike was a co-founder of Concur, a pioneer in cloud computing and travel and expense management, and remained there during its 21-year history.

College Ten—John Brown Childs

John Brown Childs is professor emeritus of sociology at UCSC. He is the author of the book Transcommunality, from the Politics of Conversion to the Ethics of Respect which discusses ways for diverse communities to engage in positive interactions. He has been volunteer teaching courses on transcommunal peacemaking at Soledad Prison for thirteen years, in conjunction with the community organization Barrios Unidos. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama in 1965.

Saturday, June 15

Porter College—Joel R. Leivick (’73)

Joel Leivick taught photography and history of photography in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford for 34 years, beginning in 1981. In addition to his teaching, he has served as curator of photography at the Stanford University Museum of Art, now the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, from 1986 to 2000. He has been instrumental in bringing many important acquisitions, both contemporary and historical, to the center, and he organized the reinstallation of the photography collection for the reopening of the Center in January 1999.

Kresge College—Nick Mitchell (’11, History of Consciousness Ph.D.)

Nick Mitchell is an assistant professor in the Department of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz and core faculty in the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program. An East Coaster by birth, Mitchell has a long history with UCSC, having received a Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness Department (2005–2011). Since returning to UCSC as faculty in 2015, Mitchell has continued to work in tandem with students and faculty to build the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program, which houses one of the fastest growing majors on campus.

Stevenson College—Tyler Stovall

Tyler Stovall joined UC Santa Cruz as dean of Humanities in 2015. Prior to that, he was a professor of French history and dean of the Undergraduate Division of the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley. Before UC Berkeley, Dean Stovall spent 13 years as a faculty member in the UC Santa Cruz Humanities Division. Originally from Columbus Ohio, Dean Stovall earned his B.A. in history from Harvard University and an M.A in European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he went on to receive a Ph.D. in Modern European/French History with a minor in Latin American Studies.

Black Grad—Paul Simpson (Kresge ’02, business management economics)

Paul Simpson is chief executive officer and founder of SageTel International, which provides comprehensive consulting services for major mainstream wireless carriers and telecommunication companies. He recently served on the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council.

Rachel Carson College—Steve Blank

Steve Blank is the father of modern entrepreneurship. Credited with launching the lean startup movement, he’s changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught; how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate.

He is the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, The Startup Owner’s Manual—and his May 2013 Harvard Business Review cover story defined the lean startup movement.

He teaches at Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley and NYU; and created the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps – now the standard for science commercialization in the U.S.

Sunday, June 16

Crown College—Rick Vargas

Rick Vargas is a creative director at Apple who works at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. One of his earliest projects was to give marketing muscle to what was then code-named Jupiter—a product that went on to become the iPod.

Vargas and his team were also instrumental in developing the signature look and feel of one of Apple’s first retail stores through the creative use of wide graphic panels, posters, screen content, and signage.

Cowell College—Nayomi Munaweera

Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka. She grew up in Nigeria and immigrated to Los Angeles with her family in the early ’80’s. She is the award-winning author of the novels, Island of a Thousand Mirrors and What Lies Between Us. She has been named one of “Twelve Women of Color Writers You Need to Know” by Bustle Magazine and “One of the Asian American Women Writers Who are Going to Change the World” by Electric Literature.

Merrill College—Virginia Espino (Merrill ’87, psychology)

Virginia Espino was born and raised in northeastern Los Angeles. She is a lecturer of Chicana and Chicano studies and working class history at UCLA and serves on the Board of the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and the Southwest Oral History Association. Her passion is recovering lost or hidden herstories through the oral tradition and making them available to the public at large.

Chicanx/Latinx Year-end Ceremony—Carlos Alemán (’02, history and Latin American and Latino Studies)

Carlos Enrique Alemán is the deputy director of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), a community development and advocacy organization that champions economic equality, civic engagement, and social justice for Latino families. Before joining HICA, Alemán was an assistant professor of history and director of the Latin American Studies Scholars Program at Samford University.

Oakes College—Samantha Perez (Oakes ’08, sociology)

Samantha Perez is the director of education initiatives with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she leads the chamber’s educational initiatives. She ensures deep business and industry engagement for students in Nashville’s career academies and in the STEAM-focused middle schools. Outside of work, her passion lies in her commitment to the Nashville community.