The Alumni Association welcomes Sydne Raiyn to lead alumni diversity programs

The UC Santa Cruz Alumni Association is excited to welcome Sydne Raiyn as the incoming Associate Director of Alumni Diversity Programs. In this role, Raiyn will work closely with the Office of Student Success and Alumni Engagement to provide strategic direction for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work with the alumni community through communications, events, and more. She will begin her new role at UCSC in Jan. 2024.

“I want our alumni to know that I am going to be an ally and an advocate for them,” Raiyn said. “I want them to feel heard, valued, appreciated, and engaged and I'm going to do everything I can to get to know those within this alumni community.”

She is excited to bring her experience in relationship and community building, as well as event and planning experience, to UCSC’s Alumni Association. 

“I want to bring a new energy and a positive and fun vibe. I definitely want to bring some creativity to the table and come up with new and innovative ways to engage our alumni. Ultimately, I want to be able to bring my passion and work ethic to create really impactful and memorable experiences for our alumni.”

Raiyn joined UC Santa Cruz in Jan. 2020 as the Assistant Director of Athletics and Recreation. Coming from Las Vegas two months before the COVID-19 Pandemic shut down campus-wide operations, she was forced to learn quickly, get creative, and reinvent the wheel. 

After three years with the Athletics and Recreation Department, Raiyn began looking for opportunities to expand outside athletics and grow further in the higher education capacity. 

“This specific position really aligns with my core values, and it's going to give me the opportunity to promote something that's near and dear to me, which is diversity, equity and inclusion.” 

Raiyn grew up in St. Louis, Missouri before heading to Michigan to attend the University of Michigan. She earned her B.A. in Sports Management and had a substantial career in athletics. Prior to coming to Santa Cruz, Raiyn worked in athletic recruiting at Next College Student Athlete. Initially, as a Recruiting Coordinator, Sydne focused on identifying talent and pre-qualified college-bound prospects based on NCAA academic and athletic requirements in an effort to help college coaches build a pipeline of certified student-athletes.

She has lived in both Philadelphia and Vegas but says living in California was always the dream.

“What I've learned since being on campus the last (almost) four years is that there is no place like Santa Cruz. UC Santa Cruz is a very unique and special place, is a special university, and has a special community.”