Comparing Places

April 24, 2014 by

Before he accepted a job in Yuma, on the western edge of Arizona and California, Andy Klakulak barely knew where it was.


Student Profile: Andy Klakulak, OSHA Training Institute Education Center

Now, some six years later, he’s pleased with both his job and his residence.

As manager of the survey department at Nicklaus Engineering, Inc., in Yuma, he’s in charge of the firm’s many civil engineering projects, which means the roadways, buildings, and canals that serve the city of 95,000 residents.

Three years ago, he earned his “Professional Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health” at UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Training Center in Mission Valley.

“It makes me more valuable on the job,” he said. “I learned a lot I didn’t know before, that’s for sure.”

He also completed EM 385-1-1, a 40-hour OSHA course regarded as the “gold standard” of health and safety requirements for construction work performed for the federal government, specifically military projects.

“After work, there’s not a lot to do here,” he said. “But the nice thing is, we’re two hours from places like San Diego, Julian, Sedona, and Phoenix. So we have plenty of places to go on weekends.”

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, where he was an engineering consultant in his home state, Klakulak graduated from University of Toledo with a geology degree. He’s an avid camper, hiker and cross-country skier.

As for comparing Toledo to Yuma: “They both have lots of positives, but they couldn’t be more different,” he said. “I know this: Yuma has the best Mexican food on the planet.”

Extension Welcomes Instructors to Conference

April 23, 2014 by

To salute its faculty of nearly 1,000 instructors, UC San Diego Extension will host the inaugural Instructor Conference on Saturday, May 17, 8:30 am to 12 noon, in the Great Hall at UC San Diego’s on-campus International Center.


Extension Dean Mary Walshok will give the welcoming plenary address, followed by five workshops, including:

  • Creating Instructional Analogies for Engaged Learning
  • Creating an Effective Syllabus and Evaluating Student Learning
  • Using Social Media in Teaching, Learning and Marketing
  • Using Discussion Board Effectively in Your Teaching
  • Behind the Scenes Coaching: Using Data Analytics and Feedback Tools to Improve Student Success

“First, we wanted to show how much we appreciate our instructors and their devotion to continuing education,” said event coordinator Vicki Krantz, assistant dean of academic planning at UC San Diego Extension. “Plus, this provides a wonderful occasion to network and get to know each other better in a casual setting.”

The conference is offered free to all Extension instructors. Space is limited, so pre-registration is requested at


There be Monsters Here: Making Sense of Postsecondary Accountability in the Current Era

April 21, 2014 by

Morgan Appel, Director, Education Department

Those of us who’ve spent what feels like a lifetime in the academy have of late felt the rather haunting presence of a spectre creeping its way into postsecondary education institution by institution. In an era characterized by retrenchment in the public sector and the determination of well-meaning policymakers to get the most ‘bang for the buck’ out of our educational systems, we have become bedeviled by efforts to become more business savvy and attentive of prospective markets for our services. This is particularly true for those divisions of the University that are entirely self-supporting and for those taking maiden voyages across the entrepreneurial sea. With few accurate maps and even fewer devoted cartographers available, we run the risk becoming grounded upon rocky shoals or worse yet, set adrift in open sea.

Recently, an instructor in our College Counseling program shared an intriguing piece on the subject by Daniel Luzer in the Washington Monthly online: ‘The Worst Trends in Higher Education.’  This brief commentary offers a compelling framework for understanding where we might be headed and a cautionary note about the shallows and where creatures might skulk about.

Whilst there is a fairly universal consensus around the need for postsecondary accountability; professional relevancy; and for public universities to continue to seek out non-public funds, the compelling questions are those associated with identity and metrics. In other words, prudent assessment is driven by who we are as institutions and those things we purport to do. They are rooted strongly in our values as individual departments and divisions within institutions and our collective identities as campuses and systems.  We have discovered—much to the chagrin of our faculties—that conventional business-based metrics too often fail to capture the unique nature of postsecondary education and the complexities of interwoven relationships between departments, faculty and students.

At the same time, we are somewhat beholden to market forces that propel us ever forward as well as to policymakers eager to apply patchwork to the holes in our system. The very nature of postsecondary education—an institution that holds proudly to its traditions—has transformed and continues to morph like a vaccine-resistant virus. Just as we are able to grasp hold of who we believe we are as a collective, things change. Nowhere is this more evident than in our own Education Department, where we have been obliged to re-examine our own missions, objectives and audiences. Our very understanding of education and what it means to be educated has taken rather a wallop.

In a time where gratification is immediate, it is indeed tempting to measure our worth on the fly, grabbing assorted measurement strategies from the great cauldron. Yet, I’d advise some caution in the process, avoiding capricious and hasty judgments. The value of education in its broadest sense is not something someone knows when they see it. Rather, it is determined by our own identities, values and understandings—and that is worth time and through study.  As we contextually ground curriculum and personalize instruction, let us do the same for postsecondary accountability, lest we encounter great beasts or fall from the edge of the earth.

What’s the Latest in Immunotherapy?

April 21, 2014 by

A world leader in immunotherapy, Carl June, will discuss the emergence of a new form of targeted immunotherapy to treat cancer, Wednesday, May 14, 5:30 pm to 7 pm., at UC San Diego.

Carl June, MD

Carl June, MD

June, a professor of immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss his pioneering work and also the barriers and challenges to bring this paradigm-shifting treatment into routine medical practice. His presentation is titled “Targeted Immunotherapy to Revolutionize Cancer Treatment.”

Co-presented by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology and the UC San Diego Helen Edison Lecture Series, with support from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the seminar will be held in the Mandell Weiss Theatre of the La Jolla Playhouse at UC San Diego, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037.

This type of cell-based, targeted immunotherapy has become one of the most exciting new approaches to treating cancer, stimulating the biotechnology and pharma industries to develop the means to deliver the therapy to patients.

The treatment involves using the patient’s own T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) that are genetically engineered to attack the cancer.

When effective, the treatment of immunotherapy appears to be curative. June’s team was the first to use these engineered “T cells” to treat a young girl with acute leukemia. Now, more than18 months since her treatment, she remains cancer-free.

June will outline the barriers and challenges in bringing this paradigm-shifting treatment into routine medical practice, as applied in treating blood cancers, skin cancers and other previously untreatable cancers such as metastatic lung cancer.

As part of the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology Series, his presentation is the fifth themed on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s 2010 Pulitzer-Prize winning book about cancer, “The Emperor of All Maladies.”

Pre-registration on the Ethics Center website is requested:


Dean Walshok to be Honored by LEAD San Diego

April 18, 2014 by

Mary Lindenstein Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at UC San Diego, is among a group of distinguished San Diegans who will be honored by LEAD San Diego at the civic group’s 12th annual Visionary Awards.

Set for Thursday, May 22, 5 pm to 8 pm, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, the event continues LEAD San Diego’s tradition of paying tribute to outstanding local leaders who work to improve the San Diego/Northern Baja California region

Walshok will receive the Charles Nathanson Memorial Award for Cross-Border Region Building, recognizing her on-going efforts to solve border issues and unite San Diego with Baja California for a common future.


Mary Lindenstein Walshok

“I am very pleased that our collective efforts to maximize the potential of the border will be recognized,” said Walshok. “LEAD San Diego continues to be a valuable partner in helping forge a closer binational partnership.”

A co-founder of San Diego Dialogue, a program focused on opportunities in the San Diego-Tijuana region, Dean Walshok is an industrial sociologist who’s currently engaged in research on the dynamics of binational innovation.

Walshok is the co-author of “Invention & Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy,” a newly published book (Stanford University Press) that analyzes San Diego’s ever-changing sociological, political and economic trends.

This year’s LEAD San Diego honorees also include:

  • Genomic pioneer J. Craig Venter: Economic Opportunity Award
  • Padres owner Ron Fowler: Neil Morgan Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Judith Harris, Mel Katz and Katie Sullivan: Ronald Kendrick Memorial Award for Regional Collaboration

“Part of our mission is to inspire leadership and civic engagement on regional issues affecting our entire region,” said Vicky Carlson, president/CEO of LEAD San Diego. “We are pleased to recognize leaders who give selflessly of their time and talent to make a difference in our community.”

Ms. Bruce’s Class Goes to Washington

April 17, 2014 by

Healthcare professionals need to understand how government action – as well as inaction — impacts their profession and most importantly, their patients.

In that light, UC San Diego Extension instructor Leslie Bruce presents her fifth annual course devoted to “Politics and Public Policy of U.S. Healthcare: Washington D.C.,” set for April 28-May 2, 2014.


Leslie Bruce

As in previous years, a major highlight of the program includes a series of meetings with top staffers of San Diego’s elected members of Congress and the Senate, plus meetings with leaders from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Students will also meet with House Speaker John Boehner’s Director of Health Policy in his Capitol office.

“It’s all about learning how to actively participate in the democratic process in a first-person way,” said Bruce. “I’ve found my students always come away with a greater desire and ability to advocate for their patients and their organizations.”

In addition, special in-person meetings on healthcare are scheduled with opinion leaders and experienced advocates including Norm Ornstein (television commentator and author/columnist for “National Journal” and “The Atlantic”); Caroline Lukensmeyer (director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse) and Peter Loge (former lobbyist and vice president for external relations, U.S. Institute of Peace).

The course focuses around advocacy skill-building in the healthcare context and teaches students how to become expert resources to legislators serving at the national level.

“This is a first step toward relationship-building with people who make important decisions in our lives,” added Bruce. “We’ve found these trips can be life-changing – and they’re always a lot of fun.”

Bruce also directs a similar Extension course for healthcare professionals interested in state-wide legislative issues. Her 12th annual “Politics and Public Policy of U.S. Healthcare: Sacramento” course is set for January 2015.

Testing for Life’s Goals

April 14, 2014 by

As a UC San Diego Extension test-prep teacher, Arthur Connors coaches aspiring college and law students on how to take the all-important standardized entrance exams.

“I’ve always excelled at taking tests and have a passion for teaching,” said Connors. “Although these tests can be daunting, I hope my enthusiasm for conquering them inspires my students to rise to the challenge.”


Instructor Profile: Arthur Connors, Test Preparation

Connors specializes in the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Testing), and the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). In addition to teaching popular test-prep courses at Ramona and Cathedral Catholic high schools, he has built up a thriving private-tutoring practice.

“If I could, I’d gladly make a career out of taking tests,” he said proudly. “Helping others succeed on their tests is as close as I can come to that.”

Not so long ago, Arthur Connors was his graduating class’s valedictorian at North County’s San Marcos High School and a National Merit Scholarship Finalist (scoring in the top 1% of PSAT/SAT students nationwide). This strong academic performance landed him at UC Berkeley, where he studied political science and economics.

Connors then went on to graduate from the USD School of Law, where his similarly strong performance on the LSAT earned him an academic scholarship. But after graduating from law school, Connors decided to take a break from his lawyerly pursuits.

“I initially thought I would just take a few months off to teach before embarking on my ‘real’ career,” he explained. “But thanks in large part to the amazing opportunity UC San Diego Extension has provided me, I continue to thrive and develop as an instructor.”

How to Network with Purpose

April 11, 2014 by

By Jenna Durney, UC San Diego Graduate Student

In a job market where 70% of all jobs are found through networking, one phone call, one introduction, or one meeting can change everything, according to Camille Primm, award-winning author and Career Coach at UC San Diego Extenion’s Life/Work Center.

As a networking maven, Primm challenges professionals to change their negative perceptions about networking and consider it, instead, as a positive experience towards creating and nurturing relationships. “Networking requires uncovering a common interest, building a sense of community, and engaging in authentic conversations,” said Primm. She emphasizes that it is better to develop strong relationships with 20 people than superficial ones with 200.

Primm breaks down the networking process into a few simple steps: Relationship-building begins with conversation. To engage in and hold a conversation, she encourages people to open up with “small talk” topics (such as weather, sports, nice hand bag, etc.) and study up on current events. While small talk can help kindle a fire, she emphasizes that networking is more about listening to what people say than saying the right things. In conjunction with conversing, she recommends using active listening skills such as:

  • Making eye contact
  • Nodding
  • Smiling
  • Affirming
  • Asking questions

On March 26th, Primm facilitated an interactive networking workshop for attendees of UC San Diego Extension’s Career Week. She reviewed essential networking skills, and then put those new skills into practice by simulating a networking environment. She reminded attendees to use these keys to effective networking:

  1. Define who you are and why you are here (i.e. your brand)
  2. Give before you get
  3. Connect with people with whom you share interests and values
  4. Don’t ever keep score
Camille Primm, UCSD Extension Career Week 2014

Camille Primm explains, “networking requires uncovering a common interest, building a sense of community, and engaging in authentic conversations.”

Primm challenged attendees to take action by following up with the contacts they made that night. Other methods of taking action to broaden one’s network include volunteering, attending professional association meetings, or taking a class.

By applying these same skills to your own networking practice, you can move your connections from one-time meetings to long-lasting relationships. Primm recommends starting small and working to deepen relationships by taking small steps such as emailing someone an article that they might find interesting or a making a short 5-minute phone call.

Camille Primm is a UC San Diego Extension career coach, who also facilitates quarterly career clinics. Designed for professionals based on career stage, the clinics are free, quarterly offerings open to the public.

Sign up for a free Career Clinic, April 21-24, 2014:

The Changing Face of Education: A Catalyst for Reinvention in Working with Adult Learners

April 10, 2014 by

Morgan Appel, Director, Education Department

The advent of large-scale educational reform movements like Common Core State Standards have inspired any number of changes in the way practitioners are trained and serve as fodder for heated conversations in the professional, popular and social media. The infusion of the arts across the disciplines has motivated similar discussions and deliberations and it would seem that teacher education has once again become anchored solidly in creativity, metacognition and differentiation. As a provider of coursework leading to credentials and certificates for professional educators, the Education Department is very much aware of these phenomena and is eager to address the cognitive and affective needs of P-12 practitioners in rather conventional settings.

At the same time, there are hundreds of mini-revolutions occurring in relative obscurity that warrant our attention. For example, there is a plentitude of entities whose stock and trade is knowledge dissemination and acquisition among adult learners. Whilst postsecondary institutions are a significant presence among these organizations, we find that businesses and trades are also keen on delivering curriculum in a manner that resonates with andragogical precepts and highly personalized instruction. As purveyors of these skill sets, it is incumbent upon departments such as our own to broaden our own understanding of where and how education takes place. Thus, we are able to share our own insights and practices in experiential and kinesthetic learning in ways that are contextually grounded within a particular industrial culture.

Returning to postsecondary institutions, we have become cognizant of an increasingly meaningful role played by the community colleges in providing remediation for adult learners who are recent immigrants or who have fallen victim to the Matthew Effect during their tenure in P-12. Thus, we have been compelled as a Department to re-examine our reading and literacy coursework to ensure that a growing number of Community College instructors are well equipped to work with adult learners requiring reading and literacy basics.

This is not to say that our efforts in P-12 do not continue in earnest—they do, without question. It is to say however, that what once seemed rigid in educational segments now appears evermore porous and amorphous. If we are to address these changes with fidelity, we must change from within. The work promises to be exciting—and we are excited to share it with you as it unfolds. Please do join us.

For more information about this post or the Department’s work in non-traditional education, please contact Morgan Appel, Director at

Experts Offer Insights at Life Sciences Career Workshop

April 9, 2014 by

By Jenna Durney, UC San Diego Graduate Student

E003000R[1]San Diego is known as a hub for the biotech industry and is in need of qualified individuals to drive innovation. On March 25, UC San Diego Extension addressed this need by hosting the Career Development Week’s Life Science and Healthcare Night for individuals considering the fields.

Individuals looking for broad industry advice attended the Life/Work Center’s Strategy Session: Conversation with Life Science Professionals, focusing on topics such as: industry trends; challenges facing the industry; the education, experience and skills necessary to become successful in the industry; and how technology is affecting the industry. To delve into these topics, career consultant Nancy Eckert moderated a casual conversation between two successful life science professionals, Tamsin Woolley-Barker and Fred Zeller. With a combined 40 years experience, both professionals offered relevant advice to their audience. While both come from different Life Science Sectors (Zeller with a background in biopharmaceutical and medical devices and Tamsin with expertise in biomimicry, consulting, writing and education), they both agreed success comes to people with both technical and soft skills. The technical skills, such as certifications and experience, are a necessity to be considered for a position. “Hard science can be taken in many directions. It is the foundation for opening your mind to think outside the box,” said Zeller. In an industry based on innovation, Woolley-Barker recommended participants take a cross-disciplinary approach towards education. “It not only cultivates creativity, it promotes effective communication. “

While technical skills qualify you for the job, soft skills, such as communication and leadership, make you stand out among a sea of applicants. Zeller and Woolley-Barker highlighted four soft skills that translate into life-long success: communication, life-long learning, networking and drive. Zeller seeks applicants who demonstrate advanced communication skills where they can synthesize, translate, simplify and communicate a lot of technical knowledge to a diverse audience. When effectively communicating, “make sure you hear, listen, and understand,” said Zeller. In addition to communication, Zeller and Woolley-Barker believe that life-long learners stay on the edge of innovation. “You’ll get left behind if you are not thinking about what’s next,” Woolley-Barker said. She recommended taking courses and highlighted her experience with the UC San Diego Extension Sustainable Business Practices Certificate Program.

When making the transition into Biotech, Zeller and Woolley-Barker emphasized networking. To obtain a position, you’ve got to engage and be direct. “Network, communicate and convince others that what you have is valuable,” said Zeller. If you don’t know anyone in the field, ask around, search LinkedIn, join a professional association. As you connect with other industry professionals remember, “Your prior experience gives you unique value. Tell a story about what you did and how it relates to what you will be doing. It will help connect the dots [for your potential employer].”

For those new or returning to the life sciences field, innovative thinking is highly sought after. If you can cultivate your communication skills, maintain a love of learning and demonstrate a passion for the industry, you can stay on the edge of innovation and maintain a long-lasting success.

For more information about UC San Diego Extension’s Life Science classes and certificates, visit the or email

For more information about UC San Extension’s Center for Life/Work Strategies, visit or email


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,217 other followers