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

At a High Level

April 9, 2014 by

Jeffrey High was busy in 2012, earning two UC San Diego Extension certificates related to advanced computer engineering — one in Embedded Computer Engineering, another in C/C++ Programming.

Of course, he’s always busy doing something to keep himself energized.

“I like to achieve things, so I want to continue to learn,” said High, an embedded software engineer at Qualcomm. “I’m very focused and very interested in achieving certain goals to reach a high level of proficiency.”

He credits his certificate program, at least in part, with his recent successful move from a smaller computer-based firm to Qualcomm.

“I write code in the C/C++ program, so I had some knowledge of those languages,” he said. “To change jobs, I wanted to learn certain skill sets. Taking those courses definitely helped, but I didn’t have to start from scratch.”

Point is, these sophisticated programs aren’t meant for beginners.

“If someone just took these courses with no previous experience, I don’t think they could do what I do” at Qualcomm, he said.

“I’ve always had the ability to solve problems, to make things function better,” he said. “Like with a tablet, when there are problems, I enjoy the challenge trying to figure out a solution. Not everyone can do that.”

A 2006 electrical engineering graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, High was an outstanding lacrosse player in the school’s nationally-ranked club program. He was rookie of the year as a freshman and team captain as a junior, playing the “attack” position, which meant he scored most of his team’s goals.

“In everything I do,” he said, “I like to perform at a high level.”

A Window to the World

April 8, 2014 by

Lisa Naylor views her job as a window to the world.

An instructor with UC San Diego Extension’s English Language Institute (ELI) for nearly 20 years, Naylor still feels a surge of intellectual pride about her role.


Instructor Profile
Lisa Naylor,
English Language Institute

“It’s such a great thing to be in a classroom with people from different countries and everybody’s learning and getting along,” she said. “It gives me hope for the world, it really does. Amazing things happen in our classrooms.”

Proficient in Spanish, French, and Japanese, Naylor first fulfilled her adventurous spirit in her 20s, when she would treat herself to at least one out-of-country adventure a year.

“I’ve always been fascinated with how people from different cultures communicate with each other, and how our languages are formed,” she said. “Even now, I find that the longer I teach, the more I enjoy it.”

A self-described Francophile, Naylor spent her junior year of college in the south of France, part of her French literature studies at Cal State Fullerton. She later earned a master’s in applied linguistics at San Diego State.

“Teaching English is a great career for me,” said Naylor, who specializes in curriculum design and medical English. “I’ve always loved different languages, so you could say that teaching English came very naturally to me.”

Interacting daily with her close-knit colleagues also enriches her life.

Extension has given me a second home,” she said. “I work with truly amazing colleagues — smart, dynamic, cool people with open minds.  It’s wonderful to work in such an international environment.”

It’s Full-STE[+A]M Ahead for Successful Conference

April 7, 2014 by

The inaugural STE[+a]M Connect Conference, held March 28 at Qualcomm to emphasize the vital role of the arts in education – along with science, technology, engineering and mathematics – proved to be a rousing success.

Co-presented by UC San Diego Extension and KDR PR, the day-long event featured pre-K-16 educators, administrators, arts and STEM nonprofit leaders, scientific research experts, business leaders and regional policymakers.

“We’re so grateful for the support we received for our first-ever conference,” said Ed Abeyta, director of K-16 programs at UC San Diego Extension, who organized the event along with Kim Richards, a San Diego-based public relations professional. The seminar was the first integrated STEA[+a]M™ networking event based in Southern California.

“Everything about the event was positive and affirming,” said Abeyta, “from the brilliance of the presenters to all the attendees who brought such respect for the educational ideal of whole-minded learning.”

As this photo shows, conferees got creative during an “Arts & Engineering” session using pipe cleaners as props.

From left to right: Heather Lattimer with University of San Diego; Ellen Peneski, San Diego Science Alliance/San Diego STEM Collaboratory; and Denise Grande, Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

From left to right: Heather Lattimer with University of San Diego; Ellen Peneski, San Diego Science Alliance/San Diego STEM Collaboratory; and Denise Grande, Los Angeles County Arts Commission.


Changing Reality by Giving Back

April 4, 2014 by

On March 16, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla announced a series of scholarships to be awarded to deserving high-school students largely from San Diego’s South County.

Called the “Chancellor’s Associates Scholarships,” the program is aimed at rewarding students who seek to become the first in their families to attend college. The scholarships provide students with $10,000 per year, renewable annually, as long as students must meet academic standards.

“None of these kids will have a penny in loans,” Chancellor Khosla told a community meeting in National City. “They will graduate from UC San Diego without loans.”

REALITY CHANGERSHis announcement was made in partnership with a non-profit group called Reality Changers, a grass-roots initiative that encourages young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods to pursue dreams of a college education.

Through Reality Changers, a handful of scholarships will be provided for incoming students for the Fall 2014 quarter at UC San Diego. That number is expected to climb.

The group’s founder and president, Christopher Yanov, 35, has led a successful effort to reach high school and community-college students, providing a program of tutoring and counseling through private and institutional donations.

Founded in 2001, Reality Changers has since helped nearly 500 local students – low-income and at-risk – obtain college scholarship and financial aid packages valued at $40 million.

Some 15 years ago, Yanov was inspired to create Reality Changers after taking a course taught by Mary Walshok, Dean of UC San Diego Extension. He started the non-profit foundation in 2001 with $300.

“He was determined to give back to his neighborhood,” recalled Dean Walshok. “I simply suggested a pathway for him to think about how he could transform his ideas into a working reality. He’s truly created a force for good that benefits deserving young people.”

Yanov’s good deeds were profiled in a 2013 documentary titled “The Graduates/Los Graduados,” which aired nationally on PBS stations, including KPBS in San Diego.

UCSD Extension’s “Academic Connections,” a three-week, pre-college residential summer program offered to select students at several San Diego-area public high schools, is part of Reality Changers outreach. Ed Abeyta, Director of K-16 Programs at UC San Diego Extension, oversees the program.


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