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Student Affairs Spring Quarter Welcome Message from VC Satterlund


Ocean in La Jolla

March 31, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

This is unlike any “welcome” message I have ever written.

I say this because as we begin Spring Quarter 2020, the challenges we are navigating are truly unprecedented. As you all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily upended the programming, traditions, curricula, and in-person interactions that we cherish at UC San Diego. And yet, you all have flourished in support of the students we serve. I would like to formally acknowledge the incredible work you all have done as we navigate this uncharted territory with student-centered resilience.

Over the course of the last few weeks, you have come together with urgency and creativity to show up where our students need us: on their laptops, phones, and iPads. You created a Laptop Lending Program in 48 hours, developed Canvas resources for students and faculty, created remote learning and coaching communities in time for the first week of the quarter, and launched a virtual Playground to encourage healthy activities from the comfort of our students’ living spaces. You hosted webinars in multiple languages, Zoomed, curated virtual desktop concerts, extended your remote office hours to prepare critical travel documents and uplifted disappointed scholar athletes. You increased grocery shuttles and food deliveries, provided care to students, families and colleagues under stress, and responded to thousands of email queries, phone calls and text messages.

You did all of this remotely from kitchen counters, lonely cubicles, and living room tables. You continued the work of UC Path, Enterprise Renewal Systems projects, and annual budget preparations as you tended to homebound fur-babies, homeschooled kiddos and marooned loved ones. Please take a moment and reflect upon all that this team and our partners have accomplished together since March 1. And, if you haven’t already done so, please extend your appreciation to a colleague who stayed late to assist you with an urgent deadline, graciously let you know that your Zoom mic was on mute, or offered to help with an after-hours project.

Same Values, New Normal
In response to the dynamic needs of our students, we compiled a COVID-19 information and update page that continues to provide support as this situation develops. More recently, we began work on a consolidated, comprehensive webpage – to be launched early this quarter – outlining virtual and remote resources developed in order to ensure that the crux of the Triton experience remains the same, regardless of medium. From learning communities and options for remote student employment, to state-of-the-art tele-medicine and mental health offerings, UC San Diego is prepared for a transition to remote instruction and a virtual student experience in accord with public health directives to maintain conscientious physical distancing.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Triton CommUnity Initiatives (TCI) is relaunching its grant program on April 7, to help support campus community initiatives as they move to digital platforms. Keep an eye out for #TCITuesdays on social media, join the spring TCI webinar to learn about the proposal process, visit tci.ucsd.edu for more information, or email tci@ucsd.edu with any ideas or questions.

Building Virtual Community
The Student Affairs Professional Development Committee is excited to unveil our newest initiative to help support staff professional development while we adjust to working remotely. Please join us for Triton Time – a weekly opportunity to engage with colleagues across campus and continue learning together with free resources, webinars, and time to connect. Triton Time will be every Thursday from 10 – 11 a.m. during spring quarter via Zoom, and our first Triton Time is this Thursday, April 2. Grab your coffee and cozy up in front of the computer for a COVID-19 “Coping with Coffee”-themed networking hour. We’ll come together and discuss how we’ve been dealing with our new normal of remote work life and share strategies for balance, coping with the unknown, and activities to stay well.

Putting First-gen Students First
I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to our Student Success Coaching program, recently named by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) recently named as the Gold Award Winner for the First-generation Student Success and related programs category, and as the overall Grand Bronze Award Winner for the 2020 NASPA Excellence Awards. The Student Success Coaching program supports a cohort of incoming and continuing students who are first generation through personalized success coaching and by providing opportunities to attend community-building events with faculty, staff and peers.

Spring Quarter 2020 will continue to challenge us, but it will also continue to showcase the creativity and grit of our team. We will get through this – together – and have a more diverse and accessible portfolio of student-centered programs and services to show for it. Our students are counting on us, now more than ever, and I am extremely confident in the ability of each of you to continue this important work.

I look forward to collaborating with our students, partners and you in the creation of a robust, inclusive and innovative virtual student experience. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do in support of our students and the UC San Diego community.

See you on Zoom!

Be Well,

Alysson M. Satterlund
Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs