Triton Leaders Conference 2019

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla speaking

On Feb. 1-2, UC San Diego alumni from across the country were invited back to campus for the Triton Leaders Conference, a two-day event that included keynote talks, interactive networking sessions as well as the True Triton awards ceremony.

The weekend began with the annual open meeting of the Alumni Board of Directors, offering direct access to the foremost leaders on campus. Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla outlined university priorities and the latest plans to support our students well into the future. At the meeting, Chancellor Khosla met James Poirier, who was among the first graduating class of UC San Diego in 1968. In celebration of his 50th reunion, he shared an early student newspaper, “The Revelle Times.”

James Poirier, center, was among the first graduating class of UC San Diego in 1968.

Chancellor Khosla also congratulated this year’s True Triton Award recipients. The annual honor from UC San Diego Alumni recognizes members of the Triton family who have gone above and beyond in giving back to the university. Recipients included: Sam Knight, ’73, a longstanding campus champion whose service includes UC San Diego Alumni Board vice chair and past chair of the Jacobs School Alumni Council; Wendy Kwok, ’99, a UC San Diego ambassador who has made valuable connections for the university as co-chair for the Bay Area Campaign Cabinet and a UC San Diego Foundation trustee; and Robert Rex, ’58, a tireless mentor of graduate students and faculty as a research affiliate in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Geosciences Research Division.

True Triton alumni award honorees 2019, Wendy Kwok, Sam Knight and Robert RexTrue Triton award honorees Wendy Kwok,'99, Sam Knight,'73 and Robert Rex,'58.

Celebrating UC San Diego’s LGBT Faculty

Over 45 faculty and unit leaders attended an inaugural event at Geisel House to celebrate UC San Diego’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faculty community. Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla commended all for their efforts to make the campus more welcoming and inclusive.

He also shared how these efforts have contributed to UC San Diego’s placement among the best universities for LGBTQ students. The campus was named among the top 10 public universities in the nation for LGBTQ students by both College Choice and BestColleges.com. In addition, UC San Diego Health was listed as a top 100 LGBT hospital as well as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Left to right: Division of Physical Sciences Dean Steve Boggs; Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Becky Petitt; and Chancellor Khosla.

Chancellor Khosla thanked faculty members for promoting an environment where students from a wide range of gender and sexual identities can thrive. He also recognized the work of the Chancellor’s Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues (GISOI), the campus LGBT Resource Center, and student organizations like the Black Queer Collective, Aces Group and oSTEM.

The co-chairs of the GISOI shared local efforts over the last year to advance inclusion and equity for UC San Diego’s LGBTQ community. Vice Chancellor Becky Petitt and Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth E. Simmons also shared remarks, echoing the Chancellor's commitment and message of support. And Shaun Travers, director of the LGBT Resource Center, honored Professor of Medicine Amy Sitapati, M.D., for her work to identify and serve the health needs of LGBTQ patients.

“Through the efforts of the team Dr. Sitapati leads, we have effectively made our LGBTQIA+ patient community visible to our health care providers for the first time at UC San Diego,” said Travers at the event. “Whether through an online app on a patient's phone, or through the intake process, patients can now share who they are and how their identity may impact their overall wellbeing.  It provides vital information to ensure quality patient healthcare, as well as allowing UC San Diego Health to systemically address disparities in patient care and increase positive health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ people.”

Left to right: Professor of Medicine Amy Sitapati, M.D.; GISOI Co-Chair and Assistant Professor Ankita S. Kadakia, M.D.; and Frank Silva, Chief of Staff for the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Left to right: Division of Physical Sciences Dean Steve Boggs; GISOI Co-Chair Mary Anan; and Director of the LGBT Resource Center Shaun Travers.

UC San Diego in India

Chancellor Khosla speaking in India

On Jan. 8-10, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla connected with alumni, parents, students and friends in three cities across India—New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. He discussed the exciting transformations happening on campus, including enhancing the student experience through creating new live, learn and play communities and transitioning to NCAA Division I athletics.

He also noted the ways that UC San Diego is looking deeper at critical issues and engaging in research partnerships to transform the world. From the Institute for Practical Ethics, to the Contextual Robotics Institute and the Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Institute, UC San Diego remains at the forefront of cross-disciplinary innovation.

Attendees at UC San Diego's event in India

Two UC San Diego faculty members also spoke about their work and how it affects global societies. Anita Raj, M.D., Tata Chancellor Professor of Medicine and director of UC San Diego's Center on Gender Equity and Health, has worked in global public health for over two decades, with a focus on public health issues in India for more than 10 years. She shared highlights of the developments in human health and agriculture happening at the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society—a unique research hub that leverages experts from UC San Diego and India.

In addition, Rajesh Gupta, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, spoke about data science and connecting the dots in the emerging science of health care. Gupta is founding co-director of UC San Diego’s new Halicioğlu Data Science Institute, a campus hub for dissecting massive amounts of data to inform research advancements—from tracking the Santa Rosa fires of 2017 to predicting cancer treatment outcomes.

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