It’s the ultimate brag book. Except it’s a website, and it isn’t so much bragging as it is highlighting points of pride.
That’s the goal of “I Heart UCSB,” an initiative designed to give students, faculty and staff members and even people in the community an opportunity to share what they love about UC Santa Barbara.
The love fest will be featured during the All-Gaucho Reunion April 24-27 with a series of events, education opportunities and daily giveaways that celebrate what it means to be a Gaucho. It will continue beyond the reunion, however, with events through Wednesday, April 30, such as UCSB’s Got Talent and a time capsule ceremony.
“We want to start a new campus tradition dedicated to highlighting all the positive aspects of UCSB,” said Mark Shishim, acting director of UCSB Health & Wellness who, along with Associated Students President Jonathan Abboud, is one of the main forces behind I Heart UCSB.
“The theme of this year’s reunion is Discover UCSB, and we’re asking alumni when the last time was that they discovered UCSB. There are things that even for people who graduated 10 years ago weren’t here,” added John Lofthus, associate director of the UCSB Alumni Association.
Lofthus noted that the Alumni Association’s Passport to Discovery will shine a light on the campus’s Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS), EMBODI (Engineering, Medicine, Biology, Discovery, Innovation) initiative and Translational Medicine Research Laboratories (TMRL) and Department of Theater and Dance, among others.
Among other events, TEDxUCSB will bring together UCSB scholars on April 26 to discuss “Energy to Power: Harnessing the Potential of Today for Tomorrow.” Speakers include faculty members John S.W. Park; Petra Van Koppen; Jeffrey Moehlis; Gary Horowitz; Don Aue; and Jason Raley. Information and applications for students to participate as audience members can be found at http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/9208.
“We focus on alumni, but we don’t see any difference between students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community,” noted Lofthus. “If people feel they have a connection to the university, they’re Gauchos. “This idea of I Heart UCSB is that UCSB is a center of activity for the whole county.”
More information about I Heart UCSB, including a schedule of the weeklong events, is available at http://www.iheartucsb.com.