FY13 Projects

Dreamweavers Scholarship Fund

Submitted by John Hopkins, Senior Director of Development, Undergraduate Experience

Sponsored by Mike Graydon

Approved July 30, 2012


The passage of the California Dream Act made it possible as of January 1, 2012 for the University to award privately funded scholarships to UCSC’s undocumented immigrant students. The funding need vastly outstrips available resources and promises to grow significantly. Currently, UCSC has more than sixty such students. They attend the University under incredibly difficult circumstances, not the least of which is a lack of access to the kinds of financial aid available to their peers. The need promises to grow quickly since the UCSC admissions office has sent out more than a hundred acceptance notices for 2012-13. The newly established, volunteer-driven Dreamweavers Society (consisting of current and retired UCSC staff and faculty members, alumni, community members and students) and the Latino Alumni Network propose to collaborate to meet the challenge by raising scholarship funds and beginning to build a base of support for these students in the years ahead. Most of the donor funding will go to scholarships, with some set aside to meet emergency student needs and to pay for critical expenses above and beyond tuition and fees.


  • To raise $40- $50K in new funding for undocumented student support in FY12.
  • To help generate new lead gifts and develop a base of annual giving support for this goal.
  • To engage leaders in the Latino Alumni Network to mobilize on behalf of this cause.
  • To support UCSC’s goal to provide access to a world-class education for qualified students regardless of their ability to pay, and benefit students who deserve a chance to achieve their dreams.

Amount funded: $10,000 for matching gift funds to leverage a broad base of new donations through personal solicitations and student calling in the Telephone Outreach Program.

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Richard Hughey, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education

Alma Sifuentes, Associate Vice Chancellor – Campus Life, Dean of Students

Michelle Whittingham, Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management

Pablo Reguerin, Executive Director of Retention Services

John Hopkins, Senior Director of Development, Undergraduate Experience

Frankie Melvin, Director of Development, Undergraduate Experience 


Herman Blake Tribute Video

Submitted and sponsored by Ken Doctor, President of the UCSC Foundation

Approved December 19, 2012


The Friends of Dr. J. Herman Blake will produce a 30-60 minute documentary on the life and accomplishments of Dr. J. Herman Blake, one of the first African American professors at UC Santa Cruz and a founding Provost of Oakes College. This celebration of Dr. Blake's contributions to humanity and higher education will provide an overview of his early childhood days in New York, those individuals who most influenced him in his formative years, his military and college days, his intellectual development, his tenure at UC Santa Cruz and beyond to the present as Inaugural Humanities Scholar in Residence at the Medical University of South Carolina. It will document Dr. Blake’s role as one of the key leaders of the young campus and as a champion for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.


  • Serve as a multi-purpose outreach tool by UCSC and other universities to expand their representation of underrepresented students (students of color, those from disadvantaged communities) who apply, enroll, and complete their degrees.
  • Serve as an archival document for both the UCSC Library and for relevant colleges, departments, and programs on campus (i.e. Cowell College, Oakes College and the African American Resource Center).
  • Present a copy of the video to Dr. Blake at his Tribute Dinner during Alumni Reunion Weekend in 2013 to acknowledge his many contributions to humanity.

Amount funded: $5,000 towards cost to produce the video.

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Shayna Kent, Director of Alumni and Student Outreach and Development


Cal Teach Internships

Submitted by Gretchen Andreasen, Cal Teach Resource Center Director

Sponsored by Steve Bruce

Approved December 19, 2012


As part of a statewide UC program, Cal Teach at UC Santa Cruz recruits and prepares undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics majors to pursue careers as science or math teachers in secondary schools in California. We do this through academic training and a series of internships that give students direct experience as teachers. We propose to expand the reach and impact of the program by offering an intensive one-week internship program before the UC academic school year begins for undergraduates who are considering becoming math or science teachers. The internships will take place in hard-to-staff middle and high schools serving high-need student populations in Silicon Valley - a demographic that we want to serve but cannot reach during the regular school year.  Internships will be overseen by the Cal Teach Internship Coordinator and will take place after Labor Day, when Silicon Valley K-12 schools are in session and before the start of UCSC’s fall quarter. It will include an Orientation Day and four days of internship in a hard-to-staff school. Applicants will be recruited from the pools of incoming transfer students to UCSC, continuing UCSC students, and UCSC’s continuing Cal Teach participants.


  • To demonstrate that we value teaching as a career, and help attract students to explore this possibility who might not otherwise be interested.
  • For at least half of the interns who participate to express a strong interest in a teaching career in a high-need urban school.
  • To establish ongoing partnerships with high-need urban schools where new teachers can be hired.
  • To ensure that all students can afford to participate, regardless of financial circumstance.

Amount funded: $10,000 to support internships for 10 students in Silicon Valley in the summer of 2013.  [Balance of $2,450 in leftover funds approved on April 1, 2014 to place two interns in Santa Cruz City Schools summer math program.]

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Gretchen Andreasen, Cal Teach Resource Center Director

Patrick Kent, Cal Teach internship coordinator

Paul Koch, Dean of Physical & Biological Sciences

Grant Hartzog, Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Trish Stoddart, Professor of Education

Dave Belanger, Associate Dean of Physical & Biological Sciences 


2013 UCSC NASA Centennial Challenge Team Sponsorship

Submitted by Geoff Budd, engineering student and NASA Centennial Challenge Team Lead

Sponsored by Vikram Sahai

Approved February 28, 2013


The UCSC NASA Centennial Challenge team seeks funds to compete in the 2013 NASA Centennial Challenge that requires participants to build a rover that can autonomously locate and retrieve samples in wide and varied terrains without the use of terrestrial specific technology. Our rover will use real time image processing to identify landmarks, samples, and obstacles while navigating the competition field. To facilitate navigation, the rover will use encoders, Inertial Measurement Unit Sensors (IMU’s), proximity sensors, and an RF communication beacon to build a map of the field.  We are entering this competition as our senior capstone project, a unique UCSC undergraduate experience that encourages students to come up with novel approaches to interesting challenges. Our entry in the NASA competition will enable us to make serious contributions to research in the fields of autonomous robot navigation and computer vision. One of the major benefits of meeting our goals will be the experience of developing a complex system from conceptual ideas to a finished product. The process of working with a group of dedicated individuals to accomplish a challenging task is parallel to industry practices. This experience is not offered in traditional undergraduate course work and will serve to extend our education beyond the classroom and prepare us for future jobs and graduate programs. In addition, the prestige that comes from participating in a worldwide NASA sponsored competition will be invaluable to us and to the university.


  • By attending the competition, we will be promoting UCSC’s new Robotics Engineering major and representing UCSC’s engineering program.
  • The NASA Centennial Challenge will help us to develop as engineers and become better prepared for graduate school and future jobs in industry.
  • The substantial prize purse ($1.5M) to be divided amongst teams that meet the goals of the final challenge is a strong motivation for us to perform well.

Amount funded: $5,722 to fund the completion of the autonomous rover and provide support for the students to compete in the 2013 NASA Centennial Challenge.  

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Prof. Gabriel Elkaim, Technical advisor, Navigation and Control Systems

Prof. Stephen Petersen, Technical and Managerial advisor, Electrical Subsystems

Prof. Mircea Teodorescu, Technical advisor, Mechanical Design


 2013 IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Competition Sponsorship

Submitted by Hugh Olsen, Project Scientist, Baskin School of Engineering and Mark Akeson, Chair of Biomolecular Engineering

Sponsored by Brandon Allgood

Approved April 17, 2013


The UCSC IGEM team (7 undergraduate members from Engineering) is building a genetically engineered machine for entry in the premier international competition for synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering (IGEM). IGEM teaches engineers of tomorrow in a scholarly and highly competitive environment, and this challenge requires undergraduate participants to build a genetically engineered machine, not previously existing in nature, to address a specific engineering need. We learn about nanotechnology through the creation, and assembly, of protein nanomachines to solve specific engineering challenges ranging from medicine to energy production. We further learn through feedback that occurs from mentoring by our advisors and then during the judging phase of the project. Our team of undergraduates will create a genetically engineered machine from a unique combination of genes, expressed and regulated in a single bioengineered organism, in order to address an engineering challenge in one of 5 areas: 1) Bioremediation, 2) Biological circuit design, 3) Biosensing, 4) Biofuels, or 5) Energy Production. The IGEM competition provides us with a relevant learning experience for engineering challenges encountered in real life application of biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology.


  • To compete within the framework of the IGEM foundation competition.  The IGEM competition is the premier undergraduate competition for synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering. Last year, a total of 190 teams, many from top ranked academic institutions from around the world, competed in the IGEM competition.
  • To have an invaluable real life experience as Biomolecular engineers that will make us better prepared for graduate school and jobs in industry.
  • By attending the regional and international competitions, to expose the team members to researchers engaged in cutting edge Synthetic biology/Biomolecular Engineering, and at the same time promote the academic stature of the Baskin School of Engineering and UC Santa Cruz.
  • Long term this contributes to establishing participation in IGEM at UCSC as and annual event and promotes national and international recognition of the relevance and excellence of a UCSC undergraduate education in Biomolecular Engineering.

Amount funded: $4,050 to fund the UCSC Team for the 2013 IGEM competition.  

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Prof. Mark Akeson, Chair, Biomolecular Engineering Department

Dr. Hugh Olsen, Technical and Managerial advisor

PhD candidate Jeff Nivala, Technical advisor/mentor

PhD candidate Andrew Smith, Technical advisor/mentor

PhD candidate Hossein Amirie, Technical advisor/mentor


Ursula K. LeGuin Sponsorship

Submitted by Anna Tsing, Professor of Anthropology, Social Sciences

Sponsored by Barbara Canfield and Harriet Deck

Approved May 20, 2013


As one of the most influential writers of our times, Ursula Le Guin pioneered a new kind of science fiction; instead of imagining new technologies in predictable social settings, she explored the radical possibilities of society itself.  One major theme in her work is the potential for varied ways humans might interact with the environment.  The Bateson Initiative working group would like to invite Le Guin to be the inaugural speaker of our project in reviving the spirit of Gregory Bateson.  Bateson was one of the intellectual founders of UC Santa Cruz, and his spirit of interdisciplinary creativity is much needed in our times. Le Guin’s visit would allow further development in the kind of open-ended creative thought that makes new fields of exploration and new communities of learning.  Le Guin’s visit would open an interdisciplinary conference on “Imagining life and death in difficult times,” that would bring together scholars across disciplinary divisions to consider how to imagine ongoing life in a time of extinction, rapid climate change, and spreading pollution. In this conference, anthropologists will help mediate a conversation across humanities and natural sciences on how best to describe and analyze that set of multispecies entanglements that manages to emerge despite environmental insults.  The conference, open to the public, is made possible by UCSC Professor Anna Tsing’s Niels Bohr Professorship from the Danish Research Foundation.  The professorship involves directing a five-year research project, involving both UC Santa Cruz and Aarhus University, on “Living in the Anthropocene.”  We are seeking funding for the Le Guin visit as the major portion of UCSC’s contribution to the collaboration.


  • Le Guin will attract a large cross-divisional and town/gown audience, bringing positive publicity to UCSC’s ability to spark wide ranging public conversations. 
  • LeGuin will inaugurate the Bateson Experiments program, which will open path-breaking scholarly trajectories and offer a new initiative for attracting donors. 
  • Le Guin will also inaugurate a collaboration between Aarhus University (Denmark) and UC Santa Cruz in re-imagining human-environment relations using new tools in both the humanities and the natural sciences.  This will create international opportunities and funding streams for students and faculty at UC Santa Cruz, and build its reputation in the area of Environment and Social Justice.
  • Le Guin will draw community members, students, and faculty to a three-day discussion of state-of-the-art scholarship on multispecies life in environmentally challenged times by illustrious environmental historians, evolutionary biologists, anthropologists, artists, nature writers, landscape ecologists, and more.  Le Guin’s presence will bring an excitement that will allow our concerns to speak to a wider audience.
  • Le Guin’s writing has interested some of the most eminent faculty at UCSC. Her visit would spread and deepen existing channels of scholarship across campus.
  • Finally, Le Guin’s work itself shines.  The opportunity to hear her read and discuss her work will be a long remembered occasion. Her talk would stimulate a great deal of new thought on environmental issues in our community. 

Amount funded: $7,500 towards Ms. LeGuin’s speaker fees of $12,500.

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Danilyn Rutherford, Chair, Anthropology

Donna Haraway, History of Consciousness

Shelly Errington, Anthropology

Carla Freccero, Chair, Literature

Susan Harding, Anthropology

James Clifford, History of Consciousness

Andrew Mathews, Director, Science and Justice Program

Additional faculty in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Philosophy, History, Engineering, Politics, Environmental Studies, Sociology, and other disciplines have expressed interest.


IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive

Submitted by Deanna Shemek, Professor of Literature

Sponsored by SB Master

Approved June 12, 2013


Isabella d’Este Archive (IDEA) will be an online, open-access, interactive resource devoted to the correspondence, music, and collecting of one of the most prominent female figures of the Italian Renaissance, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539). The finished site will feature high-resolution, fully navigable, commentated images of all of Isabella’s correspondence (over 16,000 letters sent, plus incoming mail); audio and video files of music she commissioned and played; a virtual, interactive simulation of her celebrated display spaces for arts and antiquities (the studiolo and grotta); a community forum for scholarly and student exchange; and a digital map of Isabella’s epistolary network.  Isabella’s letter archive is heavily used by scholars of the Renaissance because she wrote so much and was active in so many spheres, from governing to gardening, from music to maternity. IDEA will open this treasure trove to a much wider community of research than has ever before been able to have access. It will be a collaborative digital environment that will serve researchers, teachers and students of history, literature, music, art history, material culture studies, and more.  Funds will be used to purchase the server that will house the data for phase one of the project, the correspondence of Isabella d’Este, in UCSC’s Humanities Division, and to pay the IT Project Manager and Data Specialist to design our digital platform for the correspondence.


  • Enhance learning about the Italian Renaissance and women’s history by bringing to life one of that period’s most significant, well-connected, and powerful female figures.
  • Provide an interactive environment for exploring, researching, and creating resources for understanding Renaissance Italy that will be available worldwide.

Amount funded: $9,485 total ($7,000.00 to the IT developer and builder of IDEA platform and $2,485.00 for the server purchase, Humanities IT UCSC.)

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Jay Olson, Humanities Computing

Sue Chesley Perry, McHenry Library

Deanna Shemek will lead this project along with Anne MacNeil of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Other collaborators are located at the Mantuan State Archive, Italy; the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Monash University, Melbourne Australia; the University of Teramo, Italy; the Johns Hopkins University.