FY18 Projects

  • The Grand Opening Quarry Celebration

    Submitted by Jose Reyes-Olivas, Dean of Students

    Sponsored by Paul Hall

    Approved September 26, 2017


    The Dean of Students office is proud to announce the official celebration of the historic Quarry Amphitheater’s re­opening at UCSC. The Grand Opening Quarry Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2017 and is a free­ticketed event concert for our student body as a recognition and thank you to the students for having invested $6.5 million towards this renovation project.

    The project will establish and produce a free evening concert with a national touring artist and support act that best emphasizes our campus values. We are currently working with Dean of Students office, the ten colleges, and outside partners, to be as inclusive and comprehensive to the needs of all stakeholders. Further, the project will distribute two­thousand (2,000) free tickets to campus students and campus community members.


    The project will demonstrate the validity of the Quarry Amphitheater as the go­to venue for local and national event promoters, sponsors, and artists. The venue is one of the most attractive, functional and state­of­the­art outdoor venues in the region. Originally built in 1966, the Quarry Amphitheater is now the largest outdoor venue in Santa Cruz County, with fixed seating and a permanent stage.  After twelve years of non­use, the facility is undergoing a significant restoration. A considerable amount of attention and resources were invested in designing the amphitheater as a professional destination venue for all types of productions and events from both on and off campus users. Launching this large scale project for a capacity audience will position the investment to attract future promoters, sponsors, and artists.

    The project will increase the number of students and student organizations involved in the promotion and production of the event. Currently sixteen UCSC students are part of the production staff in both volunteer and paid positions. The project will increase the number of students and student organizations working directly to manage the production of the event.

    The project will give student body organizations, colleges, and administration an attractive and viable option to gather and assemble. The state of the art outdoor venue will prioritize UC organizations for opportunities to assemble for a variety of uses such as music concerts, ensembles, commencement celebrations and keynote addresses.

    Amount funded: $20,000

    Key UCSC faculty and staff:

    The Dean of Students Office

    All ten colleges

    Co-sponsorship support from the Ethnic Resource Centers (ERC’s); Educational Opportunity Program (EOP); The Alumni Council; Student Union Assembly (SUA); Admissions Office; Graduate Student Commons; KZSC; UCSC Dining Services; Colleges, Housing and Educational Services (CHES), and Summer Session.

    Off campus organizations include Digital Next in Watsonville and InDigital Audio and Video Design.


    Kresge College Lecture and Matching Grant to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

    Submitted by Ben Leeds Carson, Kresge College Provost

    Sponsored by Loren Steck

    Approved September 26, 2017


    This proposal will bring Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, documentary film maker, and civil rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas to campus for a public lecture, to address the campus community on issues facing undocumented Americans. The lecture would be open to the public, but would also prominently serve academic outcomes for first-year core courses at Kresge and Oakes colleges. Educational Opportunity Program would further collaborate with Kresge College to raise funds with Mr. Vargas’ presence at a donor reception.

    The request for a "matching" grant will be used to incentivize giving to the Educational Opportunity Program, to provide financial support for undocumented students facing hardship due to immigration-based challenges and retention support. 


    The first primary outcome is the potential for Vargas’ address to the campus community to help shape, and add depth to, the broader community’s exposure to the contemporary social and political challenges faced by undocumented Americans and the communities and institutions to which they contribute.

    A second primary outcome is the enrichment of academic experience for first-year students. Vargas’ work a journalist comprises one of the three essential/foundational texts in Kresge’s first-year core course, and is an optional text in Oakes’ College’s first-year core course.

    Following a model that EOP established with the Don Rothman Dream Fund, the purposes of a matching grant would allow targeted awards to individual students, designated according to specific circumstances of need, related to DACA-related or documentation-related obstacles to their pursuit of education at UC Santa Cruz.

    Amount funded: $6,000 awarded to support the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas' public lecture on campus and $4,000 awarded as matching funds to incentivize giving to the EOP.

    Key UCSC faculty and staff:

    Kresge College Provost Ben Leeds Carson

    Beth Hernandez-Jason, Kresge College Academic Programs Coordinator

    Oakes College Provost Regina Langhout

    Student Union Assembly Maxine Jimenez

    Pablo Reguerin, Porter College Educational Outreach Program

    Nancy Kim, Asian American / Pacific Islander Resource Center

    Librarian Elizabeth Cowell, UC Santa Cruz Libraries

    Scott Leiserson, Student Media Group & City on a Hill Press


    Alzheimer’s Disease Research

    Submitted by Jevgenij Raskatov, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Sponsored by Richard Moss

    Approved March 23, 2018


    This proposal is to fund critical research in the promising application of Chiral Conversion of Amyloid Proteins (patent pending) associated with various diseases including Alzheimer's.

    This proposal is a companion proposal to the Office of Research Launchpad program – Foundation BOF funding will help Prof. Raskatov in securing a Launchpad grant, which requires 100% matched funding. 

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains a major threat to millions of people worldwide. Today one person per minute receives the diagnosis. While finding a cure has been a priority of the medical and research communities for many years, this goal remains elusive.

    Amyloid β 42 (Aβ42) is an intrinsically disordered, aggregation-prone peptide involved in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Major efforts have been made in the pharmaceutical industry to develop approaches to clear or reduce the levels of this toxic peptide to slow AD progression. Those efforts have failed in clinical trials.

    Calling on his expertise in organic chemistry and biochemistry, Prof. Raskatov developed a peptide that is the mirror image of Aβ42 (called chiral Aβ42) and applied it to disrupt the known aggregation path that leads to fibril formation. Preliminary results have been extremely encouraging and as predicted. Applying chiral Aβ42 suppresses the formation of the intermediate chemicals—including the neurotoxic oligomers—and accelerates fibril formation.

    In short, Raskatov and his team have demonstrated preliminary understanding and control of Aβ42, the protein that causes Alzheimer’s.

    This funding will enable Prof. Raskatov to build on these preliminary findings by conducting a systematic reductionist study, synthesizing a total of nine D-pentapeptides to sequentially cover the full Aβ42 framework, and assay for their ability to induce the oligomer-to-fibril Aβ42 conversion.


    To construct, test, and evaluate nine D-pentapeptides across the full Aβ42 framework. To also use biophysical, biochemical and cell culture methods to evaluate the potency of the synthetic peptides to inhibit toxicity of Aβ42 through our patented, unique mechanism of action.

    Fundamentally, Prof. Raskatov and his team are searching for similar but smaller peptides that provide the same ability to inhibit the toxicity that causes AD. This is necessary because the chiral Aβ42 peptide from the original testing, is too physically large a molecule to be convertible into therapeutic usage.

    Amount funded:  $15,000 

    Key UCSC faculty and staff:

    Jevgenij A. Raskatov, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Alejandro Rodriguez, Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Ariel Kuhn, Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Undergraduate assistant: Diana Lucas Baca, peptide synthesis and purification


    Right Livelihood Conference

    Submitted by David Shaw, Right Livelihood College Coordinator, Common Ground Center Co-Director & Kresge College Continuing Lecturer

    Co-sponsored by Mark Headley and Alec Webster

    Approved April 9, 2018


    To profile UC Santa Cruz, and to build on our legacy as leaders in sustainability and social justice through hosting the Regional Conference of North American Right Livelihood Laureates, May 15-18, 2018. 

    In November of 2013 the Common Ground Center at UCSC Kresge College developed a partnership with the prestigious Right Livelihood Award Foundation, known popularly as “the Alternative Nobel Prize”, to become the first Right Livelihood College in North America. Founded in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award is given annually to four people or organizations doing extraordinary work in service of people and the planet. There are over 160 Laureates worldwide including Wangari Maathai, Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, David Suzuki, Amy Goodman, and many more. (rightlivelihoodaward.org)

    The Right Livelihood College was founded 2009 in an effort to make the knowledge of the Laureates accessible to all and, by linking young academics and civil society organizations with the Laureates, hopes to make their “winning ideas” succeed and multiply. The College operates as a global network of campuses at 8 universities: University of Bonn (Germany), University of Lund (Sweden), University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), University of Austral (Chile), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India), National University of Cordoba (Argentina), and the University of California at Santa Cruz (USA).

    Since 2013, the Right Livelihood Award has arranged a series of regional conferences for its Laureates. Conferences have been held in Latin America and the Caribbean (2013), Africa and the Middle East (2014), Asia (2015) and Europe (2016). The meeting of North American Right Livelihood Award Laureates will be the fifth regional conference. In times when safe spaces for action are shrinking for civil society all over the world, these meetings provide an enabling environment for important actors toward a more sustainable and peaceful world. Award recipients have been able to share struggles, exchange ideas, strengthen networks of collaboration, and engage more deeply with change makers and communities local to the areas where the meetings have been held. (rightlivelihoodaward.org/support/regional-conference-for-north-america)


    To leverage the international support from both the Right Livelihood Award Foundation and Right Livelihood College, as well as local campus support from UCSC affiliates and make UCSC’s role as the site host for this world-class event go “from good to great”.

    The primary outcomes include faculty-laureate engagement for research projects and grants, student-laureate engagement, and raising the profile of UC Santa Cruz as North America’s Right Livelihood College.

    Amount funded:  A $10,000 challenge grant to match, on a dollar-for-dollar basis a maximum of $10,000 in contributions to fund the Conference, and with BOF funds only to be used for Conference activities but under no circumstance for hotel accommodations or travel expenses of Conference guests, participants, honorees or staff.

    Key UCSC faculty and staff:

    David Shaw, Right Livelihood College Coordinator, Common Ground Center Co-Director & Kresge College Continuing Lecturer

    Chris Benner, Professor of Environmental Studies & Director of the Everett Program Heather Bullock, Professor of Psychology & Director of the Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise and Participatory Governance

    Daniel Press, Professor of Environmental Studies & Director of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

    Ronnie Lipschutz, Professor of Politics & Rachel Carson College Provost

    Joni White, Events Office, Social Sciences Division

    Suz Howells and Elizabeth Church, University Relations

    Ben Leeds Carson, Associate Professor of Music & Kresge College Provost

    Beth Hernandez-Jason, Kresge Academic Program Coordinator

    Tim Galarneau, Community Engaged Education Coordinator at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Food Systems Working Group

    Greg Gilbert, Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies Department

    Stacy Philpott, Professor of Environmental Studies

    Jenny Reardon, Professor of Sociology & Director of Science and Justice Research Center

    T.J. Demos, Professor, Department of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies

    Sara Durghalli, Valeria Esqueda, Mikaela Windham-Herman, Veronica Wang, Jacenda Davis, Kaelyn Treggs, Jennifer Fineman, Angelica Lujan - Common Ground Center Student Board Members

    Margaret Bishop, Candace Addleman - Food Systems Working Group Co-Chairs


    Future Garden for the Central Coast of California

    Submitted by John Weber, Founding Director of the Institutes of the Arts & Sciences

    Sponsored by Richard Moss

    Approved May 24, 2018


    The Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) of the UC Santa Cruz Arts Division has plans to initiate Phase II of Future Garden for the Central Coast of California (Future Garden), a major environmental art installation by UC Santa Cruz Emeritus Professors of Art Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018} at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Newton and Harrison are pioneers in Environmental Art and two of the most significant ecological artists in the world. Their installation at the Arboretum has International significance adding to the prestige of UC Santa Cruz as a leader in multi-disciplinary work. The Institute and the Arboretum applied to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for a five-year grant to help underwrite long-term maintenance, work on Future Garden by UCSC students, research, and other costs. Funds from the Board Opportunity Fund will support the Warhol grant proposal by sending a strong signal to the Warhol Foundation of the long-term importance of Future Garden to UC Santa Cruz.


    The $10,000 grant from the BOF will support the second budgetary phase of Future Garden to add a visitor seating and study area. It will also lend much credibility and critical support to a multi-year $55,000 grant request to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for the project.

    Future Garden will model possible futures of the central California coast plant ecology by subjecting a scientifically selected group of regional plants to increased temperatures consistent with global warming projections and identical plant groups in geodesic domes to differing regimes of irrigation-drought, increased rainfall, and erratic rainfall. The project will function simultaneously as an artfully landscaped public space, as   a research site, and as a learning experience for Arboretum public and student visitors alike.

    Phase II will create, among other things, a casual seating and reading area for. This area will complete the physical improvements to the site and will serve both educational and hospitality functions for the project and the Arboretum as a whole. It will offer a gathering point for class visits by students from UCSC and other local educational institutions, group tours, and other Arboretum events, and provide a site for distribution of reading materials created by the IAS with information about the project and the Harrisons' work.

    Amount funded:  $10,000

    Key UCSC faculty and staff:

    John Weber, Founding Director of the Institutes of the Arts & Sciences

    Martin Quigley, Executive Director, UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

    Brett Hall, UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, California Native Plant Program Director

    Prof. Dee Hibbert-Jones, Art

    Prof. T. J. Demos, History of Art and Visual Culture

    Prof. A. Laurie Palmer, Art

    Prof. Mike Loik, Environmental Studies