Welcome to the Academic Affairs newsletter. Browse updates and announcements, connect to tips and resources, and check out stories from around campus.
Message from EVC Simmons
Dear Colleagues,

As we pass the one-year anniversary of UC San Diego's shift to primarily remote operations, we are all painfully aware of what the pandemic has cost us: the ability to spend unbounded time with friends and loved ones, the opportunity to work full-tilt on our scholarship or teaching in our accustomed schedules, perhaps even the lives of some people who were close to us. As vaccination enables us to move back toward safer in-person interactions over the coming months, I think we will more deliberately appreciate each bit of freedom, autonomy, or community we gain back. 

We’ll also be able to look back with pride at some of the things we’ve accomplished as a community this year. Yesterday’s HSI Summit reflects our resolve to redouble our efforts to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, through the Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative. And last week’s Educational Innovation Expo celebrated our colleagues’ and students’ many achievements in adapting to and thriving in the remote learning environment.  

Today also belongs to Women’s Herstory month. The Women’s Center Calendar offers a rich palette of events throughout March, with topics ranging from sports to films to leadership. To hear directly from your colleagues and former students, please tune into Full STEM Ahead: The Journeys of UC San Diego Women in Science at 5pm on Wednesday, March 24th; it’s part of the Evenings of NonConventional Wisdom series celebrating UC San Diego’s 60th Anniversary.

As Winter Quarter 2021 winds down, I hope that you will all be able to take some time for relaxation during spring break.  

Wishing you all the best,

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Encouraging community with lecture viewing sessions

Rather than watching instructional videos alone, students can host group viewing sessions on Zoom to connect with their classmates and watch lectures together. This helps transform the learning experience from passively watching a video to actively working through the material as a group. Instructors can encourage student collaboration by helping get the word out about viewing sessions. View tips for hosting a viewing session on the Keep Learning website.
What did you learn in 2020?
Find out what the TEDxUCSD 2020-21 team took away from this eventful, turbulent year. Visit:
The Library wants to hear from you!

Over the past year, the UC San Diego Library has served the university community through online access to information resources and services as well as limited study space in the Biomedical Library Building and limited Special Collections & Archives appointments. We are now planning for a gradual increase in on-site services, including steps to reopen Geisel Library in time for Fall Quarter 2021.  

As part of this planning process, we welcome your input on your current research needs and/or ideas for how and when we open library spaces to our faculty and students. Please send your ideas to Library Chief Administrative Officer Heather Hernandez at [email protected].

Thank you to everyone who participated in the virtual adaptation of the annual Letters to the Library event. Check out the winning 2021 love and breakup letters from Tritons about their long-distance, virtual relationships with the Library.
Open educational resources for faculty and students

UC San Diego educators help actualize the university’s mission and values by providing information resources that are accessible, affordable, and sustainable. Open Educational Resources (OER) are various types of educational materials that are openly licensed and freely available to use, adapt, and reuse online. Visit the Library’s OER page ( to learn more about the benefits of using OER in your classroom, locate available OER content, review resources, and more - like this intro to using OER in CANVAS and Lumen Learning Impact Meter to calculate the potential benefits that OER could have for your students!
Spring CCR opportunities
UC San Diego has an official record called the Co-Curricular Record (CCR) that highlights a student’s involvement in activities beyond the classroom that help develop their skills and competencies. Over 800 opportunities are CCR approved, and suggestions for additional opportunities are encouraged.

Faculty and staff may submit new CCR activities by Week 5 for review by the CCR Evaluation Committee; proposals for spring CCR activities must be submitted by Friday, April 30, 2021. Tritons are also welcome to fill out the CCR Suggestion Form to help identify other opportunities to add to the CCR database. 

Visit the Engaged Learning Tools website ( or review the CCR Resources for Success Guide for more information.
New data curation service for dynamic datasets

Do you or your data manager spend a lot of time responding to requests for your research data? The UC San Diego Library has a solution: a new service to support the publication of frequently updated data files. The Library’s software development team developed a set scripts that collect the files uploaded by researchers to RDL-share (the Library’s file transfer service) and update the data files that can be downloaded from the corresponding repository pages.

If you are interested in using this free service, or if you have questions about depositing your data in the Research Data Collections repository, the Library’s Research Data Curation team is here to help. Contact us at [email protected].
Bouncing back from academic disappointment

Listen to this two-part Triton Tools and Tidbits podcast as current UC San Diego students discuss their academic journeys and strategies to cope with and successfully rebound from setbacks.
Season 4, Ep. 7
Bounce Back
Season 4, Ep. 8
Bounce Back Part 2
Be sure to visit the Triton Tools and Tidbits website for more weekly episodes.
Upcoming Return to Learn town halls
The next Return to Learn Town Halls are scheduled for March 23 for staff and March 25 for researchers.

Visit the Return to Learn website to register and review information from previous sessions, including the March 9 faculty town hall.

UC San Diego Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues is seeking new student, faculty, and staff members for 2021-2023. Please apply by March 31, 2021 by completing the application. Review the recent campus notice or check out the GISOI website ( for more information.
New graduate housing rental rates
Enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in employee recruitment
New resources are available to help hiring managers and search committee members embed best practices throughout the application, interview, and selection stages for employees. In addition to these resources, enhancements to application and hiring processes have been implemented in line with our commitment to inclusive recruiting practices. Anyone participating in hiring is required to complete training about managing implicit bias. Review the recent campus notice or visit for details.

All UC San Diego employees are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Check your email or login to your MyUCSDChart to check for an invitation to schedule your appointment. If you have received an invitation, but have not received a scheduling ticket in MyUCSDChart, please complete the Vaccination Notification Inquiry form to report the issue.

As an employee of UC San Diego, you are also eligible to obtain your vaccine through your health provider, the County, or any affiliated pharmacy or other entity authorized to provide vaccines. We recommend you pursue your most immediate opportunity to be vaccinated as supplies remain limited. Click here for information about vaccination sites and appointments throughout the County.
Visit the Return to Learn COVID-19 Vaccination Information for details about the vaccination locations and how to make an appointment, volunteer opportunities, and more.
Check out this episode of Triton Tools and Tidbits as Professor and infectious disease expert Chip Schooley answers questions about vaccines.
Spring Break activities
This year, stay safer by staying put — and spend Spring Break 2021 with UC San Diego March 21-28.

Divisions and departments from across the university have come together to offer a full schedule of enriching opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to learn new skills, make connections, and have fun. Activity interest “tracks” include service, research, adventure, art, and more.

Be sure to check the Spring Break 2021 website ( often as new opportunities are added daily. You can also RSVP to the Spring Break 2021 Facebook event to receive updates about activities and registration. We are so excited to safely share our Spring Break with you, Tritons!
Remote team building activities

Looking for fun, engaging activities to do with your team in a virtual environment? Through a campus-wide partnership with UC San Diego, Airbnb is offering Online Experiences as an option for event planners looking for unique ways to host their next team-building, celebration or recognition event.

Experiences are live, interactive activities hosted virtually by experts in their field. From classes and workshops to shows and entertainment, enjoy unique and meaningful online gatherings to connect, learn and have fun while working remotely. Visit this Blink page to learn more.
Outback Adventures virtual programming

Delivering virtual content in a way that is engaging, interactive, and doesn’t make people feel like they are watching a pre-recorded lecture can be challenging. But team building doesn’t need to be in-person. As workplaces continue to evolve, we need to be creative and intentional in how we engage and support one another. Here are some tools that Outback Adventures offers to help teams feel connected and have fun:

  • Virtual scavenger hunts are an exciting way to encourage engagement during onboarding, orientation, or training experiences. These are customized with content specific to the group or can be themed

  • Virtual escape rooms encourage collaboration, teamwork and team-building, and can be customized with content specific to the group or themed.  

  • Flippity offers a collection of online templates that allow you to create, customize and download flashcards or other activities, such as crosswords, bingo, and more. 

  • Climer Cards are themed metaphor cards that provide a great launching point for deeper conversations and connections among team members. 

  • Skill development training exposes participants to collaboration and communication applications (e.g. Slack, Teams) web tools, and other virtual resources, to help them feel more comfortable adapting to the remote work environment. 

  • Facilitated retreats enable groups to cover content (like recapping the quarter or brainstorming solutions to challenges) and work on team building through various exercises. Some curriculum examples include focused sessions on more effective communication or understanding different leadership styles.

Please contact the Outback team ([email protected]) with any questions or needs.
Benefits of backing up websites

With web archiving, you can take a snapshot of a website’s look, feel and content, allowing your team to review the digital asset at any time, even after it has been taken down or changed. Archiving web content can also be used to analyze site metadata and more. Since 2007, the Library has used “Archive-It” service to assist units with preserving their web content. Visit UC San Diego’s Archive-it public portal to view a listing of all collections captured to date and learn more about web archive services.
De-stress with the Library

In addition to its usual services, the Library offers downloadable activities and amenities to help you unwind during the pandemic. Explore their website for details
Feminist Transformations

This year's theme is an invitation to reflect on the possibilities to create change that exist after an unprecedented year, from systemic racism and injustices to the public health crisis and the gendered impacts of school and childcare closures.

Read more
Woman of the Year: Dr. Margaret Leinen

Each year, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus commemorates outstanding women from every district. When it comes to choosing a remarkable woman to be “Woman of the Year,” in Senate District 39, we need only look to the ocean for guidance.

Read more
King Britt's Blacktronika celebrates Black innovators in ...

Producer, DJ, engineer and educator King Britt has been at the heart of electronic music culture for over 30 years. His first DJ gigs were in his father's barbershop in 1970's Philadelphia at five year's old. At the heart of the community, he...

Read more

Have an idea for our newsletter? We'd love to hear from you!