Soul Food for Friday March 1st 2013

Happy Soul Food Friday!

Your Feel Good Story for this Week:

What is this all about? Why did this happen to me? The theme is the question, not the answer…

This clip reminds us of the value of stewardship, relationship, how to accept life on life’s terms, and to seize the wonder of every moment in life!

This is quintessential soul food…

Is the World of Higher Education keeping up with the Pace of Change?

It is not business as usual in public higher education…

Financial pressures both on consumers- as student loan debt exceeds credit card debt in this country, and on the institutions- as state support declines precipitously, competitive disintermediation brought on by technology and the digital revolution, students that enter college as “crispies”-often already burned out from all the effort it takes just to get in, and a changing national & international mood about the value of scientific enquiry and the real value of education mandate that we adjust and adopt to meet the changing times and needs. This is mission critical work!

Are You On Board?

Rather than simply ponder these imponderables, as part of the UCSD Alumni Board of Directors, I get to actually work on these challenges and opportunities.

In the last week, I had the privilege of investing some quality time with the UCSD Alumni Board where I am part of the Executive Committee and help lead the Branding subcommittee.

Our quarterly meetings cover many meaningful topics as we identify where our 150,000 strong alumni can make a positive contribution to our university, our community and our society.

This set of meetings, included a session on developing a common vocabulary and launch pad for Scholarship to actualize the access and affordability promise for young people who otherwise would not be afforded the gift of education, a session on building and protecting the UCSD brand, as well as  an active working session on the UCSD Strategic Plan with our 8th Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and external consultants.

The weekend was also capped with the inspiring 11th Annual Black History Month Celebration and Scholarship Fundraiser Jazz Brunch featuring UCSD Alumnus John Wesley, best known in our popular culture for his TV work on Frasier, The Jefferson’s, Benson, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air & “Willie” on the Jamie Foxx Show. In alignment with the theme, “Our History is Our Future”, John highlighted two key dates- 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation, and 1963 the tipping point for the Civil Rights movement, which became the template for future social movements both in our country and around the world.

With the United States poised to become “a majority of minorities by 2020”  it is useful for us to both understand and learn from our history, especially when you consider what 1863 and 1963 can do to make for a better 2063.

This quality of discourse and engagement is common fare at UCSD, and speaking of branding sadly a best kept secret.

Hidden in Plain Sight:

Did you know that UCSD’s rise to eminence remains unchecked with stellar rankings that include:

  • ·         1st in the Nation based on Positive Impact on the Country– Washington Monthly’s College Guide 2012
  • ·         #1 Campus in the Nation for Surfing– Global Website Surfline, 2009 (we “embrace the geek” but shred the waves too J )
  • ·         UC San Diego Health System is the #1 Adult Hospital in San Diego– 2012-13 US News and World Report “America’s Best Hospitals
  • ·         The Preuss School UCSD is the #1 Transformative High School in the Nation– Newsweek magazine “America’s Best High Schools” 2012
  • ·         We are the 3rd “Coolest” School in the Nation for Going Green- Sierra Magazine, 2011
  • ·         6th in the Nation in Total Research and Development SpendingNational Science Foundation, 2010
  • ·         8th Best Public University in the Nation– US News and World Report 2013 Best Colleges guidebook
  • ·         10th Best Value Public University in the Nation– Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
  • ·         15th Best University in the WORLD– The Center for World-Class Universities 2012 Academic Rankings of World Universities

For a complete picture of UCSD’s impact, if you have an iTunes account, you can download the free UCSD Alumni Annual Report app. You WILL be blown away by what UCSD is doing for you, the community and the world!

Personal Note: As most of the UCSD Alumni board get and read Soul Food Friday, Chris a fellow board “activist” and I were chatting, and he casually asked about the thank you’ s I include at the end of each edition.

I shared that I thank the individual contributors for each edition as they forwarded me something that touched their soul. Chris said he thought I was simply thanking people just for being WHO THEY ARE.

I really liked the notion that we are all deserving of gratitude, thanks and esteem, not just for what we have done (our role) but for the intrinsic value we inherently have and for WHO WE ARE.

So thanks for that Chris!

This edition is for each and every one of you. Thank you for being YOU and for Who You Are. There is only one you, and the world is lucky to have your talent, energy and gifts-period.

Are you a Lifelong Learner?

Here is an excellent TED talk regarding what happens with the Pace of Change overcomes the Pace of Learning

Speaking of Social Movements & Education…

Girl Rising – Educate A Girl Change the World

Rising Girl Poster

Please mark your calendar for March 8th 7:30pm, spread the word, and encourage others to join us as we focus our International Women’s Day celebration on gender equality in education at the release of Girl Rising. The film tells extraordinary stories of girls from around the globe fighting to overcome impossible odds to realize their dreams.  It features voiceovers by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington and Selena Gomez. NGO Partners include: Afghan Connection, A New Day Cambodia, CAREUSA, UN Foundation’s Girl Up, Partners in Health, Plan International USA, Pratham USA, World Vision and Room to Read.  We have registered a request to watch the film at La Paloma theater in Encinitas March 8th, they have approved it, and now we need to get at least 150 people to buy a $10 ticket within 27 days to secure the theater.   Attached is a flyer specifically created to help you promote this event to your peers, colleagues, friends, and students.  Time is of the essence to secure a theater.  Please take the time today to buy your ticket, let others know of the event, and encourage them to join us.

Click Here and Buy Your Tickets Today

Room to Read is one of among ten nonprofits featured in 10×10 a global movement and grassroots efforts to increase the number of girls receiving an education.  You can go to to learn more, register for a different theater, watch the trailer, or to get more information.

Click here to see the flyer

If the Oscars last weekend, and talk about the Emancipation Proclamation triggered your thirst for more on ” Lincoln ” here is a personal follow-up.

Note: I did not fact check this so if you historians have evidence to the contrary, feel free to correct me…

Who was Robert Todd Lincoln?

Click here to find out!

Other topics this week:

The Simple Act of Kindness Fuels Our Best Brain with Will Marre’
PONDER THIS: What can give you a rush of endorphins, improve your workplace revenue, and jumpstart your creativity … all at the same time?

RESEARCH SAYS: The power of a simple act of kindness fuels our best brain. Brain scans reveal that whenever we give or receive compassion, care or selfless generosity, it lights up the same part of our brain in the same way that chocolate, sex, and sunshine do.  Yep, it makes us feel closer and more trusting and, as an added bonus, our creativity and problem solving flourishes!

YOUR CHALLENGE: Think of three kind acts you can perform, either today or tomorrow. One for a stranger (like letting them take your place in line), one for a customer or coworker, and one for a loved one. Tell us how this both brightens your day and ignites your creative flame.
Share your results on our Facebook page.

Want to receive tips like this and other great content directly in your inbox? Then sign up here to join our email list.

Past Tips:
#34 – Eating 2.0
#35 – How to Get Your “Early Start” Started!
#36 – Ditch the Daydreams

Ready for Some More Inspiration?

Feel the Love with Connor and Cayden,  Sports Illustrated 2012 Sports Kids of the Year

Finally, Got some serious Wonder Lust but don’t have Travel Plans?

These photos and music will help scratch the itch…

Click here (it may take a minute or two to download)

Thanks this week go to ALL of you for who you are, and to the UCSD Alumni Board & Staff, Larry H., Brandon B., & Will M.

Pay it Forward!




Eighty percent of life’s satisfaction comes from meaningful relationships.”

— Brian Tracy

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