Sneaking a peek at the Class of 2018

Admissions Director Michael McCawley and SUA Chair Shaz Umer with two UCSC alumni.

Admissions Director Michael McCawley, far left, SUA Chair Shaz Umer, left, and Admissions Outreach Representative Ben Kwak, right, grabbed a quick photo with a recent UCSC graduate at a recent reception in Long Beach for admitted students. Photo by Felicia Young.

You know what's energizing? Talking with high school seniors who can't wait to come to UC Santa Cruz this fall. Their parents are pretty fun, too, but it's the students whose enthusiasm is infectious.

Every spring, the Admissions Office hosts receptions with admitted students. I am always happy to participate, especially when I'm joined by current students, like SUA Chair Shaz Umer, who joined us last week in Berkeley, Fresno, and Long Beach.

Shaz is a great ambassador, talking about the popular airport shuttle he helped launch, the campuswide talent show he helped organize last year (and is reprising this spring), and the upcoming Edge of Eden Music Festival that SUA is cosponsoring with the Dean of Students Office. Alumni spoke at each event, too, including Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore, community organizer Rebecca Rangel in Fresno (who coincidentally is running for city council), and Beverly Yanuaria in Long Beach, an academic adviser to high-achieving students at UCLA. Many other alumni attended the events, interacting with guests and sharing their stories. I wish I could thank each of them personally.

Each get-together was great—all told, more than 1,000 people turned out. I definitely noticed a couple of recurring themes during the question-and-answer sections. Everyone is focused on opportunities—to do research, work with faculty, get hands-on learning, etc.—and, as always, we fielded lots of questions about our colleges. Admissions Director Michael McCawley has the best answer for that one (based on a few years of experience). He reassures students that whichever college they pick, within a few weeks of arriving, they will be absolutely convinced their college is the best one there is!

If last week's preview is any indication, the Class of 2018 is going to be an outstanding group of new Banana Slugs.


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