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Triton Leaders Conference 2022 Breakout Sessions

Breakout I

The Keys to Allyship: Understanding What an Ally is and the Role Allies Play in a Diverse Society

  • Mica Pollock, Professor of Education Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment & Teaching Excellence (CREATE), UC San Diego

Join us as we kick off the Triton Leaders Conference with a session on the fundamentals of allyship and its significance in the pursuit for social justice. Dr. Mica Pollock, Professor of Education Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment & Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UC San Diego, will highlight how allyship plays a critical role in her anti-racism and equality work in education. Specifically, Pollock will share her effort, #USvsHate, an educator-and youth-led anti-hate messaging project, as an active example of how allyship works in practice and the national impact it can have.


UC San Diego and the San Diego Unified School District: Working Hand in Hand for Equity in Healthcare and Education

  • Patty Maysent, Chief Executive Officer, UC San Diego Health

The importance of having access to critical public health infrastructure has become even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true for the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), which serves many underrepresented populations in our area. Take part in this exciting discussion to learn how students, doctors and clinicians at UC San Diego have joined forces with SDUSD to provide every student and staff member with readily available access to the COVID-19 vaccine and testing, ensuring a safe and healthy school environment for the best possible educational experience.


The Allyship Challenge: The New White Man

  • Alfred Zollar, Advisor, SIRIS Capital Partners and SolarWinds

During his 40-year career as a technology executive and investor working in C-suites and board rooms, UC San Diego Trustee Alfred Zollar has seen firsthand the leadership imbalance that affords privilege and power to white men. In his words, the fundamental challenge of diversity, equity and inclusion is to move us toward a more balanced representation in positions of power and influence in government, business and institutions. But, how do we advance productive ways to challenge white male leaders to join in this journey and make transformational shifts?

At this session, Zollar will lead an open conversation about what makes a “New White Man” versus an “Old White Man.” The discussion will ask how we can challenge ourselves and the white men in our networks to embrace a point of view and plan of action that lead to “allies in deeds and resources, not just words.”
All are welcome to participate. In preparation for this session, please read Alfred Zollar’s article, The Allyship Challenge: The New White Man and reference the Guide to Allyship.

Breakout II

Our Perspectives on Allyship

2020-21 Leaders for Equity Advancement and Diversity (LEAD) Fellows:

  • Adam Burgasser, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, UC San Diego
  • Caelie Ericksen-Stark, Senior Organizational Consultant, Advancement, Staff Education, UC San Diego
  • Declan Fleming, Enterprise Architect, Information Technology Services, UC San Diego
  • Ayelet Ruppin-Pham, RN, MN PHNA-BC, Patient Education Specialist, UC San Diego Health

Allyship is a journey of personal learning and growth and also a powerful driver of broader change. Allyship empowers us to challenge ourselves to learn about and support one another, and enact meaningful change to create living and working environments where everyone can thrive. Through this interactive session, participants will share perspectives on what allyship means to them and discuss how best to serve as allies in our personal and professional lives.


Advancing Allyship in the Workplace

  • Tanya Menendez ’09, Co-Founder and CEO, Snowball Wealth & Maker’s Row
  • Mickie Rosen '89, Board Director & Advisor in Media, Tech & E-commerce
  • Ben Teicher ’86, President, Healthy Directions

Whether you are a student starting your career, a manager leading a small team, or a seasoned professional spearheading a company-wide effort, everyone has the capacity to advance allyship in the workplace. Join us for an interactive conversation with Triton alumni whose allyship experience spans across multiple generations and industry including finance, media, tech and entrepreneurship. Panelists will share their personal journey with allyship at companies such as Hulu, Google, Disney and Nestlé, providing insights and examples of ways YOU can begin to practice allyship in the workplace.

Breakout III

History of Student Voices: Community, Solidarity and Activism at UC San Diego

  • Porsia Curry ’08 (she/her/hers), Director of the Black Resource Center, UC San Diego

Formed in 1975, the Student Affirmative Action Committee (SAAC) is a UC San Diego student coalition committed to upholding the principles of educational equity and opposing institutional oppression. SAAC is dedicated to fighting ignorance, addressing the issues confronting historically underrepresented and/or underserved students and promoting cross-cultural awareness and communication by strengthening the bonds between students and organizations. Join alumni and current undergraduate and graduate student leaders for an impactful discussion on the past, present and future of student activism at UC San Diego and how allyship and solidarity has influenced positive change.


Paving Your UC San Diego Allyship Journey: Supporting Students’ Basic Needs

Since its launch in 2015, the UC Global Food Initiative at UC San Diego has taken strategic action to ensure that students have access to a variety of resources to meet their basic needs. The Hub Basic Needs Center is a compassionate ally for the campus community, addressing the gaps and concerns students have with accessing nutritious food, stable housing and financial wellness resources. The Hub is committed to equitably minimizing basic needs challenges for all students. As a session participant, you’ll learn more about current students’ basic needs, The Hub’s resources and how you can provide support as an ally.

Breakout IV

Allyship in STEM

  • Allison Coil, Professor of Physics, Ingrid and Joseph W. Hibben Chair, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion & Faculty Equity Advisor, Division of Physical Sciences, UC San Diego
  • Franklin Garrett, Director of the Student Success Center, Division of Physical Sciences, UC San Diego
  • Zabrina Johal, Director of Strategic Development at General Atomics

An ally is any person that actively promotes and aspires to advance the culture of inclusion through intentional, positive and conscious efforts that benefit people as a whole. As it applies to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), studies find that many children face systemic barriers that prevent them from moving forward in the sciences. Join thought leaders from academia and industry as they discuss this topic and share how they have broken barriers in their fields. Learn how they’ve helped to pave the future in STEM, opening doors for women and underrepresented individuals, and how the Division of Physical Sciences has tackled the challenge through allyship — both then and now.


Paving Your UC San Diego Allyship Journey: Practicing Actionable Allyship as a Triton Volunteer

  • Ren Cabales (moderator), Assistant Director of Volunteer Management, UC San Diego
  • Jennifer Brice, Advocacy and Communications Manager, UC Office of the President
  • Megan Chubb, current UC San Diego Student
  • Genavieve Koenigshofer, current UC San Diego Student

The UC Advocacy Network (UCAN) is a community of committed volunteers who lend their voices to shape state and federal policies promoting the UC mission. Take part in this exciting discussion to learn how UC San Diego students have joined forces with the University of California to advocate for education, research, health care and public service. The conversation will feature two stellar UC San Diego students: Genavieve Koenigshofer and Megan Chubb, who will share their insights and experiences as student ambassadors.

Jennifer Brice, Advocacy and Communications Manager at the UC Office of the President, will lead an informative presentation on UCAN and the ways in which YOU can help impact the future of UC. Whether you’re new to advocacy or a seasoned organizer, UCAN is the place for you.

Breakout V

Paving Your UC San Diego Allyship Journey: Cultivating Inclusivity Within the Global Triton Community

UC San Diego students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends make up a rich Triton community — diverse in demography, experience and thought. To serve as true allie, Tritons must learn from one another by observing and hearing about lived experiences, before stepping up as advocates for one another. Throughout this session, you’ll hear stories and experiences from members of our vast global community. Learn how you can help to cultivate a culture that inspires, celebrates, and grows from diversity and inclusion.


Paving Your UC San Diego Allyship Journey: Connecting with Fellow Alumni and Strengthening the Triton Network

Driving broader change as an ally requires us to leverage our personal and professional networks, including harnessing the power of the Triton family. This interactive panel will allow participants to hear from a variety of perspectives on how to successfully leverage the UC San Diego network to connect with fellow Tritons. Learn how to build a broad base of fellow allies in support of one another.

Crowd looking at the speaker

Meet the Speakers

Be inspired by dynamic speakers, advocates and leaders, as they open up new avenues of understanding through allyship.

See Speakers