Black alumni news from UCSC
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Resource Center Director Welcome

Resource Center Riana Howard

Hello! My name is Riana Howard, she/her pronouns, and I am honored to serve as the new interim director for the African American Resource & Cultural Center (AARCC).


I am originally from San Diego, CA, and also spent my summers in Oakland, CA, growing up. I was a first generation transfer student, and I received my BA in human communications and my master’s degree in social work (MSW).  


I am so excited to work with and collaborate with students and alumni. I have worked at UCSC for a little more than four years, and I am excited to transition into this new role for this academic year. Although we are virtual, I look forward to engaging through virtual programming and events.


My work is rooted in educational equity practices and assisting in breaking down systematic barriers in the educational system. As the current interim director, I want all individuals who identify with the African diaspora to feel welcomed and supported by the AARCC. Fostering Black alumni connections to current students is a key part of how I plan to achieve that goal. Students want to connect with alumni who hold similar identities, and we’re always looking for opportunities to plug alumni volunteers into our programming. Keep an eye on this newsletter for opportunities to get involved.


AARCC is active on social media. If you haven’t already, please add us on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook, to be up to date on all of our events, announcements, and communications. I’d also like to invite you to share your successes and advice for current Black students in our Call and Response newsletter via the link below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Share some advice for students!

Special Announcements

genius grant winner Forrest Stuart

MacArthur “genius” grant winner reflects on early influences at UC Santa Cruz


Forrest Stuart (Oakes '04, politics) is the recipient of a $625,000 funding award from the MacArthur Foundation, placing him among a select group of the nation's top change-makers and creative thinkers. The MacArthur win will be crucial to supporting the next steps in Stuart's work, which focuses on the societal underpinnings of poverty and criminalization across disciplines and has been influenced both by his childhood and the formative experiences of his undergraduate education at University of California, Santa Cruz

Profiles in Excellence

Reed Asselbaye, student spotlight

Reed Asselbaye receives Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship


Reed Asselbaye is a politics and legal studies major from the class of 2021. He aims to use the scholarship money towards his senior thesis in legal studies. He was nominated by the UCSC Politics Department for his "maturity, poise, and thoughtfulness beyond his years, and outstanding leadership potential."

Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris

Alumna Maya Rudolph wins two Emmy Awards


From Banana Slug to the big screen, comedian Maya Rudolph (Porter '95, photography) recently swept two categories at the 2020 Creative Arts Emmy Awards. She is also the first woman to be nominated twice in the same category for her guest performances in NBC comedies.

Gina Dent, UCSC professor

Challenging how we see the prison-industrial complex


Barring Freedom and Visualizing Abolition, organized by the UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, combines art and activism to address prison and policing issues. "It has always been our view that we could imagine a future without prisons," asserts Gina Dent, associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Get Involved!

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Looking for a meaningful way to give back to the UCSC student community? Please consider joining the UCSC Alumni Council in reviewing Alumni Association Scholarship applications. It's an inspiring and gratifying experience to learn about freshman and transfer students in good academic standing who need financial support. Virtual alumni reviewers will be assigned 10 applications to review
and rank. Completion time for these reviews varies from reader to reader, but most alumni find that this volunteer opportunity takes approximately 2–3 hours.
I want to help!

Special Event Series

Angela Davis, former UCSC professor

Barring Freedom: Events and Performances


October 20, 2020: Visualizing Abolition Angela Davis and Gina Dent

View recording


October 27, 2020: Images, Memory, and Justice

Bryan Stevenson and Gina Dent

View recording

November 17, 2020: Visuality and Carceral Formations

Nicole Fleetwood, Herman Gray, and Nicholas Mirzoeff


December 1, 2020: Abolition Then and Now

Isaac Julien and Robin D.G. Kelly

Career and Network Support

First Gen Career event

First Generation Professional Development

November 5, 12–1 p.m. PT

Learn from fellow UC graduates who were first in their families to graduate from college as they share their stories, tips, and advice for navigating the professional workplace. Brought to you by the UC Alumni Career Network.

HireUC Alumni fair

Virtual Alumni Career Fair


November 17 & November 19
10 a.m.–4 p.m. PT

Meet with employers across California from the comfort of your own home! Engage in 1:1 and group sessions available in the Virtual Career setting.

Work at UC Santa Cruz!

UCSC flags

UC Santa Cruz wants to see an increase in Black representation at all levels of the university. Please consider applying, and pass along these job announcements to other Black folks in your networks. You'll find a comprehensive list of all open positions here.

Proposal Analyst | Office of Special Projects (OSP)
Application review begins on 11/02/2020


Academic HR Analyst | Academic Personnel and Payroll

Application review begins 11/04/2020

Service Operations Specialist - Payroll | Staff Human Resources (SHR)
Application review begins on 11/05/2020

This newsletter was produced by the Alumni Engagement office at UC Santa Cruz. If you have suggestions for content you'd like to see featured, please contact Rhonda Kinard at



UC Santa Cruz
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064


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