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Message from the


As one of the nation’s premier public engineering schools, the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of our engineering student body, and encouraging the academic success of all of our students.

In 2015, we launched our Student Success Initiative, a strategic plan to recruit, nurture, and increase graduation rates amongst our entire diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students. This plan serves as the blueprint for the programs offered in our school-wide IDEA Engineering Student Center and as an organizing principle for the student services offered in each of our six academic departments. We are boldly taking on some of the most difficult challenges in engineering student retention, with the understanding that students require more than just excellent teaching in the classroom in order to thrive. We are offering summer programs so that disadvantaged students can become acclimated to the college environment and hit the ground running with close friendships already formed. Through our Engineering Learning Communities, we are providing facilitated study groups targeted to helping students succeed in the most challenging pre-requisite courses. Our students are reinforcing themselves and each other through our robust peer mentoring programs. At the same time, we have revamped our curricula to emphasize hands-on engineering project courses beginning in the freshman year, and throughout the years of study. And we are offering mission-driven education such as our project-based ENG 10 (Fundamentals of Engineering Applications) course. Our goal is to enable students to see themselves as engineers from day one, so that they are better prepared to tackle the challenging engineering curricula. The evidence that we are doing the right thing can be seen in our retention data. Today, 80% of the students who start as freshman remain in the engineering major by the end of their sophomore year. We are also very proud that we now rank 2nd in the nation for the number of engineering baccalaureate degrees awarded to women, according to the American Society for Engineering Education. This annual report for the IDEA Engineering Student Center highlights just some of the exciting progress we are making. However, there is still much work to be done. I invite you to partner with us in our mission to prepare diverse, well-educated and ethical engineers who will serve as tomorrow’s technology leaders.

Albert P. Pisano Professor and Dean Jacobs School of Engineeing

Table of Contents Message from the Dean ABOUT US Mission, Vision, & Goals IDEA at a Glance Engineering Student Overview Meet the Staff Director’s Note

1 2 3 4 5 6

SUMMER PROGRAMS Summer Engineering Institute Transfer Prep

7 9 11

SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS IDEA Scholars Program Jacobs Scholars Program ACES Scholars Program

13 15 12 17

MENTORSHIP Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship Program Jacobs Undergraduate Mentorship Program

19 21 22

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT ENG 10 Engineering Graduate and Scholarly Talks SWEET Workshops Engineering Learning Communities

23 25 27 28 29

DIVERSITY RECRUITMENT Freshmen Breakfast with the Dean Transfer Breakfast with the Dean Engineering Overnight Program

31 33 34 35

STUDENT LIFE Welcome Week Ring Ceremony 2018 Matching Funds Student Travel Fund Diversity Organizations Triton Engineering Student Council

37 39 41 43 44 45 47



Triton Day 2018


About Us

Annual Report


IDEA at a glance Inclusion |Diversity|Excellence| Achievement



To foster an inclusive and welcoming community, increase retention and graduation rates, and promote sustainable culture of academic excellence among all engineering students at UC San Diego.


Increase retention and graduation rates among our diverse engineering student population Provide student-centered services that promote academic success Foster a supportive and inclusive environment for all engineering students Develop engineering leaders who are civic-minded



To provide engineering students with academic support and social engagement that enhances values of diversity for a global community.

Engineering Student Overview


in California for bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering and computer science *


in the nation for bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science awarded to women *


in the nation for bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering and computer science * *ASEE 2017 data, published June 2018

Engineering Students (2017)** 8,525 Total 5,853 Undergraduate 1,636 Masters 1,136


Degrees Awarded (2017-2018) 2,749 Total Undergraduate 1,657

Masters 919 PhD

173 ** UCSD Final Registration Reports (Official Third-Week Statistics)

Annual Report


Meet the Staff


Olivia Graeve, PhD

Gennie Miranda

Faculty Director

Director of Operations

Lisa Trahan

Ryan Fane

Ruben D. Rodriguez

Director of Strategic Initiatives and Assessment

Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator

Jessica Baldis

Sinai Cota

Marina Banach

Academic Success Coordinator

Sloan Scholars Program Assistant

IDEA Student Center Coordinator


Director’s Note


2017-2018, the IDEA Engineering Student Center experienced tremendous growth in all the programs that we offer to students. We continued to increase the number of first-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students in engineering through our yield programs. They include the Engineering Overnight Program, where 64% of the 80 admitted high school students who participated will be joining UC San Diego in Fall 2018. In addition, 64% of the 191 students who attended Breakfast with the Dean during Triton Day, and 75% of the admitted students who attended a similar event during Transfer Triton Day will also join UC San Diego in Fall 2018. We continued to support more transfer students by preparing 1 in 6 incoming students academically for the rigor of engineering studies through Transfer Prep. Fifty-one percent of transfer students who participated in our summer program are first-generation. In addition, 104 students participated in the year-long Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship program. In our final year of implementing the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Student Success Initiative, we continued to strengthen key elements of our 3-year strategic plan. Continuing data driven improvements allowed us to further expand our course offering, provide support to additional students, formalize our Peer Educator training program, and enhance the learning experience for engineering students participating in Engineering Learning Communities. Participation in the Summer Engineering Institute, a program specifically structured to ease the academic and social adjustment to college life for incoming freshmen through academic coursework, peer and faculty mentoring, tutoring, academic and technical workshops, and the creation of a community of scholars, grew by 49%. We also piloted a new program designed to enhance engineering student success. The Academic Achievement Program is intended to provide engineering students with realistic, timely feedback about how they are performing and what programs/resources are available to ensure their academic success. This program was created on the premise that proactive and positive communication provides students with the time, opportunity, and the care to improve their grades. As we celebrated our 4th Annual IDEA Scholars Graduation Reception in Spring 2018, the retention rate among this group of students, who are predominantly first-generation and/or from underrepresented minority groups, remains strong! By Fall Quarter of their fourth year, 80% of our IDEA Scholars who started in 2014 were still enrolled in Jacobs School, compared to 65% of non-IDEA Scholar freshmen from underrepresented minority and first-generation student groups who started in the same year. As you read through our 2017-2018 Annual Report, we encourage you to connect and partner with us in supporting the success of all engineering students at UC San Diego! Gennie B. Miranda Director of Operations

Annual Report


Summer Engineering Institute 2018


Summer Programs Annual Report


Summer Engineering Institute In 2017, the IDEA Center offered its second year of its Summer Engineering Institute, a 5-week residential program for incoming freshmen. While the target audience for SEI was first-generation college, low-income, and underrepresented minority students, all incoming engineering students were invited to participate.

Program Components and Activities Academic • Enrolled in ENG10: Fundamentals of Engineering Applications (2 credits) where they developed and applied mathematical skills while working in teams to solve practical engineering problems • Enrolled in one 4-credit course from their Engineering major • Encouraged to attend departmental tutoring hours • Opportunity to attend informal study groups held in their residence hall

Academic Enrichment

• Attended daily academic, professional, and skill building workshops. • Workshops included Python Programming and Study Habits

Social & Community Building

• Provided a strong and supportive social environment with Peer Facilitators organizing social activities on weeknights and weekends • Formed a supportive peer network and developed lasting friendships

Survey Findings The majority of the 94 SEI participants completed the Summer Engineering Institute Survey. These are the five elements that promoted engineering student success during SEI: • Fostered a collaborative learning environment • Increased knowledge and confidence in soft skills • Increased critical thinking and problem solving skills • Strengthened a commitment and passion for engineering and learning engineering • Strengthened and reinforced academic and social community

Increased Participation

MAE 36

ECE 19


Underrepresented minority students



94 Students

Increase from previous year



SE 17



First-generation students

NANO 8 2017-2018


“The Summer courses for the SEI is (sic) wonderful for both the instructor and the students. Instructors get to teach a small and enthusiastic group of students who are excited about starting their studies at the university and want to excel in their classes from the start” - Richard Herz, SEI Professor

“It was awesome that we met engineering professionals who worked in various facets of professional fields and spoke about their journey on how they got to a certain point … it opened up my eyes on the possibilities and I realized that this is what I really want to do, no matter how hard it is or how hard it becomes. Now, I’m starting to think about how to combine certain topics in engineering and how I can perhaps do research or do a really cool design project.” - SEI Participant

Annual Report

“I soon realized that learning engineering is like learning how to learn. One must know how things work and how to apply it. I saw myself applying skills that I learned during the first week of the Institute all the way up to the end of the program.” - Electrical Engineering SEI Participant


Transfer Prep We hosted our biggest Transfer Prep to date in 2017, with 71 incoming transfer students participating in this 3-day program. This was 2.5x more participants than the previous year, consisting of 27% female and 51% first-generation college students. The majority of the attendees indicated in a post-survey that Transfer Prep formulated a sense of community and support, created awareness of resources and programs, aided in their transition to UC San Diego, and promoted awareness of campus resource centers.

Survey Results - Agreement with Statements Legend Strongly Agree




Strongly Disagree

“Formulated a sense of community and support” 64%


“Prepared me for the academic rigor of engineering” 34%


“Provided me with tools to aid transition to UC San Diego” 28%

64% “Increased my awareness of campus resources and programs” 82%


“Connected me to industry/alumni and began to build my professional network” 40% 32%

Survey Results - Overall Transfer Prep Program Excellent

32 (64%)

Above Average Average

18 (36%) 1 (2%)

Below Average 0 (0%) Very Poor 0 (0%) 11


I really loved the part which the program not only emphasizes academic importance, but also provides many opportunities to meet and get to know fellow transferring engineering students, transfer student (sic), and faculty members. Also, I am thankful because it helps me to be in the community of UCSD students and helps to feel sense of belonging.

This was a great program. I feel much more prepared for the fall than I did before and I had tons of fun. Very well done. Would recommend this program to all incoming engineering transfers in the future.

Annual Report

The leaders were exceptionally helpful and positive. I greatly enjoyed talking with them. Whether it was during lunch or walking to the next resource center, I had great conversations with them. We bombarded them with questions and they were informative and encouraging, and remained upbeat the whole time.


ACES Scholars 2017


Specialized Programs

Annual Report


IDEA Scholars Program

Created in 2011 to foster community building and academic excellence among our top incoming freshman engineering students from diverse backgrounds, Jacobs School’s IDEA Scholars Program remains the signature retention program of the IDEA Engineering Student Center. 56 freshmen joined the IDEA Scholars program in 2017, and among this cohort of IDEA Scholars, we have a retention rate of 93% at the end of their first year at UC San Diego. At the beginning of 2017, there was a total of 209 engineering students in the IDEA Scholars program.

On June 2nd, 2018, we celebrated 32 graduating IDEA Scholars at our 4th Annual IDEA Scholars Graduation Reception. The retention rate among our IDEA Scholars remains strong! By Fall Quarter of their Fourth Year, 80% of IDEA Scholars who started in 2014 are still enrolled in the Jacobs School, compared to 65% of non IDEA Scholar freshmen from URM and first generation student groups who started in the same year.

Two important components of the IDEA Scholars program geared towards helping freshmen successfully transition through their first year in college include the Big-Little program and the weekly community discussion. In Fall 2017, 49 continuing IDEA Scholars signed up to be a Big for incoming students, serving as their mentor, their guide, and their friend during their first year in college and beyond! During Fall quarter of their freshman year, IDEA Scholars also participate in a weekly community discussion, where they collectively learn how to be an effective and successful engineering student, and continue to help and support each other by sharing their experiences with each other. Another important component of this program is that IDEA Scholars meet with the IDEA Center’s Director of Operations quarterly for a one-on-one, which is where they discuss their goals for that quarter and the steps they plan to take to achieve these goals.

The IDEA Center played a huge role in my college experience. They helped me make my first friends through the Summer PrEP. So by the time I actually started classes, I felt more comfortable with my new environment. Like many IDEA Scholars, I was the first in my family to go to college, let alone to study engineering. I was extremely unprepared going into college and had very little information on what studying engineering would actually be like. Later on, when times got tough, Gennie was always there to help me and talk me through the problems I was going through. She provided so much support for me and believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. I will be forever grateful to her because she played such a huge role in my journey to getting an engineering degree. - IDEA Scholar, Class of 2018



Jacobs Scholars Program

The Jacobs School Scholars program was established almost twenty years ago by Dr. Irwin and Joan Jacobs in order to recruit the most promising applicants to the Jacobs School of Engineering. Each Jacobs Scholar receives a 4-year full scholarship to complete a bachelor’s degree in one of the six Jacobs School engineering departments, which covers room and board, tuition, and living expenses. The program also provides a number of academic and institutional benefits including graduate-level borrowing privileges at UCSD libraries, the ability to change majors within the Jacobs School, enrollment in research programs, and faculty mentorship during their third and fourth years. The scholarship is awarded to approximately 10 first-year students each year, creating a community of roughly 40 Jacobs Scholars in total. Each Jacobs Scholar is a member of the Jacobs School Scholars Society. The Society connects incoming Scholars with continuing Jacobs Scholars who serve as their peer mentors throughout their undergraduate career. The Society also coordinates a number of academic enrichment and professional development events throughout the academic year, including a quarterly lunch with engineering faculty, resume reviews, and social events.

Throughout its existence, the Jacobs Scholars program has served as the premier recruitment program for the Jacobs School’s most high-achieving applicants. It continued to attract a similarly talented group of students during the 2018 recruitment cycle. Eleven Jacobs Scholars accepted their scholarship offers in 2017. The incoming class had an average GPA of 4.36 and an average SAT score of 2320. The performance of our Jacobs Scholars after graduation continues to be inspiring. Nine Jacobs Scholars completed their engineering degrees and graduated during 2018. Many of these students have been accepted into some of the most competitive PhD and MD programs in the country, and others have taken engineering positions with firms like Google and Facebook. All nine of the graduating Jacobs Scholars join a community of over 150 alumni who continue to do amazing things in industry, academia, and medicine.

The Society also attends the annual Jacobs Scholars Cultural Event hosted by Dr. Irwin and Joan Jacobs. This year’s event featured a performance by the Mark Morris Dance Company and a Dinner hosted by Joan Jacobs at the James Place restaurant.

Annual Report


ACES Scholars Program

The NSF-funded Redshirt in Engineering Consortium was formed in 2016 with the goal of enhancing the ability of academically talented students from low-income backgrounds to successfully graduate with engineering degrees. The Consortium takes its name from the practice of redshirting in college athletics, with the idea of providing an extra year and support to help promising engineering students complete a bachelor’s degree. As part of this Consortium, the IDEA Engineering Student Center launched its Redshirt program, the Academic Community for Engineering Success (ACES), in 2017. The ACES Scholars program is aimed at fostering academic excellence in highly motivated engineering students from economically and educationally under-served backgrounds. To support these students, key components of the ACES program include: •Summer Engineering Institute - All ACES Scholars received scholarships to participate in UC San Diego’s 5-week, residential Summer Engineering Institute. •Faculty Mentoring - Each ACES Scholar is matched with a faculty mentor based on major and gender when possible, and they meet with their faculty mentor at least once per quarter. •Peer Mentoring - Engineering students were recruited to serve as peer mentors and were matched with ACES Scholars and served to guide the ACES students in their transition to Jacobs School of Engineering and the UC San Diego campus. •Fall Quarter Weekly Discussions - During Fall quarter, ACES Scholars met in a small discussion group (9 -10 students) once a week. Topics included time management, study skills, test anxiety, attributes of successful students, etc. •Intrusive Advising - ACES students received advising from their Faculty Mentors as well as the ACES Program Administrator. •Social / Community Building Activities - An ACES social activity was held each quarter to support community-building between the ACES Scholars.

The retention rate among our ACES Scholars is strong with 95 percent of the 22 ACES Scholars still enrolled in the Jacobs School after their first year. 17


Survey Results A survey was sent to all first-year engineering students at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

ACES Scholars reported having stronger connections with other engineering students

“I have a strong attachment to other engineering or computer science students”


ACES Students “Strongly Agreed”


Non-ACES Students “Strongly Agreed“

“How close do you feel to other students in the College of Engineering?”


ACES Students “Very Close”


Non-ACES Students “Very Close“

ACES Scholars also reported feeling more familiar with campus resources such as Academic Advising Centers, UCSD Community Centers, Career Center, etc. than non-ACES students. “How familiar are you with the College Academic Advising Centers?”


ACES Students “Pretty Familiar” Non-ACES Students “Pretty Familiar“


ACES Scholars also had a clear understanding of the importance of collaborative study.

“How important do you think group study is?”


ACES Students “Very Important” Non-ACES Students “Very Important“

(43%) “How comfortable are you with creating study groups with classmates?”


ACES Students “Very Comfortable”


Annual Report

Non-ACES Students “Very Comfortable“


Jacobs Undergraduate Mentoring Program 2017



Annual Report


Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship Program

In Fall 2017, transfer students represent 20% of the undergraduate student population within the Jacobs School of Engineering. As a group, transfer students typically encounter a different set of barriers during their transition to a four-year university than students transitioning directly from high school do. As a result, the IDEA Engineering Student Center has created programs designed to address these unique challenges and provide targeted support for transfer students during their time with the Jacobs School. The Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship Program (TEAM) connects first-year transfer students with second or third-year transfer students in engineering to serve as their mentors. Mentors provide guidance, advice, and support to their mentees as they navigate their first year in the Jacobs School of Engineering. Mentors in TEAM have an important perspective to share with their mentees because they recently made the same transition from community college to the Jacobs School. By choosing mentors for the program in this way, TEAM connects program participants with role models and peers who shared experiences. I had other peers look over my quarter schedules and give me some great firsthand advice. It wasn’t just a recital or some general answer like the counselors tell everyone. My mentor was like ‘this quarter looks like it’s going to be crazy, I would switch this around... this class is tough,’ stuff like that... so that was super cool.


TEAM providing resources and information was very helpful. Being part of TEAM helped UCSD seem less intimidating and more personal.

Throughout the academic year, mentors and mentees meet individually at least once per quarter. They also attend at least two group meetings hosted by the program. During these meetings, mentees and their mentors have the opportunity to reconnect and participate in a professional development or academic enrichment workshop. Workshops this year included a panel on undergraduate research opportunities for transfer students, resume reviews, and a dinner with engineering faculty. The 2017-2018 academic year was one of great growth for the TEAM program. Participation in the program by first-year engineering transfer students more than doubled when compared to the previous year. Thirty-three continuing transfer students served as mentors to 71 incoming transfer students.


Jacobs Undergraduate Mentorship Program The Jacobs Undergraduate Mentorship Program (JUMP) connects undergraduate engineering students with graduate student mentors who provide support, guidance, and advice to their undergraduate mentees throughout the academic year. The program matches approximately four undergraduates to each graduate student to form a mentoring group. Mentors meet with each student in their mentoring group at least once per quarter, and upperclassmen in each mentoring group also check in with the first and second-year students in their group. JUMP is structured to provide mentorship and positive role models from engineering students and professionals who are at different stages in their careers – undergraduates, graduate students, and working engineering professionals. The program works to ease first- and second-year students’ transitions to the Jacobs School and to provide resources to undergraduates that are considering graduate school, all while fostering a sense of community within the Jacobs School. Yes, JUMP helped me integrate myself into a portion of the engineering community at UCSD and provided me with feasible resources I would not have otherwise. Most importantly, JUMP has provided me an additional support group.

...Not only did it help by bringing academic and professional awareness to the table but also it introduced me to my engineering community. Throughout each quarter of the academic year, JUMP also hosts events that provide mentoring groups the opportunity to meet with each other and network with other mentoring groups. Most programs feature a presentation on a subject related to graduate school, research, or professional development. JUMP also hosts an alumni night each quarter, which allows program participants to connect with professionals working in the San Diego area. In 2017-2018, JUMP grew rapidly. The program received over 500 mentee applications and 119 mentor applications, which represented a 100% increase in participation from both mentors and mentees. In order to accommodate this growth in the program, JUMP hosted two additional meetings per quarter, bringing the total to five. The program also created three positions for undergraduate students to serve as program coordinators, joining two graduate students that also helped coordinate the program.

Annual Report


ENG 10 Project 2017


Academic Enrichment

Annual Report


ENG 10 : Fundamentals of Engineering Applications

In support of Dean Albert P. Pisano’s Experience Engineering Initiative, aimed at giving each Jacobs School undergraduate student a hands-on or experiential engineering course or lab each and every year, starting freshman year, the IDEA Center continued to offer ENG 10 - Fundamentals of Engineering Applications to all engineering freshmen every quarter during the 2017-2018 academic year. In-class activities using Python and Arduino complement the lectures and provide students hands-on experience with solving real-world engineering problems related to design, manufacturing and prototyping, electronics, and data analysis. In addition, students receive full training in all of the engineering/technical equipment at the Envision Maker Space studio. In the second year that we offered this application-oriented, hands-on introduction to engineering mathematics and design processes, 130 students completed this 2-unit course, with 82% of the students in either freshman or sophomore standing.

Benefits for Students: • Develop an understanding of five fundamental mathematical concepts in an engineering context with state-of-the-art applications (e.g, Edge detection of images, face recognition on Facebook, speech recognition of Alexa, How to control movements of robots, etc). • Develop an understanding for core engineering concepts by formulating, analyzing, and solving math-based engineering problems. • Gain exposure to Python code design and implementation basics through hands-on experience in labs and design challenges. • Create a deeper interest in engineering and an appreciation for math through demonstrations. • Communicate effectively among engineers and the UC San Diego community • Work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multidisciplinary settings together with the capacity to undertake lifelong learning.



Students Enrolled by Department NANO, 12

BENG, 18

SE, 14 CS, 13 NON-ENG, 12

ECE, 7

MAE, 55

Students Enrolled by Class Level SR, 14

FR, 45

JR, 15

SO, 62 In response to feedback from students and instructors’ observations in Fall 2017, the following changes were made to the ENG 10 curriculum: • The lecture content was updated to address the huge diversity in grade level of the students who enroll in this class, as well as the different engineering majors that they’re in • Switched the 3D modeling tool being used to Autodesk Fusion 360 to satisfy advanced students who already know SolidWorks • More complex and interesting codes were added that also allowed the advanced students to learn how each mathematical concept works

Feedback from students who completed ENG 10 indicate that 81% would recommend this course, and 86% would recommend the course instructors.

Annual Report


Engineering Graduate and Scholarly Talks

This past year, our Graduate and Scholarly Talks Faculty Lead, Dr. Darren Lipomi, and former IDEA Center Director of Assessment, Michelle Ferrez, collaborated with many outstanding speakers to offer eighteen professional development workshops to our graduate engineering students. Topics included: • Getting a Job in Academia • Using Technical Training in the Business World • The Path from PhD Scientist to Scientific Writer • Achieving Academic and Professional Competencies • Unconventional Careers for PhD Engineers • Efficient Practices in Time Management On average, each Grad Talk was attended by 87 students and postdocs. Seventy-two graduate student attendees who responded to a survey at the end of the year indicated that they found the following workshops most useful for their day-to-day responsibilities: how to write better emails, how to give good presentations, and editing your resume/cover letter. One PhD student said that after attending Grad Talks, they were able to “write papers that attracted attention and funding towards their lab”. 83% of the students surveyed would recommend Grad Talks to a colleague or peer. Many thanks to the Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Structural Engineering Departments for their partnership in funding lunch provided at the end of each of the Grad Talks, to facilitate discussions and networking among graduate students and postdocs in the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Student Attendance



1x per quarter



2-3x per quarter 47%


4-6x per quarter 20%

SWEET Workshops

The SWEET Workshops are a series of professional, technical, and academic workshops that are open to all undergraduate engineering students. Each workshop is designed to provide engineering undergraduates the skills and abilities that they need to succeed as professional engineers. During the 2017-2018 academic year, SWEET Workshops expanded to include two separate “tracks,” with one focusing on technical topics and the other focusing on academic and professional development. As a result, the workshop series expanded from holding approximately 8 workshops per quarter to holding 11 per quarter. Expanding the workshop series in this way has allowed the program to offer workshops at a wider variety of times to better accommodate students’ schedules. It also allowed the series to explore a wider variety of topics, and expand its offering on technical subjects. In recognition of the expanded offerings of academic and professional development sessions, together with technical workshops, this program is going to be renamed “Workshops and Information Sessions for Engineers”.

2017-2018 Topics: Professional and Academic


Student Attendance

Study Habits Studying Abroad Applying to Graduate School Academic Integrity Emotional Intelligence Research Opportunities in Engineering Undergraduate Research Scholarships Leadership and Power Dynamics Negotiating Salaries when Offered Employment

Python Arduino Deep Learning and Data Science CAD and Solidworks Image Processing 3D-Printing

Annual Report


Avg Attendees






Engineering Learning Communities

Engineering Learning Communities (ELCs) are collaborative study groups for engineering students that are facilitated by Peer Educators. During the 2017-18 year, ELCs were offered for many of the “gateway� courses required of most engineering students, including the Math 20A - E, Math 18; Chemistry 6A, 6B, and 6C; Physics 2A, 2B, and 2C. ELCs meet every week for two hours and participants practice problems, prepare for exams, master fundamentals, strengthen study skills, learn the value of collaborative study, and gain confidence in a supportive group environment.

Data-Driven Scheduling With the goal of better serving an increased number of engineering students, a survey was distributed to all engineering students asking them to rank days of the week and times of the day they would be most likely to attend ELCs. Students had a strong preference for attending ELCs in the afternoons and evenings, Monday through Thursday. This data was used to schedule ELC sections during students preferred times. By offering sections during preferred times, more students attended each section. This allowed fewer sections to be offered while still increasing the overall number of students served. For example, during the Fall Quarter of 2016-17 seventeen ELC sections were offered, serving 134 engineering students. During Fall quarter of 2017-18 thirteen sections were offered serving 141 students. This reflects a 5% increase in student participation with a 24% decrease in number of sections. Serving an increased number of students with a smaller number of sections allows for a more efficient use of funding, and will eventually allow the long-term goal of expanding the ELC course offering.



Enhanced Training and Feedback for Peer Educators: Peer educators are an integral part of the Engineering Learning Communities. These experienced engineering students lead each ELC section and not only bring their academic expertise but actively build community between the ELC participants. One of our primary goals for the ELC program in 2017-18 was to increase the effectiveness of the Peer Educators by providing more rigorous training and feedback for Peer Educators. A quarter-long training program was developed for Peer Educators. As part of this training, newly hired Peer Educators shadowed experienced Peer Educators as they facilitated ELC sections. In addition, student feedback surveys were implemented at the end of each quarter. This feedback was provided to the Peer Educators who then completed a reflection process and implemented changes based on the feedback. Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive.

Quotes about Peer Educators:

“My Peer Educator is great. Even though Physics 2B is just an extremely difficult course with difficult subjects, he is able to break it down and feel less intimidating. Homework/review problems seem more approachable after his sessions.” - Physics 2B ELC participant

“Our Peer Educator’s worksheets are amazing and I liked how he had us solve problems in groups and if we were stuck he would come and help us, and try to lead us in the right direction.” - Chemistry 6B ELC participant

Annual Report


Summer Engineering Institute 2017


Diversity Recruitment

Annual Report


Breakfast with the Dean

High school students face a seemingly never ending barrage of information and marketing as they apply and are admitted to various institutions throughout the United States. Information may come from friends, family, or the institution itself, but in order for students to understand the best fit for them, often times it takes stepping foot on campus. UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering offered Breakfast with the Dean for newly admitted senior high school students during Triton Day. The event is an opportunity for admitted students who are first-generation and/or from underrepresented minority groups to learn more about UC San Diego, and experience the community that awaits them at the Jacobs School of Engineering. This year’s event, held in Atkinson Hall, was near maximum capacity with over 200 admitted students and their families interested in learning more about campus life for engineering students at UCSD. Breakfast with the Dean 2018 offered students an opportunity to hear words of wisdom from Dean Al Pisano, IDEA Center Faculty Director Olivia Graeve, oSTEM President Kayla Ortiz, and five student panelists; Maria Galvez (SWE), Erin Cole (WIC), Tee Srey (oSTEM), Kyle Skelil (NSBE), and Skye Edwards (SHPE). Panelists discussed common challenges first-year students face, such as coursework, time management, the social adjustment of living with stranger(s), and family separation. Equally important, panelist discussed how they mitigated these challenges by using various campus resources and friends, as well as less commonly used tools. Following the student panel, participants were treated to breakfast and the opportunity to network with faculty from the Jacobs School of Engineering, who shared their own insights about UC San Diego. This event continues to increase diversity at the Jacobs School, with 69% of students who attended Breakfast with the Dean starting at UC San Diego in Fall 2018, compared to 23% yield among undergraduate engineering students.



Transfer Breakfast with the Dean

The transition from community college to a four-year institution may seem straightforward for some newly admitted students, but the true transition can be anything but. For transfer students who attended IDEA Engineering Student Center’s Transfer Breakfast with the Dean, they were able to learn about the ups and downs many transfer students have faced during their transition, and more importantly what they could expect from UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. This year’s event was at maximum capacity with over 100 admitted transfer students, who are first-generation and/or from historically underrepresented groups, and their families in attendance. Transfer Breakfast with the Dean 2018 offered students who were interested in learning more about campus life for engineering students at UCSD an opportunity to hear words of wisdom from Dean Al Pisano, IDEA Center Faculty Director Olivia Graeve, and four student panelists; Anne Cardenas (SWE), Tee Srey (oSTEM), Myriam Mohamed (NSBE), and Ryan Arroyo (ResLife). Erin Cole (WIC) briefly shared her own pathway to UCSD, including detours and challenges, before facilitating the student panel, encouraging honest and transparent responses. Panelists discussed common challenges first-year students face, such as coursework, time management, the social adjustment of living with stranger(s), and family separation. Equally important, panelists discussed how they mitigated these challenges by using various campus resources and friends, as well as less commonly used tools. Overall, participants and families learned about the many benefits of attending the Jacobs School of Engineering. Following the student panel, participants were treated to breakfast and the opportunity to network with faculty from the Jacobs Schools of Engineering who shared their own insights about UC San Diego. More specifically, faculty shared their research topics and offered tips to help students adjust from the semester to quarter system with greater ease. Through this annual event, we continue to increase the representation of first-generation students, as well as students from historically underrepresented groups, with a yield of 60% among transfer students who attended Transfer Breakfast with the Dean, compared to 46% across the whole School of Engineering.

Annual Report


Engineering Overnight Program

The Engineering Overnight Program (EOP) is a 3-day 2-night event specifically designed for admitted high-school seniors to learn more about UC San Diego and the Jacobs School of Engineering. By partnering with UC San Diego’s Admission’s Office, SPACES, and the Black Resource Center, the Engineering Overnight Program is able to recruit underrepresented students from socially and economically disadvantaged communities in California. EOP participants are partnered with a current UCSD undergraduate engineering student who serves as their host throughout the program’s duration. Participants experience UCSD first-hand and are offered an array of tours, workshops, lectures, and social activities to help them decide if UC San Diego and the Jacobs School of Engineering are the right academic and social fit. In 2018, 73 females and 53 males participated in EOP. This is a 55% increase from our 2017 cohort. Out of the 126 program participants, 57% will start at UC San Diego in Fall 2018, which is 33% higher than the percentage of admitted undergraduate students who will be joining Jacobs School of Engineering. Eighty-two current undergraduate students volunteered to serve as hosts for EOP, 48 of whom identified as female and 33 who identified as male.






















SWE Banquet 2018


Student Life

Annual Report


Welcome Week Welcome Week provides the IDEA Engineering Student Center with a great opportunity to share with all incoming engineering students the programs and services that we offer, aimed at enhancing their academic success at the Jacobs School of Engineering. In addition to presenting at the engineering department orientation session for the 1,068 new graduate and 1,595 new undergraduate students (an increase of 56% from Fall 2016) who joined the Jacobs School in Fall 2017, we participated in all of the campus-wide resource fairs and community center open houses. Two of the IDEA Center’s signature events held during Welcome Week are the Engineering Community Welcome and Jacobs School Open House. There were 186 students registered to attend the annual Engineering Community Welcome hosted by SHPE, NSBE, SWE, oSTEM, and WIC and sponsored by the IDEA Engineering Student Center. At this event, officers from the five diversity student organizations participated in round table discussions with the attendees, who are predominantly from underrepresented groups, to talk about the different communities that these new students can get involved in at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Fourteen campus partners who work closely with our engineering students tabled at our annual Jacobs School of Engineering Open House. This event, which is primarily catered to new engineering students, provides them with the opportunity to learn about resources and opportunities on campus that are available to them. The start of the new academic year is also when we hold a campaign to increase the total number of “likes” for the IDEA Center facebook page. During the 10 days leading to Welcome Week, there was a 27% increase in our total page likes. Source: UCSD Final Registration Reports (Official Third-Week Statistics)

1,191 New Freshman


Students Freshman Students

1,068 New 1,042


Students Graduate






272 Transfer

20 16

20 17

20 16

20 17

20 16

20 17





The Jacobs School of Engineering held its annual Ring Ceremony on Saturday, June 16th, 2018. The Ring Ceremony marked the culmination of many years of hard work for students whose majors spanned all engineering disciplines. Over 400 students registered to participate in the ceremony and nearly 1,500 of their friends, family, and loved ones attended to show their support. Often misconstrued simply as a graduation ceremony for Engineers, the Jacobs’ School Ring Ceremony connotes a rite of passage for engineering students as they embark on their careers. During the ceremony, students accept a ring engraved with the Jacobs School of Engineering name and recite the “Oath of the Engineer,” an oath taken by students to uphold ethical standards in their profession. The ring, which is worn on the little finger of their dominant hand, therefore physically and metaphorically connects graduates with the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Oath to each project they work on and each document they sign. Nadah Fateih led fellow graduating students in the recitation of the Oath, and served as the keynote student speaker. UC San Diego alum Brandon Nixon (Class of ’87) served as keynote speaker for the Ceremony. Among the many themes, Nixon eloquently conveyed messages of “trusting your judgement,” and “leaving the herd,” words of wisdom he followed that led him to become CEO of Lytx. In addition to the keynote speakers, students and faculty were recognized for their hard work and commitment to excellence.

Congratulations to... Mark Anderson (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) Faculty of the Year Award Leah Guenter IDEA Award for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Connor Smith Student of the Year Award Annual Report


Matching Funds

The Matching Funds program supports engineering student organizations and project teams that compete in engineering competitions. The program offers grants to project teams on a matching basis up to a maximum of $4,000. By offering grants on a matching basis, the program rewards student groups for seeking outside sources of funding from corporate partners, sponsors, and private donors. The program also provides students an opportunity to create budgets for their projects and plan in a long-term way for their projects’ success. In order to receive funding through the program, groups must submit a project proposal that includes their vision and goals for the project, a complete budget, a letter of support from their faculty advisor, and documentation for their fundraising efforts. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the program awarded $37,000 in grants to 11 different project teams. This academic year also saw the expansion of the program to include a second application cycle for the program, bringing the total to two cycles per year. In the past, the program only accepted applications once per year, at the end of the fall quarter. This prevented student groups competing in competitions during the fall from utilizing the program effectively. As a result, the program has made the decision to accept applications at the end of spring quarter as well. We awarded 7 additional grants to engineering student groups, which included awards to support the travel of diversity organization student leaders and members to their national conferences.

Teams Funded: Human Powered Submarine R&D Engineering C-Car Design, Build, Fly Grand PrIEEE Micromouse Triton Racing Concrete Canoe Seismic Design Competition


Steel Bridge Yonder Dynamics Unmanned Aerial Systems Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Women in Computing Society of Women Engineers Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers


Student Travel Fund

The Student Travel Fund is funded with generous donations from the 2017 graduating senior class, in conjunction with the annual Ring Ceremony, to provide opportunity for individual engineering students and student organizations to apply for scholarships to supplement costs of conferences or other similar events.

Hasan al Jamaly oSTEM Conference 2017

Alex Graff Formula SAE Lincoln

“...meeting professionals in the STEM field who also embraced their true identity in the workforce made me realize that both the scientific and queer identities can simultaneously exist at the same time without causing conflict. These experiences do not belittle the professional exposure that I’ve gained by talking to recruiters at the career fairs, especially in understanding their perspective on the makings of a good candidate for a job application”

“FSAE is the best hands on engineering experience any student can get. Attending competition is like seeing an entire new generation of engineers’ work come to fruition. Not only is the journey to get to competition an extremely rewarding engineering experience, but the amount of networking opportunities at competition is like nowhere else”

Daniel Kirby Unite for Sight Global Health & Innovation Conference

Ian Delaney 2018 Society of Experimental Mechanics Annual Conference

“Attending the conference was a valuable experience for me. Personally, travelling across the country and experiencing a small slice of life in a different state was something I hadn’t been able to do before. The conference itself was a great opportunity for me to learn about many different global health issues, and how the needs of the global health community align with the engineering skills that I’m developing as a student here. In addition, there was considerable focus on design thinking, including multiple workshops on it, which supplemented my existing design education”

“it was such an incredible experience to be able to sit at the same table as those of such academic caliber. There were individuals whose names I had referenced or seen in journals in attendance, who were quite famous as far as I’m concerned. Being able to listen to some of the presentations was not only humbling, but also gave purpose to topics and theories that I had learned in my academic studies, but have not had the opportunity to make use of yet. This opportunity was a great taste of what the academic research community is like, and there is no better way to have been introduced to this community than to have been present”

Nathan Tong TechConnect World 2018

Elaine Silverman ESW National Conference 2018

“I really enjoyed meeting other students who had a similar interest in nanoengineering and materials science as me. It was very refreshing to interact with other people who knew what the field was, and didn’t have to be introduced to the topic or what it entails. It was also a boon for my professional experience meeting real-life industry professionals and university professors who are at the top of their fields and had many different things to teach me. I improved my networking skills by utilizing as many opportunities as possible to speak with these amazing professionals, and enjoyed the learning environment of the conference that fostered intense discussion about topics I was interested in”

“I gained a lot of professional, personal, and educational experience at this conference. There were speakers from all over the fields of sustainability, engineering, and leadership. Being able to listen to them share their experiences and have the opportunity to network with them after was incredibly inspiring and valuable. As a student, gaining new perspectives in the areas I’m pursuing was very helpful... As the new chapter president for UCSD, I learned as much as possible from the successes, failures, and ideas of these other student leaders. Attending this conference has prepared me to be a better leader and better serve the students of ESW at UCSD”

Annual Report


Diversity Orgs Banquets: The end of each academic year is a transitional period for many students as the majority prepare for summer break and the graduating class prepares for their lives after graduation. The National Society of Black Engineers, Out in STEM, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and Women in Computing all used the end of the 2017-18 academic year as a period for celebration and reflection by coordinating end-of-the-year banquets for their respective organizations.

Between late May and mid-June, each organization held their banquets in remembrance of all the hard work and effort placed into organizing annual events, general body meetings, as well as special events like hackathons. During the banquets, each organization recognized recently elected officers for the upcoming 2018-19 academic year, as well as graduating students, faculty advisors, and outstanding volunteers. Lastly, all of the diversity organizations expressed their sincere appreciation for their donors, for whose contributions both small and large, made the 2017-18 year a tremendous success.



First Annual Graduate Road Map: The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers held its first annual Graduate Road Map in the spring quarter. This was a one-day conference with the goal of inspiring undergraduate students in STEM fields to pursue advanced degrees. More specifically, the Graduate Road Map promoted opportunities for individuals to enter academia and industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development, product development, and other high level technical careers.

Professional Evening with Industry: The 9th Annual Professional Evening with Industry event, held on October 30th, was the largest to date, with 29 sponsors! Special thanks to Corporate Sponsors, IBM and Northrop Grumman. This event is coordinated by the UC San Diego chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE), who were joined by Women in Computing (WIC), and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM). Company sponsors met with 400 of the next generation of talented, diverse UC San Diego engineers during the dinner and career fair.

Annual Report


Triton Engineering Student Council

Hack XX Hack XX is UC San Diego’s first women-centric hackathon. This event provides a welcoming environment for UCSD’s engineers to envision, design, and prototype a new idea. In its second year, TESC brought over 100 women together for 24 hours of collaboration, engagement, and hacking on April 7th and 8th, 2018. The overall winner of this year’s competition was Any-A, a Java application that helps elementary school students practice solving math problems while simultaneously being encouraged with messages from famous female mathematicians.

SD Hacks Highlights: $34,950 awarded in prizes 97 projects submitted Over 1000 attendees The winning team, “Bubble Wrapped Ice Box 3000,” designed a refrigerator that can track what you have inside your refrigerator. Other projects included an app that lets you track your subscriptions to entertainment services like Netflix and split the cost with your friends, an app that digitizes written flashcards, and a service that allows professors to digitally send their syllabi to students.



Splash On May 12, TESC hosted the third installment of the annual Splash outreach event, which provided 200 high school students the opportunity to experience life as a college student and take classes on a wide-range of topics. In collaboration with the School of Medicine and UCSD graduate student Benjamin Cosman, Splash tries to encourage students to attend college, and to show them that attending college is an achievable goal for everyone.

Enspire On April 4th, 2018, ENSPIRE hosted over 400 middle school students from under-served communities at UC San Diego. This outreach event provided students from the following schools an opportunity to learn more about the field of engineering, and inspire them to attend college and study engineering: Taft Middle School, Mar Vista Academy, Hilltop Middle School, Southwest Middle School, and Rancho Del Ray Middle School. TESC coordinated a day filled with group engineering competitions, inspirational messages from Professors and engineering students from the Jacobs School, and exposure to student organizations and project teams.

Annual Report


Acknowledgements Special thanks to:

2017 Graduating Senior Class California Space Grant Consortium Dr. Irwin and Joan Jacobs Jack Wolf Endowment Scholarship Jacobs School of Engineering Departments: Bioengineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Structural Engineering Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Janet & Mark Handzel Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering National Science Foundation Northrop Grumman Corporation The Boeing Company



IDEA Engineering Student Center UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive #0429 La Jolla, CA 92093 Phone: (858) 534-6105 Email:

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Annual Report 2017-2018  

Explore all of the IDEA Engineering Student Center's updates during the 2017-2018 academic year at UC San Diego!

Annual Report 2017-2018  

Explore all of the IDEA Engineering Student Center's updates during the 2017-2018 academic year at UC San Diego!

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