Alumni News

 1998-99 Alumni Association Councilors

Banana Slug Spring Fair campus open house, April 17

Photos: Greg Pio

At Banana Slug Spring Fair 1998 (left to right): Alumni and prospective students and their parents listen intently to a faculty panel discussion on arts and humanities programs; College Eight alumnae Selene Tsoi ('92), who traveled from Hong Kong to attend the event, and Veronica Kenny ('93) at College Eight's 25th Anniversary reception; old friends Linda Ziskin (Porter '77) and Sandor Nagyszalanczy (Stevenson '77) at the all-alumni luncheon.

Alumni, current students and their parents, prospective students and their families, and all friends of the campus are invited to visit UCSC for Banana Slug Spring Fair on Saturday, April 17. This annual open house features reunions, panels, lectures, tours, and receptions at each college. Alumni highlights are listed below. For more information, contact University Advancement at (800) 933-SLUG or locally at (831) 459-2501. Web site for the event:

Banana Slug Spring Fair Open House Welcomes Alumni back to Campus

UCSC's "Pioneer Class" (those who attended the campus when it opened in 1965) will celebrate its 30th reunion with a reception and multiple opportunities for reminiscence and reflection on the student experience at UCSC during its founding. For more information, contact the Alumni Office at (800) 933-SLUG.

An all-alumni luncheon is the keystone event for alumni from every class year. This year's luncheon will give special recog-nition to six classes celebrating 5- through 30-year reunions: '94, '89, '84, '79, '74, and '69. To RSVP, contact the Alumni Office at (800) 933-SLUG.

"The Writing Life/Life on the Page," a series of panels featuring prominent and emerging alumni writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, will be held on Friday and Saturday. Current UCSC faculty in literature and writing will also participate. For more information, contact Provost Paul Skenazy at Kresge, (831) 459-4792 or

The Black Parent Information Forum will bring together college hopefuls of African American and multiheritage African descent and their families, UCSC staff, faculty, alumni, and current students to promote early academic preparation strategies for the next generation of African American scholars. For more information, contact Denise Brunson at (831) 454-9737 or

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department will host a reception featuring a keynote speaker, followed by an alumni and faculty dinner at the WestCoast Santa Cruz Hotel. Participants will include founding faculty Stanley Williamson, Joseph Bunnett, Frank Andrews, Claude Bernasconi, and others. For more information, contact Sarah Pizer-Bush at (831) 459-4823 or

Every college will hold a late-afternoon reception. Porter will celebrate the performing arts with daytime events on the quad. At Merrill, Los Mejícas dance troupe will perform, and students will paint the moat.

The Admissions Office will hold a reception to thank alumni outreach volunteers who help recruit new students to UCSC. Opportunities for volunteer training and networking will be provided. For information, contact Heidi Renteria at (831) 459-5518 or

Alumni award nominations invited

"It was wonderful to feel my work was appreciated. It confirmed for me how much I love teaching." So said Marge Frantz, lecturer emerita in American studies and women's studies, winner of the Alumni Association's 1997-98 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Alumni have the opportunity to make someone else feel similarly appreciated; nominations are now being accepted for the Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award, Outstanding Staff Award, and Alumni Achievement Award.

Letters of nomination must include the full name, current address, and daytime phone of the nominator. E-mail nominations may be submitted to alumni@ For an optional nomination form, which includes complete award criteria and a list of past recipients, contact the Alumni Office at (800) 933-SLUG. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 28.

Alumni encourage students of color

If apathy reigns, its reach doesn't extend to UCSC, even in the midst of winter. Each year, as many as 60 alumni from throughout northern and southern California return to campus to participate in the Multicultural Connections Conference (formerly called the Students of Color Conference). "It's our duty to do what we can to encourage students," says Roberto Ocampo (Merrill '75, sociology). It's a duty Ocampo takes seriously. Despite a busy schedule (he's a high school counselor at Alisal High School and a Salinas city councilman), Ocampo has participated in the annual weekend conference for ten years.

John Gutierrez (Porter '73), left, a case manager in Los Angeles County, and Roberto Ocampo (Merrill '75), a high school counselor and Salinas city councilman, at the 1997 Students of Color Conference

"Students wonder, is there really life after college? Will I really get a job? They see alumni who are professionals--doctors, lobbyists, teachers. It encourages them, gives them hope. Role modeling is an old concept, but I think it has validity. When students see someone in a pro-fessional role whose class or ethnic background is the same as theirs, it breaks the stereotypes," Ocampo says.

Alumni interested in providing one-day career-oriented mentoring for students of color are invited to participate in the upcoming conference, scheduled for Saturday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at College Eight. For more information or to RSVP, contact Ann Montgomery at the Alumni Office, (800) 933-SLUG, or via e-mail at

The University of California
Alumni Associations present the
Second Annual Northern California

UC Alumni Career Conference & Job Fair

Job Fair with exhibitors in every career field

Workshops with top career professionals

Saturday, March 13, 1999

Conference: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Job Fair: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
City Center Marriott, Oakland

Cost (includes lunch):
$60 Alumni Association members;
$75 Nonmembers;
Add $15 for registration after February 26

For more information,
contact the UCSC Alumni Association:
(800) 933-slug or via e-mail:

Visiting professor program brings filmmaker to UCSC

Loni Ding, an award-winning filmmaker focusing on Asian American history and culture, visited UCSC fall quarter as part of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Visiting Professor program, which brings an outstanding scholar or teacher to UCSC each year.

During her stay at UCSC, Ding taught a five-credit course, The Art, Craft, and Politics of Media Intervention, at Merrill College. In the class, students learned about the process of creating a multimedia product, from envisioning the idea to planning how to present the chosen subject in an engaging way.

Ding acts as writer, producer, director, and editor of her documentaries. Her credits include Color of Honor and Nisei Soldier, both of which focus on Japanese American soldiers in World War II; With Silk Wings, a three-part series on Asian American women and their work; Bean Sprouts, a series for Chinese American children; and Ancestors in the Americas, which focuses on the history of Asian immigration and settlement in North and South America and the Caribbean.

The Distinguished Visiting Professor program is supported by an endowment and sponsored by the Alumni Association to enhance academic programs at UCSC's eight colleges. The professorship rotates among the colleges.

Atomic Accountant

A study directed by Stephen Schwartz (B.A. sociology, Cowell '87) calculates for the first time the cumulative cost of the United States nuclear weapons program.

Imagine a stack of $1 bills, stretching to the moon and nearly back again. According to UCSC alumnus Stephen Schwartz, that's one way to visualize how much money--$5.5 trillion--the United States spent on building and maintaining its nuclear stockpile and nuclear weapons infrastructure from 1940 to 1996.

That's more than was spent on medicare, education, or any other government expenditure except for social security ($7.9 trillion) and nonnuclear national defense ($13.2 trillion).

Whether the $5.5 trillion was money well spent is a matter of debate. Depending on one's perspective, it either prevented World War III or exacerbated Cold War tensions between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

What isn't debatable, argues Schwartz in a Brookings Institution book he edited and coauthored, is that the U.S. government made few attempts to track its spending on nuclear weapons and weapons-related programs. Schwartz says this lack of fiscal oversight kept the American public and its representatives in Washington, D.C., from making fully informed decisions during a massive and dangerous nuclear arms race.

"For 50-plus years, since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we've been arguing over the benefits of nuclear weapons, and we haven't had the opportunity to weigh the costs," Schwartz says. "Now, for the first time, you can really balance the ledger, weigh the pros and cons, and have a balanced debate."

Schwartz's book, Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940, was published by Brook-ings Institution Press last June. Newspapers and magazines including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and U.S. News & World Report carried articles about the book and editorials debating its conclusions.

A Los Angeles Times book reviewer called Atomic Audit a "giant step. . .toward integrity" in America's history with nuclear weapons. "It is only through the unflinching study of our past behavior that we can expect to create a more humane and democratic future," the reviewer wrote.

Included in the study is a description of the nuclear tests, the human-radiation experiments, the gaps in congressional oversight, and the naïveté with which government and military officials approached the use of nuclear weapons and the disposal of radioactive materials.

Now publisher of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Schwartz says his interest in nuclear policy dates back to his days at UCSC. As a freshman, he planned to major in theater and film, but was hooked instead by the Adlai E. Stevenson Program on Nuclear Policy, since renamed the Stevenson Program on Global Security.

"My whole undergraduate education got skewed toward nuclear weapons," says Schwartz, who became a senior research assistant at the Stevenson program and helped write a handbook on nuclear weapons. Schwartz also wrote an 80-page "nuclear primer" and won a Chancellor's Undergraduate Award for his senior thesis, which discussed whether--and how--to teach nuclear issues in grade school.


Nuclear Naïveté From Atomic Audit, clockwise from upper left: posttest "decontamination" with a broom; cardboard-box storage of nuclear waste in an unlined trench; observers at an 81-kiloton test.

Photos: National Archives; Department Of Energy; Defense Special Weapons Agency

His UCSC projects helped prepare Schwartz for the exhaustive research required for Atomic Audit. Over a four-year period, he and nine contributing authors waded through archives, pushed to get documents declassified, dug into mountains of statistics, and read hundreds of "old, musty" reports, he said.

The United States embraced nuclear weapons in the late 1940s and early-to-mid 1950s in large measure because nuclear weapons were considered to be a relatively inexpensive alternative to conventional weapons.

Schwartz's book itemizes the costs associated with that decision (expressed in 1996 dollars after adjustments for inflation). Included in the $5.5 trillion total are $409 billion to manufacture nuclear warheads and $3.2 trillion for the aircraft, missiles, submarines, and other delivery systems needed to deploy them.

The costs continue to add up, according to Atomic Audit: The U.S. maintains an arsenal of 10,000 nuclear weapons--many still poised on hair-trigger alert--at a current cost of $25 billion a year.

--Francine Tyler

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