Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association


Winter 2016

Around Storke Tower

University Librarian Denise Stephens Looks Forward to the New Normal After Construction


When Denise Stephens took the post of University Librarian in 2011, plans for the UCSB Library addition and renovations were well underway. “It took over two decades to get the project finalized and approved,” she said. “The University Librarians before me were actively involved in getting this off the ground. I stepped into intensive planning, preparation and logistics from day one. I have yet to see what normal is, after this project.”

Librarian Denise Stephens

Stephens and her staff kept the Library’s doors open to students, faculty, campus staff and community members throughout the entire construction project.

“This was the biggest challenge,” she said. “For two and a half years, we had less space to work in and needed to provide the same services to people. Prior to the project, we had about 2 million visits a year – and that didn’t drop off too much during construction. For disciplines of diverse needs – those who still require access to the physical shelves and stacks -- this is THEIR laboratory.”

Communication was key to balancing the expansion project with the needs of the campus. “In the early parts of the project, we were concerned about the noise, about the inconvenience – it’s hard to overstate how disruptive it is when the center of campus is blocked off by a huge construction fence.”

Stephens also discovered how resilient UCSB students were, despite the cramped study spaces. “It was amazing to watch them stretch out wherever there’s a few square feet of empty space – the floor, behind a chair, near the shelves,” she said. “They’re young and adaptable and they had a great sense of humor about it.”

Beginning this January 4, the new UCSB Library additions and renovations will be open to the public. Over 150,000 square feet of new and remodeled space will include a new three-story building on the Library’s north side, a complete renovation of the original two-story building and a grand Paseo walkway connecting all parts of the Library east to west. One of the most anticipated new areas for students is the 24-hour Learning Commons with two floors of study space, bookable group study rooms, PC and Mac computers and a new Summit Café. “This library is beautiful – just stunning,” said Stephens. “It makes a grand statement. So our challenge now is to live up to the building.”

Photo: Students outside Library: Matt Perko; University Librarian Denise Stevens: UCSB Library

Mark Juergensmeyer

UCSB Professor Boycotts Brigham Young Conference

Mark Juergensmeyer, a professor at the UC Santa Barbara Department of Sociology, withdrew from a scheduled speaking engagement at Brigham Young University’s annual International Law and Religion Symposium in protest of the school’s policy on religion. BYU currently expels students who enter as Mormons but change or lose their religious affiliation after enrollment.
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Photo: UCSB Global Studies Department

The Club to Reopen in 2016

The Club

In 2014, The Club began extensive renovation in partnership with UCSB Housing & Residential Services. The improvements designed by architectural firm Moore Ruble Yudell will feature a 30-room guesthouse expansion, increased dining and meeting space and an outdoor terrace. The Club will reopen in the fall of 2016.

SOURCE: The Faculty Club.
Photo: The UCSB Faculty Club

UCSB Reads 2016 Features Bryan Stevenson’s Memoir Just Mercy

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

This January 2016, thousands of copies of Bryan Stevenson’s, "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption," will be distributed for free to students as part of the campus-wide UCSB Reads program. Stevenson’s award-winning memoir about racial inequality in the United States will be the subject of UCSB Library public programming on campus and at the Santa Barbara Library System. Now in its 10th year, UCSB Reads brings together the campus and Santa Barbara community with a dialogue about important topical issues spurred by a shared reading experience.Formore on UC Santa Barbara Library's Just Read program, click here.

Photo of Stevenson: Nina Subin

On-Campus Exhibit Spotlights Student Mental Health


The 1,100 backpacks displayed on campus this early fall symbolized the number of college students who take their own lives each year. The backpacks covered the lawn in front of UC Santa Barbara’s resource building as part of the exhibition “Send Silence Packing” sponsored by the UCSB chapter of Active Minds. The national nonprofit engages students to change the conversation about mental health.

SOURCE: The Current. Photo: Spencer Bruttig

NSF Grant Promotes Gender Equity in STEM Professions

Barbara Walker

UC Santa Barbara’s ADVANCE program received part of a grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Center for Research, Excellence and Diversity in Team Sciences. UC Santa Barbara, along with three other Hispanic-Serving Institutions in California, will share the $750,00 grant to increase the representation of women in STEM fields.

SOURCE: The Current. Photo: Sonia Fernandez

UCSB and U.S. Navy Team Up for New STEM Summer Program

US Navy teams with Stem

UC Santa Barbara and the Naval Base Ventura County will bring veterans and underrepresented community college students together for for PIPELINES (Problem-Based Initiatives for Powerful Engagement and Learning In Naval Engineering). Ten community college students and five UCSB undergraduates will be part of a paid, 10-week immersion into real-world Navy engineering design problems during the 2016 summer term.

SOURCE: The Current. Photo: Jim Logan