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Cal Parents Ambassadors Newsletter – March 2018

Cal Parents Volunteer Newsletter
March 2018 Edition

Greetings Cal Parents Ambassadors!

Signs of spring abound across campus as we prepare to celebrate Charter Day, Berkeley’s 150th birthday, March 23. And, in advance of that momentous day, we hope you’ll participate in Big Give, Cal’s annual 24-hour fundraising blitz, this Thursday, March 8. Thank you to the many who have signed up to assist at RC Scholar interviews or for Cal Day this spring. Read on for opportunities to help welcome and inform new and prospective Cal parents (freshman admissions decisions are released in just a few weeks!).

Click here to download the newly updated Cal Parents Ambassador Handbook

Cal Parents Ambassadors   Cal Parents Board

Volunteer Leadership Retreat

Cal Parents Board and Ambassadors convened February 10, along with Cal reunion volunteers, at the Spring Volunteer Leadership Retreat to hear from campus leaders and to learn how to support Big Give.

Seize the Moment – Big Give Is March 8!

It’s not too late to promote Big Give among your networks. Create a social post and check out the “Berkeley moments” the Cal community is sharing along with the fun contests that make Big Give so impactful and exciting at  Big Give begins 9 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 7 and ends 9 p.m. PST on Thursday, March 8.

Admitted Student Receptions – Volunteers Needed Nationwide!

In April, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA) will host 16 receptions nationwidefrom Seattle to New York–for newly admitted students to learn more about Cal. Volunteers are needed to staff a Cal Parents informational table. This is a great opportunity to be among the first to engage with prospective families in your community and share your enthusiasm for Cal. Click here to check the location nearest you, see dates and venues, and sign up!

San Diego Yield Reception – 2017


Los Angeles Yield Reception – 2017

Cal Day (April 21) – Volunteers Needed!

Cal Day, April 21, is our campus-wide open house and the day the university officially welcomes newly admitted students and their families to campus. Cal Parent Ambassadors are needed for an action-packed day which begins in the early morning at Memorial Stadium with the Chancellor’s Welcome to New Students and continues throughout the afternoon in the heart of the campus engaging with hundreds of prospective parents at the informational tent. Sign up now to connect with prospective parents while having fun with your peers:

7:30 – 9:30 Stadium Greeter for Chancellor’s Address

8:00 – 4:00  Staffing Info Tent on Campus

If you’ve signed up previously at the Feb 10 Volunteer Leadership Retreat or have provided your name to Rose, you have already been added to the sign-up sheets again. Thanks!

Cal Parents Ambassadors volunteering at the parent booth on Cal Day 2017

Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship Interviews – Volunteers Needed in Los Angeles!

Balan Aravind, David Ortega, Akila Aravind and daughter Aishwarya ‘18 on campus

Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholars are selected from the top 2% of Cal’s applicant pool. This impressive group of students are the first to be admitted, than asked to interview with Berkeley faculty who determine the scholarship winners. If you are interested in engaging with newly-admitted students’ parents while their children are being interviewed at the Arcadia Embassy Suites on March 17, from 12:30 – 4:00 pm, please click here.  You will be provided a detailed briefing after you sign up.

Thank you to these 12 Bay Area volunteers who assisted during the recent RC Scholars interviews on campus: Akila and Balan Aravind; Anu Bhalla-Levine; Barbara Grelling; Vardeep Kaur; Sharmila Kumar; Chris MacDonald; Polly Paulsen; Carmen Reid; Dineshwar Sahni; Kristin Shore; and Ally Watts.  In San Diego from March 10 – 11, Cal Parents will be represented by freshman parents Josephine and Ardy Afshar, Tiffany Arrizabalaga, Martin Hagan, and Elizabeth Santillanez.  Thank you all for being such enthusiastic and informative ambassadors for Cal!

Speak up in support of UC’s Budget in Sacramento!

The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) needs your help fighting for UC Berkeley! CAA is partnering with the campus’ Office of Government and Community Relations to mobilize parents, alumni, and friends to advocate on behalf of the university.

In January, the Governor proposed a 3% general fund increase to UC. We are grateful for these much needed funds, but the amount falls short of what UC needs to take care of current students and expand resources.

UC is requesting more money in lieu of a tuition increase, to address larger class sizes, grow enrollment, and fix critical maintenance needs.

We need your help in advocating to state legislators for the increased funding. Join the UC Advocacy Network to receive action alerts and to tell legislators why supporting UC is important to you and should be to them too. Your individual stories will combine in a powerful voice that political leaders need to hear as they make decisions that impact current and future Golden Bears.

Learn more about the state budget, then register as a UC Advocate. Please be sure to mark your affiliation with Berkeley to allow us to track participation.

Ambassador Families Provide Hands-On Work Exposure to Cal Students

Two fortunate freshman students with interest in the healthcare field, Jason Chang from California and Zaynah Javed from Illinois, enjoyed the opportunity to shadow Cal parents at their offices in January over winter break. Director of Research for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Tracy Lieu, a Cal alumna and freshman parent, hosted Zaynah Javed who learned about two different research projects: one on bladder cancer and one that studies how primary care doctors are managing their electronic mailboxes to communicate with patients and other providers.

Paul and Julie Cummings, parents of a Cal freshman and both in the healthcare field, custom-tailored a three-day externship experience for Jason Chang who traveled to Nashville for a once in a lifetime learning experience. To read the full story about Jason’s externship, see the last page of the spring issue of Letter Home which was mailed this week.

If you too would like to be an internship or externship sponsor, please contact Angela Taylor at the Berkeley Career Center.

Jason Chang ’21 with Julie Cummings P’21


Tracy Lieu ’93, P’21 with Zaynah Javed ’21

Dear David – Preparing for Commencement

Senior parents: Berkeley’s Commencement on May 12 will be here before you know it.  The commencement speaker will be announced on March 13. Like you, I will be in California Memorial Stadium with my family, cheering on our student’s graduation from Cal.  Where has the time gone?  First it was kindergarten – and now he’s graduating college. Time has flown by at light speed. With that said, if you need some reminders, consider these:

    • Ask if your student has had a degree audit performed to make sure all college and major degree requirements have been met


    • Student should register to walk in the campus-wide commencement celebration as well as any college or department ceremonies (graduating seniors need to have a ticket)


    • Student should attend the ASUC Grad Fair (in April), and purchase academic regalia, announcements and other graduation items


    • Buy commencement tickets for the whole family; tickets go on sale March 15.



    • Have your student schedule a graduation photo for the Blue and Gold yearbook.


Also, check out this helpful Berkeley Commencement FAQ. Congratulations to your soon-to-graduate Golden Bear!

David Ortega is Berkeley’s director of parent services and communications. A Cal alumnus, former Cal football player, and proud parent of a soon-to-be graduate, David also manages Cal Parents’ social media.


Facebook Live with Campus Administrators

Join Cal Parents for upcoming Facebook “Live” session with Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, David Surratt on March 20 at 6 pm  (PST).  You may post questions in the comments section before and during these 30-minute events, and we will try to have them answered. Questions on how to participate can be directed to Director of Parent Services and Communications, David Ortega.  If you missed the FB Live on February 27 with Bob Jacobsen, Dean of Letters and Science, the session has been taped and can be viewed here.

150 Years of Light

Throughout 2018, Berkeley is celebrating its sesquicentennial. Check out the Berkeley 150 website to brush up on Cal history, share your own Berkeley memories, and learn of events to celebrate Berkeley’s 150 years as a beacon of opportunity. The Berkeley 150 Road Show will feature Chancellor Carol Christ and distinguished faculty at locations throughout California, as well as New York and Washington, DC.

Campus News and Events

Keeping Up with the Latest

Upcoming Dates to Note:

  • March 20: Facebook Live with David Surratt
  • March 23: Charter Day for Sesquicentennial
  • March 26-30: Spring Recess
  • April 21: Cal Day
  • April 27: Classes End
  • April 30 – May 4: Reading/Review/Recitation Week
  • May 7-11: Final Exams
  • May 11: Spring Semester Ends
  • May 12: Commencement
  • May 21: First Six-Week Summer Session Begins

If you have problems replying to any links or have questions about the Ambassador Program, please contact Rose Hsu. As always, we are grateful for your continued commitment and enthusiasm for Berkeley! Go Bears!

Cal Parents Staff

Check out the Cal Parents website and Facebook page for more information just for parents. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and events at Berkeley: Berkeley News CenterUC Berkeley Events.


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