San Diego Spotlight’s Carmen Wins Bronze Telly Award

(Press Release Excerpt) Four diverse programs from University of California, San Diego Television (UCSD-TV) were each honored with a Telly Award, an international competition honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. One program, San Diego Canyonlands, received the highest honor — the Silver Telly — while San Diego Opera Spotlight: Carmen, State […]

(Press Release Excerpt) Four diverse programs from University of California, San Diego Television (UCSD-TV) were each honored with a Telly Award, an international competition honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. One program, San Diego Canyonlands, received the highest honor — the Silver Telly — while San Diego Opera Spotlight: Carmen, State of Minds: Fall 2006 and Health Matters: Healthful Benefits of Pets each received a Bronze Telly Award.

The first of UCSD-TV’s three Bronze awards went to San Diego Opera Spotlight: Carmen, a backstage look at the local production of Georges Bizet’s verismo masterpiece. The half-hour program is part of San Diego Opera Spotlight’s tenth anniversary season and was produced by UCSD-TV’s John Menier in partnership with San Diego Opera.

Learn more about San Diego Opera Spotlight.

Interview with David Pellow and Jorge Mariscal for Growing Activism

What role does activism play on a college campus? Does it leave marks on not only the people who participate but the places where it occurs? In the series Growing Activism, UCSD-TV follows two professors as they share with students the history of campus activism at UC San Diego. We asked Professors David Pellow and Jorge Mariscal to tell us a bit more about this project.

UCSD-TV: What do you hope to accomplish by bringing activists to campus?

DAVID PELLOW: We hope to (re)invigorate a passion for the broader relevance of a college education in the United States today. Education, in my experience, should be about critical thinking, engaged learning and listening, and transformative action aimed at improving societies. Anything less than that is unacceptable.

JORGE MARISCAL: We hope to provide models and inspiration so that students will feel empowered to take action on their own. The activists we spotlight believe long-term structural change should be the goal of all activism. Simply put, charity is not enough and faddish protests designed for media attention are counter-productive. Activism is a long-term, often a lifetime, commitment based on hope and courage.

UCSD-TV: How do you personally define activism?
DP: Activism comes in many forms: innovative imagination and thought; engaging dialogue, conversations, speech, and the written word; and the use of persuasion directed at one’s peers and at those who enjoy positions of privilege.

JM: Activists come together around issues of mutual concern with the goal of making change. Activists volunteer time and a great deal of energy in addition to carrying out family and professional responsibilities. This is especially true for student activists who are completing an academic career at a very competitive university while at the same time trying to effect change at that university and in the society at large.

UCSD-TV: How has your own activism informed your work on campus?

DP: I’ve been active in social and environmental justice work for more than 20 years and that experience shapes my teaching, student mentoring, and research everyday because those three things are ultimately done for the purpose of achieving a world that is more socially just and ecologically sustainable. So you see it in the content of the courses I teach and the substance of the research that I do as a scholar.

JM: I first became active in the Chicano/Latino Concilio in the late 1980s. Concilio was created with the goal of making UCSD more responsive to the Latino community. Over the years, I have conducted research and published articles on the history of UCSD. My knowledge of the founding principles of the campus and the structures that have regulated it over the decades allow me to analyze the current moment and to work with others to try to make the campus more inclusive and democratic.

UCSD-TV: You frequently invite guest speakers into your classroom. What have been some of your favorite insights/anecdotes that those speakers have shared?

DP: One speaker from Los Angeles was Saul Sarabia, a legal scholar/activist who does incredible work with university students and communities of color in that city. He reminded students that at the end of the day, if we haven’t taken care of ourselves, then we’re no good to anyone else. Specifically, he mentioned that many activists experience burnout due to overwork, or have health problems because they are overcommitted to “the cause.” He experienced this himself, but he bounced back and has remained an amazing asset for social change because he decided to set limits on how much of his time and energy he could give. As Cross-Cultural Center Director Edwina Welch likes to remind us, “don’t reproduce the conditions of your own oppression.” In other words, if we’re fighting oppression, it makes no sense to do so by adopting methods that end up creating oppressive situations for ourselves.

JM: Most of the speakers have said that individuals alone cannot make effective change. Change comes through collective action. They have also talked about the need to take care of one’s health and family needs as an activist because the danger of burnout is very high. My favorite speaker is probably Mr. Fernando Suarez who lost his only son during the invasion of Iraq. His son was a U.S. Marine who was not a citizen. Mr. Suarez has dedicated himself to the cause of peace. He tells young people that they can make a difference by getting an education and working in their communities.

UCSD-TV: How have students responded?

DP: The students have not only responded, in fact, they’ve been the driving force behind Growing Activism. They were the reason we launched this series. The students have always asked “What can I do?” or “Where can I go to get more involved in addressing this issue?” So that’s been wonderful because the classes, events, and the series itself were largely mobilized from the ground up, by student demand. Their response has been outstanding. Student attendance and participation at many of the events has been strong. In many cases, the question and answer discussion segments have been more interesting and informative than the presentations that preceded them!

JM: Students always respond very positively. There is a tremendous desire among this generation of students to make meaningful change in their society. What is lacking are the conduits for action and inspirational leadership. Although some of our students are cynical, many of them are not apathetic at all. This was quite apparent in the immigrant marches of 2006 and recent organizing around sustainability and global warming.

UCSD-TV: If a student, faculty member, or community member is interested in being more active on campus, where do you suggest they begin?

DP: They can come to the Cross-Cultural Center and get all the information they need to get hooked into a great network of active folks here!

JM: They need to identify what issue moves them the most. They then need to locate others with a passion for the same issue. From there they can either find an existing organization or create a new one. Making contact with off-campus groups is a must because UCSD is the epitome of the ivory tower.

Behind the Scenes Photos from The People's History of San Diego

Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from Growing Activism.


Producer Shannon Bradley preps Professors David Pellow and Jorge Mariscal for their studio interview.
(November 6, 2007)


Professors Pellow and Mariscal on set in the UCSD-TV studio.
(November 6, 2007)


Director Matt Alioto tends to the lighting.
(November 6, 2007)


Professor Jorge Mariscal takes a group of students through the Price Center, asking them to look for the missing history.
(October 9, 2007)


Professor Mariscal recounts the history of protest
at Revelle Plaza, including the story of a student who set himself on fire to protest the Vietnam War in 1970.
(October 9, 2007)

TV Program Educates Youth About HIV/AIDS

(Press Release) This September UCSD-TV premieres “The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego,” an energetic, site-specific dance video that utilizes the talents of local choreographers Jean Isaacs, grace shinhae jun (bkSOUL), and UCSD-TV director John Menier, to educate urban teens and young adults about the vital topic of HIV/AIDS awareness. The program […]

(Press Release) This September UCSD-TV premieres “The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego,” an energetic, site-specific dance video that utilizes the talents of local choreographers Jean Isaacs, grace shinhae jun (bkSOUL), and UCSD-TV director John Menier, to educate urban teens and young adults about the vital topic of HIV/AIDS awareness. The program premieres September 15th at 8:30pm on UCSD-TV and repeats throughout the month.

The half-hour video follows the story of a teenage girl as she faces her recent HIV positive diagnosis. Told through flashback sequences that incorporate dance, poetry and rhythmic music, the girl evaluates the choices she made that lead to her HIV status and ultimately takes responsibility for her actions and their consequences.

The program was sponsored by County Television Network (CTN), Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater, and UCSD-TV. A DVD version of “The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego” will also be distributed to schools throughout San Diego County as part of the program’s grant-funded effort to educate at-risk youth, particularly African-American and Latina women, about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Shot at various locations around Encinitas, including Lou’s Records, the San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club, and San Dieguito Academy, the program features local dancers from Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater and bkSOUL, a local Hip Hop/postmodern performance company. The music featured in the video was composed and performed by local DJ Shammy Dee (Arash Haile).

Watch: The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego

When Things Get Small Sweeps at Emmy Awards

(Press Release) LA JOLLA, CA – It’s true that UCSD-TV’s When Things Get Small a program that takes a comical look at nanoscience and features a world-renowned physicist playing a wacky version of himself on-screen, falls outside the expectations of mainstream science-for-television fare. Nevertheless, this unusual approach to explaining important science concepts to the public […]

(Press Release) LA JOLLA, CA – It’s true that UCSD-TV’s When Things Get Small a program that takes a comical look at nanoscience and features a world-renowned physicist playing a wacky version of himself on-screen, falls outside the expectations of mainstream science-for-television fare. Nevertheless, this unusual approach to explaining important science concepts to the public was recognized Saturday with a total of five Emmy Awards –- in every category it was nominated.

Recipients of this prestigious award from the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences included UCSD physicist Ivan Schuller and UCSD-TV producer Rich Wargo in the Health/Science Program category, UCSD-La Jolla Playhouse MFA alumnus Adam Smith in the On-Camera Talent/Performer category, Matt Alioto in the Photography category, Michael Shea and David Bouzan in the Animation/Graphic Design category, and Peter Kreklow in the category of Lighting Direction. The award-winners were on-hand to accept their statuettes at the ceremony held Saturday, June 3 at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego.

UCSD-TV will re-broadcast “When Things Get Small” this Sunday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. and again on June 28 at 8:30 p.m. The program can also be viewed “on-demand,” as a video podcast, or on Google Video at http://www.ucsd.tv/getsmall, and is also available for sale.

“When Things Get Small” uses a variety of comic inventions and special effects to take viewers on a comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known. Host Adam Smith travels alongside physicist Ivan Schuller, visiting locations ranging from Petco Park to a steaming hot tub to make sense of several important “nano” concepts. UC president Robert Dynes and Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres owner John Moores also drop by for cameo appearances.

“When Things Get Small” was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, and produced by UCSD-TV in partnership with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the UCSD Division of Physical Sciences.

“When Things Get Small” is the first in the ‘When Things Get…” series, produced by Not Too Serious Labs, the creative collaboration of UCSD-TV producer Rich Wargo and physicist Ivan Schuller. Not Too Serious Labs’ mission is to make science funny and entertaining so you end up learning while you’re laughing. The duo is planning its next production “When Things Get Big,” a comical exploration of the gigantic machines used to investigate matter.

The purpose of the Emmy Awards is to recognize outstanding achievements in television by conferring annual awards of merit in the Pacific Southwest region. The Pacific Southwest region includes San Diego County and the television markets of Bakersfield, Oxnard, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Behind-The-Scenes Photos from the Emmy Awards

UCSD-TV’s “When Things Get Small” Emmy winners display their statuettes (l to r) David Bouzan (Animation/Graphic Design), Matt Alioto (Photography), Adam Smith (On-Camera Talent/Performer), producers Ivan Schuller and Rich Wargo (Health/Science Program), and Peter Kreklow (Lighting Direction).

The creative team behind the award-winning “When Things Get Small” included producer Rich Wargo (l), host Adam Smith (center) and producer/star Ivan

The big screen says it all during the Emmy Awards ceremony in San Diego on June 3, 2006.