The Best of UCSD Extension 2021: Social Media

By Stephanie Stevens

Congratulations, everyone! We made it through 2021. And while it was in many ways a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, it's also been a year of innovation, resilience and hope for the future. Here are highlights of the 2021 posts on each of our social media accounts that you've loved and shared the most (and a few you may have missed).

If you want more good news, read about our top Extension achievements in 2021 and plans for 2022 and beyond in the year-end letter from our new dean, Hugo Villar.


1. Eastlake High School grad, Melanie Halko, took an Extension test prep course, scored 33 out of 36 and got into an Ivy League university.

2. Associate Vice Chancellor Mary Walshok offered her thoughts on San Diego and Tijuana winning the World Design City for 2024.

3. As part of her photography coursework, UCSD Extension student Holly Hauser shared some fantastic shots of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA. 

4. High school student Sora Haagensen took Extension's Research Scholars Molecular Biology program and helped co-author a published scientific article.

5. Miray Özcan of Samsun, Turkey, found a way to explore her passion for aerospace engineering by enrolling in the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy.

6. We highlighted 9 work-from-home careers, including the fast-growing field of Spanish-English translation.

7. Joy Bagnol-Estudillo took Extension's College Counseling program. Now she's written a guide to increase an applicant's chances of admission to a UC school.

8. We took a look at some of our past events with guests like actor John Lithgow and writer Bob Woodward. 

9. Abhilasha Devaraj found her niche in creating sustainable packaging for after taking Extension's Sustainable Business Practices certificate program. 

10. We cooled things down in July with this tasty, healthy Orange-Tahini Popsicle recipe.


1. We shared the story of Bunny the Dog, who uses a soundboard with 78 buttons to communicate with her owner as part of a UC San Diego research project.

2. Forbes ranked UC San Diego third in their 2021 list of America's Top Colleges.

3. We announced our newest scholarship opportunity, Brewing for Diversity, in partnership with Ballast Point Brewing.

4. UC San Diego announced a return to campus along with plans to keep students, faculty and staff safe from COVID.

5. University of California officially embraced new gender identity and lived name options across all ten campuses.

6. We put together a collection of 30 different Zoom and desktop backgrounds that includes images of UC San Diego's campus, Sally Ride and NASA.

7. We shared some fun UC San Diego entertainment trivia. (Do you know what movies have featured Geisel Library?)

8. Two Navy veterans shared their experiences transitioning back to civilian life.

9. We celebrated the inclusion of a number of UC alumni in President Biden's cabinet.

10. We announced the winners of our #MyExtensionStory contest, including local DJ turned project manager Amir Al-Qadaffi.


1. We celebrated our colleague, Ivana Bonaccorsi, for earning her MBA and winning the Daniel J. Reed Memorial Prize in Innovation.

2. Human resources instructor Michael McGinnis offered us excellent advice for our next job search.

3. Associate Vice Chancellor Mary Walshok left her position as UCSD Extension's Dean to lead our downtown project.

4. We sat down with Zachary Smith, fundraising instructor and Executive Director of Development at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering, to talk about career paths.

5. We said goodbye to our Chief Administrative Officer, Doug Lincoln, who retired from UC San Diego over the summer.

6. San Diego's 10 News highlighted ISA-funded Business Intelligence student Mahboobeh Khalil and her challenges getting back into a technical field.

7. Forbes ranked UC San Diego top 5 in the nation's top public colleges and the top 20 out of 600 four-year private and public colleges in the US.

8. The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) recognized Extension medical writing instructors Dikran Toroser and R. Michelle Sauer Gehring for their contributions to the field.

9. We highlighted ISA Business Analysis program graduate Christopher London, who is now working in his chosen field and making $30K more than before.

10. We announced the selection of Hugo Villar as UCSD Extension's new dean.


1. We shared some interesting bits of military and campus history.

2. Associate Vice Chancellor Mary Walshok spoke to an oncoming shift in downtown San Diego from hospitality to tech hub.

3. Wise Ink Publishing announced the winners of their publishing fellowship, which included training in UCSD Extension's copyediting program.

4. We got excited about UC San Diego's 2021 Homecoming Week!

5. Geisel Library celebrated its 50th anniversary and hosted an online event with author Min Jin Lee.

6. We put together a collection of Zoom backgrounds that include images of UC San Diego's campus, Sally Ride and NASA.

7. We created a how-to guide to raise awareness for women in STEM and provide role models for the next generation.

8. Extension's Business department collaborated with Black San Diego Magazine to give a small business owner the chance to take four free UCSD Extension classes.

9. UC San Diego researchers discussed how climate change alters our health, focusing on pregnant women and young children.

10. We took a trip back in time to pre-UCSD days when it was just UC Extension in downtown San Diego.

What were your highlights for 2021? Share them with us in the comments!


Posted: 12/14/2021 3:19:45 PM with 0 comments
Filed under: best-of-2021, communications, facebook, highlights, instagram, linkedin, news, social-media, twitter

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