Fundraiser and wellness investigator: 'We're all in this together'

When Michelle Zive first entered the field of nutrition as a graduate student, she thought she knew the right answers.

Student Profile: Michelle Zive, Fundraising and Development Certificate

“We all know everyone should be eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise,” she recalled. “But we simply don’t have the right systems or infrastructure to help support the people who need it most.”

As before, her goal as Principal Investigator for UC San Diego’s Community Wellness Programs continues to be how best to bridge that gap. She credits UC San Diego Extension’s courses in Fundraising and Development with greatly enhancing her skill set.

“What I really am is a fund developer,” she said. “My job is all about good stewardship and making good partnerships.”

Zive’s connection with UC San Diego dates back to the late 1980s. While earning her master’s, she was an evaluation researcher, devoted to the cause of community health.

Based on her connections in San Diego’s low-income communities, she’s written “lots of grants” and generated “lots of funding,” which brings her a strong sense of pride. Her on-going challenge is putting those funds to work “where it’s needed most.”

An avid fiction writer in her spare time, Zive also created “Forty & Fabulous,” a website based on inspiring stories about women and aging. Plus, she’s now pursuing a Ph.D. in leadership at the University of San Diego.

“Aging doesn’t have to be difficult and lonely,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be about trying to be younger, but just being who you want to be. After all, we’re all in this together.”

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