Student Alumni Association

What Matters To Me and Why

What Matters to Me and Why

Upcoming Dates:
Postponed until further notice

In partnership with the UCI Advisory Council of Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion, What Matters to Me and Why is an informal, conversational dinner series which explores how student experiences have profoundly impacted career paths and life journeys of some of UCI’s many distinguished alumni. The series explores personal journeys – choices made, difficulties encountered, commitments formed and joys revealed – with the hope that these stories will help us to understand diverse pathways in life, work and leadership. Such understandings are crucial for fortifying tolerance, strengthening bonds, and supporting the virtues that make UCI a great institution. The program consists of a conversation with Q&A, followed by a light supper and networking session. 


February 6, 2020 - Jason Starkman '03, State Farm Agency Owner 

Oct. 17, 2019 - Omead Afshar '09, Project Director, Office of the CEO at Tesla

May 8, 2019 - Dr. Oscar Gonzalez, Ph.D. '11, Research Psychologist, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School

Mar. 7, 2019 - Dr. Tyrone C. Howard '91, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate School of Education at UCLA and Director and Founder, Black Male Institute at UCLA

Nov. 1, 2018 – Dr. Niaz Kasravi '96, M.A. '99, Ph.D. '01, Founder and Director of Avalan Institute for Applied Research

May 30, 2018Jennifer Friend '95, CEO of Project Hope Alliance, UCIAA President

Jan. 25, 2018Dr. Nikan Khatibi '04, Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director for Ahura Healthcare Corporation

Oct. 12, 2017Dion Shepherd Jr., M.A.S. '16, Founder, Justice League Consulting

May 16, 2017 – Sasha Strauss ’9, Managing Director, Innovation Protocol

Jan. 24, 2017 – Jermaine Griggs '05, Founder & CEO, Hear & Play Music

May 17, 2016Dale Mayeda '91, Animation Effects Head, Walt Disney Animation Studios & Jill Halvaks '80, retired UCI staff

Jan. 12, 2016Erin Gruwell '91, Founder, Freedom Writers Foundation

View full list of past speakers >

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