Students listening to a presentation in the Physics lecture hall

Unparalleled Student Experience


Vice Chair


Committee on Unparalleled Student Experience: 
Chair: Yat Sun Poon, Mathematics
Vice Chair: Rebekah Richert, Psychology

Faculty Members:

  • Covadonga Lamar Prieto, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, CHASS 
  • Jason Stajich, Professor Microbiology & Plant Pathology, CNAS 
  • Nicole zur Nieden, Associate Professor of Molecular, Cell & Systems Biology, CNAS 
  • Kevin Costello, LSOE of Mathematics, CNAS 
  • Long Gao, Associate Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management, BUS 
  • Paea LePendu, LPSOE of Computer Science & Engineering, BCOE
  • Cassandra Van Zandt, University Writing Program 

Staff Members:

  • Rod Smith, Director of Student Affairs, BCOE
  • Christina Acoff, Director of CHASS F1rst Year Programs
  • Johnathan Lozano, Resident Services Specialist
Community Member: Lynn Carmen Day, Riverside Unified School District

Academic Leaders:

  • Jennifer Brown, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education
  • Ertem Tuncel, Graduate Division Associate Dean and ECE
  • Rich Cardullo, Honors Program Director, and EEOB
  • Kevin Vaughn, Dean of University Extension

Administrative Leaders:

  • Brian Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Emily Engelschall, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services

Foundation/Alumni Board Member:

  •  Wally Bakare, Board of Trustees/Spectrum

Graduate Student:

  •  Jessica Noll

Undergraduate Student:

  • Judy Tu, ASPB Chairperson 
Supporting Staff Member: Joey Mavity, Undergraduate Education

Committee Charge 

The Unparallel Student Experience strategic planning committee will work collaboratively and engage in broad discussions and thoughtful analysis to produce the questions, goals, metrics and summary recommendations that will guide UCR's collective efforts and future investments to achieve an unparalleled experience for UCR's undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The committee should be bold in its exploration of ways to improve the academic and non-academic student experience, increase retention and graduation rates, improve student outcomes and their assessment, and monitor and evaluate trends in the post-graduation success of alumni. This work should include defining the hallmarks of a UCR degree in terms of the unique qualities and attributes possessed by our graduates. This effort will culminate in a 5-10 page document, due in Spring 2020 that will be shared with the campus community. Following an opportunity for feedback, this report will be synthesized with those of the other committees to produce the strategic plan. 

The committee will be led by a chair and vice-chair, and supported by a staff member who will partner closely with the chair and vice chair while also serving as a contributing member of the committee. The staff member will assist the chair and vice chair by helping to facilitate communications, organize and schedule meetings and summarize meeting discussions. 

In this work, the committee will integrate the discussion and analysis of UCR's values as they impact the student experience. As this effort is critically important to the future of UCR, it is important that committee members act and think as campus representatives, rather than constituents of their own department, college or office. Because the work will be carried out over the coming year, committee members must commit to sustained and regular meetings including committee discussions over the summer. Committee members will speak thoughtfully and listen carefully, engaging each other and the larger campus community in respectful dialog.