Crown Alumni

Dear Crown Alumni:

This is Manel Camps; I have been serving as Provost of Crown since 2015.

I’d like to welcome you to this webpage and tell you about the learning environment we strive to create at Crown. This is a joint effort by our academic and residential education teams, student government and by members of our Alumni Council and builds on a long tradition of high quality interaction between students and faculty.

For a retrospective on Crown, please see the following film that we commissioned on occasion of the 50th anniversary of Crown (https://crown.ucsc.edu/activities/anniversary/50th%20Anniversary%20video.html).

Our Residential Education Program (https://crown.ucsc.edu/residential-education/index.html) is key to creating an environment that is safe and promotes personal growth for our students and also offers opportunities for leadership through our Residential Education programs and through opportunities to serve in our Student government.

Our team of advisors (https://crown.ucsc.edu/advising/index.html) provides personalized academic advising and is also developing programs to specifically support first generation, international and transfer students.

On the academic side, Crown hosts classes for the College Scholars Program, which provides extra academic challenge through coursework and opportunities for experiential learning. Students can choose from a number of interdisciplinary courses that support transferable skills such as digital literacy, problem solving or leadership.

Crown Core

Core is as critical for shaping our student experience now as it was 50 years ago. Because of its small class format, Core is where students get to know each other and the instructor and where together they form a community of learners focused on Crown’s theme: Science, Technology, and Society.

Core promotes our student’s critical thinking, their awareness of the world surrounding us, and encourages them to make a difference. A central piece of our Core offering is a group research project, which allows our students to delve into topics they are passionate about and to learn how to work together as a group.

Our faculty team, with a combined expertise in the areas of media, literature, ethics, policy, history, and drama https://crown.ucsc.edu/academics/core-course/core-course-faculty.html, have developed six modules: “transhumanism”, “artificial intelligence”, “privacy/surveillance”, “globalization”, “dystopias”, and “technology and democracy”.

Co-curricular activities supporting Core include our annual SciFi Flash- and Micro-fiction contests (https://crown.ucsc.edu/activities/social-fiction-conference/01-winter-2018-crown-scifi-award-winners.pdf), our Social Fiction Conference https://crown.ucsc.edu/activities/social-fiction-conference/, a podcast class for students who would like to publish their Core research projects, and a drama class culminating in a play based on one of the texts discussed in Core.

In 2018-19, students performed R.U.R. by Karel Capek. The students made this R.U.R. trailer video (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oLSWX2fwsSeSTKfimMFTpCiLV6sG7X3J/view). In 2019-20 they will be performing 1984, an adaptation to theater of George Orwell’s novel. We are also building an ethics institute to project our student’s work with faculty to the wider community.

Pedagogical innovation

Crown was founded on the radical idea that education is a dynamic, collaborative process involving a lot of face-to-face time together between students and faculty both in and out of the classroom.

We are still upholding this vision through our Core classes (which we are in the process of opening to alumni participation), and a through additional classes emphasizing experiential learning in small groups and interdisciplinary education. This includes classes is digital communication, computer modeling of human behavior, entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship.

Last year, Crown also sponsored a student-directed seminar that provided mentored internships for students proficient in programming to support local non-profits through software development.

Thank you!

Alumni like you are making a big difference.

On occasion of Crown’s 50th year anniversary celebration in 2017, a group of pioneer alumni raised $75,000 through grassroots fundraising to support the comprehensive renovations to Crown’s library. This gift responded to our student’s need for places to meet and study. More recently, our alumni were also instrumental in meeting our $25,000 target to renovate the Fireside lounge, improving another more space for students to meet.

In 2018, we launched the Crown Alumni Council that is now working to find ways to include Alumni in our Core offering to give voice to our alumni through a webpage, to open our classrooms to alumni.

Crown’s Alumni Council is also planning a campaign to increase Crown’s endowment by 2021 by at least $1M with the goal of ensuring the availability to adequate resources to enhance the Crown student experience in perpetuity.

Our annual giving has trebled in the last three years, making the programs described above possible. Donations to Crown’s discretionary fund are appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you. Our Alumni Day weekend celebrations are scheduled on April 4-5 this year. Crown will kick off the weekend Friday evening with a reception at the Provost House, offer a very special Dinner Soirée on Saturday evening at the Cultural Center at Merrill, with good food and a special student performance, and close the weekend at brunch with students on Sunday at the Provost House.