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Community Connections Fellowship

The UC San Diego Arts and Community Engagement initiative offers an annual fellowship for graduate students to create meaningful partnerships with community organizations, with an eye toward education, engagement and divergent experiences with the visual and performing arts.

Student initiated, the fellowships enable students to carry out clearly defined projects related to their area of interest, providing students with an opportunity to build community through the arts while also gaining practical experience that may influence their research, academic focus or career trajectory. 

“The arts offer a unique way to understand the world that connects and surrounds us. We experience different perspectives; we are moved, inspired and renewed. More than this, the arts can be a key element in bringing people from divergent viewpoints together to create vibrant communities, in which many voices are heard and welcomed, and society itself can be transformed.” — Susan Narucki, Arts and Community Engagement director

The 2020 – 2021 Fellows

Teresa Diaz de CossioTeresa Díaz de Cossio, Department of Music

The Festival de Música Nueva, Ensenada is a new music program that will gather UC San Diego faculty and graduate students, and musicians from the south of the border in Ensenada, México. In collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, they will be leading a series of workshops, classes and concerts open to the community.


Teresa Díaz de Cossio is a Mexican-American flutist, currently pursuing a DMA at the University of California San Diego. Parallel to her work at UC San Diego, she holds positions as teacher at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and co-founder and director of the Festival de Música Nueva, Ensenada.

Sam MitchellSam Mitchell, Department of Theatre and Dance

His work looks to create connections between the campus of UC San Diego, which is located in Mat Kulaaxuuyon (La Jolla) on the unceded territory of the Kumeyaay people and Bdeóta Othúŋwe, (Minneapolis), Minnesota.

The demographics for Native students at UC San Diego have historically been abysmally low, with only .03 representation. Minneapolis, due to the Indian Relocation Act, has become home to a very tight-knit Native American community, with a majority of Native people from Minnesota’s large Ojibwe and Lakota tribes.

During this time of George Floyd protests, this work moves towards building a restorative relationship within Native/Indigenous/POC communities, while working towards healing racialized trauma within the body.


Sam Aros Mitchell is Native American from the Yaqui Nation, as well as a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance. His research locates dance, theatre, film and art through the site of the Indigenous body, and asserts that the body is a place of knowledge as well as a place for the repatriation of Indigenous memory. He has worked with contemporary dance companies for more than 30 years, both performing and teaching, on a national and international level.

Becca RoseBecca Rose, Department of Literature

With the support of the Community Connections Fellowship, Becca will be creating an online literary journal in collaboration with faculty and peers in the MFA in Writing program.

This project aims to create a space of creative response to our current moment of transformation due to the global pandemic. Titled KALEIDOSCOPED, this space will act as just that — a collection of many refractions of experience — gathering the written and visual art of women, queer, trans, and BIPOC folks across Arts and Humanities disciplines, and across the boundaries of social distancing.


Becca Rae Rose is a cross-genre writer from Sisters, Oregon. Her work explores the politics of gender, the body and disposability. She is an assistant poetry editor for Narrative Magazine and is currently pursuing her MFA in Writing at UC San Diego.

Paul RothPaul Roth, Department of Music

Radio Future Hour, in collaboration with San Diego community radio station KNSJ (89.1FM), spotlights the many exceptional and diverse youth-led movements for change in our region. Young community leaders are commissioned to create podcasts for radio play and online streaming archive that presents and explores their work, showing the potentials and visions they bring for tomorrow.


Paul N. Roth is a saxophonist, improviser, arts organizer and scholar working across multiple genres and mediums. He currently pursues a Ph.D. in UC San Diego's Integrative Studies program, researching race, gender, imperialism, the environment and their intersections in later 20th century jazz and experimental musics.

Miguel ZazuetaMiguel Zazueta, Department of Music

The project "Voices for Playas de Tijuana" has the goal to create a dialog between the artistic group Radical: Vocal Ensemble and the Committee of Citizen Security of Playas de Tijuana in order to develop an artistic product that helps this community to reach their goal of making Playas de Tijuana a safe place to live.


Miguel Zazueta is an interdisciplinary voice artist from Tijuana, México. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in music performance at UC San Diego. He is the founder and director of Radical: Vocal Ensemble, an artistic group focused in the interpretation of new music and interdisciplinary vocal art.