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Dean's Office

Location & Contact

Natural Sciences Building 6205

Bill McGinnis

Bill McGinnis, Ph.D.
(858) 534-4281

Richard A. Firtel, Ph.D.
Associate Dean
Urey Hall Room 1625
(858) 534-4714
Fax: 858-534-5535

Laurie Smith

Laurie Smith, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Education
(858) 822-2531

Leads and coordinates the undergraduate education mission of the Division, including planning and staffing of courses, appointment of instructors, and curriculum development. Provides oversight for activities of the DO/Bio (Discovering Opportunities in Biology) Center, CCE/Bio (Center for Continuing Education in Biosciences), and other student-centered activities within the Division.

Administrative Staff

John C. Bauer
Assistant Dean and Executive Officer
(858) 534-8202

Responsible for budgetary and fiscal matters, space planning, and analysis and policy development; consults on academic personnel policy, divisional safety program, capital planning, and divisional administrative questions and organizational issues.

Melanie Ridenour
Senior Personnel Analyst
(858) 534-1967

Serves as academic personnel point of contact for the division; reviews and analyzes all academic personnel actions; provides counsel to the Dean, Section Chairs, faculty and staff regarding current, proposed and new academic personnel policies, procedures and practices.  Melanie also coordinates endowed chair appointments and works on various special projects.

Bonnie Weems
Dean's Assistant for Operations
(858) 534-4281

Provides general administrative support to the dean's office including scheduling, travel arrangements, and reimbursements with attention to projects and events managed by External Relations and the Associate Dean of Education.

External Relations / Communications / Development Staff

Kim McDonald
Director of Science Communications
Natural Sciences Building 2105
(858) 534-7572
Fax: (858) 534-5224

Serves as the science communications officer for both the Biological Sciences and the Physical Sciences Divisions; publicizes research and other activities for the divisions in the popular news media through news releases, magazine articles, interviews, and television programs.

Melanie Cruz

Mel Cruz
Executive Director of Development
(858) 822-3258

Melanie oversees the comprehensive fundraising programs and activities for the science divisions on the UC San Diego main campus.

Katarina Trojnar

Katarina Trojnar
Director of Development
(858) 534-1966

Katarina's major focus is on cultivating new major-gift donors for Biological Sciences, including attention on building the division’s corporate and foundation relations.

Brittany Lonero
Senior Associate Director of Development
(858) 822-5148

Brittany focuses on strengthening relationships with alumni and friends of the Division through philanthropy and engagement. She connects supporters of the Division with their areas of greatest passion so that they may strongly feel the impact of their generosity.

Drew Santos
External Relations Specialist
(858) 534-5635

Drew specializes in external relations support for the Dean's Office, focusing on Development-related needs and initiatives.

*Unless otherwise stated, Dean's Office Staff are located at 6205 Natural Sciences Building on the Revelle College Campus.