UC San Diego SearchMenu

Dean's Office

Location & Contact

Natural Sciences Building 6205

Phone: (858) 534-5635

Bill McGinnis

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

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

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

Bonnie assists the dean with planning and managing operations for the dean’s office.

External Relations / Communications / Development Staff

This is a picture of Mario Aguilera

Mario Aguilera
Director of Communications
(858) 822-5148

Serves as the communications director for Biological Sciences; publicizes research and other features of the division through news releases, articles, interviews, videos, and social media.

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.

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.

Emily Loui

Emily Loui
Director of Alumni Relations
(858) 822-4622

Emily Loui focuses on alumni relations and engagement for the Division of Biological Sciences.

Leigh Eck

Leigh Eck
Development & Diversity Outreach Assistant
(858) 534-1920

Leigh coordinates programmatic and fundraising efforts and communications for diversity and inclusion related initiatives for the Division of Biological Sciences.