Aug. 7, 2012
Thank you to all of you who read Word from Westwood during the 2011-12 school year. For the start of the 2012-13 athletic year, Word from Westwood will adopt a new format.
Much as I did a year ago, I will continue to share some of my experiences and thoughts with the Bruin Family each week. In addition, my team and I will continue to bring you the very popular Olympic Sports Recap. Additionally, I have requested that units within the Athletic Department let you in on some of the best stories, news and information on our nearly 700 student-athletes, often times before it is reported anywhere else.
As always, feedback is greatly encouraged as you take the time to read Word from Westwood each week throughout the school year. The team welcomes any comments that can help make this a better information source for all of you. Please direct your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you continue to enjoy reading this special medium of communication moving forward.
London Olympic Sports Recap
UCLA's strong Olympic tradition has continued at the 2012 London Olympics, with 34 Bruins representing their respective countries at the Games, bringing UCLA's all-time total to 650 Olympians. The first UCLA medalist at the Games was former rowing assistant coach Mark Hunter, who captured silver in the lightweight double sculls last Saturday, followed by Dawn Harper with a silver in the 100m hurdles. These two two-time Olympic medalists are far from the last Bruins who will medal.
Many Bruins are still in action, competing with their teams late into the medal rounds, including current Bruin players and alumni in women's soccer, men's basketball, and men's and women's water polo.
One really unique fact about UCLA's Olympians is that three of them are current Bruin head coaches. Men's water polo coach Adam Wright is a starter for the U.S. water polo team, while the U.S. men's volleyball staff includes men's volleyball coach John Speraw and women's volleyball coach Michael Sealy.
UCLABruins.com is providing comprehensive coverage from the Games, with daily summaries of each Bruin in competition, photo galleries, competition schedules with links to live broadcasts, and blogs directly from Bruins in London. Among those contributing first-hand accounts are Speraw, U.S. water polo player Chay Lapin, U.S. gymnast Anna Li, UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos Field, UCLA Associate Athletic Director Mike Sondheimer, and former UCLA gymnast Ariana Berlin.
Two Former Student-Athletes to Attend UCLA Medical School
Former UCLA women's basketball player Erica Tukianen, who graduated in 2010, and track and field's Taylor Hobson, who graduated in June, have both been accepted to UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine for the coming year.
This is not the first time that a UCLA student-athlete has attended medical school at UCLA. Dr. Julie Bremner, Dr. Chainey Umphrey and Dr. Bryan Wiley are just some examples. However, the academic and student services unit believes this is the first time that two student-athletes have been accepted at UCLA in the same year.
Football Returns to Westwood on August 18
After their two-week summer camp session in San Bernardino, Jim Mora and the Bruins will return to practice in Westwood on Saturday, August 18. That afternoon, after practice, will be the perfect opportunity for all UCLA football fans to "Meet the Bruins".
Drake Stadium will open to the public at 3:30pm and will feature a fan fest for UCLA supporters of all ages, complete with a DJ, various vendor booths and promotional give-aways. There will be food trucks and other concessions also available. At about 4:00pm, the team and coaches will be available for autographs in a designated area of the stadium. In addition, select players and coaches will be interviewed by Chris Roberts over the public address system regarding their outlooks for the upcoming season.
This event will allow fans to interact with players in a more casual setting than a fall scrimmage, while still allowing them to attend any of the open practices scheduled for the following week (August 19, 20, 21) at Spaulding Field. All football practices will be closed to the public for the season starting on August 22 in preparation for the season opener at Rice.
Details are still being finalized. Please check UCLABruins.com in the coming days for updates.
Student Athletes Learn about the "Fishbowl"
In late July, Ashley Armstrong, Assistant Athletic Director of Student-Athlete Development, conducted a workshop for the incoming freshmen on our football, men's basketball, and women's basketball teams entitled "Welcome to the Fishbowl". This workshop featured guest speakers from throughout the department and focused on the importance of paying attention to your choices and behaviors, creating and communicating your personal brand, and making smart choices about using social media. This seminar provided some perspective that they may not have heard before from administrators, while giving them the chance to get know the leaders of the department on a personal level.
Wooden Athletic Fund Prepares to Launch New Ad Campaign
Earlier this summer, the Development staff invited more than 40 Athletics donors to the Morgan Center for a photo shoot that was part of the Wooden Athletic Fund's new advertising campaign. These generous donors (and their unique stories about why they contribute to UCLA Athletics) will be featured in upcoming publications, including game programs and UCLA Magazine. To learn more about the Wooden Athletic Fund, please visit WoodenAthleticFund.com.
The short summer is now over, and it is time to focus on the start of fall quarter and our fall sports. A few sports have already reported back to campus, and, this weekend, I traveled to Cal State San Bernardino for the first official practice of our 2012 football team.
Since Jim Mora arrived here last December, his drive and dedication have been second to none. After leading the team through Spring Ball, the hard work of Coach Mora and his staff has resulted in instilling an attitude, work ethic and determination in the players, both veteran and new, that they all desire.
The team took to the field and immediately set the tone for the rest of the year. Fast-paced, focused and efficient are some of the best words to describe the practices. Despite the heat on both Saturday and Sunday, the intensity out there in each of our players was evident, mirroring that of Jim and his coaching staff, and that gave me great pleasure as we head into a season with seven home games at the Rose Bowl.
The San Bernardino experience was designed to accomplish several things, including setting a foundation for team bonding and solidarity. We are all in this together. I look forward to seeing you at the Rose Bowl cheering on this 2012 Bruin football team.
Great things are ahead for the program, and I'm excited about it.
UCLA Athletic Director