Graduate Division

Celebration of Graduate Success: A Communications Forum for Today's Professional

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Saturday, May 19, 2018
 University of California, Irvine | Newkirk Alumni Center

The 3rd Annual Celebration of Graduate Success will invite graduate alumni back to campus for a professional development conference. Alumni will have the opportunity to take advantage of the best of the professional development programs that Graduate Division offers our current grad students and postdocs, but elevated for our working professionals. In addition, our grad alumni will have the opportunity to network and engage once again with UCI.

Please continue to check back as we add more details regarding this year's event.

Featured Speakers

Greg Campbell

Leadership Coach
Greg has served in Senior Management positions for Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group and Richard Ellis, Inc. Following the sale of Coldwell Banker Residential Group, Greg has provided leadership coaching and consulting for high profile executives as well as young professionals. He also serves as a board member for several profit and non-profit companies. Greg is the author of The Surprising Power of the Coil.

Bri McWhorter

MFA ’14, CEO of Activate to Captivate
Bri is the founder of Activate to Captivate where she teaches communication techniques from an actor's point of view. She specializes in public speaking, interpersonal communications, and interview techniques. Bri is a presentation coach for nonprofits, corporations, and universities and coaches speakers for TEDx events, keynote speeches and conferences. She received her MFA in Acting from UC Irvine.

Lucas Vandenberg

Managing Partner, 5ifty and 5ive Social Media Agency 
Lucas is a Managing Partner at Fifty & Five, a Los Angeles-based global social media marketing agency with regional offices in Orlando, New York, Austin and Charlotte. In early 2009, he created, studied and experimented with over 150 different social media accounts to develop marketing strategies that would become the cornerstone of Fifty & Five. Prior to the creation of Fifty & Five, Lucas spent a decade developing and executing marketing strategies for clients such as Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Beam Global, Skyy Spirits, Kroger, and CVS.

Professional Communications Forum Schedule

10:00am Celebration Registration Opens

10:45am Celebration of Graduate Success Begins

10:55 -11:55am Greg Campbell

11:55am - 12:45pm Lunch and Networking

12:45 - 1:45pm Bri McWhorter

1:45 - 1:55pm Networking

1:55 - 2:55pm Lucas Vandenberg

2:55 - 3:00pm Wrap-up

3:00 - 4:00pm Networking Reception

The History of Celebration of Graduate Success

In commemoration of UCI’s 50th anniversary, the inaugural 2016 Celebration of Graduate Success highlighted five decades of graduate program impact and some of our most successful graduate and postdoctoral scholar alumni. The event featured alumni speakers and panelists who represented the Bright Past. Brilliant Future. of UC Irvine’s graduate degree programs. 

In 2017, we called on the graduate alumni community to provide their prospective and inform an action plan for graduate professional success. Alumni, current students, and staff joined in conversations surrounding the key competencies of Graduate Professional Success in transforming how graduate students and post-doctoral scholars develop a strong professional identity and create career plans. 

Professional Development and Impact on Graduate Education

Graduate education is changing at a rapid pace and professional development has become that much more essential to the future success of our students. Graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and their research are impacting the world in profound and visible ways. Here at UCI, we encourage our students and scholars to not only develop skills in the classroom and lab, but to acquire a new level of professional development as their journey leads them into their future careers – in whichever industry or field that may be. Our alumni understand and have experienced this journey firsthand. 

These are the key competencies of Graduate Professional Success in transforming how graduate students and post-doctoral scholars develop a strong professional identity and create career plans:

  • Communications & Cultural Fluency
  • Leadership & Management
  • Careers & Entrepreneurship
  • Ethics & Professional Responsibility
  • Life Skills
  • Teaching & Pedagogy

Be a Part of the Conversation

We need your voice! Join our community on social media and connect with fellow alumni and current students, postdoctoral scholars, staff and faculty in the graduate community. Learn what’s happening on campus, what’s coming up on the Graduate Division calendar, and how you can continue to be involved in the community.








We look forward to celebrating with you soon. If you have questions, please email us at

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