Remembering VC Powe, A Pillar of UCLA Luskin
A Proud Bruin
Longtime UCLA Luskin staff member VC Powe BA '75, MBA '77, oversaw career counseling and programs in which public officials, community leaders, and alumni mentor students. VC suddenly passed away on September 16 following complications from a serious illness.
Born in Los Angeles, VC was a pivotal figure at the Luskin School, holding a lasting impact on all the students, faculty and staff members she touched. Also an avid Bruins basketball fan, VC's first job at UCLA was in the athletic ticket office as a student. She then came back to the School in 1998, serving in a variety of roles over the years, including director of alumni and government relations. Later working at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Powe would work tirelessly to make connections for her students, who she referred to as her children. Keith Parker, a former assistant vice chancellor of government and community relations, said Powe was a friend and colleague for more than 25 years. "She was someone that always offered a smile, extended a helping hand and took a moment to let you know that she cared about you," Parker said. "I always told her VC stood for 'Very Caring.'"
In her honor, let's continue her impact through the support of her beloved programs, Senior Fellows, Career Services and Student Fellowships.
VC Powe's Legacy
Her contributions were many, but Powe’s success with the Senior Fellows program stands out as a signature accomplishment. She inherited the program in a fledgling state, but she persevered in elevating it to where it is today. In the words of former Luskin instructor, Bill Parent, “year-by-year, fellow-by-fellow, student-by-student, event-by-event, VC nurtured the program into a rewarding honor for scores of fellows and hundreds of students, a centerpiece of engagement for the Luskin School and UCLA in the world of public leadership,”
The Senior Fellows represent a wide variety of policy interests: health, youth, trade, security, education, transportation, and poverty - from all political viewpoints and many social backgrounds. Students who participate in the program are selected in a competitive process and matched to a Fellow at the recommendation of graduate advisors and faculty in their respective departments.
The Department of Career Services works both one-on-one with students and large scale, proving opportunities for connections for students to alumni. The department quickly pivoted to an online environment, enhancing career platforms to connect students to alumni and create the ability to hold virtual career fairs. Additionally, one of Powe's goals was to create leadership development programming, brining prolific individuals to campus to help students. All remaining funds are directed to summer internships.
UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellows, a 12-month apprenticeship program for exceptional graduate students who serve within selected government agencies, nonprofits and civic organizations to work on research, policy, advocacy and applied projects tailored to the students’ tracks of study and consistent with the mission and goals of the organization. These prestigious fellowships offer hands-on experience and include tuition coverage.
Summer Internships support provides graduate students a stipend for 10-week placements in a diverse set of fields that include public service, mental health, transportation, immigration, child and family services, homelessness, aging, land use, social justice, prison reform, economic development, education, the environment, LGBTQ and women’s services.
How Can You Help?
Spread the word about VC's passion and dedication to students. Your gift makes an impact on implementing all of the programming she dedicated her time at Luskin to evolve. Because of you, more students can receive funding, programing, and professional development opportunities to connect with community leaders.
VC Powe helped as many students as possible, always striving to have her resources reach as far as possible. With your support, her mission can extend further, helping students thrive.
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