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March 17, 1997

Aromas students interview Chancellor Greenwood

By Jennifer McNulty

With pencils and notebooks in hand, 13 fourth and fifth graders from Aromas School recently marched into Chancellor Greenwood's office to interview her about her experience as chancellor. One of the first things they noticed were the new photographs on the wall.

For most of the youngsters, their visit with Greenwood marked a return trip to the Chancellor's Office. Many had interviewed Karl Pister last year for the bilingual book they are writing about the university.

Greenwood's arrival last summer necessitated a follow-up interview, and the children peppered her with questions during the freewheeling 45-minute exchange. Subjects ranged from Greenwood's first words upon hearing that she'd been selected to be chancellor ("thank you") to what it's like to lead the campus ("I think being chancellor is like being the chief cheerleader for your campus").

The students, who took turns asking questions and scribbled notes diligently throughout the interview, appeared to enjoy Greenwood's description of a typical day, and they were visibly impressed by the photos she passed around of her days in the White House. They were particularly in awe of the photo of Greenwood sitting at the controls of the space shuttle at the Johnson Space Center.

"If you want to be an astronaut, you need to be really good at math and science," urged Greenwood, who took the opportunity to encourage the students to study hard, develop their reading, writing, and mathematical skills, and learn about the state in which they live.

"The most important thing you can learn is to enjoy going to school and learning," said Greenwood. "One of the best things about being chancellor is that I get to learn new things every day."

The youngsters have made several visits to the campus to gather information for the book they are writing called Kids Around the University. During their visits, the students have toured major facilities on campus and interviewed college students, faculty, staff, and administrators, including Admissions director J. Michael Thompson.

Student Affairs, which will publish the book this spring, plans to use the book to supplement outreach efforts to elementary school students.

At the end of the interview, if the crowd that gathered around Greenwood to ask for her autograph was any indication, the chancellor was a hit. Even before she passed out the UCSC Banana Slug lapel pins.

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