NEWS: The UC Tech Conference – meet its ambassadors – 42 years strong

The UC Tech Conference was founded in 1982 with the first UC-wide tech community conference, held at UC Santa Cruz. Since then, the conference has grown in popularity to include over 1000 viewers (about 400 in-person and 700 online). Each year, a different campus hosts the conference. The conference consists of an opening keynote, presentations, a gala awards ceremony dinner event, meet-ups, a trade floor and drawing, among many other elements. Each location has the opportunity to welcome the community and share their culture with colleagues.

The UC Tech Ambassadors have been an important tradition. Each ambassador represents their location and helps encourage participation – registrations, presentations, UC Tech awards applications and more. The following description serves as a job description and explains who the members are this year.

Ambassadors’ role

The UC Tech Conference Ambassadors represent members of each UC location who communicate about the UC Tech Conference to their constituents (tech employees). Communications includes some of the following themes. In some cases, the ambassadors provide support to their teams submitting applications, etc. You can review the list below to

  1. Conference registration
  2. Conference presentations
  3. Conference awards program (some location representatives help encourage submissions, while others edit those submissions, and others upload them into the portal on behalf of their colleagues)
  4. Other conference communications

Who are your UC Tech Ambassadors?

For an up-to-date list of ambassadors, please visit the current UC Tech Conference “Ambassador” landing page.

Qualifications/selection process

Ambassadors are selected by UC Tech leadership of each individual campus, and the rotation schedule is determined by these locations, individually.

Group of people smiling

Ambassadors’ Meeting cadence

The ambassadors are expected to attend ambassador meetings (zoom calls – usually 1 hour). The meetings are usually called by the ambassador from the host campus for the upcoming conference. An example schedule might be monthly Jan-Apr, biweekly May, and possibly weekly Jun-Aug. There is usually a follow-up/debrief meeting after the conference and then few to 0 meetings Sept to Dec. Expect about 15 hours a year.

Emily Weaver
Emily Weaver, UC Tech Ambassador, UC Office of the President

Ambassador’s Meeting Agendas

During ambassador meetings the hosting campus ambassador usually provides an update on what plans are underway. The hosting campus ambassador will usually ask questions of and advice from the other ambassadors. The idea is to provide some continuity from year to year as well as best practices based on experience with this specific conference.

Communications support

The ambassadors are expected to be the conduit through which announcements go out to the campuses. The UC Tech Conference hosts post in Slack regularly, but depend on the ambassadors to reach out and disburse the communications to the IT staff on their campuses. It is therefore preferable that the ambassador be someone with the ability to get the word out on their campus. The communications include announcements of call for UC Tech Awards applications/nominations, conference presentation proposal openings and deadlines, registration opening and deadlines, etc. Sometimes ambassadors are asked to send out info on other UC events – like UC Davis’ Security Symposium. You may expect to hear from your location ambassador about the following:

  1. UC Tech Conference – when the website becomes live
  2. UC Tech Awards – call for applications/nomination
  3. UC Tech Conference Presentations – call for proposals
  4. UC Tech Conference Registration – when registration is open
  5. UC Tech Awards Program attendance to this conference capstone event
  6. Other communication regarding other UC Tech events (i.e. the UC Davis Cyber Security Symposium)
  7. Promoting UC Tech Community surveys and other forms of feedback

Evaluation duties

The UC Tech Conference hosts usually ask the ambassadors to review and evaluate/rate session presentation proposal submissions and take those ratings into consideration when deciding which proposals to accept, but the final decisions on which session proposals are accepted reside with the hosting campus planning team. It can take 2-8 hours to read through the proposals once a year.

Conference duties

The ambassadors are expected to attend the conference (which is typically  hosted in either July or August) and act as a liaison between the attendees from their campus and the planning team, to answer questions when asked and to be knowledgeable about the event. There is usually an in-person ambassador meeting at the start of the conference on Monday afternoon.

Shaking hands

Other – Culture of professionalism and fun

The work of the ambassador is generally much greater when their campus is the host campus as that ambassador is usually part of (or sometimes leading) the local campus planning team

Throughout the last 40 years, the ambassadors have created a warmth and attentiveness.

Who are the UC Tech ambassadors this year?

For an up-to-date list of ambassadors, please visit the current UC Tech Conference “Ambassador” landing page.

People mingling at the UC Tech Conference


Chris Patterson
Chris Patterson
Technical Lead, Web Team and Disabilities and Computing Program, Office of Advanced Research Computing