A very heartfelt welcome to the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts! I’m very proud to be joining CTSA, a nationally regarded school of the arts named after a woman field leader and innovator. As CTSA’s new dean with 30 years of experience in public higher education and professional theater, I consider my administrative leadership a form of institutional dramaturgy. This means that listening, collaboration, and consistent reflection on the distance between intention and impact are foundational.
The strength of any organization is its people and its commitment to the community. What drew me to CTSA is the extraordinary alignment of our core values: creativity, authenticity, experimentation, collaboration, and community. I am a first-generation Latinx student, born and raised in Southern California, and a proud alum of the University of California, California State University, and California community colleges. Many of CTSA’s and UCI’s students, alumni, and leaders are first-generation college students, something that fuels our shared mission to give back and strengthen the path for future Anteaters. UCI is a gold-standard campus led by a Chancellor who is also a first-generation college student and champion of the arts as foundational to a college education and life overall.
UCI is nationally recognized for our commitment to advancing social mobility that connects to our work as a Hispanic-serving and minority-serving institution. In these ways, UCI and CTSA intentionally foster a culture of excellence. Studies show that more diverse environments – people, thoughts, and approaches – lead to more innovative and agile work. It also empowers us to expand the frameworks we have inherited. Solving the world’s most significant challenges requires collaboration across fields and borders. CTSA understands this well and cultivates our students to be inspired leaders who embrace the arts as a space for exploration, collaboration and community. Being here, I feel a profound sense of coming home and that I’m precisely where all roads in my life have led.
Our goal is for students to have total confidence in their vision and voice – the work they want to make and the stories they need to tell – and clarity using the broader creative toolkit built from their training. We see CTSA as UCI’s creative engine to serve field leaders, change makers, and impact partners.
I invite you to join us as impact partners in our brilliant future! We endeavor to explore the human experience through all of our artistic forms and modes of expression. We invite you to engage with us through various opportunities, including the hundreds of events and research activities we present during the academic year. Or join one of our membership circles, where you will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see firsthand the research that makes our performances and exhibitions uniquely UCI and uniquely CTSA.
Tiffany Ana López, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean