Oceanids Logo bw


New:  Sounding Board Lecture Links can be found in our Links section.


Who Are We?

Oceanids is a University of California, San Diego organization and support group promoting friendship and services to the UC San Diego community.  Oceanids is open to all who are interested in UC San Diego as well as faculty, staff and active members of campus support groups and their spouses.  In particular, we shall:

Oceanids service activities include:  Undergraduate service awards, graduate fellowships, Friday Cafe, Kitchen & Baby Equipment Exchange and other service projects.  The Newcomers group welcomes and assists new members to the UC San Diego community throughout the academic year.  For more information on Newcomers, contact Liz Wills, (858) 454-6858. 

Our annual events include:  Fall Welcome Lunch, Holiday Party, Whale Watching , Desert Camping, Museum Bus Trip, Campus Focus, Theater Fund Raiser and Spring Luncheon, just to mention a few.

Interest Groups are the backbone of our Oceanids organization.  They are here to meet the many varied needs of our UC San Diego families.  If you are interested in book clubs, day trips, bird watching, practicing your French or German, wine tasting, playing bridge, join us.  For a more complete list and description of our groups, click on Interest Groups.


If you are a University scholar, researcher, staff member, visiting guest of the University or a person interested in being part of a vibrant University community, you are invited to join us.  We are located in the UC San Diego International Center.  For more information, please contact oceanids@ucsd.edu, or download a membership application.


President's Message

We lived off and on in West Berlin for many years when my husband had study grants. We had two young children and I taught members of the military for the University of Maryland, mostly in the evenings. Berlin, before the Wall came down, was a strange and wonderful place, controlled by the four powers which had divided Germany at the end of World War II. One of our military friends told me you had to be a Talmudic scholar to understand the ins and outs of the access routes and four-powers agreements.

 For relaxation I often read spy novels, knowing that at some point, the novel will either be set in Berlin or make reference to it. There is no lack of movies which do the same – i.e. the recent, “Bridge of Spies,” with Tom Hanks, which does a good job of conveying the spookiness of the inner-Berlin Wall. Many of these books seem based on a formula, tracing the movements of disparate characters who, in the penultimate chapter, come together for the big blowout. Usually at least one of the good guys is left standing although Le Carré can be more ambiguous! I thought of this model last week when many of our International Center problems seemed finally to be solved. The old International Center buildings and the pavilions are now completely closed and off-limits. Things were not looking good in the fall as the former inhabitants were scattered about. Although the solutions are not ideal and we are all eager for a new Center to bring us back into close proximity, as of January we seem to have found adequate, if temporary solutions.

 Oceanids now has a small office in Muir College within the IFSO (International Faculty and Scholars) office (which was also uprooted). We now have enough furniture, have gotten things up off the floor, and into files and shelves. We can use it for record keeping and newsletter editing as well as small meetings. We invite you to stop in when you are around. We are using the board room for our monthly meetings. Our interest groups and social activities carry on as usual off campus. The Sounding Board continues on in the Faculty Club once a month. The Friday Café, of which we are one of the sponsors, is up and running in the Great Hall by Eleanor Roosevelt College. We are scheduled to sponsor and help serve the lunch on February 24. The theme is Brazil with special food and music. These $5 meals are always a treat. You should consider dropping in to eat a tasty meal and to show Oceanid interest in the students.

 The Friends, with numerous on-campus activities, had a more difficult time getting sorted out. Many of its classes will be held in the Great Hall. The good news is that our special “shops” have been relocated not too far from the IC building. The Friends’ Resale Shop is now in a building along Library Walk and is looking good. (The International Center administrative office is now in the neighboring building.) After much nagging and maybe even a few tantrums, we were given two large storage containers parked in front of the IC. The Resale Shop is using one for storage and our Kitchen Exchange is ensconced in the other one. Come on a Wednesday to see the Exchange in action – an inspiring activity of which we can all be proud. Liz Fong Wills keeps it organized and can use volunteers on Wednesdays, as well as for other Newcomers activities.

 There are still some unsolved problems, such as what can we use for a kitchen and social activities, but given our near despair last summer, things have come together for us and we are optimistic that we can continue with our programs. Please be grateful to the Board members and others member-volunteers who have worked both to create the necessary interest on the part of the administration and to carry out the relocation. Do come to see us when you can. And as always, think about volunteering.

      Liz Bonkowsky, President, Oceanids, lizbonkowsky@yahoo.com


  Special Announcements


Friends of the International

Ethnic Dinner/Scholarship Fundraiser

Year of the Rooster 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

International House, Great Hall

6:30 - 9:30 pm

Friends Members: $50; Community: $60; UCSD Degree Students & International Scholars $25 (we regret no children)


Register for event at    http://FICAsia2017.eventbrite.com  For more information,  please contact Liz Fong Wills, icfriends@ucsd.edu



Oceanids is proud to sponsor

Friday Café

Featuring Brazilian Food and Music by Thalma & Laércio de Freitas*

February 24, 2017, 12pm

Great Hall,

International House



*Join ArtPower for Thalma de Freitas' performance, following her sold-out U.S. debut at UCSD, as she joins forces with her father, Laércio to showcase beautiful Brazilian jazz music that demonstrates the power of cross-generational influences.  For more information and tickets, visit:




Save the Date

Oceanids' Spring Luncheon

Mission Trails Regional Park

Visitor and Interpretive Center

May 25, 2017

1 Father Junipero Serra Trail

San Diego

Rides Available




Oceanids Board

2016 - 2017


President:     Liz Bonkowsky

President-Elect:     Kim Signoret-Paar

First Vice Presidents:     Chris Chase,  Olivia Dorman

Second Vice President:     Mary Cutchin (membership)

Recording Secretary:     Mary Hanson

Treasurer:     Jim Bunch

Co-Financial Secretaries:     Liz Winant, Kim Signoret-Paar

Nominating Committee* :     Hulya Saygin (cont.), Maxine Bloor (alt.), Diana Vines, Marion Spors, Mary Cutchin, Mary Hanson





Oceanid's Kitchen Exchange Needs Your Help!


Temporary and long term helpers needed.  Come and have fun and meet interesting peope from around the world!


If you are interested, please contact Liz Fong Wills, ludditelizfong@gmail.com or Jim Chase, jim.chase1@cox.net





UCSD Tours

Sundays, Year-Round at 2pm

South Gilman Information Pavilion

Cost:  Free

Walking Tours - 1st Sunday of the month

Bus Tours - Remaining Sundays of the month, excluding holidays

Reservations are required. 

Call (858) 534-4414 or visit  www.ucsdnews.ucsd.ed/tours to make your reservation.



For questions regarding the website, please contact Mary Woo, mwoonew@gmail.com