A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Staff Member Rosalina Aranda’s Busy Life Keeps Her Fulfilled

January 15, 2016

Rosalina Aranda is the business development operations manager with the Office of Business Development.Between her busy job, her children and pets, and her half-marathons, it's rare to find Rosalina Aranda not running somewhere.

As the business development operations manager for industry alliance and new ventures with the Office of Business Development, Aranda works with staff, faculty, students and industry partners to help them launch collaborations and startup companies.

But this hasn’t always been her job.

Aranda started at UC Merced in 2005, moving from Santa Cruz as she and her husband looked for a place where they could buy their first home together. Her uncle told her about the new campus opening here, and she started in the spring as the Engineering Service Learning program coordinator.

Five years later, she took on the job of office assistant for the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), and when that center became part of the Office of Research in 2013, she went with it.

When the Office of Research (now Research and Economic Development) transformed the Technology Transfer office and turned into the Office of Business Development, Aranda stayed and has been instrumental in helping with the new UC Merced Venture Lab and other projects.

Though her parents still live in Santa Cruz — she and her husband of 15 years spent many a weekend driving back and forth when they first moved here — she has built her family in Merced, including three daughters, a stepson, a border collie, an Australian shepherd/border collie mix and a miniature poodle.

“I have no regrets about moving to Merced,” Aranda said. “It has been a wonderful place to raise my family, and we have made some great friendships.”

She started running half-marathons about three years ago, including the annual race in Santa Cruz, and said she’d like to complete a full marathon and a triathlon.

But much of her time is spent at her daughters’ softball practices and games, both here and away.

“My weekends are pretty booked,” she said.

She did take some time to answer some questions for Panorama, though:

What does your job entail?

My position with the Office of Business Development is to concentrate on two main programs: industry alliance and new ventures.

The focus of industry alliance is to make sure we help our UC Merced researchers develop good business understandings with industry partners and launch successful collaborations. We have worked closely with UC Merced’s Center for Career and Professional Advancement, so we create formal commitments between the university and industry collaborators that allow each to leverage the other’s strengths.

With the new ventures program, I provide UC Merced students, staff and faculty the opportunity to create startup companies.

One of the main resources is the UC Merced Venture Lab in the Parcade Building downtown. My responsibility is to make sure our startups have the resources they need to be successful, including access to the lab, legal counsel, workshops and meeting with inventors and entrepreneurs who have gone through this process.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to have the opportunity to learn about a whole new aspect of the university in innovation and entrepreneurship through the Office of Business Development.

What are some of the things you are looking forward to in your job and in your life in 2016?

I am looking forward to seeing the further growth of this campus, to seeing the startups that are currently in the Venture Lab take their next steps and to seeing new ones develop. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my family, traveling more and accomplishing some personal goals.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a doctor — a pediatrician. As you can see, that did not happen, but my path brought me to positions where I am constantly helping others, which I enjoy doing. I have always had a hand in helping students, from working at UC Santa Cruz in the Financial Aid office, to working for the nonprofit Society for Advancement of Chicano/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) helping students obtain their Ph.D.s, to the Engineering Service Learning and now in the Venture Lab.

What lessons have your work life taught you?

You cannot do things or get things done by yourself. It takes a team to reach goals. Working with others accomplishes so much more. My current supervisor, Peter Schuerman, has said, "None of us are as smart as all of us.” When I first heard this, it summed up what happens here at work every day — each of us knows certain aspects of the work, but needs to reach out to others to accomplish a task, a project or an event, be it brainstorming, getting feedback or hashing out solutions. Overall, one cannot do it alone.

What would you want people to remember about you?

Honestly, I’ve never really thought about this. I hope most people remember me as someone they can approach, and as someone who listens and tries to help. I’d also want people to remember me as someone who laughed — not just a laugh, but the kind where tears come out — and that I cried, because I can be serious and funny. Most of all, I hope that when people remember me, they smile.