Sara Sterphone (1988 - 2021)

Academic Advisor, March 2013 - December 2019

Sara Sterphone
Sara Sterphone

On April 25, 2021 at the age of 33, former CCS Academic Advisor Sara Sterphone passed away. Sara worked steadfastly and compassionately at CCS, starting in March 2013 as an Academic Advisor and then the College's Lead Academic Advisor from September 2014 through 2019. Shortly after becoming the Degree Audit & Reporting Analyst at the UCSB Office of the Registrar in early 2020, Sara was diagnosed with NUT Carcinoma. Sara went well beyond her responsibilities to make sure every student was heard and respected as well as felt part of the larger CCS and UCSB communities.

CCS was honored to showcase 50 individuals and activities during our 50th Anniversary in 2017-2018 to share our rich history. We featured Sara as one of the amazing people responsible for making our unconventional College possible!   

For all her dedication to the CCS and UCSB community, Sara received the 2021 Margaret T. Getman Service Award posthumously. The Daily Nexus also wrote an obituary for Sara, which can be read here


CCS Is Honored to Remember Sara’s Passion and Dedication for Service to the Community

  • The CCS Student Service Award was renamed to the College of Creative Studies Sara Sterphone Student Service Award. This recognition is given to CCS students with a financial award for outstanding contributions to the intellectual and social life of the College of Creative Studies.
  • CCS established the Sara Sterphone Memorial Fund (more information below).
  • A Book Arts memorial project was created by two members of the CCS alumni community–Roshelle Carlson ‘20 (CCS Art) and Phoebe Jin ‘20 (CCS Art)–to celebrate Sara's life and her impact on the CCS and UCSB communities. View this special memorial book. The book can also be purchased (UCSB and CCS do not receive any goods or services from the sale of this memorial book.) . 

Sterphone and Rind Families Extend Gratitude to CCS and UCSB Community

The Sterphone and Rind families are grateful for all the support Sara received from our community. They asked to share this letter with everyone to show their gratitude and convey how much the CCS community meant to Sara. 

These word clouds were created from words and expressions from students, staff, faculty, parents, and friends as they will remember Sara. 

CCS Deans Aldana, Foltz, and Tiffney honor Sara's memory

This message was sent to the CCS Community on April 30, 2021.

Sara Sterphone arrived at CCS to fill the new junior Student Affairs position in March of 2013. The first thing that hit CCS was Sara's laugh, bigger than she was... and then she made CCS live up to its potential in an overwhelming whirlwind of generous vitality, coupled with intense empathy and wisdom. She shared her energy like it would never run out. She always wanted to shine her light on someone else, and in turn, she made us strive to be the people she thought us to be. 

Read the full statement here

The Sara Sterphone Memorial Fund

The Sara Sterphone Memorial Fund at CCS was established in honor and memory of Sara, who went well beyond her responsibilities to make sure every student was heard and respected as well as felt part of the larger CCS community. Sara meant so much to so many of us. Her contributions to the College and the community are already legendary.

Gifts to this Fund will benefit CCS students who Sara cared about deeply and honor her memory in perpetuity. Specifically, this fund will support the following in honor of Sara’s commitment to the CCS student community:

  • CCS Sara Sterphone Student Service Award
  • Student activities and extracurricular programming

Donate online or give by check by making it out to UCSB Foundation (write “Sara Sterphone Memorial Fund” in the note section) and send it to:

ATTN: Venilde Jeronimo/Sara Sterphone Memorial Fund | CCS, UCSB, Bldg 494, MC 6110, Santa Barbara, CA 93106

For gift inquiries in honor of Sara, please contact Venilde at

Sara Receives 2021 Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award Posthumously 

Sara Sterphone's Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award Nomination Letters

In honor of the former UCSB Dean of Student Residents, Margaret T. Getman, the Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award annually recognizes university staff, and faculty that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the general growth and development of students and the quality of student life.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, four members of the CCS Community nominated Sara for the Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award. Supported by nomination letters from CCS Biology Faculty Kathy Foltz and John Latto, CCS Student Affairs Manager Savannah Parison, and CCS Mathematics Student Emily Lopez, Sara posthumously received the Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award in Spring 2021 for her dedication and commitment to the student community.