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Staff Snapshot, Scott Paulson, maestro of the Geisel Library carillon

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Scott Paulson has spent more than four decades at UC San Diego, first as a student studying music and linguistics, and today as an exhibits and events coordinator for the campus’s iconic Geisel Library. He was originally drawn to his position through the stunning beauty of the library, which he praises as “an architectural wonder,” but he remains because of his delight in welcoming and informing campus residents and community members alike through the library’s notable collections.

Though the building carries worldwide fame for its striking architecture and namesakes — Theodor Geisel, AKA Dr. Seuss, and his wife, Audrey, who directed film adaptations of several Dr. Seuss books — on campus it is equally notable for its carillon, a set of bells controlled by a keyboard that triggers small hammers. Daily, the bells toll across the grassy lawns, brought to life by Scott’s talented hands. His favorite melodies are Diegueño chants from California’s earliest native people, but he also delights in surprising undergraduates with the themes from Nickelodeon TV shows and other pop-culture favorites. He’s famous for taking requests.

For Scott, working at UC is an opportunity to bring disparate groups of people together to learn, explore and inspire one another.

Meet Scott

Name: Scott Paulson

Job title: Exhibits & Events Coordinator

Department/unit: UC San Diego Library

When did you start working for UC? 1983

In five words or less, what do you do for UC? Install exhibits and host events

Why do you love working for UC? Engaging my fellow alumni, current students and the community-at-large, particularly during Geisel Library’s 50th anniversary, is rewarding. It’s easy to love your work when you’re establishing connections and creating bonds.

What’s something people don’t know about you? I perform live at noon on Fridays on the library rooftop chimes. Yes, I take song requests! (Read more about Scott’s performances and watch a video of him playing the carillon.)

Who’s your dream dinner guest (living or dead) and why? While an undergrad at UC San Diego, I was a live-in cook for the late, great Roger Revelle. I’d like to have dinner one more time with that renowned scientist and UC San Diego founding father. At each meal, I always learned something new from him. The scary part was that he insisted that I share something new with him!

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? “Hang in there!”

 

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