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UC People: Roger Hailstork

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Roger Hailstork in front of the UC San Diego Bookstore
Roger Hailstork recently rejoined UC San Diego as director of the UC San Diego Bookstore.
By Leslie Sepuka

UC San Diego Today

Take 10 with a Triton

Name: Roger Cunningham Hailstork

Pronouns: He/him/his

Position: Director of the UC San Diego Bookstore

Years he has worked at UC San Diego: Hailstork worked at UC San Diego for eight years and recently rejoined the university after a decade at Syracuse University. When asked about the changes to the campus during that time, he noted that when he was last at the university, the Price Center renovation had just been completed. “That was a big deal, but this is unbelievable,” he said. “I walked across I-5 a few days ago—you would not even think of doing that when I was last here.” He added that he used to ride the Coaster regularly and looks forward to riding the UC San Diego Blue Line trolley, “I believe in public transportation, so I plan to live close to a station so I can catch the trolley on a daily basis. I’m excited about that.”

What he does at UC San Diego: Put simply, Hailstork oversees the operation of the UC San Diego Bookstore. His personal focus is making sure that all students can get their academic resources at an accessible price and is looking forward to working with campus leaders to develop programming that can address affordability. He hopes to build upon his years of experience with similar initiatives to create a program on our campus, which would allow students to get textbooks affordably. In addition to academic resources, he believes, “The Bookstore is the central hub for cultivating school spirit and serves as a unifying location for all the colleges and students, present, past and future.” In preparation for commencement, the Bookstore will be hosting their annual Grad Fair in Town Square April 30 to May 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What he loves about UC San Diego: “I have always loved the innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit that exists here,” he remarked. “When I came to UC San Diego years ago, you were expected to bring a different perspective to the table—to innovate, to keep moving forward. People were always cutting-edge in what they did, and I learned a lot here. It’s really one of the things that led me back to campus.” 

Best advice received: “Bloom where you are planted,” he shared. “For me, it means work hard and do your best no matter what circumstance you’re confronted with and excel where you are.”

Something unique in his workspace: The subterranean receiving area of the Bookstore. He added that he has been to hundreds of bookstores and has never seen one with an underground loading dock. “All the receiving is now in the Bookstore, which helps keep things in stock and results in fewer delays contrary to when we exclusively used an offsite warehouse.”

His favorite spot-on campus: Hailstork was thrilled to see the Divine Nine Plaza on our campus. “I’ve been to the plaza a few times,” he said. “As a Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, one of the fraternities represented in the plaza, the development and prominence of this space gives a feeling of acknowledgment and inclusion and goes a long way to welcome groups that have been marginalized on some campuses.”

Something most people don’t know about him: “I’m an introvert, but I am passionate about so many things that it’s usually disguised,” he explained. “I can stand up on a table and talk about the role of a campus bookstore for hours.”

If he had one day to do whatever he wanted: He would most love 24 hours of uninterrupted time with his kids. “I absolutely love spending time with them,” he emphasized. “An entire day of doing whatever together with my son and my daughter would be a blast.”

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