La Jolla News Nuggets: National University Merger, Menehune Surf Contest, “Flicks on the Bricks,” more

National University plans merger and will become California’s second-largest private college

La Jolla-based National University announced plans to merge with another local online college, expanding the institution’s sizable footprint amid increased demand for distance learning due to the pandemic .

Starting this fall, Northcentral University, an adult education university also based in San Diego, will shed its moniker and join National, increasing the university’s projected enrollment to more than 42,000 students from approximately 32 000.

USC is the only large private college in the state, serving approximately 49,500 students in the past academic year.

The National University, founded in 1971, has offered undergraduate courses and credentialing programs for adult learners with an increasing emphasis on online courses over the past decade. The merger will allow the institution to expand its curriculum to include Northcentral’s master’s and doctoral programs, such as nursing, health administration and family therapy.

About 70% of National’s students take most of their classes online, according to a statement. The average age of a student is 33, and about one in four is a veteran or active-duty military member. — The San Diego Union Tribune

Menehune Surf Contest Coming October 1st

Entries are being accepted for the Menehune Surf Contest to be held Saturday, October 1 at La Jolla Shores for surfers 16 and under.

Longboard and shortboard divisions for all age groups are offered for boys and girls, including the popular Super Menehunes for ages 7 and under.

Historically, the event has attracted young competitive surfers and their families from across the western states, Hawaii and Baja California.

The Windansea Surf Club will award $250 scholarships in the top two age categories for boys and girls. For more information or to register, visit

Bishop’s Water Polo Players Win Gold at National Tournament

Two stars of the recent CIF title-winning Bishop’s School water polo team recently won gold medals at the 2022 Junior Pan American Water Polo Championships in Indiana: senior Julia Bonaguidi and graduate 2022 Maggie Johnson.

Both competed in the championships as part of the United States Youth Women’s National Team. From there, they will play the junior world championships in Serbia in early August.

LJ Institute for Immunology studies viruses and future treatments

Researchers at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology have published the first glimpse of a key stage in the life cycle of a family of viruses known as paramyxoviruses, which includes measles and Nipah viruses. The new study, published as an upcoming cover story in Scientists progressreveals how future therapies could stop viruses in their tracks.

The study shows the potential of a pan-paramyxoviral therapy that targets viral assembly. Michael Norris, a former postdoctoral associate at LJI and currently an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said that while the genomes of measles and Nipah viruses are very different, the matrix proteins of measles and Nipah seem almost identical.

“Because these matrix protein structures are highly conserved, we could potentially target one virus and have an inhibitor that could target all other viruses in that family,” Norris said.

Norris was able to begin researching matrix protein inhibitors thanks to funding from LJI’s Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Award for Innovation in Immunology, according to LJI. He was able to quickly whittle down a list of more than 7.4 million candidate drugs to around 100 that will undergo further testing.

‘Flicks on the Bricks’ film series returns to Athenaeum

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla will present its 16th outdoor film series “Flicks on the Bricks” at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays starting August 11 at 1008 Wall St. The three-week film series is organized and presented by KPBS film critic Beth Accomando.

Tickets are $15 per movie for Athenaeum members and $20 for non-members, or $39 for the series for members and $54 for non-members. Guests must be at least 21 years old.

For more information, visit

La Jollan joins International Cultural Exchange Services

La Jollan Christina Whalen has joined International Cultural Exchange Services as a local coordinator.

(Courtesy of International Cultural Exchange Services)

La Jolla resident Christina Whalen has joined the nonprofit youth exchange organization International Cultural Exchange Services as a local coordinator.

Whalen will strive to promote cultural exchange in furtherance of the organization’s goal of increasing relations and better cultural understanding between the United States and other countries.

Whalen, a psychologist and research director for an education company, will work with families and schools in and around La Jolla and is currently seeking families who are interested in hosting an exchange student for the upcoming school year.

For more information, email Whalen at [email protected]

La Jolla restaurateur signs contract with La Jolla Music Society

GRNFC Hospitality Chef Giuseppe Ciuffa has signed an exclusive five-year contract with the La Jolla Music Society to provide on-site catering and catering services at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla.

The Conrad includes the Baker-Baum Concert Hall and JAI Cabaret Space, which offers table service from a full bar and catering kitchen.

GRNFC Hospitality, founded by Ciuffa more than 20 years ago, has grown into a culinary group with six operating entities, including the flagship restaurant Candor at 1030 Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla.

The Jolla Music Society presents over 80 concerts and events each year as well as its annual month-long SummerFest at the Conrad. Plus, renters choose the Conrad for dozens of shows, conferences, weddings, receptions and other events throughout the year.

For more information, visit

La Jolla Youth Baseball looks back on a successful season

La Jolla Youth Baseball teams have had a lot of success recently.

La Jolla Youth Baseball teams have had a lot of success recently.

(Courtesy of Scott Blumenthal)

La Jolla Youth Baseball celebrates its successes while hoping for more.

President Scott Blumenthal said the league’s “notable accomplishments” include the 7U team finishing second in the region and the World Series and the 11U and 13U teams finishing second.

The 14U team is currently playing Regionals in Tecolote and is looking to qualify for the Super Region at the end of the month.

For more information, visit

– Compiled by the staff of La Jolla Light

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