Monday, March 17, 2014

Office of Research Announces Research Week Winners

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Research Week events!

For the first time, the campus held a 90-second-video challenge, in which students had to explain their research in a brief, easy-to-understand way.

Erik Lau, with the MESA Lab, won an iPad Mini for his video “Efficient Arrangements: Distributed Propulsion for UAVS.”

Undergraduate winners get certificates of achievement and each one receives a $75 Amazon gift card; while graduate student winners get the same plus they each get $75 cash, as well.
Here is a list of the other winners:

Undergraduate Student Research Poster Competition
  • Engineering: Brian Sarracino-Aguilera, with “Modeling the Dynamics of Prion Proteins with a Branching Process with Catastrophes”
  • Natural Sciences: Etienne Melese, with “Habitat Associations of Hybrid Populations of the Culex Pippins Complex” and Robert Puccinelli, with "Modeling Actin Dynamics on Nanoscale Topography”
  • Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts: Michelle Coverdale, with “Animals in a Scene Distract from Change Detection”

Graduate Student Research Poster Competition
  • Engineering: Maksym Vladymyrov, with “Linear-time Training of Nonlinear Low-dimensional Embeddings”
  • Natural Sciences: Portia Mira, with “Adaptive Landscapes of Variant Mutant Alleles Change as the Concentration of Antibiotic Treatment Change” and Joannee Zumkehr, with “Ceftriaxone ameliorates Alzheimer's Disease-associated Cognitive Impairment in 3xTg-AD Mice”
  • Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts: Erik Buchholz, with “Attachment Style, Physical Contact with Romantic Partners and Friends and Alcohol Use”


If you have not retrieved your poster from the poster competition or still need your judging sheets, stop by the Office of Research and Economic Development, in KL 330. They are available until Friday, March 21.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Acclaimed Author to Visit UC Merced

Author and medieval literature Professor Bruce Holsinger will read from his acclaimed debut novel, "A Burnable Book," at 6 p.m. March 13 at UC Merced.

His reading will be in the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library, Room 355, and will be followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

The book is a historical novel, set in London in 1385, and features a political mystery involving writers John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer. The novel has received positive reviews from the New York Times, NPR and the Washington Post, as well as a starred review from Publisher's Weekly.

Holsinger is a leading medieval scholar at University of Virginia, and is the author of several academic books, including "Neomedievalism, Neoconservatism and the War on Terror” and “The Premodern Condition." His books have won prizes from the Modern Language Association and the Medieval Academy of America. He is a Guggenheim fellow.

The event is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the English major and the Writing Program.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

UC Merced Men’s Soccer Team Builds Framework for Success in Debut Season

In its inaugural intercollegiate season, the UC Merced men’s soccer team showed plenty of promise by defeating the eventual conference champions and producing the California Pacific Conference freshman player of the year.

“It was a season of firsts,” said Coach Albert Martins, who now is recruiting for next season.  “We were successful because we laid a good foundation for the future.”

Overall, the Bobcats finished the season at 4-10 but played competitively in nearly every game. Small errors created mainly by inexperience made the difference in those close games, Martins said.

The season’s highlights included honors for individual players and a home win over conference champs Embry-Riddle.

“We had that game circled on the calendar,” Martins said. “It was our best game of the year.”
Forward Cody Golbad was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year, becoming the first male student-athlete at UC Merced to win that honor. Both Golbad and teammate Heriberto Diaz were named to the All-Cal Pac second team.

Read more.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Students Take Health Information to Local Community

FROM LEFT: Ana Martinez Moreno,
Esteban Rivas Curiel and Yoandra Mendoza
At UC Merced, education often happens both in and outside the classroom.

For the seventh consecutive year, students in lecturer Yolanda Pineda Vargas' "Spanish for Health Professionals" have created projects that share important health information with the Spanish-speaking community in Merced County.

Students have studied a range of topics, including asthma, stress, diet and diseases, and presented their work in a variety of settings, including schools, health fairs and conferences.

"If you see everything you're learning has a purpose, you can assimilate it better and retain it forever," said Pineda Vargas, who is a microbiologist by training.

The class began in 2006 with six students. This fall, 30 students enrolled. There were 10 groups of three students, each focused on a different aspect of health and wellness, Pineda Vargas said. Some student groups this year went to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office in Planada to present while others went to the Boys and Girls Club. The class will be offered again in Fall 2014.

Students Esteban Rivas-Curiel, Ana Martinez Moreno and Yoandra Mendoza produced an informational video about congenital diseases and ways for pregnant women to reduce the likelihood of their child developing disorders. For example, the team talked about spina bifida. Hispanic women have the highest rate of having a child affected by it — 4.17 babies for every 10,000 births — according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"All the members of our group are from the Central Valley and teen pregnancy is a big issue here," said Rivas-Curiel, a management major from Dos Palos. "That's why we decided to focus on this topic — to make a difference in the Central Valley."

Martinez Moreno said the class is demanding, yet rewarding, given the community service component.

"Helping people is always great,” she said. "I recommend students take the class."

Friday, December 6, 2013

Campus Gives Back in Pints

The newest UC campus prides itself on its commitment to community service and helping others. Students, staff members and faculty members spend countless hours working in homeless shelters and food pantries, participating in clothing and toy drives, and much more.

Now, you could say UC Merced is giving back in blood.

In September, the campus community potentially saved the lives of 696 people in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond by donating blood to BloodSource. The campus surpassed its record by registering 302 blood donors and collecting 232 donations, which is a huge accomplishment according to the BloodSource blood center. 

“Our first UC Merced drive at the old Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, and we registered 10 donors and collected 10 donations,” said BloodSource account manager Jaime Suarez. “This was pretty exciting at the time as we knew this drive would only get larger over the years.”


On Dec. 9, BloodSource will be back on campus from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with five bloodmobiles parked on Scholars Lane near the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center. Participants will receive a $5 Togo’s gift card. This is the second of five blood drives planned for the academic year.