Monday, May 19, 2014

UC Merced Commencement Gowns Go “Green”

When some 1,000 undergraduate students walked across the stage at the campus’s ninth and largest commencement ceremonies, there was something noticeably different from previous years.

In an effort to continue the campus’s commitment to environmental stewardship, this year’s candidates donned dark blue gowns made of recycled water bottles, giving them an extra reason to be proud of their degrees.

Each Renew gown by Herff Jones uses about 29 post-consumer plastic bottles, collectively using nearly 32,000 post-consumer plastic water bottles. After commencement, graduates could drop off their Renew gowns in specially marked bins so they can be recycled into future gowns. Graduates keep their cap and tassel to commemorate their accomplishments.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Student’s Lengthy Academic Journey Concludes at UC Merced Commencement

For Helen Dahman, college was always more marathon than sprint.
Now 73, Dahman was just out of high school when she took her first college classes. But she wasn’t ready then and instead entered the workforce, married, raised a family and volunteered at her sons’ schools.
Yet the idea of a university degree never disappeared. On May 18, Dahman concludes her personal academic marathon as the oldest student to graduate from UC Merced.
“It’s a good finish — this completes the journey,” said Dahman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in literatures and cultures last December. “It’s kind of like the candle on the cake.”
Dahman, who lives in Madera, has several reasons to feel a connection to UC’s 10th campus. She was born in Merced and the family sometimes spent time at Lake Yosemite, which borders the campus.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UC Merced Ranks Among Greenest in North America

UC Merced is one of the 332 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.

"UC Merced is a living laboratory for sustainability in the 21st century," said Jim Genes, special assistant to the vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services. "The campus has won 25 awards for sustainable design since 2005, faculty use our buildings for energy efficiency research and students use our wireless water meter technology to compete in national residence hall conservation competitions. UC Merced's listing in the Princeton Review helps us share this culture of sustainability with prospective students and their families."

The education services company today released its Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition. The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a survey it conducted in 2013 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges to measure the schools' commitment to the environment and to sustainability. The institutional survey included questions on the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

To produce the guide, The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council, best-known for developing the LEED green building certification program.

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.