UC Merced recently earned what might be the most prestigious of a growing list of awards for its Long Range Development Plan, while the campus had its seventh building certified “Gold” by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
UC Merced’s commitment to sustainability can be seen throughout the campus, which now has eight buildings LEED certified silver or better, and in its ambitious goal to achieve zero net energy use, contribute zero waste to landfills and produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 — known as the Triple Zero Commitment.
“At UC Merced, we’re attempting to set new standards for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship in our building design and construction,” said Thomas Lollini, FAIA, campus architect and associate vice chancellor for Physical Planning, Design and Construction. “These latest achievements show that we are on our way toward not just meeting those standards, but exceeding them.”
Research Week, UC Merced’s annual celebration of faculty and student research, was held last week and was highlighted by a student research poster competition and a number of lectures and symposia.
Winners have been announced in the undergraduate and graduate Student Research Poster Competitions. One winner was chosen from each of UC Merced’s three schools — Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts — in both the undergraduate and graduate competitions.
In the undergraduate competition, Preeti Bangalore won for the School of Engineering, Lauren Edwards for Natural Sciences, and Rubinpreet Kaur for Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. Each received a $50 gift certificate to the College Store from the Associated Students of UC Merced and a certificate of achievement from the Office of Research, and each will have their name engraved on the Research Poster Winners Hall of Fame plaque.
In the graduate division, Emily Reed won for the School of Engineering; Heather Thompson won for Natural Sciences; and Michelle Greenwood won for Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. Each will receive a monetary award of $100 and a certificate of achievement from the Office of Research.
Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Kari Mansager, Patricia Bauer and Rep. Jim Costa
UC Merced was awarded the Allied Professional Award from the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus this month at the group's annual ceremony in Washington, D.C.
This is the first time a university has won the award, and with this week being National Crime Victims' Week and this month being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it couldn't be a more fitting time for the campus to be honored for its efforts.
The program began in March 2010, and its outreach has been on a constant climb ever since. The campus has seen a significant increase in the reporting of sexual violence, dating/domestic violence and stalking crimes to law enforcement, which Director Kari Mansager attributes to the close relationship between campus and community police officers and the Violence Prevention Program Campus Advocate.
Several Merced organizations are holding an immigration forum this month to provide information for the community, to dispel misinformation of the complex issues of immigration and to seek humane solutions.
"Tearing Down the Walls of Ignorance" will be held on April 28 in Wesley Hall of the United Methodist Church of Merced, 899 Yosemite Parkway. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the event begins at 9 a.m. It is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.
After introductions, UC Merced history Professor Mario Sifuentez will present a brief history of immigration. Writer and photojournalist David Bacon, author of “Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants," will discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The program will include a showing of “Lost in Detention: President Obama’s Tough Immigration Enforcement,” a 53-minute PBS documentary by investigative reporter Maria Hinojosa. Aarti Kohli, director of Immigration Policy and Legislative Council at UC Berkeley's School of Law, will present information about the federal government's Secure Communities Program (S-Com), which has been highly criticized by some.
During the afternoon session, Kiran Savage-Sangwan with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, will talk about the new California Dream Act. Since 2001 similar bills have been introduced at the federal level but never passed. Differences of the federal bills and the state law will be discussed, and there will be testimonials by members of the public.
Throughout the day there will be ample opportunities for questions and answers as well as discussion of next steps.
The forum will include music by DJ Pscensor and performances by spoken word artists and poets Ismael Lara and Vio Stanley.
The forum is sponsored by the California Central Valley Journey for Justice, Associated Students of UC Merced, UC Merced Office of Student Affairs, Unitarian Universalists of Merced, Social Action Team of the United Methodist Church, MEChA de UC Merced, Healthy House Within a MATCH Coalition and ACLU of Northern California.
For more information, contact Gloria Sandoval at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-631-9696. Visit California Central Valley for Justice on Facebook.
“I have always been drawn to world around us and love to foster that in others,” Fenwick said. “Field stations and Yosemite in particular provide a venue in which to do this on many levels, from public outreach to cutting-edge scientific research.”
The Yosemite Field Station is used by researchers in UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI), along with other University of California faculty and guest researchers. It is also the home of the Yosemite Leadership Program for UC Merced undergraduate students and the Adventure, Risk, Challenge program for San Joaquin Valley teenagers to gain confidence in their language skills while taking on physical challenges in a team setting.
Fenwick currently directs the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve in Southern California, which is also a part of the UC Reserve System. She will start in Yosemite in May.
From the campus’ own undergraduate and graduate students to distinguished faculty members from here and abroad, Research Week at the University of California, Merced, will offer a wide range of events and information from April 16 to 19.
The campus’ annual celebration of student and faculty research will be highlighted this year by the Student Research Poster Competition on April 17 and the Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Speaker Series — featuring UC Berkeley Professor Eva Harris — on April 18. Most events are free and open to the public.
“Research Week has become a special event that the entire UC Merced community can look forward to,” said Sam Traina, the campus’ vice chancellor for research and dean of its graduate division. “It’s an opportunity for our campus and the general public to recognize the outstanding research being done by our own faculty and students while also learning about exceptional work by researchers from other institutions.”
When Andrea Rodarte began studying physics, she first wanted to look to the stars for answers. Instead, she's finding them in nanoparticles.
"The people I know who went into astrophysics only get to do an experiment once or twice a year," Rodarte said. "I can come to the lab and do an experiment every day. It's much more hands-on and fun than I thought it'd be."
Rodarte is a third-year UC Merced graduate student studying condensed matter physics with professors Linda Hirst and Sayantani Ghosh. She's planning to graduate in a couple years.
This year, Rodarte published her first paper in Physical Review B, the American Physical Society’s journal devoted to condensed matter and materials physics. Last year, she was given the Margaret Burbidge Award for Best Experimental Research by a Graduate Student by the society’s California-Nevada section.
Mónica Medina, a professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of California, Merced, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research at the Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls research station in France during the 2012-13 academic year.
Medina’s award was presented by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board’s Franco-American Commission, which aims to develop understanding between France and the U.S. through educational and cultural exchanges.
The commission grants only about five such awards per year.
The award will allow Medina to continue her studies into the evolution of symbiotic lifestyles in marine algae — that is, algae that share a codependent relationship with tropical coral reefs.
Medina also earned the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2007, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2008, and the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011.
More than two dozen executives from as far as Ulaanbaatar and Kathmandu to Mexico and the United States will attend the National Parks Institute (NPI) Executive Leadership Seminar April 17 to 28, where they will receive tools to address the challenges that threaten future generations.
The seminar — a partnership between UC Merced, the National Park Service, the Great Valley Center, the Institute at the Golden Gate, the National Parks Conservation and the Stanford Graduate School of Business — provides the opportunity for park leaders to share knowledge and learn how to anticipate and lead strategic change, reinvigorate their organizations and incorporate innovative thinking into their management repertoire.
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