“Ideas Worth Spreading”: TEDx Riverside Speakers United By Ideas

(This article contains excerpts from article by Kurt Miller, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 16,2014.)

TEDx Riverside brought together 20 speakers for an eight-hour marathon of inspiration on Thursday at the Fox Performing Arts Center.   TED conferences are brought to communities throughout the world to encourage a convergence of technology, design and entertainment.  To promote education, TEDx Riverside gave 500 tickets to local high schools and filled the balcony with teenagers. It provided buses and lunch for students of Riverside Unified School District.  

“Everybody in this room is a lifelong learner,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey declared in his opening remarks.

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock.  Photo credit: City of Riverside

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock. Photo credit: City of Riverside

Most of the speakers had Inland ties, but many have wide renown.  They included Nobel laureate Richard Schrock, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside in 1967 and is now a chemistry professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Another UCR graduate was Steve Breen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning and a children’s author.

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

The TEDx Riverside event was a model of all the Seizing Our Destiny pillars.  Riversiders from of all ages and backgrounds attended the event on Thursday October, 16 as a unified city with a common interest to be entertained and inspired.  Although each speaker was completely different, they all seem to be on the same wavelength of maximizing personal potential and advocating intelligent growth in our community.  Riverside is a city that honors and builds on its assets to become a location of choice that catalyzes innovation in all forms, while enhancing quality of life.

To read more about TEDx Riverside, click here.

UC Riverside Research Team Probing Other Planets For Life

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Mark Muckenfuss, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 8, 2014)

A UC Riverside-led research team is part of a $50 million NASA program designed to detect life on distant planets.  Biogeochemistry professor Timothy Lyons has spent years studying the chemistry of ancient rocks on Earth. The data from that work has allowed him and his colleagues to theorize about the environmental conditions on the planet at various times in its early evolution.

Biogeochemistry Professor, Timothy Lyons

Biogeochemistry Professor, Timothy Lyons

This research initiative, as part of the NASA program, is an extraordinary example of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar, and UC Riverside is at the forefront.  The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support research and exploration in the scientific community.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, nation, and world to follow. 

The $8 million that Lyons’ multi-disciplinary team will receive from the NASA Astrobiology Institute is for a five-year study. He believes it won’t take much longer than that before astrobiologists will be able to detect life on distant planets.  

He’s excited by the current exploration of Mars, using rovers to sample the soil and, among other things, look for any signs of ancient life. With new, more powerful telescopes due to come on line soon, he expects the number of identified exoplanets to further grow. With each one, he said, there is the possibility of finding extraterrestrial life.  The best way to discover such life, he said, is to look at our own planet.

The broad spectrum of scientists involved – 19 researchers from 11 universities and labs – includes experts in genomics, tectonics, geochemistry, paleontology and earth system modeling.

Two of the team members are former graduate researchers who worked in Lyons’ lab. UCR graduates Noah Planavsky, now at Yale, and Christopher Reinhard, at Georgia Tech, helped Lyons gather ancient rock samples and reconstruct the conditions on Earth from the period when those rocks were formed. Having that team centered at UCR will bring greater recognition to the school, he said.

“It’s a good thing for UCR, and it’s a good thing for the Inland Empire”, said Lyons.

To read more, click here.

 

CBU Announces Record Fall Enrollment Of 7,957 Students

(This article contains excerpts from an article published in CBU’s News Articles on September 26, 2014.)

Enrollment at California Baptist University for the fall 2014 semester is a record-high 7,957 students—an 11 percent increase above the fall 2013 enrollment figure, President Ronald L. Ellis announced today.  This year’s enrollment number represents an increase of 813 students over the fall 2013 total of 7,144. All enrollment segments, including undergraduate, graduate and Online and Professional Studies, are included in this year’s figures.

CBU welcomed a record number of students for the fall 2014 semester.  Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

CBU welcomed a record number of students for the fall 2014 semester. Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

“This size of increase is extremely rare in institutions the size of CBU,” Ellis said. He noted that 2014 marks the fourth consecutive year of 600-plus enrollment growth compared to the previous year and a 94 percent increase in five years. Fall 2009 enrollment was 4,105.

California Baptist University is always expanding and improving in a remarkable fashion.  Representing Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar, CBU attracts students and professionals from across the country due to the great reputation and overall integrity that the campus stands by.

The current student body is 8.8 times larger than the 808 students enrolled when Ellis began his tenure as president in 1994. During the 64-year history of the institution, enrollment has jumped by triple digits 14 times – all of those since fall 1995.

California Baptist University offers 158 undergraduate majors and concentrations and 41 master’s degree programs. Founded in 1950, CBU is a private comprehensive institution located in Riverside, Calif. and affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. CBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities and the Consortium for Global Education.

Riverside has increasingly become the location of choice for creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic and diverse people as residents, workers, business owners.

To read more, click here.

Pathways To Higher Education Conference Set

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 29, 2014.)

Riverside Unified School District high school students and their parents are invited to attend the Pathways to Higher Education Conference which takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside.  Parents and students will see what it takes to get into college and learn about financial aid.

Faculty and staff from Riverside Unified School District are devoted to their students and provide resources necessary for them to succeed, exemplifying Riverside as a unified city.  These types of seminars and conferences are designed specifically for students and their parents to ease the transition into college.  With a lot of students being the first in their families to move onto college, not every student is given equal or ample advice and instruction.  This conference will help bridge the gap of confusion between distraught students and resources to higher education.

he Pathways to Higher Education Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside.  Photo credit: Press- Enterprise

The Pathways to Higher Education Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside. Photo credit: Press- Enterprise

Admission is free to the conference presented by Riverside Unified School District and State Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) with the UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino, Riverside City College, Pitzer College and Completion Counts, the citywide initiative to increase high school and college graduation rates.

The conference will cover what classes students need to take in high school to be eligible for university admissions, writing a successful college entrance essay, financial support, the California Dream Act and guarantee programs at RCC and Cal State San Bernardino. Workshop sessions are intended to answer questions.

Riversiders are brought together among mutual interests to enhance quality of life and accelerate the common good for all through education.

To read more, click here.

Regional Intelligence Report Highlights Positive News for Riverside

(Excerpts from this article were taken from the Beacon Economic Intelligence Report prepared by Beacon Economics and released on September 22, 2014.)

The seventh edition of the Beacon Economics Regional Intelligence Report continues to show positive growth in Riverside’s economy.  Unemployment is declining in the Inland Empire (8.5% as of July 2014) and the city has recovered nearly 9,700 jobs since a low point in March 2010.  There’s been growth in the Leisure and Hospitality sector increasing 7.5% from July 2013 to July 2014.  The new Riverside Convention Center, with 65,000 square feet of meeting space, should increase convention traffic into the City of Riverside, which should bring higher demand for hotel accommodations in and outside of the city.

Photo Credit: Beacon Economic Intelligent Report

Photo Credit: Beacon Economic Intelligent Report

Another area of growth was employment in the Education and Health sector which saw a 25% increase over the last year.  This sector is vital to the City of Riverside’s economy, constituting approximately 18% of total employment in the City.

The report highlights several areas of Seizing Our Destiny’s pillars including intelligent growth and location of choice.  Continuous positive economic numbers are important to gauge our economic recovery.  Reporting this data is also important so Riversiders know the hard work is paying off.

A few other highlights:

  • Taxable sales in the City have risen 11.5% over the past year.
  • Home sales increased 4.9% to 908 homes from the first quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2014.
  • Apartment vacancy rates in the City have fallen to 2.4%, a 25% decrease from a year ago.

For a complete copy of the report, click here.

Manufacturing Coach Transforms ‘Vulnerable Yet Viable’ Companies

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kurt Miller, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 23, 2014.)

Dennis Sonney, of Jurupa Valley, works for a private nonprofit corporation funded largely by the U.S. Department of Commerce to help strengthen manufacturing in the Inland Empire.

Dennis Sonney, manufacturing coach for the Inland Empire.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Dennis Sonney, manufacturing coach for the Inland Empire. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

With the title of a manufacturing coach, Sonney works his magic transforming “vulnerable yet viable” companies, he said. “We want them to grow, hire people, pay taxes and stay here.”  Since he arrived nine years ago, Sonney has worked with hundreds of companies that make everything from aerospace and aviation components to cosmetics, paint coating, robots, bats, skateboards and tiny circuit boards. In 2013, Sonney helped create 2,580 jobs at Inland manufacturing businesses, and he takes on 12 new clients a month, from startups to multimillion-dollar giants, he said. Last quarter alone, he worked with 19 manufacturers.

For the past five years, Sonney has worked closely with a Riverside company, Western Hydrostatic, which sells and repairs hydraulic components on large construction machinery.

Dennis Sonney, who works for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting as the Inland Empire coach, at Western Hydrostatic in Riverside, one of the many clients for whom he has helped solve problems, provide training programs and grow their companies.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Dennis Sonney, who works for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting as the Inland Empire coach, at Western Hydrostatic in Riverside, one of the many clients for whom he has helped solve problems, provide training programs and grow their companies. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Founder and CEO Starke Scott praises the customer service training program that Sonney helped set up with state subsidies as invaluable and affordable. In addition, Scott said his company benefited from Sonney’s plans to help them diversify, reduce waste on the shop floor and avail themselves of stronger digital marketing tools. This year, annual sales are expected to exceed $8 million, almost double those in 2009.

Dennis Sonney is a model of intelligent growth in our community.  Manufacturing plays a vital role in the state of our local economy.  Sonney’s efforts not only have a direct effect on local manufacturing companies, his work impacts Riversiders throughout the city.   Riverside embraces economic growth and works everyday to improve our already outstanding quality of life.

“I’m passionate about what I do,” said Sonney. “It’s rewarding to know how I’ve impacted businesses.”

To read more, click here.

UC Riverside Part Of University Innovation Alliance To Improve Student Success Rates

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kris Lovekin, published in the UCRToday on September 15, 2014.)

UC Riverside joined 10 other major public research universities and six national foundations in announcing the University Innovation Alliance, which was founded to identify and share best-practices in degree attainment programs for low-income and minority students.  UCR is the only California-based institution included in the mix.

UCR is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance.  Photo credit: UCR Today

UCR is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance. Photo credit: UCR Today

With $5.7 million in grant funding, as well as matching funds from the campuses, the UIA group will model the most successful degree-attainment measures within its membership, and replicate them at other universities.  UC Riverside will share its experiences with student-success programs that include supplemental instruction and learning communities for freshmen.

Nancy Matti, a fourth year biology major, and UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the launch event.  Photo credit: UCR Today

Nancy Matti, a fourth year biology major, and UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the launch event. Photo credit: UCR Today

One way to address the problem is through the nation’s public universities, which enroll 72 percent of all four-year college students in the U.S. “We must improve access and attainment for all students – regardless of college preparation levels, racial or socio-economic differences,” Wilcox said.

UCR is committed to accelerating the common good for all, and ensuring higher education is an option for everyone  As a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar, the faculty and staff at UC Riverside are working diligently to strengthen the future generation’s educational standards by making college more accessible.  Riverside promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

At a recent speech at UCR, Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities [APLU] noted that 80 percent of the children of the richest families in America earn college degrees, while only 10 percent of the children of the poorest families do.

Photo credit: UCR Today

Photo credit: UCR Today

“UC Riverside is the nation’s most diverse major research university. At UCR, underrepresented minority and low-income students graduate at the same rate as the campus-wide average,” said Wilcox.  “These remarkable results can be attributed to motivated students, campus commitment, and targeted student success programs such as supplemental instruction and first-year learning communities.”

To read more, click here.

TEDxRiverside Is Coming To The Fox Performing Arts Center

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French, published in UCR Today September 4, 2014.)

 A wide-array of speakers, including a pair of prominent UC Riverside alumni, are scheduled to speak at TEDxRiverside on October 16, 2014 at the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside.  Bringing Riversiders together for the upcoming TEDx experience is a  great representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  It will inspire Riverside’s future to take on leadership roles in Riverside and encourage them to harness their potential.   Riverside works everyday to promote an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

TEDxRiverside will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 at the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside.  Photo credit: UCR Today

TEDxRiverside will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 at the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside. Photo credit: UCR Today

Events like TEDxRiverside are local, self-organized programs designed to bring the “Technology, Entertainment, Design”-style presentations to a community. TEDxRiverside was conceived and is being organized by members of Leadership Riverside 2014, a 10-month program sponsored by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce that helps to develop the next generation of active leaders for Riverside.

“TEDxRiverside is the effort of a group of local community leaders who knew our community had a lot to offer and thought hosting a TEDx event would be a great way to promote the great works and potentially reach a global audience,” said Michael Pazzani, vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development at UCR and the organizing committee chairman. “The Leadership Class of 2014, with the help of many local sponsors, saw the importance to further the efforts in the region to promote arts and innovation. TEDxRiverside is a unique way to bring an entire day filled with exceptional speakers to one stage accomplishing this goal.”

“Riverside has joined the growing TED community to promote many of our own and the ‘ideas worth spreading’ right here in our community,” said Rebeccah Goldware, chief of staff in the Office of  Research and Economic Development at UC Riverside and the Riverside TEDx organizer. “The breadth of information will span from local history to the future of artificial intelligence, all in one day.”

For more details and ticket information, click here.

Inland Teachers Hold Conference To Encourage STEM Education

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 27, 2014.)

Attendees will learn hands-on activities showing connections of science, technology, engineering and mathematics from UC Riverside educator Pamela Clute.

Pamela Clute, UC Riverside mathematics professor and special assistant to the chancellor, demonstrates ways to make mathematics more engaging and relevant. She will lead a conference for teachers about science, technology, engineering and math during the annual Science and Technology Education Partnership Conference.  Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

Pamela Clute, UC Riverside mathematics professor and special assistant to the chancellor, demonstrates ways to make mathematics more engaging and relevant. She will lead a conference for teachers about science, technology, engineering and math during the annual Science and Technology Education Partnership Conference. Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

Registration is open for Inland teachers to attend a conference to inspire their teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The teachers’ conference from 3:15 to 6 p.m. will be part of the annual Science and Technology Education Partnership Conference, which will be Oct. 15 at Bourns Inc., 1200 Columbia Ave., Riverside. The conference was founded by Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, who is honorary chairman, and designed to motivate students with hands-on exhibits to pursue education for STEM careers.

Riverside’s initiative to promote and encourage STEM education is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  STEM education plays a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.  Riverside works around the clock everyday to improve the quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

Pamela Clute, a UCR mathematics professor and assistant vice chancellor, will lead the teachers’ conference, where those attending will do hands-on activities that demonstrate interconnectedness of STEM. Teachers will receive instructional materials, a light dinner and certificates. Reservations are required for the free conference, which is open to teachers who have not attended before.

To read the full article, click here.

PICK Group’s Board Development Training Program Is Accepting Applications

(This article contains excerpts from PICK Group’s post on July 17, 2014.)

The Board Development Training Program (BDTP) is seeking engaged and civic-minded individuals between ages 21-40 who want to grow their personal potential and community value in Riverside.  Since 2009, BDTP has trained and placed more than 40 graduates onto local nonprofit boards of directors, including The Unforgettables, the Mission Inn Foundation, The Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, Path of Life, and Community Connect.

The deadline has been extended until Monday, August 25, 2014 at 8 PM.

Photo Credit; The PICK Group

Photo Credit; PICK Group

Class participants learn numerous aspects of the nonprofit sector, including governance, legalities, financial management, strategic planning, fundraising, board recruitment, and marketing. Speakers on the various topics include experienced community leaders and experts in their field, such as Damien O’Farrell, Sue Mitchell, and Aaron Norris, among others.

PICK Group is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth and unified city pillars.  They value and embrace the growth of the nonprofit sector in our community, and are dedicated to further engaging Riversiders to get involved with local non profits.  Pick group motivates individuals to get involved and take leadership roles in civic duty.  Getting Riversiders to come together and engage in civic duty is an effective route to accelerate the common good for the community as a whole.

BDTP’s mission is to educate participants on the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board directorship, to inspire participants to utilize their skills to address the community’s needs, and to hone effective board members that serve as a model for the future leaders and betterment of Riverside.

Please contact Kristii MacEwen at bdtp@pickriverside.org with any questions regarding the application or if you are interested in recruiting one of PICK Group’s BDTP Graduates for your board of directors.

For the full article, or to get more information and apply, click here.