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.

 

Riverside Native Is Named Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kyle Glaser, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 7, 2014.)

Steffen Sommers grew up in Riverside dreaming of opening a gourmet coffee shop in his hometown.  At 26, he has achieved that dream, and has earned high praise to boot.  Sommers recently received the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce’s first-ever Riverside Business Week Young Entrepreneur Award, a plaudit for helping create the specialty coffee shop Lift Coffee Roasters.

Lift Coffee Roasters owner Steffen Sommers, 26, of Riverside smiles as coffee beans fall beside him. He is proud to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Riverside Business Council.  Photo credit:  Terry Pierson

Lift Coffee Roasters owner Steffen Sommers, 26, of Riverside smiles as coffee beans fall beside him. He is proud to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Riverside Business Council. Photo credit: Terry Pierson

The cafe serves only about a dozen varieties of drinks at any given time, all coffees or teas, and each is taste-tested by the managerial staff to ensure it meets Lift’s standards.

“We have what we call a ‘seed to cup’ approach,” Sommers said. “What that means is we’re not just concerned about getting a 5-pound bag of beans and serving it. We’re concerned with who’s the farmer, how’s he growing the beans, when was that, a week ago or six months ago?”

Lift Coffee Roasters is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Riverside promotes entrepreneurial spirit and embraces small business like Lift Coffee Roasters whenever it can.  Everyday Riverside cultivates intelligent growth by collaborating to build our community and supporting local business.

Photo credit: Terry Pierson

Photo credit: Terry Pierson

While Sommers has achieved his goal of opening a gourmet coffee shop in his hometown, he isn’t quite done. He and his partners have plans to open more Lift Coffee Roasters across Southern California and, if everything goes according to plan, become a regional coffee powerhouse.

To read more about Lift Coffee Roasters, click here.

UC Riverside Hosts ‘Boot Camp’ To Ease Native Americans’ Entry

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Krysta Fauria, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Young college bound Native Americans are being encouraed to attend the “Boot Camp” opportunities at UC Riverside.  These exercises are an outstanding model of Riverside growing as a unified city.  Riversiders care for one another and ensure that everyone has access to a great education and the resources necessary to succeed.  We are a caring community that engages with one another for a better life for all. 

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report.  Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report. Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Throughout their week at UCR, students got a taste of the college experience by attending classroom lectures, eating in the cafeteria and sleeping in the dorms. The 30 students also participated in cultural activities like prayer circles and beading workshops.  Upon completion of UCR’s program, students are given access to the university’s resources and staff to assist with the application process.

Elijah Watson knows he wants to go to college. He also knows it will be difficult to leave home on the Navajo reservation if he does.  The 17-year-old was reminded of the tough decision he’ll face next year when he participated in a week long celebration in March of his cousin’s Kinaalda, a hallowed Navajo ceremony marking a girl’s transition into womanhood.

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26.  Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26. Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

To reach students like Watson with higher education aspirations, a growing number of universities are offering programs to recruit and prepare Native American students for a transition to college life that can bring on a wrenching emotional conflict as they straddle two worlds.

Many young Native Americans find themselves divided by their desire for a higher education and the drive to stay close to home to hold onto a critical part of their identity. Sometimes, families discourage children from pursuing college, fearing once they leave the reservation, they won’t come back.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Unified School District Teachers Go On Arctic Expedition

(This article contains excerpts from rusdlink.org and the Arctic’s Edge Facebook page.)

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After collecting samples from four ponds along Lindy Trail this morning, the team “chills” on the tundra. Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

Eight Riverside Unified School District teachers went on an Arctic Expedition this summer. With an Earthwatch fellowship made possible through the Riverside Educational Enrichment Foundation (REEF).

The adventurers include: Stephanie  Niechayev from Arlington High School; JulieOlson from Chemawa Middle school; Melinda Lang from Madison Elementary School; Erin Garcia from University Heights Middle School; Suzanne Priebe from Earhart Middle School; Tammy Soper from Sierra Middle School; Carla Yawney from Kennedy Elementary School; and Kristin Kund from Poly High School.

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Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

The expedition team from RUSD exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Not only were they able to gather valuable research and data, they are now able to share the findings with their students. This experience gives students the opportunity to take their eyes out of the books briefly and connect with teachers in a fun and interesting way.

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Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

The teachers departed for their trip on July 9 and were gone through July 20. They travelled to Manitoba, Canada to measure evidence of global warming. The objective was to take water samples; assess the abundance of fish and frogs, and monitor the health of trees in the area. Teachers spent the mornings collecting data, worked in labs in the afternoons, and attended lectures in the evenings.

To read more, click here.

 

Riverside Teen Launches Fashion Collection

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Laurie Lucas, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Kubrat Salaam, a 16- year old fashion designer, business owner, and entrepreneur from Riverside, is launching her new clothing line.  Called Kubitees, it combines African and American fashion styles to create unique pieces of apparel.

Help 16-year-old Riverside teen, Kubrat Salaam, launch her fashion line, a fusion of American and African styles. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Help 16-year-old Riverside teen, Kubrat Salaam, launch her fashion line, a fusion of American and African styles. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

To introduce her company she has designed a 15 -piece clothing collection called “The Bridge”.

Bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, Kubrat Salaam is a true testament to Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. Her dedication, passion, and drive remind us all that creativity and talent can blossom at a young age. Our community values the talents and efforts of our next generation, as harnessing these individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit is one of the keys to a prosperous future in Riverside.

She has everything set, from designs to manufacturer.  Kubrat is using a  crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter) to raise this money.  The minimum pledge is one dollar, but there are rewards for pledges of $5 or  more and they increase to pledges of $500.

To read the full article, click here.

Business Workshops To Grow Your Business

(This article contains excerpts from iesmallbusiness.com)

The City of Riverside Office of Economic Development is hosting a Business Summer Series at City Hall in conjunction with the Inland Empire Small Business Small Business Development Center (IESBDC). The first workshop, Developing A Business Plan For Success, brought 35 attendees.

Business Workshop 2

Photo Credit: Paul Bush

Are you looking to increase your bottom line? Attend the upcoming workshop on Friday, July 25th and learn how an effective marketing plan can help you to increase your sales and profitability while efficiently managing your marketing dollar. This workshop will be presented by Vincent McCoy from IESBDC and will cover topics such as Marketing Research Basics, Defining Your Customer & Target Market, Analyzing Your Competition and Determining Market Mix. Be sure to go online to iesmallbusiness.com to pre-register, as seats are filling up!

The sponsored workshops hosted by the City of Riverside exemplify intelligent growth within our community.  Small business owners are given the opportunity to develop their business plans and become familiar with the different resources available to them.  All of the workshops will take place in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Room on the 7th floor at Riverside City Hall.  Be sure to pre-register at iesmallbusiness.com, as seats fill up quickly.

To sign up for the workshops, click here for details.

For the IESBDC calendar of events, click here.

Students Score Paid Summer Internships

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kyle Glaser, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 14, 2014)

From teaching kids’ art classes to working with nonprofit groups, recent high school graduates are earning money and experience.

Some Inland teens have landed cool summer jobs – paid internships that also give them the chance to help their communities.  Riverside residents Saul Gonzalez and Roberto Gutierrez are working with Habitat for Humanity of Riverside, building homes, collecting donations and managing inventory. Riverside residents Margarita Oreta and Christina Chu are interning at the Riverside Art Museum, teaching art classes and helping create exhibitions.

Roberto Gutierrez, left, and Saul Gonzalez are interning Habitat for Humanity through a Bank of America program.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Roberto Gutierrez, left, and Saul Gonzalez are interning Habitat for Humanity through a Bank of America program. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

All four earned their internships as part of Bank of America’s Student Leaders Program, which puts recent high school graduates in eight-week paid internships at nonprofit organizations.  The internships go beyond the stereotypical teen summer internship of answering phones or getting coffee. Interns are assigned similar tasks as full-time professionals with the hope their experiences will help them through their college days and into their working years.

This a great representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  In the past, high school students and graduates looked forward to the summer to sleep in and spend time with friends.  With the current job market becoming more and more competitive, students are starting to make more efforts toward developing their work experience and not just settling for a summer job at a fast food restaurant.  Riverside promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

While the students are getting pay and invaluable experience, they aren’t the only ones benefiting.

“The kids get a lot out of it and then, of course, we get a little bit of extra labor, which always helps,” Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Kathy Michalak said. “These kids bring a different twist. Both of us get something really great out of it, which is what makes this work.”

To read more, click here.