Category Archives: Learning

UCR Medical School Achieves Second Step In Accreditation Process

(This article contains excerpts from the article written Kathy Barton and published in UCR Today on June 26, 2015.)

UCR’s School of Medicine Education Building. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today

The School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in the U.S. and Canada.

Provisional accreditation is the second of three steps that all new M.D.-granting medical schools must complete, culminating in full accreditation. The UCR medical school was granted preliminary accreditation by the LCME in October 2012, which permitted it to recruit and enroll its first class of 50 students in August 2013. This coming August, the UCR medical school will enroll its third class of medical students.

“This is tremendous news, not only for the School of Medicine and UCR, but for the entire Inland Southern California community which is served by this medical school,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “It is a credit to hard work of both the leadership of the School and the community that we have reached this milestone.”

“Achieving provisional accreditation is a major objective for the UCR School of Medicine,” said G. Richard Olds, UCR vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school. “Meeting the rigorous educational and infrastructure standards of the LCME demonstrates that this medical school has built a strong foundation for expanding and diversifying the physician workforce in Inland Southern California and improving the health of people living here.”

A survey team appointed by the LCME conducted a site visit of the UCR medical school in February, and the school was notified of the LCME decision this month.

The UCR School of Medicine, one of more than 15 new medical schools established in the U.S. over the last decade, is the sixth medical school in the University of California system. Establishment of the UCR School of Medicine was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in July 2008 and Olds, the founding dean, was appointed in February 2010.

The foundation of the UCR School of Medicine is the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which for more than 30 years has partnered with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to train physicians. The UCR medical school maintains the tradition of the former two-year program at UCR, with about half of the seats each year designated for UCR undergraduate degree holders through the Thomas Haider Program at the UCR School of Medicine.

“Achieving this second important step in the accreditation process is a testament to the dedication of the faculty and staff of the medical school in creating an optimal learning environment for our medical students,” said Paul Lyons, the school’s senior associate dean for education. LCME evaluation of the medical school for full accreditation status will be expected in 2017, the same year the UCR medical school will graduate its first class of medical students.

The medical school also offers a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, a long-standing graduate degree program at UCR.  The school additionally operates five residency training programs in the medical specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery and psychiatry, and partners with Loma Linda University in a primary care pediatrics residency training program.

Accreditation is one of the top priorities when students are choosing a school to attend. UCR School of Medicine provisional accreditation makes not only the school of location of choice for students, but the entire city.

Riverside Unified School District Partners With Local Women’s Prison To Give Hope To At-Risk Students

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in RUSD News feed on 7/2/2015.)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

At-risk Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) students who successfully committed to improving their grades and attendance received bicycles at a special event on Wednesday, July 1 at the Central Registration Center, 5700 Arlington Avenue. The bicycles were refurbished by inmates and donated to RUSD by the California Institution for Women, working with the non-profit Correctional Employees Youth Group, Continuing the Dream.

RUSD Superintendent Dr. David Hansen, California Institution for Women Warden Kimberly Hughes, retired corrections officer Roy Mabry, chief executive officer for Continuing the Dream, Sue Lynn Jones from the Riverside Police Department and RUSD staff joined students and their parents at the bike giveaway. Four bicycles were awarded to members of the Ramirez family, who worked hard to get to school each morning and to improve their grades. The Riverside Police Department provided helmets and locks. The district has six more to give to other successful students throughout the year.

“In the face of varying circumstances, our students work extremely hard to stay on track. It’s great to know that we have community partners who care so much about the student families of Riverside that they would reward our students with a donation like this,” stated Dr. Hansen.

“The women [inmates] love giving back,” added Warden Hughes. “It’s a win-win situation. It allows the children to look forward to something and to have something tangible for their accomplishments of going to school and furthering their education.  We are always looking for innovative ways to give back to the community. “

The idea for the bicycle giveaway grew from School Attendance Review Board (SARB) hearings that Mabry and other corrections officers regularly attend. These hearings are held for chronically truant students – those who have more than 20 unexcused absences. Mabry’s 30 years of experience as a correctional officer told him that these students’ stories would not have happy endings. In fact, he noted, research shows that as much 82 percent of students who don’t graduate end up in prison. He’s hoping that something as simple as a bicycle can help to change this dismal statistic.

Working with the Continuing the Dream organization, Mabry and other volunteers are partnering with the California Institute for Women and other correctional facilities to provide an incentive for students to work hard to improve their grades and attendance.  In addition to helping students, the project also provides an opportunity for inmates to give back to their community. The program is now in Rialto, San Bernardino, Pomona, Chino, in addition to Riverside.

“Bicycles seem to really work for kids,” Mabry said. “It’s good to see them focus…they have a different reason to focus.”

“It’s independence,” added Child, Welfare and Attendance Manager Woodie Rucker-Hughes, who said that in many cases, students have no means to get to school and sometimes their families also do not have transportation.

Rucker-Hughes said she the bicycle program can make a huge difference in a child’s outlook for success. It’s empowering to let students know that if they come to school and work hard, they will have a reward. Students start to think, “I’m going to change my life,” she said.

Although the program is just the beginning of a solution to a larger problem, Mabry said, it’s a good start.

“I see the results,” he said. “I say, we all need to be part of it.”

Organizations such as Continuing the Dream are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For more information about the Continuing the Dream organization, visit www.continuingthedream.com.

Riverside Unified School District is the 15th largest school district in California, serving nearly 42,000 students in 48 schools in Riverside, California. The district serves the majority of the City of Riverside as well as unincorporated areas of Highgrove and Woodcrest in Riverside County and is governed by a publicly elected Board of Education consisting of five members who serve five different trustee areas. The district is led by Superintendent Dr. David Hansen.

Mantis Shrimp Inspires New Body Armor Design At UCR And Purdue

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on June 17, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carlos Puma, UCR Today
Photo Credit: Carlos Puma, UCR Today

The mantis shrimp is able to repeatedly pummel the shells of prey using a hammer-like appendage that can withstand rapid-fire blows by neutralizing certain frequencies of “shear waves,” according to a new research paper by University of California, Riverside and Purdue University engineers.

The club is made of a composite material containing fibers of chitin, the same substance found in many marine crustacean shells and insect exoskeletons but arranged in a helicoidal structure that resembles a spiral staircase.

This spiral architecture, the new research shows, is naturally designed to survive the repeated high-velocity blows by filtering out certain frequencies of waves, called shear waves, which are particularly damaging.

The findings could allow researchers to use similar filtering principles for the development of new types of composite materials for applications including aerospace and automotive frames, body armor and athletic gear, including football helmets.

“This is a novel concept,” said David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. “It implies that we can make composite materials able to filter certain stress waves that would otherwise damage the material.”

The “dactyl club” can reach an acceleration of 10,000 Gs, unleashing a barrage of impacts with the speed of a .22 caliber bullet.

“The smasher mantis shrimp will hit many times per day. It is amazing,” said Pablo Zavattieri, an associate professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and a University Faculty Scholar at Purdue University.

The researchers modeled the structure with the same mathematical equations used to study materials in solid-state physics and photonics, showing the structure possesses “bandgaps” that filter out the damaging effects of shear waves traveling at the speed of sound.

Findings were detailed in a research paper published online in the journal Acta Biomaterialia. The paper will appear in a future print issue of the journal.

The paper’s lead author was Purdue doctoral student Nicolás Guarín-Zapata and it was co-authored by Juan Gomez, a researcher from the Civil Engineering Department, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia; doctoral student Nick Yaraghi from UC Riverside; Kisailus; and Zavattieri.

The research, which is ongoing and also will include efforts to create synthetic materials with filtering properties, has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

This research is an outstanding representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. The students and staff at UCR cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

UC Riverside Accepted As Yellow Ribbon Campus

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on May 28, 2015.)

UCR students and veterans join Chancellor Kim Wilcox as he signs the Yellow Ribbon agreements. Photo Credit: UCR Today
UCR students and veterans join Chancellor Kim Wilcox as he signs the Yellow Ribbon agreements. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside has been accepted as a Yellow Ribbon institution by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is designed to help students avoid up to 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with educational programs.

How does it work? The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays 100 percent of in-state tuition and fees for fully-eligible veterans attending public colleges and universities. But, non-resident supplemental tuition is not covered. Veterans and their families who have residency in other states are then forced to pay those fees out of their own pocket, at least until they have established residency.

Chryssa Jones, the veteran’s services coordinator at UCR says military families tend to be more transient than others, and many veterans have found themselves excluded by residency policies.

Last fall Congress attempted to fix this issue by passing Public Law 113-146: The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 explained Jones. The law essentially required public institutions to allow all eligible veterans to attend academic institutions at in-state rates. But, still she said, some students were excluded by the eligibility rules under this law, particularly the children of active-duty military service members who are stationed outside of California.

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Chancellor Kim Wilcox jokes with UCR veteran students as he signs the Yellow Ribbon paperwork. Photo Credit: UCR Today

UCR decided to fill in the gap for these students by signing up to participate in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a supplement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Charles Kim, a veteran and senior at UCR said this is a monumental step forward for veterans and active duty service members.

“This program benefits those who serve but cannot claim California Residency due to their service. California has many major military installations and draws service members from all over the country but they could not attend our prestigious university without taking student loans,” Kim explained.

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows institutions and the VA to share the cost of nonresident tuition for students who qualify and are not already covered under the new law. As a result, all fully-eligible veterans, and their dependents, will have their tuition and fees fully covered by the VA and Yellow Ribbon.

Other UC campuses have participated in Yellow Ribbon in the past, but only for specific colleges or majors, and with a limit on funding.  UCR has decided to cover all students in all majors, with no limit. “With the signing of the new yellow ribbon program UCR can attract the best and brightest from our military,” said Kim. Participating in Yellow Ribbon helps make UCR and Riverside a location of choice for veterans by providing a great education at a great price.

CBU Ranked 4th For Best Intramural Sports School

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on May 26, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

Almost 1,300 California Baptist University students participated in intramurals during the 2014-15 academic year. Thirty teams – 19 men’s and 11 women’s – competed in flag football. Several thousand came to watch the last games of the season at the Fortuna Bowl during Homecoming in November 2014.

BestColleges.com recently named CBU as one of the best colleges for intramural sports. Colleges were vetted based on the number of intramural sports they offered, the qualities of team management and coaching, and student surveys, which assessed how enjoyable intramural sports were to play at each school, according to the website.

Flag football, volley, basketball and soccer are the main intramural sports offered at CBU. Wiffle ball, kickball, ping pong, racquetball and dodge ball are available for one or two weeks or a single day event.

Intramural sports are popular for several reasons, said Tyler Cox, director of recreation programs. Students spend more time out of class, than they do in, so intramurals give them something to do. Athletes who do not play at the collegiate level enjoy the competitive outlet.

“The No. 1 thing, it just builds relationships,” Cox said. “People are going to have a more enjoyable experience while they’re here because they feel a part of something. They’ve made some deeper connections. I think that’s going to overall just enhance the students’ experience while they’re here.”

One of the most popular options is flag football. The season culminates with the Fortuna Bowl, which includes fireworks and brings an exciting end to Homecoming Weekend. Students often join a flag football team because they hope to make it to the end and be part of the event, Cox said.

At new student orientation, students learn about different opportunities for participation, from service projects to clubs to intramural sports. Sports is a popular activity that draws people together, Cox said.

“We’ve seen those connections last throughout the four years,” he said.

Representing Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar, CBU attracts students and athletes from across the country due to their great reputation, scholastic achievements, and athletic programs.

For the full article, click here.

UC Riverside Receives $4.5 Million Nasa Grant

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Leila Meyer and published in CampusTechnology.com on May 4, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside (UCR) has received a grant of nearly $4.5 million as part of NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). The grant will provide funding for a five-year research project called “Fellowships and Internships in Extremely Large Data Sets” (FIELDS), which aims to develop research and education opportunities in big data and visualization, according to information from the university.

FIELDS is a collaborative project between UCR, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the California State University system and the state’s two-year community colleges. The program will train underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

NASA currently has nearly 100 active missions and collects about 2 gigabytes of data per minute. It expects that volume of data to increase by a factor of 1,000 in the near future, and is looking for better ways to visualize the data for analysis. The FIELDS project will support this goal through several research and education programs.

The FIELDS research and education initiatives include:

  • Undergraduate training and research for students in physical, biological, computer science and engineering disciplines at UCR and partner institutions;
  • A new master’s course in big data and visualization, with students attending courses at UCR and doing research at JPL;
  • Support for doctoral and postdoctoral research; and
  • Support for high school STEM teacher training at UCR to help encourage more high school students to develop an interest in STEM fields.

UCR faculty and JPL staff will supervise the education and research activities. Each fall, students and mentors participating in the program will attend a FIELDS workshop at either UCR or JPL.

Undergraduates will complete two 10-week summer internships at JPL and receive a stipend of $2,000 each year. During the school year, they will conduct research with UCR faculty and receive a stipend of $3,000 each year. Graduate students will work with UCR faculty and JPL staff and earn an annual stipend of $70,000 for two years.

“A major goal of the project is advancement by students to research universities, gaining research experience, acquiring advanced STEM degrees, and taking up careers in STEM, including NASA employment,” said Bahram Mobasher, professor of physics and astronomy at UCR and the grant’s principal investigator, in a prepared statement. “We expect that collaborative research by JPL and UCR scientists and their students will generate preliminary results for further grant proposals to outside agencies.”

Grants like this increase the great work done at UCR and equips their STEM students with the knowledge needed to succeed. UCR is known for catalyzing innovation in many fields of study and thus promotes the aspirations of Seizing Our Destiny.

To read the complete article, click here.

Riverside Real Estate Team Teaches ‘Sidewalk CPR’ To Hundreds

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Debra Gruszecki and published in The Press Enterprise on May 18, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Debra Gruszecki, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Debra Gruszecki, The Press Enterprise

Keller Williams Realty professionals from Riverside had a RED-letter day Thursday, as they performed good deeds in the name of good health.

Sixty agents and associates joined the American Heart Association to promote hands-only CPR at six locations in Riverside.

The approach, known as sidewalk CPR, takes two steps to help save a life: First, dial 911. Second, place the palm of your hand in the center of the chest, and push hard and fast to the beat of the classic disco song, “Stayin’ Alive.” (I’m not making that part up.)

Sam Othman, a Realtor since 1985 who was part of the Keller Williams team, said the brother of his manager at the Market Center office at 7898 Mission Grove Parkway credits sidewalk CPR with saving his life.

He is alive today because a bystander performed hands-only CPR, Othman said.

Hearing that story was enough to make believers out of the team.

noej2n-b88409509z.120150515102309000gir9oti0.10Keller Williams agents and associates have participated in an annual day of “Renewing, Energizing and Donating” to local communities across the U.S. since 2009. The event varies from office to office, and year to year.

“It’s been great serving the community,” Alice Bechtel said, as she and two other colleagues, Paula Moisio and Banesha Baker, gave a CPR demonstration to Sam Luke at LA Fitness, one of 239 people trained Thursday.

Booths also were set up at Anytime Fitness, Albertsons, the Riverside County Administration Center and two other LA Fitness locations.

“Hopefully now, someone will use this to help save a life,” Realtor Brent Bechtel said.

Keller Williams’ effort to make a difference in our community is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. Riversiders are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and world.

For the full article, click here.

UC Riverside Extension Offers Summer STEM Programs For Grades 3-8

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Lauri Topete and published in UCR Today on May 18, 2015.)

Keep your high-achieving and motivated children engaged this summer by exposing them to creative and challenging material they might not get in their regular classrooms. UCR Extension is offering two summer programs that will provide enrichment and

Expanding Horizons is set at UC Riverside for Summer, 2015

education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The dates are as follows:

Expanding Horizons STEMDiscovery (grades 3-6); June 22-26

Expanding Horizons (grades 3-5); July 13-24

Expanding Horizons (grades 6-8); July 13-24

Expanding Horizons: STEM Discovery for Grades 3 through 6 will focus on computer programming, technology and electricity. Karen Dodson, UCR Extension’s youth program coordinator, said the teachers include Michael Hanson, who recently received a “STEM the Gap” science grant from the Dow Chemical Co.

In addition to hands-on cooperative learning experiences, students will hear presentations from STEM experts on topics ranging from 3-D printing to aquaponics. “Students will not only be exposed to the various STEM fields, they will engage in hands-on cooperative learning,” Dodson said. “And, they’ll have the time to create, produce and present a final project to share with their families on Friday.”

The two-week Expanding Horizons program for children in grades 3 through 5 provides innovative instruction in science, technology, art, math, history and language arts from July 13 through 24. Both elementary-level programs will be taught at the UCR Extension Center.

Middle school students will attend Expanding Horizons courses on the UC Riverside campus. Tours of several campus locations and panel discussions with UCR students were added to the program this year.

“They should really experience the texture of college life, what it means to be part of college and really interact with college students in a structured format,” Dodson said. “STEM education is vital to the future of our economy. A growing number of jobs today from healthcare workers and computer technicians to financial examiners and athletic trainers demand workers have a strong background in STEM subjects.”

The Expanding Horizons Middle School program, July 13 through 24, will feature the same topics and instructors as in the STEM Discovery program, with the rigor adjusted to the middle school level. Some of the course titles include: Math in Animation, Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy.

Scholarships are available and discounts will be applied to students who attend multiple sections, or who have siblings that also are participating.

Programs like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. UCR is dedicated to educating the next generation of students and helping them succeed. These programs play a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.

To read more about the Expanding Horizons Middle School program, click here.