Category Archives: Learning

Two Of CBU’s Publications Won Top National Awards

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on March 20, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

Two of California Baptist University’s campus publications, The Banner newspaper and Pursuitmagazine, took home top national awards at recent journalism conferences in Los Angeles and New York City.

The Associated College Press awarded 1st place “Best of Show” awards to both The Bannernewspaper and Pursuit magazine, in those respective categories, and The Banner Onlineearned the 5th place award in the Best Website category. The 31st Annual ACP National College Journalism Convention was held in Los Angeles Feb. 26 to March 1. A complete list of winners is available by clicking here.

“This is really unprecedented in my experience that one program would be awarded 1st place Best of Show in both the newspaper and magazine categories,” said Dr. Michael Chute, director of the journalism & new media and public relations program. “It is the third year in a row that The Banner has been named the top ‘Best of Show’ newspaper at the ACP convention. This really speaks to the quality work our students do on the campus publications and the top honor three years in a row shows how consistent our students have been in producing quality publications.”

CBU’s constant achievements help make the university and Riverside a location of choice for students seeking the best education for a reasonable price.

In the California College Media Association convention Feb. 28, CCMA awarded seven CBU students for outstanding achievement in writing, photography and design. The Pursuit staff also earned an honorable mention in the Best Magazine category.

At its Spring National College Media Convention in New York City March 11-14, the College Media Association awarded Pursuit magazine 2nd place in Best Magazine Spread, as well as 3rd place in Best Overall Design for another magazine spread, which competed against design entries from newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and advertising.

Colleges and universities from across the U.S. enter publications in the ACP and College Media Association competitions each year.

To read the full article, click here.

Inland Education Collaborative Awarded $5 Million

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Jeanette Marantos and published in UCR Today on March 20, 2015.)

Pamela Clute, special assistant to the chancellor at UC Riverside. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Pamela Clute, special assistant to the chancellor at UC Riverside. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The Federation for a Competitive Economy (FACE), a regional collaborative vision that began at UC Riverside, has earned a $5 million Governor’s Award for Innovation in Higher Education. It was selected as one of the top plans of the 57 submitted from around the state to improve college graduation rates in California, a committee of the California Department of Finance announced today.

Awards like the Governor’s Award for Innovation in Higher Education are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar by not only embracing the universities and schools, but the entire Riverside economy.

The Governor’s Award proposal, prepared by California State University, San Bernardino in partnership with UC Riverside, multiple Inland Empire community colleges, school districts, governments, businesses, the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, is fairly straightforward:

FACE and its subcommittees are tackling the problem from two sides: make sure inland high school students are ready for college when they graduate, and increase the number of inland college students who actually earn a bachelor’s degree.

The Governor’s Award proposal, submitted by Cal State University San Bernardino President Tomás Morales and Rachel Weiss, CSUSB’s director of research of sponsored programs, sets specific benchmarks for meeting those goals by 2020:

  • Use FACE and its 175 members to align educational policy and initiatives between the two counties to both improve college outcomes and keep those college graduates here, working jobs in the Inland Empire
  • Reduce the number of college freshmen who need remediation classes by 20 percent by increasing college readiness at the high school level, particularly in math.
  • Increase the number of bachelor degrees earned at inland universities by 15 percent
  • Increase the number of students completing their bachelor’s degrees within six years by 10 percent
  • Strengthen partnerships with Inland Empire industries to better align education with workforce needs, such as creating more college internship opportunities to give students a chance to better understand what employers need, and help them develop business relationships while they’re in college.

Beefing up math instruction at the high school level is a key part of the proposal, because math is one of the biggest hurdles to college completion, said Pamela Clute, a Ph.D. math instructor, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) advocate and UC Riverside’s special assistant to the chancellor.

Clute developed the FACE collaborative in 2009, at the behest of then-Chancellor Timothy P. White, who has since gone on to become president of the California State University system. UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox has continued UCR’s support for the project, and now co-chairs the FACE-IEEP Educational Council with Morales.

To read the full article, click here.

CBU Student Initiates Robotics Program

(This article contains excerpts from the article by Chanthou San and published in CBU Banner on March 6, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU Banner
Photo Credit: CBU Banner

After a car accident five years ago caused a traumatic brain injury and numerous broken bones, Rebecca Trupp, senior mechanical engineering major at California Baptist University, was forced to relearn basic life skills.

Trupp dreamed of designing and working for NASCAR and felt she had to re-evaluate her career when she was no longer able to process mathematical and engineering concepts.

In 2012, Trupp developed an outreach program using NAO robots with guidance from Dr. Anthony Donaldson, dean and professor of the College of Engineering, and Dr. Liya Grace Ni, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The NAO robots were first introduced when the College of Engineering received a W.M. Keck grant of $250,000. The money funds Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) hardware, as well as advanced computing and full-body robots and robotics equipment.

Trupp reached out to local schools to educate students on engineering along with other opportunities available with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree.

With a passion to serve her community, she accepted a challenge proposed by Donaldson to recruit K-12 students with programmed robots. It was then that the NAO Outreach program was implemented.

The NAO Outreach program serves as an example of the possibilities that come from engineering programs. Promoting engineering from CBU is only a portion of a nationwide campaign designed to educate and encourage more students to pursue an education in STEM. Programs like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. Encouraging students to pursue an education in STEM is no easy task, but for Rebecca Trupp robotics is her her vehicle to do so. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To read the full article, click here.

North High’s Rich Davis Awarded County Certificated Administrator Of The Year Award

(This article contains excerpts from the article posted on the Riverside Unified School District website.)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

Congratulations to North High School Assistant Principal Rich Davis, who has been named the Riverside County Office of Education’s Certificated Administrator of the Year! Mr. Davis learned of the honor with a surprise visit from Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Kenn Young on Monday.

Awards like this demonstrate what makes Riverside a location of choice for residents seeking a great education.

Educators of the year are selected by a committee comprised of Riverside County educators—including former honorees—that review nominations, letters of recommendation, and other criteria. Committee members also conduct selected site visits and interviews as part of the awards process.

RCC Newspaper Wins National Associated Collegiate Press Award

(This article contains information from a press release distributed by RCCD on March 6, 2015.)

Photo Credit: RCCD
Photo Credit: RCCD

The Associated Collegiate Press has selected Riverside City College’s student newspaper, Viewpoints as one of the top student newspapers in the nation.

Viewpoints received a Best of Show Award March 1 at the Associated Collegiate Press National College Journalism Convention in Universal City, placing fourth among community college newspapers. More than 700 students from the U.S. and Canada attended the convention, which included workshops, an awards ceremony and four keynote speeches.

Allan Lovelace, advisor for the newspaper, said the award recognizes the students’ talent, hard work and commitment to public service.

“The student journalists place a premium on public service with their newspaper,” he said. “That is one of their main goals.”

Wining the Associated Collegiate Press’ Best of Show Award is Viewpoints’ third, with the newspaper also winning in 2011 and 2004. The newspaper and its students have also received from ACP national story of the year awards in 2009, 2003 and 2000; national Pacemaker award in 2005 and 2004; and five All-American awards since 1998.

Viewpoints students received four individual awards from the California College Media Association at the convention. Editor-in-chief James Williams received a third-place award for an editorial about expired elevator permits at RCC, Steven Smith received a third-place award for a video about RCC Astronomy instructor Scott Blair, Crystal Olmedo received an honorable mention for a news series about crime statistics and David Roman received an honorable mention for a critical review about the band Bleached. Viewpoints students entered their Oct. 30 issue, which included coverage of Athletic Hall of Fame inductees and the District police’s reporting timeline for the Cleary Report.

RCC’s outstanding achievements makes Riverside a location of choice for students seeking a great education at an affordable cost.

Information about Viewpoints and RCC’s Journalism program is available at 951-222-8487 and at rccjournalism.blogspot.com.

To read the full article, click here.

Glass Coating Improves Battery Performance

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon in UCR Today on March 2, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR
Photo Credit: UCR

Lithium-sulfur batteries have been a hot topic in battery research because of their ability to produce up to 10 times more energy than conventional batteries, which means they hold great promise for applications in energy-demanding electric vehicles.

However, there have been fundamental road blocks to commercializing these sulfur batteries. One of the main problems is the tendency for lithium and sulfur reaction products, called lithium polysulfides, to dissolve in the battery’s electrolyte and travel to the opposite electrode permanently. This causes the battery’s capacity to decrease over its lifetime.

Researchers in the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside have investigated a strategy to prevent this “polysulfide shuttling” phenomenon by creating nano-sized sulfur particles, and coating them in silica (SiO2), otherwise known as glass.

The work is outlined in a paper, “SiO2 – Coated Sulfur Particles as a Cathode Material for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries,” just published online in the journal Nanoscale. In addition, the researchers have been invited to submit their work for publication in the Graphene-based Energy Devices special themed issue in RSC Nanoscale.

Ph.D. students in Cengiz Ozkan’s and Mihri Ozkan’s research groups have been working on designing a cathode material in which silica cages “trap” polysulfides having a very thin shell of silica, and the particles’ polysulfide products now face a trapping barrier – a glass cage. The team used an organic precursor to construct the trapping barrier.

“Our biggest challenge was to optimize the process to deposit SiO2 – not too thick, not too thin, about the thickness of a virus”, Mihri Ozkan said.

A schematic illustration of the process to synthesize silica-coated sulfur particles. Photo Credit: UCR Today
A schematic illustration of the process to synthesize silica-coated sulfur particles. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Graduate students Brennan Campbell, Jeffrey Bell, Hamed Hosseini Bay, Zachary Favors, and Robert Ionescu found that silica-caged sulfur particles provided a substantially higher battery performance, but felt further improvement was necessary because of the challenge with the breakage of the SiO2 shell.

“We have decided to incorporate mildly reduced graphene oxide (mrGO), a close relative of graphene, as a conductive additive in cathode material design, to provide mechanical stability to the glass caged structures”, Cengiz Ozkan said.

The new generation cathode provided an even more dramatic improvement than the first design, since the team engineered both a polysulfide-trapping barrier and a flexible graphene oxide blanket that harnesses the sulfur and silica together during cycling.

“The design of the core-shell structure essentially builds in the functionality of polysulfide surface-adsorption from the silica shell, even if the shell breaks”, Brennan Campbell said. “Incorporation of mrGO serves the system well in holding the polysulfide traps in place. Sulfur is similar to oxygen in its reactivity and energy yet still comes with physical challenges, and our new cathode design allows sulfur to expand and contract, and be harnessed.”

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

The work was funded by the Winston Chung Global Energy Center at UC Riverside.

To read the full article, click here.

Sophomore Girls Learn The Power Of STEM With Inspire Her Mind Conference

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in the RUSD news feed on March 2, 2015.)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

About 150 sophomore girls from across RUSD had the chance to explore possibilities available to them in the STEM fields through the Inspire Her Mind program. This unique program, held at Bourns Engineering, included a special presentation by Dr. Pamela Clute, a longtime mathematics professor who currently serves as special assistant to the chancellor at UC Riverside. The event also included a chance for girls to learn about the unique ways that science contributes to the world and see first-hand the ways that math and science impact the world around them – like how a green screen works in film. They also heard from a panel of women in science who encouraged them to try out these fields for themselves.

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.

New Paper-like Material Could Boost Electric Vehicle Batteries

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

Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, both professors in the Bourns College of Engineering. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, both professors in the Bourns College of Engineering. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

This paper-like material is composed of sponge-like silicon nanofibers more than 100 times thinner than human hair. It could be used in batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics.

The findings were just published in a paper, “Towards Scalable Binderless Electrodes: Carbon Coated Silicon Nanofiber Paper via Mg Reduction of Electrospun SiO2 Nanofibers,” in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. The authors were Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, Cengiz S. Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering, and six of their graduate students: Zach Favors, Hamed Hosseini Bay, Zafer Mutlu, Kazi Ahmed, Robert Ionescu and Rachel Ye.

Scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers under high magnification. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers under high magnification. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The nanofibers were produced using a technique known aselectrospinning, whereby 20,000 to 40,000 volts are applied between a rotating drum and a nozzle, which emits a solution composed mainly of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), a chemical compound frequently used in the semiconductor industry. The nanofibers are then exposed to magnesium vapor to produce the sponge-like silicon fiber structure.

Conventionally produced lithium-ion battery anodes are made using copper foil coated with a mixture of graphite, a conductive additive, and a polymer binder. But, because the performance of graphite has been nearly tapped out, researchers are experimenting with other materials, such as silicon, which has a specific capacity, or electrical charge per unit weight of the battery, nearly 10 times higher than graphite.

The problem with silicon is that is suffers from significant volume expansion, which can quickly degrade the battery. The silicon nanofiber structure created in the Ozkan’s labs circumvents this issue and allows the battery to be cycled hundreds of times without significant degradation.

“Eliminating the need for metal current collectors and inactive polymer binders while switching to an energy dense material such as silicon will significantly boost the range capabilities of electric vehicles,” Favors said.

(a) Schematic representation of the electrospinning process and subsequent reduction process. Digital photographs of (b) as-spun SiO2 nanofibers paper, (c) etched silicon nanofiber paper, and (d) carbon-coated silicon nanofiber paper as used in the lithium-ion half-cell configuration. Photo Credit: UCR Today
(a) Schematic representation of the electrospinning process and subsequent reduction process. Digital photographs of (b) as-spun SiO2 nanofibers paper, (c) etched silicon nanofiber paper, and (d) carbon-coated silicon nanofiber paper as used in the lithium-ion half-cell configuration. Photo Credit: UCR Today

This technology also solves a problem that has plagued free-standing, or binderless, electrodes for years: scalability. Free-standing materials grown using chemical vapor deposition, such as carbon nanotubes or silicon nanowires, can only be produced in very small quantities (micrograms). However, Favors was able to produce several grams of silicon nanofibers at a time even at the lab scale.

The researchers’ future work involves implementing the silicon nanofibers into a pouch cell format lithium-ion battery, which is a larger scale battery format that can be used in EVs and portable electronics.

The research is supported by Temiz Energy Technologies. The UC Riverside Office of Technology Commercialization has filed patents for inventions reported in the research paper.

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

For the complete article, click here.

UCR Launches Initiative To Deal With Inland Poverty

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Fielding Buck and published in The Press Enterprise on February 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema
Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema

A strategy to study, teach about and deal with Inland poverty was announced Tuesday at UC Riverside.

The UCR School of Public Policy will launch the Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty this fall.

The announcement was made during an appearance by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who was on campus to talk to public policy students and attend the screening of a documentary about him.

Reich praised Riverside as a “roll-up-your-sleeves” kind of community and UCR as a school that provides opportunities for students with financial needs. Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, Riverside and UCR both demonstrate that we’re a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

“There’s probably no place that I know of that better exemplifies what higher education ought to be doing,” Reich said.

Reich is a senior fellow of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, which is working with UCR on the intiative.

Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today
Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today

It was launched by a gift of $250,000 from the center’s founder, UC regent Richard C. Blum, who is married to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

UCR chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and UC President Janet Napolitano both matched the gift out of their budgets, according to a UCR press release.

The initiative will be interdisciplinary and results oriented, according to Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the school. It will include partnerships with local non-governmental organizations.

“Poverty is not unique, right?” he said in an interview before the announcement. “Every place in the work has poverty and there are many places in the world that have tackled the problem of poverty with good results. We will be trying to glean lessons from around the world so that we can use some of those lessons to solve poverty problems here in the Inland Empire.”

Plans include to establish an undergraduate minor in poverty and a focus area in public policy master degree program.

For the complete article, click here.

RCC Signs 2 Football Players From Texas

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Matt Welch in Star Local Media on February 6, 2015.) 

On Friday, McKinney recognized four student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent to play college football. Included in that ceremony were (left to right) seniors Tyler McMahon (West Texas A&M), Myron Robinson (Riverside City College), Byron Robinson (Riverside City College) and John Kent Calhoun (Oklahoma Baptist). Photo Credit: Star Local Media
On Friday, McKinney recognized four student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent to play college football. Included in that ceremony were (left to right) seniors Tyler McMahon (West Texas A&M), Myron Robinson (Riverside City College), Byron Robinson (Riverside City College) and John Kent Calhoun (Oklahoma Baptist). Photo Credit: Star Local Media

McKinney’s football team honored four seniors who recently signed National Letters of Intent, some to schools nearby and others well outside of routine driving distance.

2 of the 4 seniors Myron and Byron Robinson will venture more than 1,400 miles from McKinney to attend Riverside City College in California. The brothers had received interest from programs like Mary Hardin-Baylor and Trinity Valley Community College before opting to attend the California-based junior college.

“We still both have that desire to play [Division I football] and that’s why we went the JUCO route,” Myron Robinson said. “Riverside was our best decision because they have three corner-backs and all three just went [Division I football]. Those are now open positions and they have a good track record of sending guys to play [Division I football].”

The siblings worked in lockstep as the anchors of McKinney’s secondary, recording three interceptions apiece during the 2014 season, and look to maintain that same consistency in California. Off the field, Myron Robinson plans to major in law enforcement, while Byron Robinson eyes a career in broadcasting.

Offering great sports programs is just another way the RCC helps make Riverside a location of choice for college students from around the globe.

For the full article, click here.