Washington Monthly Magazine Ranks UCR #2 In The Nation

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French, published in UCRToday on August 24, 2014)

For the second year in a row, Washington Monthly magazine has ranked the University of California, Riverside second among national universities in its 10th annual College Ranking Survey.

It is the fourth consecutive year that UC Riverside has been ranked among the top 10 schools in the survey, which considers civic engagement, research, and social mobility. Prior to the No. 2 ranking in 2013, UCR was fifth in 2011 and ninth in 2012.

UC Riverside is ranked No. 2 in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for the second year in a row.  Photo credit: UCR Today

UC Riverside is ranked No. 2 in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for the second year in a row. Photo credit: UCR Today

UCR also placed 21st in the category of “Best-Bang-For-The-Buck Colleges,” an exclusive list that  ranks schools on measures of access, affordability and student outcomes. UCR finished first among UC schools and improved five spots from its 2013 ranking.

Steven Brint, vice provost for Undergraduate Education at UCR, said the Washington Monthly rankings are significant because they “reflect the campus’s mission to unite academic excellence, broad access for motivated students, and community engagement.”

“Washington Monthly measures both the academic quality and the social contribution of colleges,” Brint said. “It is gratifying to see that the statistics have confirmed the outstanding record of our campus. People around the country are starting to ask, ‘How does UCR do it?’”

Paul Glastris, editor in chief of Washington Monthlysaid that UCR stands out as a model for other public universities to follow, adding “Riverside’s focus on public service exceeds that of almost every other national university.”

UCR was third overall in community service participation and hours served and was first in federal work-study funds spent on service.

Through dedication and commitment to improvement, UCR is always growing and developing in an impressive fashion.  Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar, UCR attracts all sorts of students with untapped potential and academic excellence by constantly proving itself to be a great place to live and learn.

To read the full article, 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.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Makes A Splash At City Hall

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 21, 2014.)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is flooding the nation, with everyone from former President George W. Bush to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber getting soaked for charity.  The Riverside area is all wet as well.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Phot credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Friends challenge each other to donate $100 for ALS or take a soaking and post photos or video to social media. 

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey was among the latest Thursday to have ice water poured over his head in the fundraising stunt that has gone viral. Drenched while sitting in the fountain in front of City Hall, he challenged his City Council colleagues to do the same or donate $100.  According to The ALS Association, Ice Bucket Challenge donations have surpassed $79 million as of 8/25/14.  For more information about ALS research in Riverside County, click here to connect with The ALS Golden West Chapter Support Group located here in Riverside.    

ALS, or Lou Gehrigs Disease, is a progressive disease that causes motor nerves to degenerate in the brain and spinal cord so the nerves can’t control muscles, leading patients to lose their ability to walk and talk and leading to eventual paralysis and death, according to the ALS Association.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

The people of Riverside are brought together around common interest and concerns, to engage with one another and accelerate the common good for all.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is just one example of Riverside coming together as a unified city.  Research and awareness for ALS is an important cause whether you are a professional, college student, or the Mayor.  It is refreshing to see all types of individuals from different backgrounds in the community doing there part to try and make a real difference.

To read the full article, click here.

 

 

Five UC Riverside Scientists Among World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwala, published in UCR Today on August 22, 2014.)

List of highly cited researchers, compiled by Thomson Reuters, analyzed data over 11 years

Clockwise from top left: UC Riverside’s Roya Bahreini, Julia Bailey-Serres, Yadong Yin, Wei Ren, and Robert Haddon are among individuals, identified by Thomson Reuters, to have published the greatest number of highly cited papers in 2002-2012.  Photo credit: Strategic Communications, UC Riverside.

Clockwise from top left: UC Riverside’s Roya Bahreini, Julia Bailey-Serres, Yadong Yin, Wei Ren, and Robert Haddon are among individuals, identified by Thomson Reuters, to have published the greatest number of highly cited papers in 2002-2012. Photo credit: Strategic Communications, UC Riverside.

Thomson Reuters, a leading source of information for businesses and professionals, has included five researchers at the University of California, Riverside in its 2014 list of “some of the best and brightest minds of our times.”  To generate the list, the company analyzed citation data over 11 years (2002-2012) to identify researchers whose published work has had enormous impact.

These influential professors are an outstanding representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar.  Having five professors make the list and being considered “some of the best and brightest minds of our time” by Thomson Reuters is beyond impressive.  Riverside is increasingly becoming an attractive location of choice for intelligent, entrepreneurial, and inspired individuals with untapped potential.

Roya Bahreini, an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, was included in the “Geosciences” field. Julia Bailey-Serres, a professor of genetics, was included in the “Plant & Animal Science” field.Robert Haddon, a distinguished professor of chemistry as well as chemical and environmental engineering, was included in the “Chemistry” field. Wei Ren, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, was included in the “Engineering” field. And Yadong Yin, a professor of chemistry, was included in two fields: “Chemistry” and “Materials Science.”

According to Thomson Reuters, the researchers who made the list are persons of “influence in the sciences and social sciences. They are the people who are on the cutting edge of their fields. They are performing and publishing work that their peers recognize as vital to the advancement of their science. These researchers are, undoubtedly, among the most influential scientific minds of our time.”

To read the full article, click here.

 

Riverside Police Officers Help Students Gear Up

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Brian Rokos, published by the Riverside County Office of Education on August 13, 2014.)

Riverside police have provided about 500 schoolchildren with a little magic as they prepare to head back to class this month.

Riverside police Officers Mike Crawford, left, and Ryan Railsback hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Casa Blanca Library.  Photo credit: Brian Rokos

Riverside police Officers Mike Crawford, left, and Ryan Railsback hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Casa Blanca Library. Photo credit: Brian Rokos

Our community is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of it’s inhabitants, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.  Another example of how Riverside exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, the Riverside Police Dept. values the potential of students from lower income families and focuses on facilitating their school supplies.  Everyone in our community deserves access to quality education, and the opportunity to engage with one another for a better life for all.

The Riverside Police Officers’ Association, A Foundation for Kids and the Riverside Police Foundation have handed out backpacks to children from low-income families in the past two weeks.  On Tuesday, Officers Ryan Railsback and Mike Crawford, Lt. Eric Charette and other Police Department employees lined up 75 grade-schoolers at Casa Blanca Library and gave them sturdy, black backpacks loaded with pens, pencils, paper, folders, rulers and crayons.

“If you give them a good foundation, they will go far in life,” said Rose Marie Lane, the community liaison for the Police Officers’ Association and unofficial Police Department mom. “You have to give them the tools to start with.”

One child put on a sad face after being handed a backpack. It seemed he already had one at home. Lane told the boy that there were magic pens inside that would help him get good grades. Lane suggested the boy share this duplicate backpack and gave him a big hug.

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.

 

UCR Earns Spot On Sierra Magazine “Cool Schools” List For Third Year

(This article contains excerpts from an article published in UCR Today on August 12, 2014.)

For the third consecutive year, Sierra Magazine has included the University of California, Riverside on its list of “America’s Coolest Schools”, which is a list of the nation’s greenest colleges and universities.  UCR finished with a score of 577.98 out of a possible 1,000 points, placing it 90th among the schools surveyed. UCR’s score improved about 12% compared to 2013.

Members of the sustainability community at UCR stand in front of a balloon representing the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere during Earth Week 2014. Photo credit:  Uma Ramasubramanian

Members of the sustainability community at UCR stand in front of a          balloon representing the amount of carbon dioxide entering the                                          atmosphere during Earth Week 2014.                               Photo credit: Uma Ramasubramanian

The methodology as to how Sierra Magazine ranked all of the participating schools was extensive and thorough.  According to Sierraclub.org, “Participation in Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools ranking is open to all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. Sierra received 173 complete responses from qualified colleges. Once schools submitted their data, our researchers scored each response and ranked all of the participating institutions.

There was no cost for participation, and no affiliation or relationship between a school and the Sierra Club or its employees, past or present, influenced the ranking. Evaluation was based primarily on schools’ responses to the survey but when appropriate, we made follow-up inquires by phone and email and used publicly available outside sources to verify and complement survey responses.”

The colleges at the top of our annual “Cool Schools” ranking are so dedicated to greening every level of their operation—from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum.  Photo credit: sierraclub.org

The colleges at the top of our annual “Cool Schools” ranking are so dedicated to greening every level of their operation—from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum. Photo credit: sierraclub.org

UC Riverside has made this list two other times, moving up the ranks with each appearance.  Officials at UCR expect to gain an even better position on next year’s list with 16 LEED buildings and a new Solar Farm in operation.

Through commitment and dedication, UCR is always improving and making strides in becoming a green machine.  Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar, UCR values the cultivation and support of innovation within our community acting as a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To read more from UCR Today, click here.

 

 

Riverside Embraces Transparency And Open Data

(This article contains excerpts from an article on cafwd.org by Christopher Nelson, published on 7/30/14)

City of Riverside making headway with new open data portal

With its brand new citywide transparency portal launched earlier this month, Riverside joins Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and other California cities that are embracing transparency and open data without reservation.  The city claims that the newly launched site “EngageRiverside” gives unfettered access to 815,000 documents that contain 3.4 million pages worth of information on any facts or data sets that inquiring citizens or journalists would want to know.

Photo credit: cafwd.org

Photo credit: cafwd.org

The site has sections for city records, budget and finance, general open data, council and board meeting agendas and info, election results, maps as well as one for reporting fraud. What is perhaps most interesting, however, is the one labeled “Share Your Ideas,” which after clicking leads you to a tool called MindMixer. It offers the ability for direct, two way communication between residents and city officials.

Although social media already exists for exchanges like this, residents create an account with MindMixer and it’s specifically tailored for this type of interaction while offering community members a chance to engage and share ideas with each other as well.  “Collaboration and making use of collective knowledge is critical,” said Lea Dessing, Chief Innovation Officer for Riverside at an event earlier this year at which she previewed some of the thinking behind Engage Riverside. “It’s not about government being all knowing, it’s about public participation.”

As a unified city, Riverside invites the community to get involved and participate.  “EngageRiverside is neither the beginning nor the end of our ongoing effort to improve transparency, but it is an important step forward,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said in a release.  Riversiders care about each other and understand that involvement like this will benefit everyone.   

To read more, click here.

Researchers At UCR Find Key Component Of Autistic Behavior

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Mark Muckenfuss, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 26, 2014)

Through constant commitment and dedication, UC Riverside is consistently raising the bar with their research and technological advancements.  One recent advancement, in regards to autism research, is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

Iryna Ethell in her lab at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Iryna Ethell in her lab at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

A UC Riverside-led team of researchers says it has found conclusive evidence that a naturally produced enzyme in the body is responsible for autism and other neurological disorders in people with Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X is a mutation of the X chromosome associated with obsessive-compulsive and repetitive behaviors as well as learning deficits. People affected by Fragile X have been shown to have structural differences in brain cells, such as underdeveloped neural receptors.

In 2007, Iryna Ethell, a UCR biochemist, found that overactivity of an enzyme called MMP-9 was connected with Fragile X. Her team recently identified MMP-9 as a major culprit in symptoms associated with Fragile X in mice.

Iryna Ethell holds a chart of her work in her office at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Iryna Ethell holds a chart of her work in her office at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

By eliminating a gene that activates MMP-9, the researchers found that even with the presence of Fragile X syndrome, the mice showed no symptoms of autistic behavior. They measured sociability, anxiety and other behaviors, as well as examining individual brain cells.

Often, such discoveries are the first step in a long process. Just understanding a mechanism for a particular disease or disorder doesn’t  necessarily mean a treatment is imminent. Effective therapies or drugs can be many years away.

To read more, click here.