Category Archives: Location of Choice

Riverside Ranks 39th Healthiest City In America

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Divya Raghavan and published in BetterDoctor on January 11, 2015.)

Photo Credit: City of Riverside


Health is the #1 topic on everyone’s mind as they make New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, quitting smoking and exercising regularly are the top three New Year’s resolutions, together accounting for 3/4 of all the goals Americans set on January 1.

At BetterDoctor, they encourage you to use this year to take control of your health. But this may be easier in some locations than in others. Doctor access, doctor quality, recreational opportunities and health insurance options all vary widely from city to city. BetterDoctor crunched the numbers to determine which of the biggest fifty cities are the healthiest—and which have the worse habits and access to care. Riverside’s unmatched landscape, year-around outdoor activities, and attention to healthy living helped make #39 on the list, making it a location of choice for people seeking a healthy life style.

They used a data-driven approach to determine the healthiest cities in the United States, creating a 100-point composite index that uses the following three questions to assess health of a city:

1. Are residents fit and healthy? They used the American Fitness Index to assess fitness and general health of the residents. This composite index is comprised of many variables, including exercise rates, eating habits, chronic health problems and disease rates, access to parks and recreational activities and more.

2. Is medical care accessible and high-quality? They included the percentage of doctors in the city that are highly rated according to BetterDoctor’s comprehensive, seven-variable algorithm as well as the number of primary physicians per 100,000 residents.

3. Do residents have health insurance? They included the percentage of residents with health coverage to assess how feasible it is for residents to get medical care.

Rank Metro area AFI score Percentage of the population with health insurance Doctors per 1,000 residents Percentage of doctors who are highly rated on BetterDoctor Overall health score
39 Riverside, CA 47.8 80.00% 1.37 13.22% 35.08

For the complete list of rankings, click here.

CBU Food Ranks No. 3 Among California Universities

(This article contains excerpts from article written by Dr. Mark A. Wyatt and published in CBU News & Events on January 5, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU has ranked California Baptist University No. 3 among California universities for best campus food and No. 13 in the nationwide listing.

Dining services for CBU is managed by Provider Food Services, which offers a variety of choices through the Alumni Dining Commons, Brisco’s. Chick-fil-A, El Monte Grille and Wanda’s.

Best Campus Food ranks 1,175 colleges across the United States based on meal plan cost and more than 470,000 opinions from 64,000 students. A high ranking indicates the college offers a variety of healthy, quality food options that accommodate various dietary preferences and that the students are happy with the quality of campus food. Offering superior food is just another way that CBU helps make Riverside a location of choice for college students from around the globe.

For the full list of rankings, click here.

UC Riverside Applications Up Almost 10 Percent

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by David Bauman and published in The Press Enterprise on January 13, 2015.)

UC Riverside's mascot, Scotty, will likely have a record number of students to energize next year. The school received a record number of applicants. (Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise)
UC Riverside’s mascot, Scotty, will likely have a record number of students to energize next year. The school received a record number of applicants. (Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise)


Student applications for admission to UC Riverside this fall are up nearly 10 percent over last year. An increase was seen at campuses across the UC system, but Riverside’s 9.8 percent rise was well ahead of the 5.8 average for all campuses. Only UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz had higher increases.

Riverside led all campuses with its increase in student transfer applications. That number was up 7.9 percent.

In a statement, UCR’s director of undergraduate admissions, Emily Engelschall, said the school’s growing reputation is helping it attract more students.

“UCR is consistently ranked among the nation’s finest academic institutions, receiving special praise for the global impact of our research, our community service and our contributions to the public good,” Engelschall said. “These are some of the reasons that only begin to scratch the surface as to what attracts potential students to the UC Riverside campus.” UCR’s outstanding scholastic achievements have made UCR and Riverside a location of choice for many college students.

UCR received a record 47,669 applications for fall admission. Many students apply to multiple UC campuses; the average number is four. The school’s total enrollment this year is 21,700.

The campus had the second-highest percentage of Latino applicants. Those identifying as Latinos made up 42.3 percent of the 34,000 applicants.

For the full article, click here.

CBU Online Makes Gains In U.S. News & World Report Ranking Of Best Online Programs

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dr. Mark A. Wyatt and published in CBU News & Events on January 7, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University (CBU) earned the no. 23 spot among online bachelor’s programs in the 2015 Top Online Education Program rankings released today by U.S.News & World Report. This is a jump up from no. 37 in 2014 and puts CBU second among California colleges ranked in the best online bachelor’s programs list.

CBU entered the online education market in the spring of 2010 with programs offered by the university’s Division of Online and Professional Studies. Since 2013, the first year online programs were ranked by U.S. News & World Report, CBU has placed in the top 40 for three consecutive years. CBU now serves more than 3,400 students online throughout the United States, offering 30 online undergraduate majors and concentrations and 16 graduate majors and specializations.

“We are happy to be consistently top ranked since inception, especially considering CBU’s four short years offering online programs,” said Dr. David Poole, vice president for Online and Professional Studies at CBU.  “We are even more delighted given the significant jump in our ranking to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2015.” In addition to the no. 23 spot for best online bachelor’s programs, CBU also was ranked among the best online graduate MBA and best online graduate education programs as evaluated nationwide for factors including faculty credentials and training.

CBU ranked no. 7 for faculty credentials and training in the online bachelor’s degree category, no. 3 for online MBA faculty and no. 1 for online Graduate Education faculty credentials and training.

“The ranking methodology reviews student engagement best practices, graduation and retention rates, student indebtedness, faculty credentials and training, as well as technological infrastructure. These are all key elements, central to our focus as we build and deliver programs that serve the adult student who seeks a quality, reputable degree in an online format, at a reasonable cost.  This acknowledgement and ranking continues to support our mission and drive that quality and experience of faculty, innovative, cutting edge technology, and student support and service are at the heart of what we do at CBU,” said Poole.

For more information about the rankings methodology, and full listings, please go to

Founded in 1950, CBU is a private comprehensive institution located in Riverside, Calif. and affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. Fall 2014 enrollment at CBU totaled 7,957 students enrolled in 72 bachelor degree programs with 150 major concentrations, and 25 master degree programs with 45 concentrations. CBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, and the Consortium for Global Education

With the popularity of online education, it’s great to see a local school excelling in providing top notch education via the internet. California Baptist University is always expanding and improving in a remarkable fashion. Representing Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar, CBU attracts students and professionals from across the country due to the great reputation and their outstanding scholastic achievements.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Ranks 5th For Cities To Live In For Empty Nesters

(The article contains excerpts from the article written by Ann Brenoff and published in The Huffington Post on January 8, 2015.)

mall at night

When the kids are gone and you no longer care about the quality of neighborhood schools, a new realm of possible places to live opens up. compiled a list of the 10 top cities for empty nesters — their first — based on low crime, lower-than-average living costs, climate and convenient access to travel.’s Senior Brand Manager Niccole Schreck noted that there has been a cultural shift toward urban living among empty nesters. “For that reason,” she told The Huffington Post, “it is not surprising to see the cities that made our list are typically outside major urban markets with a plethora of activities, excitement and culture available to renters over 50.”

With the growing number of senior citizens in the U.S. it is important that cities

With the growing number of senior citizens in the U.S. it’s important that cities have great weather, apple recreational activities, and access to major highways. Being located in the heart of Southern California, Riverside provides all of those things at a reasonable price making it location of choice for not only senior citizens but for people of all ages.

5. Riverside, California
College towns make great retirement places because they come with a host of built-in cultural activities, not to mention pet sitters when you want to travel. UC Riverside is a great campus, and is also home to the Riverside Sports Complex. Riverside is also home to the parent Washington navel orange tree -– mother to millions of navel orange trees the world over and one of the two original navel orange trees in California.

To read the full article, click here.


What’s For Lunch? More Often, It’s Fresh And California-Grown

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dayna Straehley and published in The Press Enterprise on January 2, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

On California Thursdays at Hillcrest High School, lunches made with fresh vegetables sell out first.

California Thursdays started Oct. 23, and is already a hit at schools such as Hillcrest. The center worked with school food service directors, farmers and produce distributors to develop recipes that students enjoy and can be made from scratch with fresh ingredients grown in-state.

They’re an alternative to frozen, processed, prepackaged meals shipped from out of state and reheated for schools, according to the center, a nonprofit dedicated to education for sustainable living and based in Berkley. Sometimes produce from California is shipped to Chicago and other distant locations for processing before it comes back to schools, the center said.

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

The California Thursdays entree features broccoli buds andcelery slices from Salinas, sliced red peppers from the Coachella Valley, sliced onions and matchstick carrots, rice grown in California and chicken. Food service workers put the vegetables on baking pans with a little water and into the oven. The cooked vegetables are then placed on top of the chicken and rice.

Although the full entree of only California-grown food is a weekly feature, Alvord Child Nutrition Services Director Eric Holliday said his department works with Sunrise Produce to include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to serve students every day.

The fruit also has fewer preservatives and the apples aren’t waxed like the ones in supermarkets, said Lisa Marquez, vice president of sales for Sunrise, which works with farmers and 75 to 80 school districts in Southern California.

Holliday said schools try to educate students about food and teach them where it comes from. Those education efforts encourage students to eat more fresh foods that may be unfamiliar initially.

Located in beautiful Southern California, Riverside has weather that is conducive to the production of year-round produce and excellent recreational opportunities.  Riverside is a location of choice for those that desire a healthy lifestyle.

To read the full article, click here.

Kids’ Produce Market Opens at Longfellow

(This post includes information taken directly from the Riverside Unified School District website on December 29, 2014.)


Longfellow families were treated to blackberries, mangos, tomatoes, onions, eggs, and a bounty of other fresh produce on Wednesday, December 17 as the Kids’ Produce Market came to school. This program, coordinated by Feeding America in conjunction with the RUSD Nutrition Services Department, brings fresh fruits and vegetables to students once a month. It is currently in place at Longfellow and Madison Elementary Schools and will be growing soon. This program allows families living in ‘healthy food deserts” – areas with little access to fresh and healthy food – to get the nutritious fruits and vegetables they need.

Organizations constantly collaborate to identify ways to make Riversiders healthier. In this example, we were able to take advantage of some great programs to improve our kids’ health. Riverside is a healthy community and that makes it a location of choice. 

Electric Vehicles Touted As Way To Cut Inland Pollution

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Melanie C. Johnson and published in The Press Enterprise on November 16, 2014.)

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

Riverside resident Diana Howlett climbed into a Nissan Leaf and awaited the noise from the engine. She heard nothing like the usual roar that comes with turning the ignition. “It’s really smooth and quiet,” she said of her first experience driving an electric car. “I turned it on, and I didn’t even know it was turned on.”

She and husband Kyle Howlett came with friends to Riverside Electric Vehicle Day on Sunday. The event, which took place at UC Riverside’s Center of Environmental Research & Technology on Columbia Avenue, was co-hosted by the center, the Charge Ahead California campaign, and CALPIRG UCR student chapter. It featured several speakers, an array of electric cars from Fiats to BMWs to Smart cars the attendees could peruse and test drive, and information on rebates and financing options.

Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner said for more than seven years, his primary mode of transportation for getting to City Hall has been his Segway. Because of Southern California’s landscape, fine-particle air pollution from Los Angeles and Orange County is blown to the Inland Empire, making it tough to meet federal ozone standards, he said. Increasing the number of electric and other zero-emissions vehicles could provide much-needed relief, he said.

“That’s an immediate local benefit for us for our health,” Gardner said.

Events such as Riverside Electric Vehicle Day offer participants a chance to learn how beneficial these alternative modes of transportation are to the environment. Reducing pollution throughout Riverside will help us continue to be able to hold year-round outdoor activities and improve the quality of life of our city.  Riverside Electric Vehicle Day exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar by encouraging our residents to do their part in creating a healthy and livable city.

To read the full article, click here.

UC Riverside Celebrates Three Megawatts of Solar Power

(This article contains excerpts from an article written by Kris Lovekin and published in UCR Today on November 5, 2014.)

UCR has a solar farm that provides more than three megawatts, or the equivalent of 960 houses. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today
UCR has a solar farm that provides more than three megawatts, or the equivalent of 960 houses. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today

UC Riverside has opened a brand new solar farm that will produce up to 6.6 million megawatt hours of electricity each year. That is the equivalent of powering 960 homes for a year.

The ribbon cutting, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, will include Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, local government officials, student leaders, and representatives of SunPower Corporation. It will be held on the solar farm site, which is next to UCR’s Community Garden. Parking will be available in Lot 30.

The project supports the system-wide University Policy on Sustainable Practices, which calls on each campus to contribute to the production of up to 10 megawatts of on-site renewable power by 2014.  Wendell Brase, UC Irvine’s vice chancellor for administrative and business services, will attend the ribbon cutting. He is co-chair of UC President Janet Napolitano’s Global Climate Leadership Council.

UCR’s solar array is currently the largest solar array in the University of California system. Other campuses are also quickly adding more solar technology. For instance, UC Irvine opens a large system next year:

UCR signed a 20-year power purchase agreement that allowed the SunPower Corporation to construct, operate and maintain the facility, with the university purchasing the power. UCR spent $350,000 on site clearing and preparation, as well as interconnections costs with the existing substation. The projected savings to the university is $4.3 million over the length of the contract. UCR will also receive carbon and LEED credits that provide additional financial and environmental savings.

The solar farm went online as scheduled on Friday, Sept. 19. It has 7,440 panels across the 11-acre site using GPS tracking to slowly follow the sun across the sky. The massive sea of shiny panels is visible from Highway 60 as thousands of cars pass the campus.

“This is a big step forward, and we plan to do more,” said John Cook, director of the UCR’s Office of Sustainability. “On a hot and sunny day we will be producing nearly a third of UCR’s total energy needs with this system. But over the course of the year, with variable weather, it will amount to 3 percent of our total energy needs.” He said Riverside’s typical sunny climate will make UCR an especially efficient place to invest in solar technology. With the growing concern of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels, UCR is taking steps to reduce their foot print on the environment and promote the quality of life for all through intelligent growth of their campus.

For the full article, click here.

CBU Honors President Ronald L. Ellis For 20 Years Of Leadership

(This article contains excerpts from an article featured on, published on November 7, 2014)

California Baptist University honored President Ronald L. Ellis for two decades of service in a series of events this week under the theme “Celebrating 20 Years of Great Commission Leadership.”  Receptions by faculty, staff and students expressed thanks to Ellis for his vision for turning a small Baptist college into a thriving university.  Dr. Dawn Ellen Jacobs, CBU vice provost and professor of English, recalled that Ellis brought a plan to transform the institution when he became the fifth president of California Baptist College on Nov. 1, 1994.

CBU Honors Presidents Ronald L. Ellis for 20 years of leadership.  Photo credit:
CBU Honors Presidents Ronald L. Ellis for 20 years of leadership. Photo credit:

“There were about 40 of us when he came in 1994,” Jacobs said. “We cared about our teaching and enjoyed relationships with our students, but President Ellis brought a sense of purpose and a vision for something more. Under his leadership, we matured as a faculty. We became a university.”

Dr. Mary Crist, professor of education in the Division of Online and Professional Studies, brought remarks as a faculty member who has served throughout the Ellis presidency.  “Dr. Ellis is a man of faith and vision, an inspirational leader, and a man with a good sense of humor,” she said. “He came here because he felt God’s call to lead a Baptist college, especially one that was struggling. God equipped him with a vision needed to be a phenomenal “turn around” present. The results are obvious today.”

Under Ellis’ leadership, California Baptist College officially became California Baptist University in 1998. New schools and colleges have been established, including the School of Music, School of Nursing, College of Engineering, the College of Allied Health and the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design. Today, the university comprises 10 colleges and professional schools, offering 158 undergraduate majors/concentrations and 41 master’s degree programs.

The strong leadership and dedication that Dr. Ellis possesses is a testament to what makes Riverside a location of choice.  Under his direction, California Baptist University has been transformed into a reputable university.  It is no surprise that CBU is experiencing record enrollment numbers, and shows no signs of slowing.  The quality of education and value driven campus will continue to attract creative, dynamic, and diverse students to Riverside.

Enrollment has grown from 808 in the fall of 1994 to 7,957 in the fall of 2014, more than a 900 percent increase. About 75 percent of CBC/CBU alumni graduated during the Ellis presidency.

To read the full article, click here.