Category Archives: Workforce

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.

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.

RCC’s School Of Nursing Lands Two Grants

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in RCC Campus News on May 11, 2015.)

Riverside City College’s School of Nursing has received two Song-Brown Grants, totaling $325,000. In announcing the awards, Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, deputy director of California’s Healthcare Workforce Development Division, cited RCC’s “continued efforts to deliver primary care services in areas of unmet needs.”

RCC was one of four community colleges selected for a Registered Nurse Education Capitation grant out of 17 applicants.
Its $200,000 award trailed only Cal State Northridge, which received $240,000.

RCC’s School of Nursing will use the funds to address the RN shortage in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. RCC will hire more full-time faculty to provide instruction and support, and admit an additional 10 students into the traditional Associate Degree in Nursing program. Students admitted into Nursing 11 will have their clinical rotation at one of RCC’s partner hospitals, all located in medically underserved areas. These hospitals serve a patient population with a very high percentage of Hispanic and Spanish-only-speaking individuals. The 10 students will be expected to complete the ADN program and qualify to take the NCLEX exam. Based on historical data, after graduation as many as 90 percent of them will secure employment in the local communities.

RCC’s School of Nursing is one of only 27 nationally accredited associate degree in Nursing programs in California, and has demonstrated great success in attracting and admitting members of minority groups into its RN program. Between 2002 and 2014, the applicant pool of students seeking admission to the RCC ADN program increased three-fold, with 911 applicants for 160 slots, 58 percent who are minority/disadvantaged.

The program also secured a $125,000 Song-Brown Grant for the Registered Nurse Education Programs. The grant will allow the program to implement an articulated associate degree-to-bachelor’s degree Nursing Pathway in coordination with local BSN programs. A growing body of research suggests that a BSN prepares nurses for greater professional responsibility and more complex practice. It also suggests that having a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses on staff in hospitals is linked to better patient outcomes. In its October 2010 report on The Future of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine states “an increase in the percentage of nurses with a BSN is imperative as the scope of what the public needs from nurses grows, expectations surrounding quality heighten, and the settings where nurses are needed proliferate and become more complex.”

The School of Nursing was one of just eight programs in the state to receive full funding.

Grants like these increase the great work done at RCC and help equip our nursing students with the knowledge needed to succeed. RCC’s effort to develop programs the meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.

Norte Vista Academy Builds Careers

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sandra Stokley and published in The Press Enterprise on May 8, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

When Wells Middle School student Yuly Quintero heard about Norte Vista High School’s newly minted Green Construction Academy, she knew it was where she wanted to be.

“It just seemed so cool to do things other girls don’t do,” she said.

Quintero, now 15 and a sophomore at the Riverside high school, said the academy has exceeded her expectations. She has designed and built miniature replicas of buildings and bridges, and learned how to use hand and power tools.

And on a recent Tuesday, Quintero and about 39 of her academy classmates were put through the paces by trained professionals during a daylong boot camp at the Electrical Apprenticeship Training Center in San Bernardino. They learned to use a defibrillator in a CPR class, fashioned metal conduits, ran wires and learned some of the “hair-raising” aspects of electrical safety.

Now wrapping up its third year at Norte Vista, the academy is a school within a school that blends academic and career technical education to engage students who lack motivation or are at risk of dropping out to help them prepare for careers in the building trades or college – or both. Programs like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation and intelligent growth pillars. The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support programs that help improve our already outstanding quality of life.

“We’re reaching a student population that maybe we overlook,” said Gary Packler, the academy’s coordinator. “The academy is a way to connect them to school.”

MAKING CONNECTIONS

The program is funded by a California Department of Education grant with support from the Alvord Unified School District and business partners. It focuses on jobs in clean technology and renewable energy in industries such as solar energy and wind energy.

Other Inland schools with grants for Green Construction academies are: Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino and Desert Hot Springs High School in the Palm Springs Unified School District.

Norte Vista’s Green Academy started in 2012 with a freshman class of 30 students recruited from the district’s four middle schools.

Students in that initial class – who will be seniors in fall – and from subsequent years take four classes per day together and advance through the academy as a group.

“It creates a smaller learning environment,” Packler said. “It promotes a connection between teacher and students.”

Students take academic courses including English, mathematics and science. Mixed in are a freshman class of wood shop, and sophomore and junior construction technology courses.

Students also observe and work at a solar panel installation work site, Packler said.

APPRENTICE OPPORTUNITIES

On May 5, 40 academy students gathered at the San Bernardino apprenticeship center, where they got a taste of what to expect if they opted to try for a spot in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ apprenticeship program instead of going to college.

“It’s a very demanding program,” said Jim Rush, the Brotherhood’s business representative, who helped organize the boot camp.

Rush said applicants need a high school diploma or GED, must pass an exam that tests their math, reading and writing comprehension skills and be interviewed by the apprenticeship committee.

In the five-year training program, apprentices work five days a week with a contractor and attend school two nights a week.

The payoff can be substantial, Rush said. He earns about $100,000 per year.

Sophomore Johnny Conriquez, 16 said he heard about the Green Academy at Loma Vista Middle School and thought it would suit him for a couple of reasons.

“I like working with my hands,” he said. “And I like that we’re helping the environment.”

The academy has been so successful that participants have asked to help recruit at middle schools, Packler said.

“Some of these students would never have volunteered to go to middle school,” Packler said. “But they have developed so much confidence and social skills.”

To read the full article, click here.

Program Brings Science to University Heights Students

(This article contains excerpts from the article posted in the RUSD news feed.)

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

A group of about 50 University Heights Middle School students spent their day on Thursday, April 23 hiking Sycamore Canyon and learning about the plants and animals there as part of the SISTERS program – Success in Science and Technology: Engagement with Role Models. The girls got a chance to interact with a UC Riverside professor as well as the UC Riverside Science Ambassadors. This was just one of many fun and informative interactions the girls have had as they have spent the year exploring science in hands-on activities. They also have spent time in a college laboratory and visited the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. It’s all designed to give young women hands-on experience in STEM fields to encourage them that they can succeed in and pursue careers in these areas. It is hoped that this pilot program soon can be expanded to serve other schools as well.

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 the UCR students can relate to the young girls and encourage them to purse a career in the STEM field. 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 a in-depth article about the program, 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.

RCC Students Dominate SkillsUSA Competition

(This article contains excerpts from the article posted in RCCD News on February 5, 2015.)

Photo Credit: RCCD
Photo Credit: RCCD

Seventeen Riverside City College students won medals – in 15 different categories – at the SkillsUSA regional event on January 31. Students who won gold medals qualify for the state competition in April.

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations and further education. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into over 17,000 sections and 52 state and territorial associations.

RCC students swept three categories – graphic communication, advertising design and photography – and claimed gold medals in six categories. Below is the students’ placement in their respective events:

Automotive Service: Gold Medal – Skyler Murdock, Silver Medal – Justin McMorris
Graphic Communications: Gold Medal – Tiffany Vang, Silver Medal – Daniel Lamiell, Bronze Medal – Megan Moore
3D Animation: Gold Medal: Tyler Tom-Hoon and Mason Rosenquist
Digital Cinema Production: Gold Medal: Javier Ochoa and Scott Turner
Advertising Design: Gold Medal: Hasan Khodr, Silver Medal: Matt Torres, Bronze Medal: Kristina LoVerso
Photography: Gold Medal: Don Welton, Silver Medal: Ned Magdaleno, Bronze Medal: Brianda Avila
Welding: Gold Medal: Mike Herrera
Screenprinting: Bronze Medal: Harrison Scullin

The regional event took place at three Inland Empire locations – RCC, Fontana High School and Universal Technical Institute’s Rancho Cucamonga campus.

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

Photo Credit: RCCD
Photo Credit: RCCD

Riverside Ranks 103 For Economic Performance In The World

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in FoxBusiness on January 21, 2015.)

mall at night
Photo Credit: City of Riverside

The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase ranked 300 major cities worldwide for economic performance last year. The City of Riverside placed 103 overall, 17 in the US, and 3rd in California.

Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This ranking is yet another example of Riverside continuing to fuel the intelligent growth of the city and region.

Rank Economic Performance 2013-2014 Country Metro/City Real GDP per Capita Growth 2013-2014 Employment Growth 2013-2014 Rank Economic Performance 2009-2014
103 USA Riverside 0.20% 2.80% 182

For the full list of rankings, click here.

First Doctoral Program At CBU Scheduled For Fall 2015 Launch

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dr. Mark A Wyatt and published in CBU News & Events on January 15, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University will have its first doctoral degree beginning in the fall of 2015. The School of Nursing will offer the doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) after it was approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

“It is very exciting to be launching CBU’s first doctoral program later this year,” said Dr. Jonathan Parker, CBU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We have been working very diligently to develop a high quality DNP degree program and I’m especially pleased that our accrediting agency has recognized that effort and commented very favorably on the result.”

The school expects 20 students in its first class, said Dr. Lisa Bursch, acting director of the DNP program. Bursch said there is a national movement to have more nurses educated at a doctoral level because of the complexity of health care. For that reason, the school is looking to train nurse leaders to have an impact on health outcomes.

“For as much money as (the nation) spends on health care, our national outcomes are not that great,” Bursch said. “Something’s not translating between what we know to do and what’s being done.”

The nursing doctoral program will be the only one in Riverside County, Bursch said. Students in the clinical doctorate will take original research and put it into practice. Classes will include organization and systems leadership class, nursing theory and translational research, policy and finance. All students will do a project, which involves looking at health outcomes and how to improve them.

Parker said it is fitting that CBU’s first doctoral program is in nursing. “Programs such as the DNP not only help to meet an important need in society by producing highly-trained healthcare professionals,” he explained, “but they also represent the service-related values that California Baptist University seeks to instill in its graduates.”

Being the first and only nursing doctoral program in Riverside County, CBU’s effort to develop programs the meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.

For the complete article, click here.

Co-Working Space Invigorate Downtowns

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Rachel Duran and published in Business Expansion Journal on January 04, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Business Expansion Journal
Photo Credit: Business Expansion Journal

The re-emergence of America’s downtowns is luring talent to once again work in, live in and play in these sections of town. In the middle of it all are co-working spaces and hubs, where entrepreneurs and startups gather to support each other, leverage resources such as entrepreneurs in residence, and most importantly, prove their ideas in the hopes they will move into incubation facilities in the community to further grow their ventures.

“The purpose [of co-working spaces] is to keep talented young people graduating from the universities and college in Riverside connected and rooted in our city,” says Riverside, California’s Mayor Rusty Bailey. When he took office he invited entrepreneurs to get involved in forming a co-working space in the city’s downtown.
It so happens a group of entrepreneurs had been regularly meeting at a local coffee shop, each putting $100 in a jar each month to support their fledgling efforts. “The mayor and the city helped facilitate finding a space in downtown so this group could continue to meet,” says Kevin Carrington, founder and CEO, Carrington Industries, who had joined the original group meeting at the coffee shop. “The monthly dues allowed us to move into that space.” Bailey says the city awarded the group $10,000 to start a co-working space on Main Street.

Co-working spaces are often run by the community within the space. These spaces provide affordable work spaces for entrepreneurs, typically providing desks, chairs, open floor plans, Wi-Fi services, shared services, access to conference rooms, and other amenities. The majority of hubs are connected to mentors, serial entrepreneurs and/or funding resources, which is vital to companies that are somewhere between the idea and the proof of concept stages.

At Riverside.io, the “ecosystem is friendly for any tech company that is trying to get off the ground, or if you want to be part of a tech community working on a project or if you want to be among developers and hackers,” Carrington says.

This is an outstanding representation of Riverside as a location of choice. For small businesses across the country, choosing what location to set up shop can be difficult and exhausting. Riverside attracts creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic, and diverse people as residents, workers, business owners, and students. Riverside has increasingly become the ‘location of choice’ for people and organizations from all over the world.

To read the full article, click here.