Tag Archives: City of Riverside

Mayor Leads Health Initiative For Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Iona Brannon and published in The Banner on March 29, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Iona Brannon, The Banner
Photo Credit: Iona Brannon, The Banner

Mayor William R. “Rusty” Bailey III of Riverside led a group of residents for the Walk with the Mayor event March 14 from Ryan Bonaminio Park up Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside.

The walk began the kickoff of the Start R.I.G.H.T. Challenge of 2015.

Start R.I.G.H.T. stands for Riverside Is Getting Healthy Together and is a three-month challenge for Riverside residents to have an opportunity to get fit and live a healthy, more fulfilling lifestyle.

“Fifty-six percent of our population of Riverside is either overweight or obese. That is just unacceptable,” Bailey said. “We can’t continue to allow obesity to invade our city and invade ourselves.”

The kickoff gave residents resources such as weight measurement, exercise demonstrations and information on healthy living.

Bailey has used the bimonthly event to help inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle.

“My philosophy is leading by example,” Bailey said. “As the mayor, I’m trying to lead by example (with) my family and my city by healthy eating and active living. We’re inspiring Riverside to get out and move, and the walk is one way to do that.”

Bailey’s predecessor, Ron O. Loveridge, started Walk with the Mayor as a way to get people to be more active, as well as present parts of Riverside that might be less known.

“The intent was to connect the dots between healthy living and quality of life and to show off all the cool things we have going in Riverside,” Bailey said. Bailey walked neighborhoods during his campaign in 2012 and said he wanted to keep the philosophy of getting out into neighborhoods.

He started Bike with the Mayor after coming into office, alternating every month with Walk with the Mayor.

He said it has been a good way to connect with the residents of Riverside, as well as show them the city’s assets.

“I want to spend 50 percent of my time in city hall and 50 percent of my time outside of city hall so I am accessible to the public,” Bailey said.

Stephanie Vaz Ferreira, sophomore architecture major, aid she enjoyed talking with the mayor during the event and would go again because she felt more involved with the city.

“I liked hearing him speak about the Start R.I.G.H.T. event and how it is all about Riverside working together to reach healthy goals,” Ferreira said. “I also liked that he said as a believer he really supports CBU’s global-mindedness and how we can use that to think locally.”

Riversiders are working together everyday to address local issues and consistently demonstrates what makes Riverside a unified city.

Ferreira expressed her encouragement for students to get involved and participate in walking with the mayor.

“It would allow us to be more involved locally and it’s an easy way to (give) a hand in decreasing high rates in Riverside like obesity, whether it’s participating or encouraging others,” Ferreira said.

The Start R.I.G.H.T. challenge ends June 13. The participant who loses the most weight will win a prize of $500 and two participants will be randomly selected for two additional $300 prizes.

“I liked the idea that Riverside is trying to get in shape and it’s a good opportunity to socialize, get a good workout and trim down at the same time,” said Rich Gardner, a participant in the event.

Lancers who are Riverside residents are able to register for the challenge at www.startrightriverside.com.

For the complete article, click here.

 

Congrats To Our Remarkable Teens!

(This article was pulled from the RUSD news feed on April 7, 2015.)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

Congratulations to the 15 RUSD teens who are among Riversides’ 25 Most Remarkable teens. Our honorees are: Jessica Goehring – Arlington HS, Sydney Azpeitia – Poly HS, Karen Cuautle – Ramona HS, Tracy Doan – Ramona HS, Christine Flores – Ramona HS, Ivett Martinez – Ramona HS, Andy Meza – Ramona HS, Amanda Orantes – Ramona HS, Christopher Paz – Ramona HS, Juliana Tiscareno – Ramona HS, Leslie Vergara – Ramona HS, Nathan Williams – Ramona HS, Asia Suarez – John W. North HS, Connor Tom – John W. North HS, and Hannah Terao – University Heights Middle School. These students will be honored at a special City Council meeting, to be held at 4 PM Tuesday, May 12 at the Council Chambers at City Hall, 3900 Main Street. This program is coordinated by the Riverside Youth Council.

RUSD’s outstanding scholastic achievements make Riverside a location of choice for parents seeking the best education for their children.

Changing The World One Cup Of Coffee At A Time

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on April 6, 2015.)

Guatemalan farmer filling water jugs to take back to village. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Guatemalan farmer filling water jugs to take back to village. Photo Credit: UCR Today

When you buy a cup of UC Riverside’s Highlander Blend Coffee, you’re making a difference in a developing country. Known for its struggle with deep poverty, child hunger, and social issues – Guatemala is also one of the largest coffee producers in the world. And some of the coffee that comes in that much needed cup of joe on campus, comes from Jumaytepeque, Guatemala – a rural community with very limited access to water during the dry season.

UCR Dining Services continually strives to improve on its sustainability efforts and meet the University of California, Office of the President’s (UCOP) sustainability guidelines, and in terms of coffee that means – Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Shade Grown or Organic certified. At the same time the campus has desires to inspire its population to purchase a more sustainable coffee option, and make a difference in the communities growing those coffee beans. So, after final negotiations on a coffee contract UCR Dining Services and Java City decided they could do more. Dining Services agreed to allocate 15 cents per pound of coffee and Java City committed to matching funds toward a project of UCR’s choosing. It was decided that there was nothing more important than clean drinking water, and hearing about the issue around clean drinking water in Guatemala sealed the decision.  Thanks to this collaboration, folks in Jumaytepeque now have better access to this precious resource. How? The money raised is going toward building water pumps and infrastructure. Farmers, who have traveled long distances in the past to access water, can now obtain clean water at home, eliminating the tiring and tedious trip for clean water.

“It was very compelling and touching,” said Cheryl Garner,executive director of Dining Services, “these farmers relied on one hose that was turned on for four hours a day, and had to carry water back to their homes, sometimes many miles. Now they can access and store clean water much easier.”

In addition to matching the 15 cents per pound, Java City convinced its importing and exporting partners to generate a total of 60 cents per pound to fund the project. They dug the first wells in August 2014. Between the commitments of UCR, Java City and its partners, more than $120,000 has been raised to help this community.

Leftover Food, Doesn’t go to Waste

UCR is making a making a difference abroad, but the campus is also making a difference at home. The leftover food at the end of each day goes to Inland Harvest, a non-profit organization committed to transporting surplus food to established charitable feeding programs in the Inland Empire. Gustavo Plascencia, General Manager of Sustainability for Dining Services, says they’ve been doing this since before his time, and if you’re wondering how long Plascencia has been with UCR Dining – it’s been 22 years.  One example of how the food is used can be seen locally at St. George’s Episcopal Church near UCR, which has a college student feeding night every Thursday at 6 p.m. And guess who primarily goes to those dinners? UCR students! Talk about full circle.

“We always knew that we would indirectly impact our students and community,” says Plascencia. It’s not mandated by Dining Services that the food donated somehow make its way back to our campus community, it just happened to work out that way.

And finally, the UCR Chapter of Swipes for the Homeless has decided that a portion of the proceeds from their first ever campaign that occurred this quarter will go towards Feeding America – a group dedicated to feeding the homeless in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  Proceeds will also go to UCR’s R’Garden, a space for students, faculty, and staff to grow fresh produce while learning about social, environmental, and economical sustainability. UCR Dining also happens to buy produce from the R’Garden, and uses it in meals served on campus, putting money directly back into our university. Our student group will be growing some of the produce that they will be donating moving forward.

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

For the full article, click here.

CBU Earns Tree Campus USA Recognition

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

Photo Credit: CBU News & Events
Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

California Baptist University has earned a 2015 Tree Campus USA recognition.

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. CBU received notification last week that it received the honor.

To earn the distinction, CBU had to meet the five standards required by Tree Campus USA: establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

Dr. Bonjun Koo, professor of environmental science, is on the CBU Tree Campus USA committee.

“California Baptist University is very proud to receive the 2015 Tree Campus USA recognition,” Koo said. “Our effort of conservation, sustainability and environmental stewardship is part of CBU’S core value. The passion of our students, faculty and staff is the reason for this achievement.” With the growing concern of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels, CBU 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.

Students, faculty and other volunteers planted 10 trees on campus last November as an early Arbor Day observance and to meet some of the required standards. There will be a spring Arbor Day celebration on March 28, when 15 trees will be planted. Anyone interested in helping will meet at the front of the campus near the flag poles at 9 a.m. Planting will take place from 9:15 a.m. to noon.

For the full article, click here.

Five UC Riverside Students Awarded $1,500 Sustainability Fellowships

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Kris Lovekin and published in UCR Today on March 24, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR
Photo Credit: UCR

What does replacing fluorescent light bulbs with LEDs have to do with solar-heated washing machines, energy audits, resin-hardened clothing or a color-coded map that illustrates air pollution? They’re all proposals from UC Riverside students to help the campus achieve the University of California’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2025.

The university received 38 proposals in less than three weeks for UC President Janet Neapolitan’s new Sustainability Student Fellowship/Internship Program, the most received by any UC campus, said UCR’s Director of Sustainability John Cook.

Napolitano’s office provided $7,500 to each of the UC’s 10 campuses in February to encourage students to get involved in the UC’s carbon neutrality and sustainability goals, which include getting each campus back to the same level of emissions it had in 1990. That’s a huge task for UC Riverside, Cook said, because the campus has grown from about 6,000 students in 1990 to more than 22,000 today, with expanded research programs and new schools of engineering and medicine that didn’t exist before.

“We have the biggest challenge of all the UCs, but we can figure it out,” Cook said. “We have the willpower and brainpower on campus to do it, and that’s what this fellowship does; it puts the brainpower and student engagement together, so we can all be a part of the solution and it’s not just something that happens at the physical plant somewhere. It’s the whole campus working together.”

The five winning proposals will each receive $1,500 to complete their projects by the end of 2015, said Matt Barth, UCR professor of electrical and chemical engineering and a member of the UC Global Climate Leadership Counsel. Barth and Cook helped choose the winning proposals along with UCR Professor of Geology Mary Droser, who sits on the education subcommittee of the UC Global Climate Leadership Counsel.

“I would definitely say all the applications were great,” said Barth. “We were extremely surprised to get so many applications with such a short turnaround period. This fellowship is giving students a chance to show off their ideas while helping us meet our sustainability goals, and they’ve given us some pretty good stuff.”

UCR’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2025 demonstrates what makes UCR and Riverside a catalyst for innovation. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

For the complete 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.

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.

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.