Tag Archives: City of Riverside

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.

La Sierra Lands Edison Grant To Advance STEM Studies

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Darla Martin Tucker and published in La Sierra University News/Events on February 17, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Natan Vigna
Photo Credit: Natan Vigna

On Jan. 8, Raymond Hicks, a regional manager with Southern California Edison, stopped by the office of Melanie Jobe, director of La Sierra’s Center for Student Academic Success (C-SAS), with a check for $10,000 from parent company Edison International. It was the fruition of a grant application process that began last summer for money to provide tutoring services and scholarships for students studying in the STEM subject areas.

The grant funds are divided evenly with $5,000 for “Edison Scholars” and $5,000 to fund tutor stipends in the student academic center’s Collaborative Learning Center for students needing assistance in the STEM areas.

The Edison Scholars will receive their scholarships this spring. Scholarship criteria include academic achievement and financial need. Students majoring in computer science, information systems, mathematics, chemistry, physics, or environmental science are eligible to apply.

The learning center’s goals include having the STEM professors vet the learning assistants to ensure that the learning assistants understand course objectives and content in order to maintain a high quality program for students.

“We want students engaged in the material, and we want to help them learn how to study and what to study,” said Melanie Jobe, C-SAS director.  “Having competent and trained learning assistants is vital to the success of this program.”

Photo Credit: Natan Vigna
Photo Credit: Natan Vigna

The Collaborative Learning Center provides academic support through peer tutoring in a non-traditional, innovative learning environment toward the development of academic knowledge and transferable skills. Currently 17 learning assistants, typically upper classmen with experience and knowledge of the STEM subjects, provide evening tutoring Monday – Thursday to students who are divided into groups of two or three.

“We call it Supplemental Learning Sessions. We have mixed the best of tutoring practices and supplemental instruction into one,” said Rakel Engles, learning center program coordinator. During the sessions, the learning assistants divide students into subject areas, take questions, then circulate throughout the room to answer further questions and encourage group study.

Engles encourages La Sierra students to take advantage of the opportunity to better their understanding of their subject areas and ultimately their academic performance. “Come to the supplemental learning sessions,” she says. “Come prepared with questions, homework, and whatever you need to get the work done.”

Grants like this increase the great work done at UC Riverside to equip our STEM students with the knowledge they need to succeed.  UC Riverside is known for catalyzing innovation in many fields of study and thus promotes the aspirations of Seizing Our Destiny.

For the complete article, click here.

Health Foundation Announces Clinic Expansion

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in The Press Enterprise on February 11, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Riverside Community Health Foundation

The Riverside Community Health Foundation announced this week that it is planning a $3.5 million expansion of its Eastside Health Center that will nearly double the number of patients that can be seen, a news release said.

The clinic on University Avenue in Riverside sees about 6,500 patients per year and is at maximum capacity. The expansion will increase annual patient visits to over 12,000.

With a convenient location, dedicated medical and dental staff, and partnership with the community, Eastside Health Center has and continues to have a huge impact on the City of Riverside residents.

The Eastside Health Center  stands as a core anchor of quality and low cost medical and dental care for the underserved and uninsured throughout Riverside’s eastside neighborhoods. These eastside neighborhoods have in the past been plagued by high crime and poverty rates; however, they have been the focal point of the city’s recent efforts of improvement and renovation. The renovation is an example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.

The nonprofit foundation has purchased land directly across from the health clinic and plans to break ground on an expansion in late 2015, the news release said.

The foundation also provided more than $3 million in programs and grants in 2014 to organizations providing services to residents living in Riverside and Jurupa Valley.

Organizations that received funding included Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Foundation, Parkview Community Hospital, Riverside Community College District and the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District.

The $3.5 million expansion of the Eastside Health Center is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This includes growing the economy, raising the standard of living and managing a growing population.

For the complete article, click here.

UCR Launches Initiative To Deal With Inland Poverty

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

Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema
Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the complete article, click here.