“Ideas Worth Spreading”: TEDx Riverside Speakers United By Ideas

(This article contains excerpts from article by Kurt Miller, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 16,2014.)

TEDx Riverside brought together 20 speakers for an eight-hour marathon of inspiration on Thursday at the Fox Performing Arts Center.   TED conferences are brought to communities throughout the world to encourage a convergence of technology, design and entertainment.  To promote education, TEDx Riverside gave 500 tickets to local high schools and filled the balcony with teenagers. It provided buses and lunch for students of Riverside Unified School District.  

“Everybody in this room is a lifelong learner,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey declared in his opening remarks.

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock.  Photo credit: City of Riverside

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock. Photo credit: City of Riverside

Most of the speakers had Inland ties, but many have wide renown.  They included Nobel laureate Richard Schrock, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside in 1967 and is now a chemistry professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Another UCR graduate was Steve Breen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning and a children’s author.

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

The TEDx Riverside event was a model of all the Seizing Our Destiny pillars.  Riversiders from of all ages and backgrounds attended the event on Thursday October, 16 as a unified city with a common interest to be entertained and inspired.  Although each speaker was completely different, they all seem to be on the same wavelength of maximizing personal potential and advocating intelligent growth in our community.  Riverside is a city that honors and builds on its assets to become a location of choice that catalyzes innovation in all forms, while enhancing quality of life.

To read more about TEDx Riverside, click here.

Seminars To Explore Diversity At UC Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Bettye Miller, published in UCRToday on October 10, 2014.)

UC Riverside’s Center for Ideas and Society has been awarded a $208,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a two-year series of seminars exploring diversity at UCR and in Southern California.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $208,000 grant to Center for Ideas and Society.  Photo credit: UCRToday

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $208,000 grant to Center for Ideas and Society. Photo credit: UCRToday

The seminar series – “Advancing Intercultural Studies” – will examine changing perceptions of ethnic, cultural and cosmopolitan identities, the practices of immigrant religions and developments in civic and political engagement, said Georgia Warnke, distinguished professor of political science and director of the center.

As one of the most diverse public research universities in the country, UCR is uniquely positioned to explore questions about the benefits and challenges of diversity, she said, among them, “how do we capture the contributions of a diverse student population, and how do we enhance learning from that?”

Because of UCR’s undergraduate demographics – 42 percent are under-represented minorities – the inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students in the seminars is important in its creation of a pipeline to increase the diversity of American university and college faculty, Warnke said.

The enrichment of diversity among students at UC Riverside is not only remarkable, it plays a key role in making Riverside such a unified city.  It is vital for college campus’ to analyze changes in ethnic and cultural perceptions and adapt to maintain a healthy atmosphere for students.  Riversiders respect and value the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input within our community, while proactively engaging across historical dividing lines.

Georgia Warnke

Georgia Warnke

The first of four quarterly seminars will begin meeting in January. Each seminar will be composed of four faculty members, and four graduate and four undergraduate students, each of whom will write a paper based on research produced during the quarter. The seminars are not open to the public, but a concluding conference in spring 2016 will be held at UCR’s Culver Center in downtown Riverside and will be a public event.

To read more, click here.

Riverside Recognized For Encouraging Healthy Workplace

(This article contains excerpts from an article Suzanne Hurt, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 9, 2014.)

The American Heart Association has recognized the city of Riverside’s continued effort to improve employees’ health.  The association gave the city a 2014 Platinum Fit-Friendly Award and Work site Innovation Award at a City Council meeting Aug. 12, according to city spokesman Phil Pitchford.  The city was also recognized with the health award in 2013.

Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

The award is given to companies and organizations that meet criteria such as offering healthy food at the workplace, supporting workers’ fitness activities and taking other steps to encourage a healthy work site, according to the association.

The City’s Human Resources Department began its wellness programs in 2009. Workers lost 7,400 pounds in four years through an annual “Get Fit Challenge” weight-loss program.

The City of Riverside being recognized by the American Heart Association for two consecutive years, makes our beloved city a location of choice for individuals seeking a healthy lifestyle.  What really makes Riverside so unique are the intangible benefits and values that enhance the quality of life in the city.  Riverside is becoming a location of choice for people and organizations all over the world.

To read more, click here.

CBU Announces Record Fall Enrollment Of 7,957 Students

(This article contains excerpts from an article published in CBU’s News Articles on September 26, 2014.)

Enrollment at California Baptist University for the fall 2014 semester is a record-high 7,957 students—an 11 percent increase above the fall 2013 enrollment figure, President Ronald L. Ellis announced today.  This year’s enrollment number represents an increase of 813 students over the fall 2013 total of 7,144. All enrollment segments, including undergraduate, graduate and Online and Professional Studies, are included in this year’s figures.

CBU welcomed a record number of students for the fall 2014 semester.  Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

CBU welcomed a record number of students for the fall 2014 semester. Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

“This size of increase is extremely rare in institutions the size of CBU,” Ellis said. He noted that 2014 marks the fourth consecutive year of 600-plus enrollment growth compared to the previous year and a 94 percent increase in five years. Fall 2009 enrollment was 4,105.

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 overall integrity that the campus stands by.

The current student body is 8.8 times larger than the 808 students enrolled when Ellis began his tenure as president in 1994. During the 64-year history of the institution, enrollment has jumped by triple digits 14 times – all of those since fall 1995.

California Baptist University offers 158 undergraduate majors and concentrations and 41 master’s degree programs. Founded in 1950, CBU is a private comprehensive institution located in Riverside, Calif. and affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. 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.

Riverside has increasingly become the location of choice for creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic and diverse people as residents, workers, business owners.

To read more, click here.

Pathways To Higher Education Conference Set

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 29, 2014.)

Riverside Unified School District high school students and their parents are invited to attend the Pathways to Higher Education Conference which takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside.  Parents and students will see what it takes to get into college and learn about financial aid.

Faculty and staff from Riverside Unified School District are devoted to their students and provide resources necessary for them to succeed, exemplifying Riverside as a unified city.  These types of seminars and conferences are designed specifically for students and their parents to ease the transition into college.  With a lot of students being the first in their families to move onto college, not every student is given equal or ample advice and instruction.  This conference will help bridge the gap of confusion between distraught students and resources to higher education.

he Pathways to Higher Education Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside.  Photo credit: Press- Enterprise

The Pathways to Higher Education Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside. Photo credit: Press- Enterprise

Admission is free to the conference presented by Riverside Unified School District and State Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) with the UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino, Riverside City College, Pitzer College and Completion Counts, the citywide initiative to increase high school and college graduation rates.

The conference will cover what classes students need to take in high school to be eligible for university admissions, writing a successful college entrance essay, financial support, the California Dream Act and guarantee programs at RCC and Cal State San Bernardino. Workshop sessions are intended to answer questions.

Riversiders are brought together among mutual interests to enhance quality of life and accelerate the common good for all through education.

To read more, click here.

UCR Earns ‘Military Friendly’ Recognition For 4th Year

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French, published in UCRToday on September 23, 2014.)

In recognition of its efforts to dedicate resources that ensure the success of military personnel and veterans in the classroom, the University of California, Riverside has once again been named to the Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media. It is the fourth time that UCR has appeared on the list.  UC Riverside is dedicated to making their campus and Riverside a location of choice for veterans to fulfill aspirations of attaining higher education.  Our community provides an abundance of opportunities to be amazed, inspired and entertained with welcoming neighborhoods, well-paying jobs in strong companies, and diverse educational opportunities.    

Students from UCR’s Operation VETS program visited Paramout Studios last winter. Operation VETS site visit to the Paramount studios facility last winter. From left Patrick Lee (BA, Political Science – 5th year); Sae Lee (program coordinator, UCR Career Center), Al Dupont (BA, Media & Cultural Students, ’14 alum), Frank Ramirez (staff advisor), and Charles Kim, BA, History Law & Society – 5th year.  Photo Credit: UCR Today

Students from UCR’s Operation VETS program visited Paramout Studios last winter. Operation VETS site visit to the Paramount studios facility last winter. From left Patrick Lee (BA, Political Science – 5th year); Sae Lee (program coordinator, UCR Career Center), Al Dupont (BA, Media & Cultural Students, ’14 alum), Frank Ramirez (staff advisor), and Charles Kim, BA, History Law & Society – 5th year. Photo Credit: UCR Today

“We are honored to once again be included on the Military Friendly Schools list,” said Chryssa Jones, veterans services coordinator in Student Special Services. “Many different people across this campus have gone above and beyond to assist our veterans and military personnel who are working to fulfill their dream of earning a college degree. This is a recognition that we can all take pride in.”

Photo credit: UCR Today

Photo credit: UCR Today

Jones cited the Veteran Employment Transition Success program, known by the acronym Operation VETS, as an example of how the campus works together to assist student vets. The program is a joint effort of the UCR Career Center and Veterans Services and focuses on the development and exploration of career skills and transferable life skills of student vets. For example, participants learn resume and cover letter writing skills, interview techniques and strategies for searching for jobs and internships. Students interested in continuing their educations learn about graduate school preparation.

According to Jones, “Operation VETS helps students take advantage of these existing skills by providing career development instruction, which helps them transfer these skills into tools that will help them as students and in the development of career and life skills.”

To read the full article, click here.

Manufacturing Coach Transforms ‘Vulnerable Yet Viable’ Companies

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kurt Miller, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 23, 2014.)

Dennis Sonney, of Jurupa Valley, works for a private nonprofit corporation funded largely by the U.S. Department of Commerce to help strengthen manufacturing in the Inland Empire.

Dennis Sonney, manufacturing coach for the Inland Empire.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Dennis Sonney, manufacturing coach for the Inland Empire. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

With the title of a manufacturing coach, Sonney works his magic transforming “vulnerable yet viable” companies, he said. “We want them to grow, hire people, pay taxes and stay here.”  Since he arrived nine years ago, Sonney has worked with hundreds of companies that make everything from aerospace and aviation components to cosmetics, paint coating, robots, bats, skateboards and tiny circuit boards. In 2013, Sonney helped create 2,580 jobs at Inland manufacturing businesses, and he takes on 12 new clients a month, from startups to multimillion-dollar giants, he said. Last quarter alone, he worked with 19 manufacturers.

For the past five years, Sonney has worked closely with a Riverside company, Western Hydrostatic, which sells and repairs hydraulic components on large construction machinery.

Dennis Sonney, who works for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting as the Inland Empire coach, at Western Hydrostatic in Riverside, one of the many clients for whom he has helped solve problems, provide training programs and grow their companies.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Dennis Sonney, who works for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting as the Inland Empire coach, at Western Hydrostatic in Riverside, one of the many clients for whom he has helped solve problems, provide training programs and grow their companies. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Founder and CEO Starke Scott praises the customer service training program that Sonney helped set up with state subsidies as invaluable and affordable. In addition, Scott said his company benefited from Sonney’s plans to help them diversify, reduce waste on the shop floor and avail themselves of stronger digital marketing tools. This year, annual sales are expected to exceed $8 million, almost double those in 2009.

Dennis Sonney is a model of intelligent growth in our community.  Manufacturing plays a vital role in the state of our local economy.  Sonney’s efforts not only have a direct effect on local manufacturing companies, his work impacts Riversiders throughout the city.   Riverside embraces economic growth and works everyday to improve our already outstanding quality of life.

“I’m passionate about what I do,” said Sonney. “It’s rewarding to know how I’ve impacted businesses.”

To read more, click here.

UC Riverside Part Of University Innovation Alliance To Improve Student Success Rates

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kris Lovekin, published in the UCRToday on September 15, 2014.)

UC Riverside joined 10 other major public research universities and six national foundations in announcing the University Innovation Alliance, which was founded to identify and share best-practices in degree attainment programs for low-income and minority students.  UCR is the only California-based institution included in the mix.

UCR is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance.  Photo credit: UCR Today

UCR is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance. Photo credit: UCR Today

With $5.7 million in grant funding, as well as matching funds from the campuses, the UIA group will model the most successful degree-attainment measures within its membership, and replicate them at other universities.  UC Riverside will share its experiences with student-success programs that include supplemental instruction and learning communities for freshmen.

Nancy Matti, a fourth year biology major, and UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the launch event.  Photo credit: UCR Today

Nancy Matti, a fourth year biology major, and UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the launch event. Photo credit: UCR Today

One way to address the problem is through the nation’s public universities, which enroll 72 percent of all four-year college students in the U.S. “We must improve access and attainment for all students – regardless of college preparation levels, racial or socio-economic differences,” Wilcox said.

UCR is committed to accelerating the common good for all, and ensuring higher education is an option for everyone  As a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar, the faculty and staff at UC Riverside are working diligently to strengthen the future generation’s educational standards by making college more accessible.  Riverside promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

At a recent speech at UCR, Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities [APLU] noted that 80 percent of the children of the richest families in America earn college degrees, while only 10 percent of the children of the poorest families do.

Photo credit: UCR Today

Photo credit: UCR Today

“UC Riverside is the nation’s most diverse major research university. At UCR, underrepresented minority and low-income students graduate at the same rate as the campus-wide average,” said Wilcox.  “These remarkable results can be attributed to motivated students, campus commitment, and targeted student success programs such as supplemental instruction and first-year learning communities.”

To read more, click here.

Riverside Bike-Sharing Program In The Works

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Alicia Robinson, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 16, 2014)

In Riverside’s continuing quest to expand public transit offerings and foster a “bicycle culture,” the city plans to launch what is likely the Inland area’s first public bike sharing program.  A city wide bike-share program would be a great opportunity for all Riversiders, providing one more reason why Riverside is a location of choice.  Not only would this provide Riversiders with more convenient public transportation options, it would be a fun opportunity for people to stay active and enjoy the great climate and environment that Riverside has to offer.  Our city is increasingly becoming the location of choice for people and organizations from all over the world.     

People check out bicycles from a Citi Bike station in New York City's Central Park. Riverside plans to test a bike share program, possibly starting in 2015.  Photo credit: Matthew Christensen

People check out bicycles from a Citi Bike station in New York City’s Central Park. Riverside plans to test a bike share program, possibly starting in 2015. Photo credit: Matthew Christensen

The bike share concept isn’t new. Community bikes were used in Amsterdam as early as the 1960s. The first organized programs in the U.S. date to the 1990s, said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center.  Esri, a Redlands geographic information systems company, offers free shared bicycles as an employee perk.

Riverside’s pilot project, which could start in 2015, will likely include four bike kiosks – one near City Hall, one at the downtown Metrolink station and spots near the UC Riverside and Riverside City College campuses, said Brandi Becker, a senior administrative analyst in the city’s public works department.  For most systems, pricing is set to encourage trips of a half-hour or less. Denver’s B-cycle, for example, starts at $8 for a 24-hour pass or $80 for a year, with weekly and monthly passes also offered. With all passes, trips up to 30 minutes are free; extra hourly charges apply for those who keep bikes out longer.

Many bike shares are still ironing out financial and logistical issues, but Riverside should be able to learn from others’ early mistakes, said Charlie Gandy, a bike consultant and vice president of the California Bicycle Coalition.    Gandy expects a bike share to fuel even more interest in cycling, whether for work, fun or fitness.   “Cities that take on this type of project see a major shift in people’s attitudes towards bicycling,” he said.

To read more, click here.