Tag Archives: UCR

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.

Volunteer Action For Aging Helps Seniors Create Art And Stimulate Minds

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Anne Marie Walker and published in The Press Enterprise on May 18, 2015.)

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

Seniors and students gathered this month at the Magnolia Grand Senior Living Center in Riverside for an afternoon of collage-making and trading stories.

The event was organized by Volunteer Action for Aging, a nonprofit group focused on improving the lives of senior citizens across Southern California. UC Riverside’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, sent students to the May 1 event to help the seniors create art.

The class consisted of seven ladies and two tables full of magazines, utensils and cardboard paper. Veora Erwin, a retired artist whose work has been showcased at the Riverside Art Museum, was in attendance to present her work to the other seniors, some of whom had never made a collage before. Erwin displayed three pieces – all abstract pieces predominantly in tan and green. Erwin said she makes collages because she strives to be original and believes that “a true artist never copies.”

Another resident artist was Laura White, who created a collage titled “Bad Trip,” featuring a car and a picture of two people standing in front of an explosion. Plastered all over the walls of the workroom were her drawings of owls. She became fascinated with them after taking a class called Brain Strains, also operated at the center, where she learned about the animal.

“They like to keep you stimulated here,” she said.

Also present were students from Alpha Phi Omega. Christine Billones, a second-year psychology major, said the fraternity teamed up with Volunteer Action for Aging to help their community.

“I’ve never (had)] a chance to do this, and when I joined Alpha Phi Omega I had the opportunity to help and meet new people,” she said.

The students helped residents cut out paper and create designs while sharing stories.

Jan Derny, a retired schoolteacher, had said it was her first time making a collage, but had decided that it “wasn’t (her) forte.”

“I need a focal point to make something,” Derny said. “I like quilting better.” Derny, however, was very appreciative of the students’ charity work. “It’s nice of them to volunteer their time and it’s nice to meet young people.”

Giselle Cruz, the volunteer coordinator for Volunteer Action for Aging, was excited by the turnout.

“We work to keep seniors out of the nursing home and very happy and independent.” Cruz, said adding that the organization recruits mostly through volunteermatch.org and hopes to have more volunteers for future events.

Events like this truly demonstrates what makes Riverside such a unified city. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For more information about volunteering, contact Cruz at 562-637-7110 or visit independenceathome.org.

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.

Feeding The Needy, One Swipe At A Time

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on May 1, 2015.)

Co-founder Rafid Sikder and Senior Director of Dining Services David Henry (Photo Credit: UCR Today)

It started out as an idea, and now they’re seeing the impact of the fruits of their labor. Students at UC Riverside worked with Dining Services to launch a campus chapter of Swipes for the Homeless, and after two years of working toward that goal, they finally kicked things off during the 2014 winter quarter. And on April 30, the chapter donated about $5,000 worth of food and products to charity. How did they make that happen? Here’s a little background…

From left to right: Rafid Sikder, Lanette Dickerson (Executive Chef for Residential Dining), and David Henry. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Students who live in the residential halls have meal plans and dining cards. At the end of every quarter, the remaining meals on those dining cards “disappear.” That’s where Swipes for Homeless comes in. During the 10th week of every quarter the chapter asks fellow students to donate the meals they have left on their dining cards, and those meals are turned into cash by Dining Services. That cash is then used in two ways – it’s used to purchase food that’s donated to Feeding America, and it’s used to buy products for R’Garden, which are planted and grown, and then donated to community homeless shelters.

“It’s a huge sustainability and socially responsible project,” said Dave Henry, senior director for dining services. “So many people hear and see the problems our communities face, but don’t act on it. These students decided to do something about it, and that’s inspiring.”

UCR students are allowed to donate up to three meals at this time. During the 2014 winter quarter, Swipes for the Homeless collected nearly 2,000 meals from more than 600 students.

Sysco handing off the donated food to Feeding America. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Rafid Sikder is the co-founder of the UCR chapter of Swipes for the Homeless. He said he wanted to start the organization after noticing the poverty issues facing the community. “I feel fortunate that I got to start it, get it done and work with passionate people – I’m incredibly happy to see what we’ve accomplished in this one quarter,” he said.

The chapter raised about $5,000 during winter quarter alone. They used $3,700 of it to buy food for Feeding America, and used $1,300 toward R’Garden.

Swipes for the Homeless’ effort to make a difference in our community 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 more information on Swipes for the Homeless, visit the UCR chapter page.

LEED Certified Buildings And Sustainability Taking Forefront At UC Riverside Campus

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on April 23, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

These are not your father’s residence halls. Just in time for Earth Day, the latest housing addition at UC Riverside has recycled materials, all the latest water management, energy efficiency, and environmentally friendly features like
American-made cabinetry.

Glen Mor II celebrated its LEED Gold Certification Wednesday. What does LEED mean? Well, it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a certification program focused on sustainable buildings. Facilities receive points based on meeting environmentally friendly criteria. The first phase of Glen Mor, which opened in 2007, achieved the LEED Gold in December 2014. When well-maintained, the buildings will produce fewer waste products and are more energy efficient than they would otherwise be.

Glen Mor offers single-occupancy rooms in two- and four-bedroom apartment style floor plans. It is home to more than 1,300 residents (sophomores and up).

“It’s very impressive,” said Jean Weiss, a Riverside community member. “I love the multi-aspects of it all – the landscaping, parking structure, the market, it’s very scenic and at the same time conductive for the studious mindset,” she explained.

The certification was unveiled by Andy Plumley, assistant vice chancellor of UCR’s Housing, Dining, & Residential Services.

“Obtaining LEED Gold certification along with being the largest LEED Gold Group Property is quite a milestone for UCR,” said Plumley. “Housing, Dining & Residential Services is proud of the Glen Mor project and thankful for our dedicated campus partners (Architects & Engineers, Capital Program, Environmental Health & Safety, Transportation & Parking Services, Computing & Communications) who contributed greatly to help us reach this achievement.”

The public was given the opportunity to tour the new facility. Eric Shuler, Assistant Director of Facilities Management gave one of three tours around the new UCR Campus Apartment, highlighting the sustainable features, which include:

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today
  • Rock landscaping: to minimize water use.
  • Solar panels: used for heating the water and building.
  • Furniture: all made in the U.S. and out of sustainably harvested and manufactured wood.
  • Appliances: all Energy Star rated.
  • Irrigation: controlled system, when it rains the system will automatically shut-off.
  • Lighting: interior is automatically dimmed and brightened according to existing ambient light. Exterior is energy-saving LED.

Housing, Dining & Residential Services will continue to develop a robust energy and sustainability program for UCR.  The efforts will include:

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today
  1. Building level energy and sustainability improvements to meet or exceed LEED Gold standards, UCOP standards and State requirements.
  2. Pursue additional LEED EBOM Certifications.
  3. Pursue minimum of LEED Gold on all new building projects.
  4. Develop programs for residents to educate on how they may contribute to the sustainability of their living environment.

Housing, Dining & Residential Services ultimate sustainability goal is to provide an optimized, balanced, living and learning experience with the least amount of impact on the environment.

UC Riverside’s green initiative is an outstanding example of the Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. By constantly improving their infrastructure, UCR has established it’s self as a leader in sustainability. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do in Riverside, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

For the complete article, click here.

UCR Extension Is The Next Move For College Graduates

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Elaine Regus and published in UCR Today on April 23, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

UCR Extension is promoting a unique opportunity for recent graduates to earn a master’s degree in as little as one year for as little as $30,000 through its Master’s Pathways program in partnership with internationally recognized universities in Europe and Australia.

“Students can earn a specialized degree, advance their career, have an amazing life experience with a chance to live and work abroad, and save time and many thousands of dollars,” said Gina Finn, UCR Extension’s Master’s Pathways marketing coordinator.

Degree programs include:

  • M.B.A. in sports management from Universidad Europea de Madrid, Real Madrid Graduate School in Spain
  • Master of Science in international business from the University of Hertfordshire in England
  • Master of Science in international tourism management from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland
  • Master of International Tourism and Hotel Management from Southern Cross University in Australia
  • M.B.A. from European University (coursework can be completed in Barcelona, Munich, Geneva or Montreux)

Students first complete nine months of coursework at UCR, enrolling in UCR Extension’s Postgraduate Diploma program. The Postgraduate Diploma includes a three-month unpaid internship in a related field, which provides students with on-the-job experience while completing their diploma.

Students who have significant work experience in the U.S. may be able to waive the internship requirement, which allows students to finish the full program and graduate with a master’s degree in as little as one year.

Those who opt to continue in the master’s programs in international business, international tourism management, tourism and hotel management or for an M.B.A. will then spend four to eight months at the partner universities completing master’s-level courses and a dissertation.

Those who choose the M.B.A. in sports management pathway will take courses offered online in English from the Real Madrid Graduate School after completing their Postgraduate Diploma at UCR Extension. Sports management candidates will spend a week in Spain, participating in master classes, meetings and seminars with executive managers from Real Madrid and other top sports companies.

The program is designed for recent graduates with little or no work experience. UCR Extension designed the program so that students could complete their studies for a professional diploma in the United States with credits transferrable to a master’s degree abroad. All master’s degrees will be awarded by the partner universities.

Scholarships are available and students have the option of beginning in September or January.

The GRE or GMAT are not required but students must have completed a bachelor’s degree.

“Our goal is to try and help students differentiate themselves and give them international experience outside the U.S. so when they come back to the U.S. they are far more competitive when they apply for work,” said Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas, associate dean and director of UCR Extension’s International Education Programs. “An international experience helps them stand out when they are applying for jobs and demonstrates they have the business and cross-cultural skills they need to work in today’s global business context.”

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 standout from other Graduates. These programs play a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.

For further information call Gina Finn at (951) 827-4111, email at gfinn@ucx.ucr.edu or go to www.iep.ucr.edu/programs/masters/.

For the full article, click here.

Engineering College To Launch Online Degrees

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on April 9, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering recently announced its partnership with Pearson to create a new online degree program in engineering, with specializations in bioengineering, electrical engineering (power systems), environmental engineering systems (water), materials at the nanoscale and mechanical engineering. The master’s degree program is scheduled to be launched in the fall of 2015 and hopes to enroll over 600 new engineering students by 2020.

Pearson’s online learning services will provide marketing, enrollment management, student support and retention services and help desk services. The collaboration allows the Bourns College of Engineering to extend its programs to working adults and other non-traditional students that may not have been able to attend an on-the-ground program. The new programs will help the college get one step closer to achieving its mission of producing engineers with the educational foundation and adaptive skills to rapidly serve evolving technology industries.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Pearson to offer this online program enabling employed engineers and scientists to advance their technical training as well as sharpen their engineering management skills,” said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. “We believe the degree program will benefit them, their employers and our industrial community.”

Offering online engineering degrees is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. The Bourns College of Engineering is dedicated to educating the next generation of engineering leaders to discover and apply groundbreaking solutions and innovations that improve the quality of life. The college’s graduate and undergraduate engineering programs rank among the top schools in the nation in U.S. News & World Report.

Todd Hitchcock, Pearson’s senior vice president of online learning service said, “We are thrilled to have been selected as the University of California, Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering’s online degree program partner. The partnership is a perfect fit since the school’s ideals are in line with that of Pearson’s – a devotion to student success and a commitment to personal, one-on-one student attention.”

For the complete article, click here.

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.

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.