UC Merced Update mastehead


Welcome to this edition of UC Merced Update, providing you with an inside look at recent campus news and developments.


February 15, 2006



We look forward to seeing you on March 8 at the next Board of Trustees meeting, set to take place on the UC Merced campus. It will be our special pleasure to showcase the newly opened Classroom Building and Science and Engineering Building as well as the beautiful Lakireddy Auditorium during many of the day's events. As always, we will conclude the meetings with an evening reception.

Over the course of the next two Board of Trustees meetings, updates on important campus projects and initiatives will be presented with the goal of developing ways for you to closely engage with UC Merced and get involved with areas of specific interest to you.

If you have not already done so, please let us know if you plan to attend and return the reply card enclosed with the packet of information you received recently. To R.S.V.P., please call (209) 724-4416 or send an e-mail to specialevents@ucmerced.edu.

For additional information about upcoming meetings, please contact Mare Widger at (209) 724-4401.



SAVE THE DATE! We have secured June 1 as the day for the next Board of Ambassadors meeting. More details will be coming your way soon.

If you have questions related to the Board of Ambassadors, please contact Director of Development and University Relations Jan Mendenhall at (209) 724-4407 or by e-mail at jmendenhall@ucmerced.edu.



The sparkling score and comedic styling of "Godspell" will be a featured highlight at our next Chancellor's Associates event, scheduled for April 4 in downtown Merced.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., the evening will include a reception and short program at The Branding Iron restaurant. Next, members and their guests will walk or drive to nearby Playhouse Merced for a private performance of the popular show "Godspell." The curtain will rise at 7 p.m.

Please check your availability for the evening of April 4 and watch for your invitations, which will be mailed in early March.

In this edition, we are happy to announce that Hank and Kelly Vander Veen have joined as new Chancellor's Associates members. Please join us in welcoming them. In addition, we thank the following renewing members: Lori Rossi, Mike Gallo, and Tim and Billie Razzari.

For more information about the Chancellor’s Associates, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402 or by e-mail at mcampbell@ucmerced.edu.



Recent progress Recreation and Wellness Center
This image of the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center shows recent progress on the construction of this highly anticipated facility.


The Joseph Edward Gallo Gym Expansion Committee can celebrate $1.351 million in pledges and gifts to date as part of the campaign to raise a minimum of $1.365 million to support gym expansion and enhancement. We greatly appreciate the involvement of all our financial supporters in this effort.

As the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center takes shape at an impressive pace, a variety of naming opportunities still exist, including those available through the Bleacher Seat campaign. To learn about purchasing one or more bleacher seats at $1,000 per seat, please click here. Some donors have chosen to purchase several seats and name them for the members of their family. Donors can choose the name or names to be placed on each seat. In addition, the names of donors will be featured on a special plaque to be prominently displayed in the gymnasium.

When construction reaches the point where the gymnasium is closed in, UC Merced also will host an appreciation reception for all donors. Please stay tuned for the details.



Preliminary Fall 2006 Application Data Released

Students filling out applications

Personal attention is one of the primary reasons current UC Merced students say they would recommend the new UC campus to prospective freshman and transfer students.


According to preliminary reports, UC Merced has received slightly more applications for Fall 2006 admission than were recorded at this time last year. Overall, more than 8,900 freshman, transfer and graduate student applications have been submitted, representing an 8 percent increase over the opening-year numbers.

The preliminary undergraduate applicant pool includes 1,550 Central Valley students, amounting to nearly 18 percent of the total and an almost 8 percent increase over Fall 2005 applications. Susan Wilbur, UC's director of undergraduate admissions, points to the presence and academic preparation efforts of UC Merced as a significant force behind the increasing number of Central Valley students applying for freshman admission to the UC system as a whole.

While subject to change as additional applications are processed, this preliminary data does indicate that UC Merced is continuing to attract the interest of students from throughout the state, ethnically diverse students and first-generation college students. Among freshman applicants, 28 percent identify themselves as members of underrepresented ethnic groups (African American, American Indian, Chicano and Latino) and 46 percent self-identify as first-generation college students.

UC Merced's admissions offices are currently reviewing applications. On-time freshman applicants should be notified of their admissions decision by the end of March, on-time transfer applicants will be notified by the end of April and prospective graduate students should get the news by the close of February.


UC Student Regents Tour Campus and Advertise for Successor

Student Regents Adam Rosenthal and Maria Ledesma visited UC Merced on February 1 as part of their tour of the 10-campus system. It was the first visit for the two since the campus’ grand opening celebrations in September.

Rosenthal, a law student at UC Davis, and Ledesma, a graduate student in education at UCLA, were treated to a tour of campus buildings in the morning before beginning a series of meetings with faculty, staff and students. Both expressed wonder at how far UC Merced has come in just a few months.

“More attention and publicity,” was Rosenthal’s answer when asked what he would recommend to the Regents when reporting on UC Merced. “It’s astonishing what you’ve done here, and I think the system needs to recognize that.”

“You really can’t compare UC Merced with any of the other campuses,” Ledesma added. “It is its own, and that’s a good thing.”

The main reason for their visit, however, was to advertise their positions, which will be open next year. At the end of their day, they met with UC Merced students interested in becoming student regents before the pair moved on to their next campus visit at UC Berkeley.


IBM Researchers Share Ideas for Collaboration

Robin Williams and Jeff Wright

IBM Associate Lab Director Robin Williams and Dean of Engineering Jeff Wright pause in front of the Science and Engineering Building during their campus tour.


The UC Merced School of Engineering hosted two Ph.D. researchers from the IBM Almaden Research Center visiting the UC Merced campus on February 10.

Following a morning campus tour, Associate Lab Director Robin Williams and Senior Manager of Service Systems Research Paul Maglio presented examples of research and ideas on future directions from Almaden and discussed CITRIS and other collaboration possibilities with UC Merced faculty from the School of Engineering and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. Faculty members expressed interest in new hardware technologies and in strategies to prepare students for the emerging, interdisciplinary field Maglio called “Service Sciences, Management and Engineering.”


Governor Cites UC Merced in Press Club Speech

In remarks presented at the Sacramento Press Club on January 24, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger included an acknowledgment of UC Merced as an "extraordinary accomplishment." Excerpts of his speech that relate to the campus are reprinted below.

"...Let me talk a little bit about one example that should inspire us all to great heights; the new UC campus at Merced, which started under Governor Pete Wilson. The groundbreaking was done under Governor Gray Davis, and it was actually opened last fall under my administration.

For years UC's 10th campus was little more than just a dream. Students who lived in the Merced area had to actually leave to take their college classes. Historically, the region's economy lagged behind much of the rest of the state. When the campus opened with 1,000 students it was the realization of a vision come true. Our public investment has been leveraging and drawing in private funds, such as the $11 million Packard Foundation Grant to buy 2,000 acres for the campus and to preserve another 5,700 acres for open space. Hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds were sold. The local economy has been infused with money and with jobs. Business is up all over town. College students now can stay in the region and get great education. By buildout in 2030, this will be a thriving, beautiful and environmentally advanced campus, an economic and cultural engine for a part of the state that often felt overlooked and neglected.

This, my friends, is an extraordinary accomplishment. Several governors and hundreds of legislators all worked together to make this happen. It is but one example of what we can and must achieve to secure California's future. It is but one example of what vision and courage can do for our state and for our people. ..."



Hewlett Grant Applied to Recruitment of Transfer Students

Jeff Yoshimi

Jeff Yoshimi


A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California states that only 5.3 percent of full-time sophomores at the state's community colleges transfer to continue their education at a University of California campus. Among Central Valley community college students, that number drops to 2.9 percent.

Recently awarded a two-year, $200,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Professor Jeff Yoshimi is helping take the campus to the next level in its ongoing mission to develop connections with regional community colleges and strengthen the transfer pipeline.

In his proposal, “Creating a Community College Culture at UC Merced,” Yoshimi has laid out a multifaceted strategy to bolster campus efforts to recruit, retain and graduate a larger number of transfer students. He hopes to create a model program characterized by a network of conduits from California community colleges – particularly local, historically underserved colleges – to a university that actively supports transfer students and has transfer graduation rates equal to other UC campuses.

“The overarching problem is the Central Valley’s relative lack of a college-going culture,” he said, citing a lack of guidance, inconsistent information, minimal knowledge about resources such as transfer guarantee programs and poor articulation standards as complaints voiced by students surveyed.

Funding from the Hewlett grant is allowing Yoshimi to employ 10 to 12 of UC Merced’s inaugural transfer students on a part-time basis so they can help develop transfer student services and improve future transfer rates to the campus as they gain valuable leadership skills. In addition, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David B. Ashley intends to create a campus-wide transfer committee that would work in close collaboration with the students, who also will partner with the admissions and student outreach staff, UC Merced’s Student Transfer Outreach and Mentor Program and student liaisons to be appointed at four community colleges.



UC Merced Family Art Show Opens with March 9 Reception

Painted tile by Judy Patin

"Bright Seclusion," a painted tile by Center for Educational Partnerships Events Assistant Judy Patin, is among the art works created by campus employees and their family members that will be displayed during the UC Merced Family Art Show.


Experience a world of art, music, food and java as the campus kicks off the first UC Merced Family Art Show with the Java Art Walk from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 9.

This very special reception celebrates the launch of what is planned to be an annual exhibit featuring the creative talents of UC Merced students, staff and faculty, as well as members of their immediate families, including young children. Approximately 100 pieces – paintings, jewelry, photography, ceramics and sculpture – will be displayed at venues in the Valley Dining Commons and the Kolligian Library.

"Many of these artists have been creating for a long time, but no one's really seen their work, so it's very exciting," said UC Merced Art Coordinator Gail Benedict, who is organizing the exhibit.

Everyone is invited to attend the Java Art Walk reception, which will offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy live music and refreshments in the dining commons and library as they view the art show. Those unable to attend the reception can still see the show, which will run through April 30.



February 8, 2006
Modesto Bee
By Lorena Anderson

More Valley students eye UC Merced

More than 106,000 students applied to get into the 10-campus University of California this fall, setting a record for applications.

And more of those students are from the Central Valley, officials said, many of them applying to the newest UC campus in Merced.

January 30, 2006
Fresno Bee
By Denny Boyles

UC Merced lands notable professor

MERCED — When Ray Chiao talks about one day making a direct call from California to China, he means direct.

As in directly through the planet.

January 24, 2006
Merced Sun-Star
By Janet Pak

Cardoza connects with students

University of California, Merced students from various campus groups met with Congressman Dennis Cardoza on Monday afternoon to discuss a wide variety of issues.

About 26 freshmen and transfer students ranging from the Business Society Club to student government leaders attended the event held in the Chancellor's Conference Room.

January 21, 2006
Merced Sun-Star
By Janet Pak

Weekend shuttle to connect UC students

University of California, Merced, students who want to stay downtown or enjoy a movie late at night won't have to worry about transportation.

A new shuttle service called "Nite Cat" will run every hour from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, said UC Merced spokeswoman Ana Nelson Shaw.

January 16, 2006
Merced Sun-Star
Rosalio Ahumada

UC says fall class goal is within reach

The number of students interested in attending the University of California, Merced in fall 2006 is about the same as its debut year.

But UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey said she's confident the campus will reach its enrollment goal in the second year.


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