UC Merced Update masthead

February 18, 2011


News Blog


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Go to events.ucmerced.edu to find out what’s happening on campus now!

Black History Month Events

The African American Student Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Distinguished Ladies at UC Merced, with support from the Office of Student Life’s Intercultural Programs and the Fiat Lux Scholars Program, kicked off Black History Month earlier this month.

For a full listing of events celebrating Black History Month, check out the events calendar. For more information, email aasa@ucmerced.edu or contact Jason Juarez at 209-228-5323.

Annual Bobcat Family Art Show

This sixth annual UC Merced art show will run from Feb. 21 through May 6 in the Kolligian Library. Painting, drawing, sculpture, digital media and other visual arts by UC Merced students, faculty and staff and their immediate families will be displayed throughout the Kolligian Library. An artists' reception 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 17 in KL355 (third floor) is free and open to the public. For more information, visit arts.ucmerced.edu, or contact Gail Benedict at 209-228-4566.

Twain's "Huck Finn" to be Explored – Feb. 22

As part of the Kolligian Library's "Banned and Recovered: Artsts Intervention" art show, artist Milton Bowens and Deputy University Librarian Donald A. Barclay will discuss the new edition of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," which has generated controversy because of its edits.

The talk will begin at 7 p.m., Feb. 22 in Kolligian Library, Room 355. It's open to the public.

Bowens' art in the show references Twain's acclaimed novel, and Barclay has published a number of books and articles about libraries, literature of the American West, and children's literature. A long-time fan of Mark Twain and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," he published an article about the illustration of the novel in "The Horn Book Magazine."

University Friends Circle – March 1

A Place in the Sun: Solar Energy Research by Professor Roland Winston

Members of the University Friends Circle (UFC) will meet 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 1 at the Branding Iron Restaurant in Merced. Professor Roland Winston, who serves as director for the UC Merced Energy Research Institute, will present “A Place in the Sun: Solar Energy Research.”

The cost, including lunch, is $20. For information on joining the UFC or to RSVP, send an e-mail to smarquez2@ucmerced.edu or call 209-228-4190.

The UFC provides a forum for UC Merced staff and faculty, and their families, to engage in open discussion and interact with members of the surrounding communities.


Frontiers Lecture Series

Energy Speaker Series

Psychological Sciences Talk Series


Save the Date: Spring Reception – April 28

Chancellor's Associates are invited to attend the Chancellor's Associates spring reception on April 28 at the chancellor’s residence. For information, e-mail specialevents@ucmerced.edu or call 209-228-RSVP.

For information on joining the Chancellor’s Associates, contact Lisa McMullen at 209-228-4202.


Total amount of awards in January:

Total amount of awards from July 1, 2010 to Jan. 31, 2011:



Stimulus Funds to Aid Campus’ Green Efforts

UC Merced Central PlantUC Merced will receive $600,000 in technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the deployment of cost-effective, energy-saving measures in commercial buildings across the country.

The campus is one of 24 projects that will receive a total of $21 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the department’s Commercial Building Partnerships program. Additional projects include other universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of South Carolina, and retail businesses like Home Depot, Walmart and Twentieth Century Fox.

UC Merced is using the assistance to deploy an “energy performance platform” that will provide unique capability to monitor the energy performance of its buildings and dispatch technicians to maintain efficiency over time. In addition, a team of engineers will identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of the campus' central plant and a laboratory building.

John Elliott, who applied for the assistance and is UC Merced's assistant director of energy and sustainability, said the campus is relying on energy efficiency to move 60 percent closer to its goal of zero net energy — creating as much energy as is used — by 2020. The campus has a unique program in place to design its buildings to consume half of the energy of other university buildings in California.

UC Merced Employees Serve the Community in Prominent Positions

Yaheya Quazi

UC Merced Centers Director Brandy Ramos Nikaido and Director of Business and Financial Services Systems Yaheya Quazi are two of many UC Merced employees serving the local community.

UC Merced employees have established themselves here in every way during the last several years, including giving their time and expertise to community organizations. Several employees serve prominently in some of Merced’s most vital service groups.

Vice Chancellor for Administration Mary Miller presides over the United Way of Merced County as a board member. “United Way raises money for local charities, provides volunteer service to local agencies and events, and sponsors local events,” she said. “It’s an umbrella organization designed to make Merced County better.” Miller previously served as president of a United Way chapter in Texas.

Other employees have also logged years of service with their chosen organizations. UC Merced Centers Director Brandy Ramos Nikaido has been involved with the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium since 2000 and now chairs its marketing and public relations committee.


Violence Prevention Program Gets a Boost from Verizon

Verizon presents a very large check donationA grant from the Verizon Foundation will enable UC Merced’s Violence Prevention Program — founded last year — to enhance its existing efforts with new messaging strategies, incorporating both social media and an interactive Web component.

The funding will provide the campus with resources to develop, launch and maintain a multimedia campaign to raise awareness, educate the campus community on appropriate behaviors and healthy relationships, link students to resources and ultimately prevent violence."


Physicist Garners Prestigious National Science Foundation Award

Sayantani GhoshUC Merced physics Professor Sayantani Ghosh has been awarded National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, the sixth campus faculty member to win the distinction in just four years.

"This award is a testament to the excellent research conducted by Professor Ghosh and an endorsement of all the work yet to come," interim Dean of Natural Sciences Michael Colvin said. "She has made valued contributions to this campus, not only through research, but through teaching and mentoring students."
The $450,000 award, spread over five years, will support Ghosh's innovative research, which provides insight into visualizing the dynamics of nanoscale magnetics.

Book Focuses on Chicano, Latino Film and Fiction in Los Angeles

Ignacio López-CalvoUC Merced literature Professor Ignacio López-Calvo's "Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction: The Cultural Production of Social Anxiety" was published this month by the University of Arizona Press.

López-Calvo's fifth single-authored book deals with the imaging of Los Angeles in Latino literature and film, and the images of Latinos in Los Angeles literature and film. It also looks at the literary and cultural representation of white anxiety in the Los Angeles metropolitan area because of the massive arrival of Latino immigrants and refugees.


Students Create Outstanding Experiences in Pre-law Society

Pre-law SocietyAny law school applicant knows it’s challenging to stand out from the crowd. A group of UC Merced students are preparing for future careers and building experience that sets them apart. With their advisor, visiting Professor Mark Harris, they’ve founded the UC Merced Pre-law Society, a student organization where they’ve created opportunities to meet professionals in the field, participate in moot court competitions and even provide legal services for fellow students.

“Professor Harris has played a foundational and advisory role,” said senior Jason Knight. “He helped guide and organize the first leaders of the society and strategically placed student leaders from his business law courses into leadership roles in the society. I firmly believe that Professor Harris has almost single-handed developed the UC Merced pre-law culture.

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