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February 25, 2014


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It's that time of year when hundreds of UC Merced students get together to write thank you notes to our generous donors.

This year, the Thank-a-thon is being financially supported by UC Merced students through funding from the Inter Club Council and ASUCM. The Student Alumni Association leadership is leading the event, and the goal is to write 1,000 thank you notes to donors.

If you've made a gift to UC Merced this year, we thank you. Keep an eye out for your thank you note. Or make your gift today and be counted in the students’ efforts.

Alumni Events

DC Happy Hour – Feb. 26

Capitol City Brewing Company, 1100 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Alumni Career Chat: Psychology – Feb. 27

Bobcat Lair, UC Merced

San Francisco UnCubed – March 27

The Regency, 1290 Sutter St., San Francisco

Alumni have many opportunities to reconnect with UC Merced each year through on-campus and regional events. View the events calendar.

Alumni Spotlight

From Student to Staff – Chris Butler, ’07, ’09

Chris ButlerChris Butler, the assistant director of The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning, is a campus original.

That is, he has been here since the campus opened.

He started as a student, studying environmental engineering studies with Professor Tom Harmon, and is now a staff member. A Central Valley native, Butler transferred to UC Merced because he knew he’d enjoy the intimate campus setting. He graduated with a bachelor’s of science in 2007 and got his master’s in environmental science in 2009. [more]


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

For athletic events listings, visit athletics.ucmerced.edu/.


MTS Lecture Series

Psychological Colloquium

Understanding Politics Speaker Series

Conference to Explore Black Arts Movement, Influences

The International Conference on the Black Arts Movement and Legacies will be held March 1 and 2 on campus. [more]

University Friends Circle – March 4

University Friends Circle (UFC) meets for a reception from 5:30 - 7 p.m. March 4 at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St. UC Merced English Professor Katie Brokaw presents “Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ and Dramaturgy.” [more]

South African Singers Perform in Merced – March 6

Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre, an event sponsored by Arts UC Merced Presents. [more]

UC Merced Library Hosts "Our Custodians" Exhibit

"Our Custodians" portraitThe UC Merced Library proudly announces its latest exhibit, “Our Custodians.”

Explore the world one of UC Merced’s most essential and hard-working groups through a display of their tools and equipment and a series of 10 intimate portraits taken by award-winning local photographer Roger Wyan. [more]


Graduate Studies: Quantitative and Systems Biology
View the Video   View the video  


UC Merced provides unparalleled academic and staff opportunities, as well as opportunities for vendors and contractors who are helping to build the university. Check our online listings often.



Campus Chosen as Pioneer for Entrepreneurial Program

Pathways to InnovationUC Merced was chosen as one of a dozen campuses across the nation to bring to life a new program designed to inculcate innovation and entrepreneurship in undergraduate engineering students.

The National Science Foundation supports the campuses’ participation in the new Pathways to Innovation program.

Pathways is part of Epicenter, managed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance to empower engineering students.
[Read more]

Campus Expecting Big Sustainability Honors in 2014

Student housingThe California Architectural Foundation gave UC Merced the Owings Award for Environmental Excellence, adding to the slew of awards the campus has already won. The group recognized the campus’s first development phase for its holistic view toward sustainability.

“UC Merced, Phase 1, is honored for adhering to its ideals and for putting the experience and well-being of students first. This project is both a physical and an emotional anchor for the San Joaquin Valley,” the Owings jury wrote. “It responds both to the environmental constraints of two agricultural irrigation canals and adjacent vernal pool grasslands as well as the needs of a community with some of the nation’s poorest economic indicators.”
[Read more]

Smoke-free Laws May Lead to Dentists' Advice to Quit

Cigarette buttsSmoke-free laws may help encourage dentists to recommend that their patients kick the smoking habit, according to new research co-authored by UC Merced Professor Mariaelena Gonzalez.

“Smoke-free laws can have strong effects – and not just on stopping individual-level behavior,” said Gonzalez, whose research focuses on tobacco control. “These laws can influence other behavior and attitudes, as our study shows with dentists. They can have a huge effect on people’s preferences, such as a preference for clean indoor air. Even smokers like clean indoor air.”

Gonzalez co-authored the study “Association of Strong Smoke-Free Laws with Dentists’ Advice to Quit Smoking, 2006-2007,” with Stanton A. Glantz, a professor of medicine at UCSF, and Ashley Sanders-Jackson, a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. All three have been associated with the UCSF-based Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, where Glantz is the director.
[Read more]

Professor Discovers How to Rein in Power of Tiny Particles with Potentially Big Effect

Michael ScheibnerThe heat generated by smartphones and other electronic devices could be harnessed to also power them, according to compelling research out of UC Merced.

Physics Professor Michael Scheibner’s latest work in the emerging field of phononics – the study of quasi-particles that produce heat – indicates phonons can be harnessed to produce energy.

“Usually, phonons dissipate, but using an electric field, we can keep them in place where they are generated, and make them useful,” he said.
[Read more]

Speakers Bring Varied Experience to Campus’s Largest Commencement

Kristina Johnson

Kristina Johnson


Paul Lo


UC Merced has selected CEO of Enduring Hydro LLC and former U.S. Undersecretary for Energy Kristina M. Johnson and Merced County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Lo to deliver keynote addresses at its ninth commencement, May 17 and 18.

With more than 1,400 students eligible to graduate, UC Merced marks another milestone with its largest graduating class in history, surpassing the 898-member graduating class a year ago.
[Read more]

Fellowship to Support Research into World Heritage

Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco

Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco will be at Cambridge University’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.


Two UC Merced graduate students will continue their research into world heritage with the support of prestigious Marie Curie Fellowships.

Fabrizio Galeazzi and Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco were each awarded Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development, allowing them to take their innovative research to the United Kingdom.

There were nearly 5,000 applicants to the fellowship program and only 14 percent of the projects were funded, according to the European Commission, which awards the fellowships as well as representing the interests of the EU as a whole by working on legislation and other matters. Galeazzi and Di Franco both had to get strong commitments from the host institutions for the applications, which took six months to prepare.

“The acknowledgement and recognition of my work came when the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge liked what I was doing at UC Merced,” Di Franco said.
[Read more]

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