UC Merced Update mastehead


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


March 20, 2007



Ernest Gallo’s Support Will Touch
Many at UC Merced

Ernest Gallo

Ernest Gallo


After a historic life of professional achievement and philanthropy, Ernest Gallo, one of the founders of the E&J Gallo Wineries, passed away recently at the age of 97. Part of his legacy will live on at UC Merced.

Mr. Gallo and his family, through the E&J Gallo Wineries, gave a $5 million donation to create the E&J Gallo School of Management. Plans for the school call for a comprehensive management program that few other universities can boast.

When he gave the gift in 2002, Mr. Gallo said, “Since we founded the Winery in 1933, we have sought to build a business that recognizes excellence and market leadership.

“It is an honor for the winery to assist the University of California – the world's most prestigious public university system – in creating a superior new management school that we hope will train outstanding people to be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Mr. Gallo was a generous supporter of the UC, helping found the Ernest Gallo Clinic & Research Center, a part of the Neurology Department of the University of California San Francisco. He also created an endowed chair in enology, or wine making, at UC Davis.

Ernest Gallo’s brother and winery co-founder Julio passed away in 1993. The two brothers worked together their entire lives, achieving great success and sharing it with others.

The campus community joins those from around the world in saluting Ernest Gallo and sending its heartfelt wishes to his family.

“UC Merced pays tribute to this remarkable leader and philanthropist,” said Chancellor Steve Kang. “We are deeply honored that we have been entrusted with continuing Ernest Gallo’s extraordinary vision as we educate and inspire our students to become the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.”


Joseph Gallo’s Legacy Will Live on
at UC Merced

Joseph Gallo

Joseph Gallo


A legacy of health, fitness and outdoor recreation will accompany the memory of Joseph Edward Gallo, in the minds of students, faculty, staff and the community around UC Merced for generations to come. Mr. Gallo passed away last month at 87.

Each time someone enters the recreation and wellness center for a basketball game, a visit to the Wilderness Desk or a workout, they’ll enter see his name. A plaque describing his life hangs near the entrance to the building, which opened last November.

“More than 14,000 students, faculty, staff and community members have used the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center for fitness or recreational events,” said Vice Chancellor Jane Lawrence. “The university community is very grateful for the support and generosity of Mr. Gallo and his family.”

Mr. Gallo, a successful dairyman and cheese producer, lived in Livingston. His son Michael Gallo and daughter Linda Jelacich donated $2 million in his honor to help make the dream of a recreation center into a reality.

These two donors have long been campus supporters, no doubt inspired by their father’s work with and gifts to the Livingston Community Health Center, Mercy Medical Center Merced, St. Jude's Catholic School, the Emanuel Hospital Chairman's Club of Turlock and the Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

UC Merced pays homage to the families of Mike Gallo and Linda Jelacich.

“The Gallos have truly become part of our campus,” said Chancellor Steve Kang. “We feel privileged that they chose UC Merced to recognize their beloved father and grandfather.

“Joseph Gallo transformed the dairy industry, and it is fitting that his legacy will continue to transform lives by inspiring students to reach their potential in part by living healthy lifestyles.”


Chancellor Kang with Bob and JoAnne Bernstein

Chancellor Kang visits with Bob and JoAnne Bernstein at the Board of Trustees meeting at the Ahwahnee Hotel.


On Feb. 21, the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees and Diplomats met at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park to greet Chancellor Steve Kang and pay tribute to Acting Chancellor Rod Park and his wife, Cathy, for their work here.

Meeting attendees also had the chance to hear some of the exciting initiatives growing between UC Merced and the national parks. During the full board meeting, Professor Roger Bales, from the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, talked about climate effects on water in the region.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, here on campus.



Here’s a look at the latest news from our Alumni Affairs Office:

The San Joaquin Valley UC Alumni Network will hold a Spring Reception for UC alumni and graduates of the UC Merced class of 2007 on Wednesday, April 25, on the UC Merced campus. UC alumni will hear from UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang. For more information and to join the SJV UC Alumni Network, please call Stefani Martinez, (209) 228–2586.



New Chancellor has Plans to Meet the Valley

Chancellor Kang

Chancellor Kang


UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang will spend part of his first hundred days in office getting better acquainted with the region as he embarks on his San Joaquin Valley Listening Tour.

The tour kicks off March 26 in Merced, with the chancellor visiting the Tri-College Center, meeting city and local officials and getting a close-up view of the UC Merced Police Department’s mentoring work with fourth- and fifth-grade students at Alicia Reyes Elementary School.

Chancellor Kang plans to meet with education leaders, students, a variety of community groups, media outlets and elected officials to further understand the issues and challenges facing the Valley.

Other stops include Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno, Modesto and Stockton, so he can hear directly from people who want to discuss such topics as access to and affordability of higher education. Not all meetings times and dates have been locked in, but more information will be released soon.

On his first official visit to campus, the new chancellor set forth priorities including strengthening UC Merced’s ties to the communities around it, cementing its place in the Valley and solidifying his vision for the future of the university.

The meetings will give the chancellor the opportunity to explain to people how UC Merced is an asset to the Valley and how it’s going to help shape and enrich the region.

“I’m thrilled to have this listening tour as one component of my transition into UC Merced leadership,” Chancellor Kang said. “I’m looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the larger community around the university and the unique challenges the population faces.”

One of those issues is likely to be the college-going culture here, which historically lags behind most of the rest of the state. Chancellor Kang is a first-generation college student himself, and is committed to continuing UC Merced’s mission to make sure as many students as possible have the ability and opportunity to access higher education.

He’ll meet with students from area high schools and community colleges to get their perspective on higher education and how UC Merced can enhance its role as a partner in their futures.

The chancellor will also speak with members of area newspapers’ editorial boards to reiterate UC Merced’s commitment to the entire region, which helps foster support for the campus.

Organizers plan to set up meetings with diverse groups, from underserved students to local activists and elected officials so the chancellor can hear directly from them about their concerns, and emphasize the relationships between them and UC Merced, which features as its three-part mission education, research and public service.

For more information about Chancellor Kang, please visit his Web site at http://chancellor.ucmerced.edu/.

UC Merced Radio Club Wants Your Ear

Right before UC Merced’s opening ceremonies, Chris Ayeni and a friend were chatting about their favorite music and which are the must-listen radio stations in Merced. He remembers thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if the campus had its own radio station?”

Now, just over a year later, Ayeni’s idea is becoming reality as Radio Merced Club takes its first steps to take over the airwaves.

“I think it will help create a unified student body voice,” he said.

With the help of some dedicated people from the School of Engineering’s Service Learning Program, which made the radio station’s start-up part of their projects, there’s movement toward bringing a working, student-run broadcast to the campus.

Radio Day, held March 1, was a test run, said Professor Shawn Newsam, who’s overseeing the Service Learning class that meets once a week to examine the project’s various aspects. The next event will be on Bobcat Day, April 14.

The Service Learning students look at business and management, technical and programming and outreach issues. Newsam said that at the end of the semester, they’ll have a report that includes each of those issues, so the next Service Learning students who sign on for the radio project will build on the past two semesters’ work.

This semester, the students bought a low-watt transmitter and were able to play music across most of the campus on Radio Day. For the next event, they hope to include some other programming, such as announcements from clubs or other campus groups, maybe some news and talk.

The students are looking at ways such a station can best serve the campus and the surrounding community.

But the first thing they’ve got to do is get on the air. Newsam said there’s a brief window in the next few months in which they can apply for an FCC license, but to apply, they need some engineering studies and legal advice. They need about $5,000 to get all that done in time for the application deadline, and are trying to find ways to raise the cash.

“It would help increase our enrollment,” Newsam said, “and a radio station would help us become – even more – a vital part of the Merced community.”

For more information on the Radio Club, contact Chris Ayeni at cayeni@ucmerced.edu or Professor Shawn Newsam at snewsam@ucmerced.edu.

Mentoring Program Cleaning Up South Merced

UC Merced Police officers, mentors and students

UC Merced Police Department officers and mentors and their students from Alicia Reyes Elementary School met up with UC Merced mascot Boomer on one of the Reyes students’ tours of our campus.


UC Merced Police Department’s Mentoring Program is working to change South Merced, not only through education, but also through clean-up efforts.

The mentors, about 70 UC Merced students known as The Trailblazers, work with more than 200 fourth- and fifth-graders at Alicia Reyes School in South Merced, spending time with them each day doing activities and helping with homework.

The Reyes students also get to visit the UC Merced campus during hosted tours, and at Christmastime, the Trailblazers put up a giving tree for the Reyes students, some of whom would not have otherwise had Christmas gifts.

This semester, they are cleaning up the neighborhood. On March 17, Trailblazers and other UC Merced students, faculty, staff members and Reyes students – our Junior Bobcats – canvassed the south side of town tidying up.



See photos of the Lunar New Year celebration

UC Merced’s Lunar New Year celebration on Feb. 24 provided a bright spot in the Valley winter. Take a look.



Words on Music by Kevin Fellezs

Kevin Fellezs

Kevin Fellezs


Musicology Professor Kevin Fellezs has three honors to talk about this month.

First, he has a chapter in a new book due out in April from Duke University Press, entitled “Alien Encounters: Asian Americans in Popular Culture.” His chapter is called “Silenced But Not Silent: Asian Americans in Jazz.”

The book’s black-and-white illustrations and essays showcase innovative directions in Asian American cultural studies. The essays explore topics from pulp fiction to multimedia art to import-car subcultures, and look at Asian Americans’ interactions with popular culture as both creators and consumers.

Second, he has written an article titled “Dancing About Architecture: Disability and Language Diversity at IASPM-US,” for the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2/April 2007.

Third, Fellezs has been invited to serve as a senior editor for the “Grove Dictionary of American Music,” published by Oxford University Press/Grove. It is one of the premier reference works for music scholars.

Fellezs and others will work on a set of reference volumes to replace an outdated, four-volume collection that covers American music, from classical and folk to jazz, pop and even performance art. No date for release has been scheduled.

Students Dig Their Archaeology Lesson

Kathleen Hull with students

Professor Kathleen Hull (left) consults with a student during a mock archaeological dig on the dining commons lawn.


Students got a mini lesson in archaeology Feb. 23, as Professor Kathleen Hull led a “dig” on the dining commons lawn for her Introduction to Anthropological Archaeology course.

The 25 students braved a chilly, windy day to learn more about the kinds of information archaeologists record in the field and the interpretations that can be made about past peoples and cultures based on the arrangement of different objects made, used and discarded.

“The intent was to have students think about how archaeologists, in particular, but also scientists in general, seek answers through fieldwork and to realize the importance not simply of objects, but of objects in context,” Hull said.

The students worked in teams of two and three to record the location and type of “artifacts” found within mock 1-by-1-meter “excavation units” on the lawn (no real digging took place).

They used tape measures and line levels to measure the exact location and “depth” of each item, prepared a plan map of the items’ arrangement, recorded other observations about the various items and offered their interpretations regarding the type of activities and sites the items might have represented, such as a campsite, a dump or a butchery area.

“The exercise went well,” Hull said. “The students were enthusiastic, if a little cold, and they were very successful in making interpretations based on their observations.”

The students also answered questions from “the public” (other students passing by), not unlike what archaeologists often must do in the real world.

Students Presenting Research Paper at National Conference

Students Roshell Amezcua and Nicole Cruz will present a paper at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research from April 12-14 at Dominican University in San Rafael.

Their work is based on research performed with Professor Simón Weffer on the immigration protests throughout California in 2006.

Using a database of California newspapers, Roshell and Nicole searched for articles on the immigration protests, and after collecting thousands of candidate articles, they coded the events for there location, size, claims, forms and other characteristics.

Using that data set, they mapped the events to examine where these protests were concentrated, and are using McAdam’s (1987) Political Process Model to argue that the increased organizational base in certain areas, county level demographics, as well as the political opportunity of the immigration discourse, can explain the differences in protests across California’s 58 counties.

This paper is part of a larger research project that several students are working on with Weffer to examine the dynamics of protest, social movements and collective action across the entire state of California, in an attempt to do a “real-time” as opposed to historical study of collective action.

Professors’ Research Shows Support Rises for Ranked Schools

Alex Whalley

Alex Whalley


Economics Professor Alex Whalley and colleague Ginger Zhe Jin, an economics professor at the University of Maryland at College Park, were cited this month in a story in “Inside Higher Education.”

Whalley and Jin are working on a paper entitled “The Power of Information: How Do U.S. News Rankings Affect the Financial Resources of Public Colleges?”

Inside Higher Education said: “College rankings, such as those published annually by U.S. News & World Report, are typically thought to factor into consumer perception of an institution. Plenty has been written about how high school students, parents and college counselors respond to the list. But what about state legislatures?”

Whalley and Jin argue there is a relationship between inclusion in those rankings and state funding per student.

They looked at data from 1987 to 1995 and considered 433 public four-year colleges and their inclusion or exclusion from the U.S. News annual ranking.

Whalley and Jin found that state funding increased an average of 58 percent from 1987 to 1995 for colleges that first appeared in the rankings in 1990. By comparison, state funding increased 49 percent for colleges that were never ranked and 48 percent for those already on the list. They also say the list did not seem to impact tuition rates.



Bobcats and Fairy Shrimp Make Formidable Team

Last year's celebration
2006 Fairy Shrimp Festival

This year, two of UC Merced’s premier events are combined, promising one busy day on campus!

Mark Saturday, April 14, on your calendar and plan to check out the wide variety of arts, crafts and environmental booths that will be open during the Fairy Shrimp Festival, plus the many live musical acts that will perform – but be aware: The campus will be busy, because the festival is being held in conjunction with Bobcat Day.

Bobcat Day is the premier recruiting event during Admissions season. It’s often the first look prospective students get at the UC Merced campus, and is filled with activities and informational sessions.

The Fairy Shrimp Festival will give prospective students even more reason to want to visit, and offers an entertaining look at the campus community. Plus it demonstrates UC Merced’s commitment to the environment by celebrating Earth Day and showcasing green and sustainable work on campus.

Admissions folks are also planning seminars for area high school students that day, to help them become more familiar with the campus and with what it takes to become eligible to attend a UC campus.

Jim Greenwood, student life coordinator, said he expects about 700 people, including community members, to be on campus that day for the Fairy Shrimp Festival.

The Festival is free and open to everyone, and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., though music begins at noon and ends at 8 p.m.


Frontiers of Science and Engineering – the 2007 lecture series at Challenger Center for Space Science Education Center – continues.

All lectures start at 10 a.m. Saturdays in the Challenger center’s auditorium:
• April: 21: Professor Stefano Carpin, “Autonomous Mobile Robots: Science or Science Fiction?”

The Chicano/a Literature series brings to UC Merced some of the most talented, successful, and respected Chicano/a writers and intellectuals. All speakers will be available for book signing and questions after reading from their works.

The presentations are scheduled for a variety of dates, but always from 1-2:20 p.m. in room 265 of the Classroom Building. Each one is free and open to all.

Here are the next sessions:
• April 16: Merced native Diana García returns to her hometown to share her experiences in literature and to read from her poetry book “When Living Was a Labor Camp.” García is currently a professor at California State University, Monterey Bay.
• May 2: Acclaimed novelist Alejandro Morales will close the series with selected readings from his numerous novels, which include “The Rag Doll Plagues,” “Caras viejas y vino nuevo,” “Reto en el paraíso” and “The Brick People,” among others.

For more information, contact Manuel Martín-Rodríguez at mmartin-rodriguez@ucmerced.edu. To reserve space for groups of five or more, e-mail rsmith7@ucmerced.edu.

Other events:
• March 26: UC Merced UC Day Dinner
• March 27: UC Day in Sacramento
• March 27: Dinner with a Scientist
• March 30: Cesar Chavez Day (UC Merced closed)
• April 21: State Science Olympiad
• May 2: Child Help reception
• May 8: Charles Ogletree Visit
• May 12-13: Merced Symphony opera, auditorium
• May 18: UC Merced commencement
• May 28: Memorial Day (UC Merced closed)


Total amount of proposals this month: $6,401,787
Total amount of awards this month: $157,993

Total amount of proposals from July 1, 2006 to date: $113,324,589
Total amount of awards from July 1, 2006 to date: $8,233,909


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