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April 18, 2013


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Alumni Events

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

Alumni Highlight

Alum Serves as Alumni Relations Specialist

Christopher AbrescyAlumnus Christopher Abrescy, ’09, has found his way back to UC Merced.

Abrescy, who now serves as the campus’s alumni relations specialist, said he jumped on the opportunity to put what he learned inside and outside the classroom as a management major to good use.

“I will be able to call upon my past experiences as a student as well as an alumnus of UC Merced to prepare students for their role as alumni beyond their years on campus,” Abrescy said. “My firsthand experiences in building, launching and executing new organizations, programs and events will assist me as we continue to do the same for both the growing student and alumni base.”


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

Oakland Artist to Speak at Art Show Reception

An artist’s reception for the Bobcat Art Show will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 18 at the UC Merced Art Gallery (Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 106).

University Friends Circle Student Award and Scholarship Presentations/Annual Meeting – May 7

The University Friends Circle meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 7 at the University House for hors d’oeuvres and the annual Student Award and Scholarship presentation.


Feature: Postdoc Demystifies the Art of Deception
Impact Video
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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.


Total amount of awards in March:

Total amount of awards from July 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013:



Local Businesswoman Donates to Shape Student Leaders

Margo SouzaMargo Souza, former president and CEO of Turlock’s Circle H Dairy Ranch Inc., has pledged $1 million to UC Merced to establish The Margo F. Souza Leadership Center — a multi-faceted leadership program — housed within the campus’s Office of Student Life.

Souza, an alumna of Seattle University, said graduating from college has enriched her life immensely. Her passion for leadership and desire to help youth led her to donate to the newest UC campus. She believes the leadership center will be the catalyst to guide students — more than 60 percent who are the first in the family to earn a college degree — to become strong leaders and contributing members of society.

“We need to reinvent our future through the eyes of our youth,” said Souza. “Over time, this university will enhance and change many lives in the Central Valley.”

The leadership center will encompass a wide-range of campus leadership initiatives, including the Margo Souza Entrepreneur-in-Training Track, and the Mentorship and Celebration Lunch.

Emotional Flexibility of Infant Sounds Proves Critical to Language Development

Anne S. WarlaumontThe squeals, vowel-like sounds and growls made by infants are critical to the development of human language, according a recent paper coauthored by a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Merced.

The paper, published online by the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows infants at 3 to 4 months old are able to use sounds to express how they feel about something, whether it’s positive, neutral or negative. Called functional flexibility, this ability allows sounds to be distinct from their meanings and is a defining characteristic of language.

For example, an infant’s growl could show that they’re happy or angry. In contrast, crying and laughter tend to always represent the same emotional states.

Cognitive science Professor Anne S. Warlaumont said the appearance of functional flexibility early in the first year of human life is not only a critical step in developing vocal language, but it may have been a critical step in the evolution of human language.
[Read more]

Engineering a Garden Takes a Campus Community

Volunteer clears garden space

A volunteer works to clear space for the community garden.


As everyone knows, space is limited on the UC Merced campus.

But with a little money and a lot of persistence, Engineers for a Sustainable World has found a way to carve out a little room for a community garden.

The idea has been a dream of the Merritt Writing Program lecturer De Ette Silbaugh for years, and she approached Engineers for a Sustainable World to help, said ESW President Peter Ferrell. But the garden’s location has only recently been determined.

The garden’s 400 square feet of planting space will be installed by the end of the spring semester near Little Lake and the nearby fence that borders the campus. [Read more]

Applied Math Professors Expanding Knowledge About Biology

Karin Leiderman, left, and Suzanne Sindi

Karin Leiderman, left, and Suzanne Sindi, use mathematics to answer biological questions.


Professor Suzanne Sindi found her calling in seventh grade, while reading “Jurassic Park.”

“I liked the idea that math is a tool for understanding the whole world,” she said.

Her colleague, Professor Karin Leiderman, wants to understand how people’s bodies work.

They are using math to understand biological functions that are familiar to everyone, yet still mysterious.

Their interdisciplinary research – mathematical biology – is an example of how UC Merced researchers are changing the way people view the world.
[Read more]

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