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May 18, 2012


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Congratulations Class of 2012!

On May 12, the Class of 2012 participated in commencement and headed out to explore the next chapter in their lives. We look forward to their continued involvement as UC Merced Bobcats in our Alumni Association in the years to come. And it’s not too late to leave a lasting legacy in honor of the Class of 2012. You don’t have to be a graduating senior to contribute to the Class of 2012 Gift of scholarship support.

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Update Your Contact Info

We are working to build a strong alumni network, but we need your help. Let us know where you are by updating your contact information.

You’re on it; we’re on it. Let’s connect on it. You’ll learn the latest information about UC Merced and your fellow alumni.

Alumni Highlight

Ph.D. Alum Applies a Scholar's Mind to Patriotic Service

Trevor AlbertsonWhen Trevor Albertson (’09) started as the California deputy secretary for veterans services last summer, his longtime focus on higher education came in handy right away.

Considering his department’s goal to help veterans achieve stability, he quickly saw that higher education was the key to the jobs that would underpin that life.

“We set about creating a one-step process to take veterans from the military to community college,” Albertson said. “We signed a memorandum of understanding with the community colleges in October and are now building the program we set out to build. It harks back to the years I spent as a graduate student and the convictions I gained about higher education and what’s available there.”

That’s just one example of how Albertson’s Ph.D. in World Cultures from UC Merced has benefited his career so far.
[Read more]


Impact: Solar Concentrators to Improve Efficiency of Solar Panels
Impact video
View on YouTube


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

University Friends Circle Campus Year-End Update – June 5

The University Friends Circle (UFC) will meet at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 in the Chancellor’s Conference Room (KL 232) on campus. Members are encouraged to attend and participate in board of directors nominations and voting.

The cost is $20 for members and $25 for guests. Parking permits in the Lake Lot are $2. For information on joining the UFC or to RSVP, call 209-384-8811 or email ufc@ucmerced.edu.

The UFC's mission is to inspire and maintain strong relationships between the UC Merced community and the communities of the San Joaquin Valley through activities that promote social and intellectual interaction, programs of service and fundraising initiatives that support UC Merced scholarships.


For information on joining the Chancellor’s Associates, UC Merced’s annual giving society, contact Lisa McMullen at 209-228-4202.


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.


Editor's note: This will be our last issue of Update for the summer.
We're taking a break, but will return in August with more campus news.


Campus Celebrates Largest Graduating Class

Click to view commencement photo collage

UC Merced held its seventh commencement exercise with its largest class to date. [Click to view photo collage]


More than 700 UC Merced degree candidates marched through the Beginnings Sculpture and onto the campus' South Bowl to receive their prized degrees, marking the culmination of the newest UC’s seventh academic year.

UC Merced celebrated its largest graduating class — 81 percent larger than last year’s graduating class of 428 — with some 7,000 family members and friends present. The total number of UC Merced students with degrees is just above 2,000.

Chancellor Dorothy Leland, presiding over her first UC Merced commencement since taking over on July 1, 2011, praised this year's class for their impressive accomplishments.
[Read more] [View commencement video]

Head of Development and Alumni Relations to Grow Campus Support

Kyle D. HoffmanKyle D. Hoffman on May 21 will take over as UC Merced's new vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations.

As vice chancellor, Hoffman will oversee all of UC Merced's fundraising efforts while also managing the development of the campus' young and growing alumni base. He will also serve as vice president of the UC Merced Foundation.

Hoffman, a UC Santa Barbara graduate, has spent the past 14 years as assistant vice chancellor for Alumni and Constituent Relations at UC Riverside, and he spent 14 years prior to that in various positions at UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.

The following is a brief question-and-answer with Hoffman.

Campus Earns Continued Praise, Recognition for Sustainability

Logistical Support/Safety Facility

The Logistical Support/Safety Facility is the latest UC Merced building to achieve LEED Gold certification.


UC Merced recently earned what might be the most prestigious of a growing list of awards for its Long Range Development Plan, while the campus had its seventh building certified “Gold” by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

UC Merced's commitment to sustainability can be seen throughout the campus, which now has eight buildings LEED certified silver or better, and in its ambitious goal to achieve zero net energy use, contribute zero waste to landfills and produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 — known as the Triple Zero Commitment.
[Read more]

Violence Prevention Program Wins Congressional Award

Dennis Cardoza, Kari Mansager, Patricia Bauer and Jim Costa

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Kari Mansager, Patricia Bauer and Rep. Jim Costa during the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.


UC Merced was awarded the Allied Professional Award from the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus at the group's annual ceremony in Washington, D.C., in April.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, nominated the UC Merced Violence Prevention Program for the award, one of five given by the congressional caucus.

This is the first time a university has won the award.
[Read more]

Growing Partnerships

Dorothy Leland, Mark Aldenderfer and Scott H. DeLisi

Chancellor Dorothy Leland, Dean Mark Aldenderfer and U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi


Chancellor Dorothy Leland went to Nepal in April with Dean Mark Aldenderfer of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. While there, they met with U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi at 14th century Ghar Gompa in Lo Gekar, site of one of the American Himalayan Foundation's projects in Nepal.

Leland and Aldenderfer visited fragile cultural and archeological sites and met with Nepalese partners about preserving the cultural and archeological record. As an ambassadorial delegation, Leland and Aldenderfer discussed potential cultural, archeological and environmental sustainability projects with funding partners and ways for the campus to partner in these areas.


Yosemite Field Station Director to Foster Collaborations

Becca FenwickAs the new director of UC Merced’s Yosemite Field Station, Becca Fenwick will combine her love of the outdoors and of the educational opportunities such settings can offer.

“I have always been drawn to world around us and love to foster that in others,” Fenwick said. “Field stations and Yosemite in particular provide a venue in which to do this on many levels, from public outreach to cutting-edge scientific research.”
[Read more]


Princeton-Bound Graduate Studies Science, Public Policy

Jesse AnayaUC Merced senior Jesse Anaya answered his phone one day to hear an unfamiliar voice ask, “Are you ready to change the world?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Now, who is this?”

A representative from the Harvard Latino Leadership Program told the Modesto native that he’d been accepted. It was his most unusual notification of such an honor, but not an isolated incident. Anaya, who is majoring in earth systems science at UC Merced, has earned entry into several prestigious programs where he can pursue his dual interests in science — particularly microbial ecology — and public policy.
[Read more]

Engineering Grad Student Focuses on HVAC Efficiency

Siyu WuIt’s no surprise UC Merced graduate student Siyu Wu’s research — rooted in mechanical engineering — has veered toward the environmental. Wu, who grew up in China, was raised by parents who felt strongly that the environment should be protected and all efforts should be made to reduce one’s footprint.

“My mother always says a family of three people should drive no more than one car, in order to minimize pollution and petroleum consumption,” Wu said. “I believe increasing energy efficiency plays a critical role in reducing the global energy crisis.”

Wu, studying mechanical engineering under UC Merced Professor Jian-Qiao Sun, is currently focusing his research on the optimization of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), which account for 57 percent of the energy used in U.S. commercial and residential buildings.
[Read more]

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