UC Merced Update - Launching the future!


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

June 8, 2005



John Garamendi, Jr.

Garamendi, Jr.


Dear Friends,

To help shape the future of the first new University of California campus in 40 years is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am honored to serve as UC Merced's Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and to join you in working to build the United States' first new research university of the 21st century.

Although a newcomer to the UC Merced team, I have already gained a deep appreciation for the critical support you provide the university on many fronts. Your contributions of time, financial resources and counsel are bringing this campus to fruition.

UC Merced has already started to fulfill its promise of expanding educational access, increasing economic opportunities and pursuing the research that benefits us all. Because of your leadership, the dream of a UC campus in the San Joaquin Valley is being realized. In less than three months, we will celebrate the grand opening of UC Merced thanks largely to you.

As a native of this region, I understand what this campus means to the future of the Valley and the state. That is why I am committed to increasing awareness and securing the broad base of support UC Merced will require to meet its continuing institutional needs.

United by your shared belief in this mission of discovery, you have come together to lay a strong foundation for this new campus. It is my privilege to be your partner in building on that foundation for the future of UC Merced.

I look forward to meeting many of you at the upcoming Foundation Board of Trustees meeting on June 22 and hope to meet each of you in the weeks to come. My "door" is open, and I welcome your visits, calls and e-mails.

John Garamendi, Jr.


Exactly two weeks from today on June 22, our next Foundation Board of Trustees meeting will take place at Google headquarters in Mountain View. We look forward to seeing all of you there for this very important meeting, which will include our Annual Meeting and the election of a new slate of officers. For making the arrangements with Google, we wish to express our appreciation to Trustee Art and Fafa Kamangar and their son, Salar Kamangar, one of Google's first employees.

Following the meeting, we have planned a special VIP reception at the Computer History Museum. We hope to have many leaders from the Silicon Valley join us for this evening affair and request your assistance in sharing names of VIPs who should be invited. Please fax names and contact information to Liz Essay at (209) 724-4499 at your earliest convenience to allow time for invitations to be issued. A form was included in the mailing you received recently, or you can click here to download or print the new VIP Invitee Roster in pdf format (use your back button to return to this newsletter).

If you have not already done so, we also encourage you notify us of your plans to attend the board meeting by June 15. You are welcome to submit your R.S.V.P. by e-mail to specialevents@ucmerced.edu or by calling Robin McIntyre at (209) 724-4416.

Please note that you will receive a final mailing before the June 22 meeting, and it will include a parking pass. You must bring the parking pass with you to gain access to the parking facilities at Google.

Among the topics to be discussed at the meeting are the activities planned to celebrate the campus opening, including the formal convocation scheduled for the morning of Sept. 5. All current and former Board of Trustees members will be invited to don caps and gowns for this academic ceremony. Additional information will be forthcoming.



An update on campus development will be the highlight of the Foundation Diplomats business meeting on June 22. We are excited to hold this meeting at Google headquarters, where we also will be treated to a tour of this phenomenal company with its mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Heading to nearby San Jose, Diplomats also will have an opportunity to explore the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum before the evening VIP reception begins at the Computer History Museum.

A letter with more information about the day's agenda will make its way out of our offices soon. In the meantime, please contact Patricia O'Connor in University Advancement at (209) 724-4401 or by e-mail at poconnor@ucmerced.edu if you have any questions.


Nearly 150 Chancellor's Associates members and guests came out for the annual campus tour and reception on the shores of Lake Yosemite. The up-close look at the first phase of construction offered a chance to see the remarkable progress that has been made and visual confirmation of the development toward opening this fall. We're pleased that so many of you could join us, and especially pleased to hear such positive comments from you about your on-campus experience.

Please join us in welcoming new members Richard Piper, Sharon Mogliotti, and John and Colleen Garamendi. We also would like to acknowledge renewing Chancellor's Associates members The Branding Iron Restaurant; Alan and Georgina Hoffman; Barry and Jeanne McAuley; Don and Betty Stewart; Don Stewart, Jr.; Jan and Pericles Cezar; Jim and Andrea Sofranek; Richard and Alice Escola; Ahmed Foroutan and Simi Asadi; Bob and Barbara Foy; Urla Garland; and Nancy Lint.

For additional information about the Chancellor’s Associates, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402 or by e-mail at mcampbell@ucmerced.edu.


Nearly final results are in from the Ma Kelley Memorial Shoot-Out, and with your support the event netted approximately $28,000. How gratifying to have 125 golfers out there swinging at Stevinson Ranch and to have such a wonderful array of live auction items available.

We thank you for helping make this event such a success and offer another big round of thanks to the Kelley family — George, Kevin, Bob and Bryan — for hosting the annual Georgette "Ma" Kelley Memorial Golf Tournament at their award-winning golf course. "Ma" Kelley would be very proud of this fund-raising event presented each year by the Kelleys to benefit a different organization and the tremendous results of this year's tournament in raising essential funds for the purchase of recreational equipment at UC Merced.



Major Software Gift Supports Optics Research at UC Merced

Roland Winston and Jon Herlocker

Professor Roland Winston receives training on the new software from BRO engineer Jon Herlocker.


Professor Roland Winston and other UC Merced personnel will use a major in-kind gift from Tucson-based Breault Research Organization (BRO) worth more than half a million dollars, to support their research and teaching in non-imaging optics, a discipline that underlies some of the most useful new designs in solar energy, among other applications.

"BRO is one of the industry leaders that is enabling companies to envision, design and test complex optical systems," Winston said. "The company’s gift will enable us both to continue pressing forward in non-imaging optics research and to prepare our students to work on industrial applications of non-imaging optics."

BRO’s Advanced Systems Analysis Program software is a modeling program for physical optics, imaging and illumination systems. It helps engineers to design and test solar collectors, medical optics devices, optical environmental sensors and more.

"We’re pleased to open the opportunity for UC Merced students to become familiar with the tools they will likely use throughout their engineering careers," commented BRO CEO Kathleen Perkins.

BRO also provided on-site training for users of the software at UC Merced. The training aspect of the gift will allow students and faculty members here to get up and running with the software this year.

Career Services Center Making Employer-Student Connection

Mary Willis, Brenda Ortiz and Elizabeth Boretz

Career Services Center Director Mary Willis and her Student Affairs colleagues Brenda Ortiz and Elizabeth Boretz, from left, hosted an information booth for students at the recent Bobcat Day.

As director of UC Merced's Career Services Center, Mary Willis says her primary objective is to provide the tools students need to reach their career objectives. Linking students with part-time jobs and internships offered by regional employers on and off campus is one service that will benefit students and employers alike.

"One of our goals is to help students make informed decisions for the future, and relevant part-time employment, internships and volunteer opportunities can play an important role," Willis said.

An easy-to-use, Web-based job search system hosted by College Central Network will help build the connection between students seeking work experience and employers seeking assistance. Employers approved by the Career Services Center can post information about available positions for free and eventually will be able to download the résumés of UC Merced students and alumni as well. Regional employers can already get started by registering online at www.collegecentral.com/ucmerced and clicking on the "Employers" link. Willis is checking the site daily and will follow up with interested employers.

For additional information about the Career Services Center, please go to http://careerservices.ucmerced.edu, call (209) 381-7879 or send e-mail to careerservices@ucmerced.edu.

UC Merced Researchers Visit Post-Tsunami Thailand with GLOBE Program


Professor Martha Conklin trained these Thai professors in taking hydrologic measurements that can be used in the GLOBE K-12 outreach program.


Professor Martha Conklin and postdoctoral researcher Sarah May visited Thailand after last year’s tsunami to train volunteers in the GLOBE program, which provides opportunities for students to participate in scientific research.

Conklin trained 80 Thai professors to take hydrologic measurements. The volunteers then returned to their own areas to pass the knowledge on to local teachers. Conklin had also been scheduled to do GLOBE work in India; however, because of the tsunami, that leg of her trip was cancelled. The disaster also necessitated other adaptations.

Sarah May, a UC Merced postdoctoral researcher trained in biology who focuses on GLOBE work, went to Thailand to teach volunteers how to census marine invertebrates. The beach where they had planned to work was devastated by the disaster. Fortunately, the group found a suitable place to work on the Gulf coast of Thailand, which didn’t experience the same destruction.

But even on the affected coast, May observed that the ecosystem seemed to be moving toward recovery. With the schools that were affected by the tsunami helping collect data using GLOBE protocols, May and her Thai colleagues hope to document the recovery of coastal marine invertebrates after the tsunami.



Final World Cultures Institute Forum Set for June 17

The Cultural Research in the 21st Century: Designing the UC Merced World Cultures Institute forum series will wrap up on June 17 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Great Valley Center in Modesto. The theme of this third forum is "Museums, Parks and Libraries: Supporting Regional Arts and Culture." Community leaders, representatives of social and cultural organizations, and other interested individuals are encouraged to join faculty members in a moderated discussion intended to encourage lively discourse on cultural issues in the region. To R.S.V.P. for the forum please contact Sandra Mora at (209) 724-4435 or by e-mail at smora@ucmerced.edu.

Professor Shadish Offers Lessons on Social Experimentation

William Shadish

William Shadish


Professor William Shadish of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts will offer the next installment in the Frontiers of Science and Engineering lecture series on Sat., June 18, at 10 a.m. in the Castle Science and Technology Center, located at 3460 Challenger Way in Atwater. Shadish says that his lecture, "The Past, Present and Future of Social Experimentation," will address some famous social experiments, the ethics of social experiments, unexpected experimental results, the role of experiments in decision making, problems of generalization and the resolution of conflicting experimental results. Presented free of charge, the lecture will conclude with eight lessons about social experiments. For more information, please call (209) 726-0296.

Campus Opening Celebrations Taking Shape

To celebrate the ultimate milestone of progress and the fulfillment of a 17-year planning process, several events are being planned on the new campus site to herald the official opening of UC Merced and thank campus supporters before the start of classes on Sept. 6.

First, all of you will be invited to a very special Community Thank-You Celebration on Aug. 31, including dinner and a spectacular campus lighting ceremony. The goal of this invitation-only event is to express UC Merced's appreciation for your contributions and support. Please hold the date to enjoy the sight of the campus lit up against the night sky and experience a memorable evening on campus.

On Sept. 5, you also are invited to join incoming students and their parents, members of UC Merced's faculty and staff, and dignitaries for the official campus opening celebration. Beginning with the academic convocation in the morning, the day's program also will include a barbecue lunch with speakers and campus tours for the public in the afternoon.

Please mark your calendars to attend the Aug. 31 and Sept. 5 events, and stay tuned for additional details.



May 28, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
Commentary by Bruce Miller, University Librarian
Editor's note: The following column is one in a series of commentaries written by UC Merced employees that are appearing each Saturday in the Opinion pages of the Merced Sun-Star.

Library set to be campus' academic hub

The Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library is a building, a collection of information resources and the work home for librarians who provide research support for students and faculty. Most importantly, it is a place for students to study and collaborate.

This signature building stands at the academic entrance to the campus. It has been designed to be a hub of activity that meets many needs.

May 28, 2005
Modesto Bee
Staff Editorial

Our Views: UC Merced's valley students make us proud

Of the 867 students who have committed to starting classes Sept. 6, some 250 aren't leaving "home" to attend a UC. They're "staying" home, and that's an incredible source of pride for all of us throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Here's what the first graduating class of the University of California at Merced is likely to look like in 2009:

Nearly half will be the first member of their family to have graduated from college. Half of those students will come from families earning less than $30,000 a year.

May 15, 2005
The Washington Post
By Amy Argetsinger

California to Open University Despite Budget Woes

The First Public Research Institution To Be Built in Decades Rises in Merced
MERCED, Calif. -- The high school seniors visiting the University of California campus here this spring got a typical sales pitch -- about the small classes taught by top professors, the spacious living quarters, the exquisitely fresh food served by a dining hall that pipes in the hottest new music.

But they did not get a chance to be briefed by worldly sophomores, or sit in on one of those great classes, or even loll on a grassy quad to ponder a future here -- because none of those things exists quite yet. Opening in September to make room for a surging student population, the University of California at Merced is the first new public research university to be built from the ground up anywhere in the nation in at least a generation.

May 12, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Rosalio Ahumada

UC Merced using NASA's loaner pods

Using NASA technology, university researchers want to accurately measure the amount of snow in the Sierra Nevada to help Central Valley communities make better decisions about water use. To collect the snow data, University of California, Merced, scientists are using networks of wireless sensor pods the size of grapefruits, but as technologically sophisticated as an iPod.


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