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.

July 13, 2005



UC students

A $1 million gift from the Bank of America Corporation will establish a Management Scholars Program for students from low-income families at UC Merced. Photo © 2007 Roger J. Wyan


The Bank of America Foundation has chosen UC Merced as the recipient of a significant grant designated to establish a new Distinguished Management Scholars Program. The $1 million grant was awarded through a competitive process focusing on the needs of students who have been underserved by higher education in the past, especially students from lower-income families.

The Bank of America Distinguished Management Scholars Program will consist of three major components. A Summer Bridge Program will accept 25 students each year and help them acclimate to the university academic environment. Scholarships will bring education within students’ reach. Finally, the Outreach and Recruitment Fund will support an aggressive campaign among potential students in the San Joaquin Valley.

In its earliest implementation, the Bank of America grant will be administered through the Management major offered in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. As the planned Ernest and Julio Gallo School of Management develops, the program will be transferred to its jurisdiction.


Fresno's EECU presents oversized check

Officials from Fresno’s Educational Employees Credit Union presented UC Merced with an oversized check symbolizing their gift at a company picnic on June 24.


Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) of Fresno has donated $200,000 to fund the technology and research infrastructure envisioned for UC Merced’s planned Early Care and Education Center, a facility designed to advance research and development for professionals specializing in early childhood work. The credit union announced the gift at its annual picnic on June 24.

The contribution meets an urgent need, according to Dean Kenji Hakuta of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

"San Joaquin Valley families deserve to have access to quality care and highly skilled teachers for our children," Hakuta said. "EECU’s support will facilitate the analysis of effective practices in early care and education, as well as training for a future generation of child care professionals."


The UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees enjoyed the warm hospitality and energetic environment of Google headquarters in Mountain View for its June 22 meeting. The meeting was well attended and productive, largely thanks to Art and Fafa Kamangar’s son, Salar, who was the seventh employee hired by the phenomenally successful information company.

The board welcomed Yobie Benjamin, Mark Pazin, Hank Vander Veen and Mark Burrell as new members during the meeting, as well as discussing the upcoming campus opening. Board members enjoyed a question-and-answer session with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, a highlight of the day’s events.

The VIP Reception that evening at the Computer History Museum was equally exciting, including a presentation by Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. In attendance were 115 individuals, including trustees, spouses, and VIP business, political and civic leaders from the region. Thanks to all who attended and made the effort to invite special guests for the evening.



Please join us in welcoming new members Dean and Effie Beeman, Peter and Lenore Raffo, and Kenneth B. Zacharias. We also acknowledge renewing Chancellor's Associates members Sherrie Spendlove-Gallo, Shivarama and Meenakshi Bhat, Edith M. Nahas, Lazar and Francia Piro, Mrs. J.F. (Carmel) Collins, James and Lucile Edmonson, Marge McAuley, Carole Whitehill, David and Holly Zacharias, Doris Gonella, Dave and Christine Long, and Ed and LaDonna Walters.

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.


Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center

The Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center and the outdoor Recreational Field are finding remarkable support among community members.


Several gifts to the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium Expansion Campaign are in place to make a difference to student recreation and health when the center is completed. Floy Yagi recently contributed $15,000 to the campaign. Dozens of other donors have contributed to the Bleacher Seat Campaign portion of this drive. For additional information about the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium Expansion Campaign, please contact Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402 or by e-mail at mcampbell@ucmerced.edu.

Fundraising for the Recreational Field is underway with donations from individuals like Dr. Alan Hoffman. This field will make a great difference for students who wish to participate in intramural sports like soccer and lacrosse, as well as providing a pleasant space for outdoor events. The field still needs more support. Interested parties should contact Jan Mendenhall at (209) 724-4407 or by e-mail at jmendenhall@ucmerced.edu.



UC Merced Professor Wins Competitive Tobacco-related Disease Research Grant

Henry Forman

Professor Henry Forman has won a significant new grant to study aspects of tobacco-related cell damage.


California’s Proposition 99 specified in 1988 that five percent of cigarette tax revenue be appropriated for research on tobacco-related disease. UC Merced professor Henry Jay Forman is now bringing $420,000 of that money to Merced to study how human bronchial epithelial cells try to protect against the toxins found in cigarette smoke. The grant will be awarded over three years.

"The California Tobacco-related Disease Research Program funds have a reputation for being pretty tough to get, particularly on the first try," says Forman, whose experience researching related topics spans 25 years. "We overcame the odds to bring this research funding to Merced."

Forman will investigate byproducts from smoking-related oxidation of cell membranes that trigger changes in the proteins that bind to DNA of bronchial ephithelial cells and how those changes increase protective enzymes that shield cells from further damage.

So far it has been assumed that the genes in the DNA that regulate production of a group of protective enzymes in the lung all work in the same way. Forman hypothesizes that there are important differences among the group that will help him understand how the protective enzymes are made.

"Professor Forman’s success in the competitive process for Tobacco-related Disease Research funds is worthy of commendation," says Dean Maria Pallavicini of the UC Merced School of Natural Sciences. "He will be continuing his important work on a problem that affects the lives of many individuals in our community."

Staff Members, Resident Advisors Move Onto Campus

On-campus apartment suites

Resident advisors are now living in on-campus apartment suites similar to the one shown here.


The on-campus population is beginning to rise, as several staff members are beginning their migration to new offices in the Terrace Center and Central Plant facilities, with the initial wave of employees expected to move into the Kolligian Library in the coming weeks.

Among the new residents on campus are key players on the Student Affairs team, primarily Student Life and Housing staff members, who are already settling into offices at the Terrace Center, formerly referred to as Assembly Commons. In addition, the UC Merced Police Department has set up an on-campus office in the trailers, joining longtime residents from the Physical Planning and Administration departments. And finally, our colleagues in Facilities are moving into their permanent home in Central Plant.

Perhaps most exciting, the residence life coordinator and four of UC Merced's resident advisors have actually moved into housing suites at Valley Terraces, becoming the first, full-time residents on campus. The complement of resident advisors will arrive later in the summer.

Pending approval by the fire marshal, several staff members are also expected to occupy their first-floor office spaces in the Kolligian Library this month. In addition to library staff members, individuals in Student Affairs and Student Business Services are scheduled to be among the first inhabitants of the library.

The chancellor’s "965 Team" is currently scheduling further move-in dates. The "965" concept is based on UC Merced's first day of instruction – Sept. 6, 2005.

Names Chosen for Campus, Map on the Web

Aerial view of campus

Names have now been approved for UC Merced Campus street names. Photo © 2005 Hans Marsen


Names for campus streets at UC Merced are now approved, having been chosen mostly in honor of UC Merced’s connection to the Sierra Nevada. The main entrance to campus will bring visitors onto Scholars Lane. Emigrant Pass and Mammoth Lakes Road connect this main street to Evolution Valley Road on the south. (The existing Ranchers Road lies to the north.) Bobcat Lane separates housing from Valley Commons dining. Next, visitors will cross Muir Pass before crossing the bridge to the academic portion of campus. Roads in this section are christened Shaver Lake Road, Ansel Adams Road, Mineral King Road and Mt. Whitney Road. A PDF version of the current campus map is now available on the campus Web site at http://www.ucmerced.edu/about_ucmerced/UCM_Street_Names.pdf.

New Student Orientation Debuts in Bakersfield

Students at the first New Student Orientation for UC Merced

Students made new friends and gained important information about UC Merced at the first New Student Orientation session.


The UC Merced Center in Bakersfield was abuzz with activity and energy as the campus hosted its very first New Student Orientation this past Saturday for 230 participants, including more than 100 incoming freshman and transfer students. Hailing from Shasta in the north of California to Chula Vista in the south, students and their families were engaged in a full day of programming designed to orient and prepare them for their UC Merced experience.

Following a welcome address by Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jane Lawrence and the deans of UC Merced's three schools, students and families headed off to their respective programs. Students had an opportunity to receive one-on-one academic advising, register for classes, take placement exams, meet faculty members during "office hours," attend "College 101" sessions on everything from financial aid and campus security to library resources and recreational activities, and network with their future classmates. Meanwhile, a special program for family members provided them with information about the transition to college, campus resources, options for financing their students' education, housing and student life, academic expectations and more.

In between sessions, students and families took advantage of the time to socialize, compare notes, connect with professors and Student Affairs staff members, and purchase an expanding array of UC Merced gear.

In order to accommodate as many students as possible, additional New Student Orientation programs have been planned in Fresno, Atwater and Merced. For additional information, please go to http://orientation.ucmerced.edu.



UC Center, Fresno Community ArtReach Exhibit Spotlights Native American Artists

On June 2, the UC Center in Fresno opened its summer exhibit, featuring mixed-media work by artists of Native American heritage.

Community ArtReach is presented as part of the University of California's commitment to public service in the San Joaquin Valley. The program is a collaborative effort by UC Office of the President and UC Merced staff members, community volunteers and participating artists. The program's aim is to support and encourage the creativity of Valley artists and present fine works of art to the community.

The exhibit will run through Aug. 4 and is open to the public free of charge during the UC Center's business hours. The UC Center is located at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno (across from Fashion Fair Mall.) For more information, please call Jeanie Smith at (559) 241-7510.



July 12, 2005
Stockton Record
By Yasmin Assemi

UC Merced nears opening

University of California, Merced, which will welcome its first freshman class in September, has a higher minority and first-generation student enrollment than all but one other UC campus.

More American Indian, Black and Latino freshman and first-generation students are enrolled at UC Merced than at any other campus except Riverside.

July 12, 2005
Merced Sun-Star

Our View: Research at UCs worthy of praise

University in Merced may help bring lucrative private commercial ventures to the area
Unless someone has just awakened from a 20-year coma, most Mercedians already know that the University of California, Merced campus is due to open late this summer to its first group of students and will grow into a world-class institution in no time at all.

What some people may not be fully aware of, however, is the dual role of UC Merced.

July 9, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Adam Ashton

Researching outside the box

The University of California, Merced, is set to become America's newest venue for high-caliber academic research, but that doesn't mean its professors will spend their days locked in windowless rooms flipping through heavy tomes.

Rather, the university expects its faculty to get out and make an impact on the San Joaquin Valley.

July 9, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Jeff Wright

Campus Voices: UC's engineering focus good for Valley

Employment opportunities in engineering are plentiful; salaries of engineers are among the highest, and the satisfaction of a career that improves people's lives makes engineering a flexible and personally fulfilling career path.

Yet, fewer than 50 percent of college students who begin the study of engineering in this country complete engineering degrees.

The Modesto Bee
July 8, 2005
By Eric Stern

Area reps all say ‘yes’ to budget

SACRAMENTO — A budget deal that enticed Republicans to vote for a Democrat-crafted spending plan pays off some debt and does not call for tax increases or more borrowing.

July 5, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Tom Atkins
NOTE: This is the fifth in a series of Q&As with professors, administrators and staff members at the new University of California, Merced.

Introduction to UC Merced

Director of Facilities Tom Atkins counts campus transportation systems and parking among his many responsibilities at UC Merced.


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