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August 17, 2012


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Scholars Lane Bridge Crossing — Aug. 21

Join in welcoming the newest group of UC Merced Bobcats to campus at the annual Scholars Lane Bridge Crossing. Wear your "Let The Journey Begin" T-shirt and enjoy a breakfast treat before the start of the bridge crossing. Hear brief remarks from Chancellor Leland in the South Bowl before racing up the hill to be the first in line to welcome our new Bobcats.

Register online.

For more information, contact Heather Buckner at 209-228-2586.

Alumni Events

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

Stay Connected

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.


UCTV Prime:
"Our Digital Life: The Past"
Impact video
View on YouTube


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


MTS Lecture Series

Psychological Sciences Talk Series

Campus Brings Urban Dance Troupe to Merced Theatre
— Sept. 29

UC Merced presents the acclaimed Lula Washington Dance Theater in Merced on Sept. 29. Renowned for its mix of jazz, ballet and urban street styles, the troupe will perform at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre.

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the theater, 301 W. Main St., in downtown Merced. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students.

The dance performance is sponsored by Arts UC Merced Presents, which aims to entertain, educate and enrich residents of the greater Merced area.

Save the Date: 16th Annual Ma Kelley Dinner and Memorial Shoot-Out

Oct. 18 - Building Future Champions Dinner

Oct. 19 - Ma Kelley Memorial Shoot-Out

Registration begins in July. More information is online.

Save the Date – Founders Day Celebration

On Oct. 25, 2002, the campus’s groundbreaking took place, marking that day as UC Merced’s founding. The campus will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of that historic event Oct. 25 through 27. Stay tuned for more updates in late summer on Founders Day celebration planning. Meanwhile, enjoy some photographs of the 2002 event.


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.


Total amount of awards in July:

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



Member of National Science Foundation Leadership Team Appointed Provost

Thomas W. Peterson

Thomas W. Peterson (Photo courtesy of Sandy Schaeffer Photography)


UC Merced has announced the appointment of Thomas W. Peterson, assistant director for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF), to the position of provost and executive vice chancellor.

Peterson will transition to UC Merced this fall and assume his position as provost on Dec. 3. He will succeed Keith Alley, who retired June 30. The position is currently held on an interim basis by Sam Traina, UC Merced vice chancellor for research.

"Dr. Peterson is an effective and seasoned leader in academic administration with an outstanding record of scholarly achievement," Chancellor Dorothy Leland said. "His extensive background in academics and research and his knowledge of the critical support role played by grant-making organizations such as NSF will be invaluable to our growing campus."
Read more]

Campus Seeks Development Solutions

Campus with Sierra Mountains

UC Merced has engaged the Urban Land Institute to help study alternative scenarios for meeting future capital-development needs.


A group of senior administrators has been preparing over the summer for a September visit from a team of experts from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit land-use and planning organization. The university has engaged with ULI to help study alternative scenarios for meeting future capital-development needs at UC Merced.

Because of the shortage of state funds for capital projects, on-campus space continues to fall short of the university’s needs for facilities that adequately support research, instructional, administrative and support functions. Although several new capital projects are under way, the campus’s development beyond the initial “golf course footprint” is severely challenged by enormous costs related to the expansion of infrastructure in a fiscal environment that remains severely constrained.

Medical Program Admits Second Group of Students

Chancellor Leland with new medical students

Chancellor Dorothy Leland met with the six new students in the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education.


Classes have begun for the second group of students admitted into the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education.

The students, all of whom have ties to the San Joaquin Valley, toured Merced and Fresno medical facilities to gain a deeper understanding of the region's health care needs.

More Homes in Danger from Fire in Coming Decades

fields on fire

Wildfires and the threat they pose to homes built near forests and vegetated areas is increasing as the climate warms, according to research by a UC Merced professor.


UC Merced researcher's newest paper for the California Energy Commission indicates higher risk as climate changes, growth increases and rural areas are developed.

The risk of losing your home to a wildfire could double within the next 40 years, according to modeling done by UC Merced Professor Anthony Westerling.

In a paper prepared for the California Energy Commission, Westerling and coauthor Ben Bryant examine the effects of climate change, the state’s projected population growth, urban and rural development and land-use decisions on wildfires around the state in the coming century.

This is just one example of the research at UC Merced that will help sort out the puzzle that is climate change.
Read more]

Plasma Lab Turning Leftovers into Cleaner Energy

Turning waste into steam power

Graduate student Neeraj Sharma, left, and engineering Professor Gerardo Diaz work together to turn waste into steam to power equipment for their biomass research.


There’s a reason the UC Merced plasma lab is isolated behind a locking fence near the entrance to campus.

There’s some serious heat being produced down there.

Engineering professors Gerardo Diaz, Wolfgang Rogge and Yihsu Chen and a group of students are spending their summer in the lab, generating plasma blasts of more than 3000 degrees Celsius as they work on turning biomass – organic leftovers such as coffee grounds, almond hulls and the leavings from wineries – into clean-burning energy.

The three-year project just received a $258,000 grant from the California Energy Commission and $50,000 in equipment from Foret Plasma Laboratories to examine how clean the gas produced through the process is, and whether it is cleaner than the current biomass-incineration process in use at plants around the state.
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Gift to Support Outreach Program Provides Parents a Sense of Relief

A recent $30,000 gift from financial corporation Citi is going a long way to ensure that more parents will feel relieved about navigating through issues related to applying and attending college.

Francisco Abendano Jr., a sophomore at Madera High School, is like many 15-year-olds. He is active in sports, enjoys spending time with his friends and is already taking the necessary steps to get into college.

Neither of his parents graduated from high school, let alone attended college, so Abendano was happy to learn about UC Merced's Center for Educational Partnerships Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) which addresses topics like admission requirements, financial literacy and financial aid concepts, and the difference between educational systems here and in their native countries. PEP is one part of the university's ongoing commitment to increasing the college-going culture in the Central Valley region.
[Read more]

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