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September 19, 2011


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First Campus Phone-a-Thon

UC Merced students will participate in the campus’ first Phone-a-Thon Oct. 10 through 15. Students will be calling alumni and annual fund donors to update their contact information, inform them about upcoming events, share a little bit about what’s happening on campus and encourage their support of the annual fund. If you get a call from UC Merced during this time, please take a moment to chat with our students. They’re looking forward to speaking with you!

Homecoming 2012

UC Merced’s Homecoming event Oct. 22 will feature special events for students and alumni, including a women’s volleyball home game against Simpson University and an alumni event in downtown Merced. For more information about Homecoming 2012, visit alumni.ucmerced.edu/homecoming. Don’t miss out!

LinkedIn Job Postings

Are you looking for a job or do have open positions in your office? Visit the UC Merced Alumni Association on LinkedIn to see weekly job postings from the Career Services Center or to post the open positions you know about.

Keep in Touch

Share your updated contact information with UC Merced when you move and/or change jobs. Visit http://alumni.ucmerced.edu/contactinfo to update your information and stay in touch with the UC Merced Alumni Association. Also, follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook and network with us on LinkedIn.

Alumni Highlight

Dedication Leads to Satisfying Career Start for Engineering Alum

Orion AgnewOrion Agnew (‘10) chose UC Merced because it was near his home in Midpines and offered opportunities to participate in the creation of the campus. But he found the greatest value in what he calls “high-end classes.”

“We called them ‘hard’ classes, but they really are the ones you rely on as an engineer: organic chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer,” Agnew said. “They’re four-unit classes for a reason, and they give you a lot of substance for your units.”


Impact: Engineers Building Sustainable Solutions
Impact video
View on YouTube


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


Frontiers Lecture Series

MTS Lecture Series

Psychological Sciences Talk Series

Energy Speaker Series

Athletics Kick-Off Tailgate
– Sept. 24

UC Merced Athletics will host a Kick-Off Tailgate at 4 p.m. Sept. 24 before the women’s volleyball home game against CSU San Marcos starting at 5 p.m. The event is open to the public. Tickets: $30 for game and tailgate; $25 for tailgate only. For information: Marnee Chua, 209-228-4132.

University Friends Circle
– Oct. 4

The University Friends Circle (UFC) will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 4 on campus. Chancellor Dorothy Leland will give a campus update and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jane Lawrence will talk about the latest news in her area.

The cost, including lunch, is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. For information on joining the UFC or to RSVP, email ufc@ucmerced.edu or call 209-756-0590.

The UFC provides a forum for UC Merced staff and faculty, and their families, to engage in open discussion and interact with members of the surrounding community.

World-Renowned Whiffenpoofs – Oct. 8

The Whiffenpoofs, Yale University's world-famous a cappella singing group, will perform on Oct. 8 at UC Merced. [more]

15th Annual Ma Kelley Memorial Shoot-Out – Oct. 21

Enjoy a friendly game of golf on one of California’s top-ranked courses, Stevinson Ranch, while supporting UC Merced athletics. Proceeds from the tournament have netted more than $100,000 for the UC Merced athletics program since 2005 and have awarded three students with the Ma Kelley Female Athlete of the Year award.

Golf entry deadline is Oct. 14. For information, including registration and sponsorships, visit recreation.ucmerced.edu/Ma_Kelley_Golf, or contact Marnee Chua at 209-228-4132.


Save the Date: Chancellor’s Associates Holiday Reception – Dec. 1

Chancellor's Associates members are invited to attend the Chancellor's Associates Holiday Reception on Dec. 1 at UC Merced. For information, email specialevents@ucmerced.edu or call 209-228-RSVP.

For information on joining the Chancellor’s Associates, contact Lisa McMullen at 209-228-4202.


Total amount of awards in August:

Total amount of awards from July 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2011:




Campus’ Economic Contribution to Valley Continues to Grow

UC Merced campu
View the video on YouTube

UC Merced is making a difference in the San Joaquin Valley by increasing accessibility to higher education and with professors conducting research that benefits the region, but it continues to make a vast economic impact, as well. According to campus reports, UC Merced has contributed approximately $650 million to the Valley economy since beginning initial operations in July 2000.

Statewide, the value of UC Merced’s cumulative economic contribution has amounted to $1.225 billion. Both totals reflect university expenditures through June 30, the end of the campus’ 2010-11 fiscal year.

“UC Merced’s rapid growth is generating increasing economic value and business opportunity in the San Joaquin Valley and across the state at a time when many families and businesses are struggling to stay afloat,” UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland said. “These investments are creating jobs, increasing tax revenues, attracting capital and providing new avenues for much-needed economic growth.”

UC Merced has paid more than $417 million in local wages and compensation, awarded $109 million in construction contracts to local businesses and purchased $122 million in goods and services from local suppliers since July 2000. The total Valley investment of $648 million shows a growth of nearly $100 million since the end of the prior fiscal year.

Campus’ First Varsity Sporting Events Approaching

Women's volleyball team

UC Merced’s athletics program will celebrate the first varsity sporting events on campus this week, with the women’s volleyball team playing its home opener on Sept. 22 and an Athletics Kickoff Tailgate event prior to their game on Sept. 24.

The Golden Bobcats are in their first season of competition in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the campus is gearing up for the Sept. 22 volleyball match against Pacific Union College, one of UC Merced’s opponents in the California Pacific Conference.

The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center. General admission is $5. Admission is free for UC Merced undergraduates and $2 for UC Merced graduate students, high school students or students from other colleges.


Professor Discovers Mechanism Behind Bacteria’s Biological Clock

Nicole Kuo

Nicole Kuo was one of the co-first authors on the paper. She is a postdoctoral research associate at UC Merced.


A discovery by UC Merced biochemistry Professor Andy LiWang is providing a deeper understanding of the factors that control biological clocks.

LiWang and his research team found how three proteins interact to drive the circadian rhythm of cyanobacteria, which is believed to be the oldest organism on Earth.

All life — from bacteria to plants to humans — have evolved on Earth to anticipate sunrise and sunset and, consequently, display daily or circadian rhythms in behavior, physiology and metabolism. An internal clock generates these rhythms, which help regulate health and fitness for each species.

However, it was not known how these biological clocks work at the level of biochemical mechanism. In this respect, LiWang’s study represents a critical step forward in cracking the science behind them.

Professor to Help Study Anti-Tobacco Programs

Anna V. SongUC Merced psychology professor Anna V. Song is part of a research team that will examine the effectiveness of state and local antismoking programs across the United States. The goal is to make sure health authorities are able to use their increasingly limited resources to support and defend the most effective approaches.

Stanton A. Glantz, UCSF professor of medicine, and James Lightwood, UCSF assistant professor of clinical pharmacy, and Song were awarded a five-year, $2.6 million grant on Sept. 1 from the National Institutes of Health to study which anti-smoking programs are working best and how the tobacco industry works to prevent states from pursuing the most effective tobacco control policies and programs.

New Professor Seeks to Understand Chemical Reactions

Jason HeinProfessor Jason Hein was lured to UC Merced because of the opportunity to pursue his research, even if it crosses into other branches of chemistry, physics, biology and engineering.

“Being a jack of all trades is quite an asset at a new campus,” Hein said. “It’s an advantage, not a disadvantage.”

Hein spent five years at the Scripps Research Institute as a postdoctoral researcher and senior research associate before coming to UC Merced. He received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Manitoba in Canada.

He studies reaction kinetics, which means he’s more concerned with understanding what happens during a chemical reaction than just the end result.


Students Spend Summer Researching Alongside Professors

Sarah Sanders

Sarah Sanders was one of more than 30 undergraduate students who presented at the fifth annual Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium in August.


As a child, Sarah Sanders was fascinated by how some of her bilingual classmates needed to translate conversations for their parents. Called language brokering, the practice often resulted in her classmates being pulled into an adult world at an early age.

After enrolling at UC Merced and being accepted into the McNair Scholars Program, Sanders made understanding the implications of this practice her research focus. Specifically, she’s curious about how language brokering is different in rural settings.

“If not harmful, language brokering can definitely change a family dynamic,” she explained.

Sanders, who’s from Merced, was one of more than 30 undergraduate students who presented at the fifth annual Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium in August.



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