UC Merced Update masthead

December 17, 2010


News Blog


Alumni Highlights
Trio Starts Solar Company in Merced

AlumniThree UC Merced alumni are working toward starting a business and making a difference in the San Joaquin Valley. Heather Poiry, Kevin Balkoski and Kevin Rico have started a new company called SunTherm Energy, with the goal of providing solar thermal technology and service to companies in the Valley and beyond.

UCTV Taps Alumni Talent Pool

Now in its second decade, UCTV is opening its airwaves to UC alumni interested in showcasing their broadcast-quality video content in its "Alumni Showcase".

Selected programs will reach more than 22 million households nationwide on satellite and cable, and millions more around the globe on UCTV's website and YouTube and iTunes-U channels.

If you're a UC alum and would like to submit a video for consideration, review the requirements and contact Special Projects Manager Victoria Powell at 858-822-4485.

Stay Connected – Update Your Contact Info

Have you moved or changed contact information? Update your information now.


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

Winter Holidays

The UC Merced campus will be

closed Dec. 24 – Jan. 2.

University Friends Circle –
Jan. 11

Members of the University Friends Circle (UFC) will meet 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Branding Iron Restaurant in Merced. The cost, including lunch, is $20. For information on joining the UFC or to RSVP, send an e-mail to smarquez2@ucmerced.edu or call 209-228-4190.

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 communities.


Holiday Reception Highlights
Click here to view photo collage of event

View photo collage

For information on joining the Chancellor’s Associates, contact Lisa McMullen at 559-241-6595.


Total amount of awards in November:

Total amount of awards from July 1, 2010 to Nov. 30, 2010:



Systemwide Effort to Raise $1 Billion to Assist Students

Azucena RoblesParamount Farms has pledged $1 million to a scholarship fund at the University of California, Merced, in an effort to help low-income students from the south San Joaquin Valley pursue their higher education dreams.

The pledge comes just as the University of California system ramps up its effort to provide more student scholarships.

"The Resnicks and the leadership of Paramount Farms are demonstrably committed to access to education in the Valley," said David Hosley, interim vice chancellor for University Relations. "This leadership gift is a great investment in our growing university and young people, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college. The Paramount Farms Scholarship Fund will give students from the region the opportunity for a life-transforming experience."

In a climate of declining state support and California's bleak economic outlook, support for student scholarships and fellowships has become one of UC's highest fundraising priorities.

In October 2009, President Mark Yudof announced the kickoff of Project You Can, a systemwide effort to raise $1 billion for student support over the next four years.

Inventions Booklet Showcases Research

Inventions at UC MercedUC Merced researchers devote years of hard work to finding solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. The campus’ Office of Research has released a publication that showcases many of those solutions, from technologies that increase the efficiency of solar energy collectors to medical developments that could limit the reproduction of the hepatitis C virus or the spread of HIV to materials that could improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

“Inventions” (view PDF here) is a 64-page, full-color document that includes detailed descriptions and stunning photographs illustrating 55 inventions processed from January 2007 to July 2010. The selection includes 16 inventions related to solar energy technology and 12 related to health research.

“A vital element of our public service obligation to the people of California is to ensure that our research discoveries make the responsible transition from idea to application as products or services that benefit the community and our society,” said Sam Traina, vice chancellor for research.

Campus Hosts Donation Drives

UC Merced's Civic Engagement Program has created a number of ways for the campus to help those less fortunate during the holiday season, yet another way the campus is providing a direct benefit for the community.

The program has held a clothing drive, asking for coats and other warm clothing for people of all ages; a toy drive for boys and girls; care packages for troops, organized by the UC Merced Police Mentor Program; and a canned food and turkey drive, organized by Staff Assembly.


Digital Archaeologist Reconstructs
Ancient Turkey in 3-D

Maurizio Forte
View the video

Using cutting-edge scanners and computers, UC Merced archaeology Professor Maurizio Forte is able to reconstruct the past in 3-D.

Forte, along with graduate and undergraduate researchers, spent summer 2010 in Çatalhöyük, an ancient settlement in Turkey. The team used laser scanners to capture each layer peeled back by archaeologists. They also excavated artifacts and scanned them into a digital format that can be turned into a 3-D computer image. Those renderings can be manipulated and interpreted by scholars around the world.

"Every second, every day, we lose a lot of sites in the world," Forte explained. "We are not able to preserve everything. What do we do? Well, we try to record and record."

Forte and his students went to Turkey as part of a three-year collaboration with Stanford University, the Çatalhöyük Project and University College of London. Çatalhöyük is a well-preserved, pre-urban Neolithic site that's about 10,000 years old. Forte's team is the first to use 3-D techniques there.
[Read more]


Students Network in New Science and Engineering Group

WiSEUC Merced’s Women in Science and Engineering, which formed this past summer, has been helping students meet new people and feel supported in college.

The group started with a simple goal: to create a place where students feel comfortable to talk about anything and be supported by fellow students.

“It’s nice to have that reinforcement – that you’ll struggle (in some classes) – but that you’ll make it through,” said undergraduate management major and group founder Patricia Dugan. “That’s a message everyone wants to hear.”

Although its name may suggest otherwise, the group is open to men and women and students of all disciplines. Its mission is to “generate and promote equal opportunities for women in diverse science and engineering disciplines.”
[Read more]

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