Inside UCR
News for Faculty and Staff of the University of California, Riverside | Volume 6, Number 15 | September 22, 2010

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Features & News

Recommendations Released for Retirement Benefits
UC President Mark Yudof has released a report developed by the UC Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits.
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UCR Outlines Decade of Growth
UC Riverside, one of the nation’s premier universities for diversity and success in graduating students of color, presented its strategic plan to the UC Regents last week, outlining how the Inland Empire campus will also become one of the nation’s preeminent research universities by 2020. UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White presented the planning document – titled “UCR 2020: The Path to Preeminence” during the regent’s September meetings.
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UC Regents Vote to Increase Pension Contributions
On Sept. 16 the University of California Board of Regents voted unanimously to increase the amount UC and its employees contribute to the pension plan, taking an important step toward putting it on solid financial footing. Beginning in July 2011, employee members of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) will begin contributing 3.5 percent of salary into the plan; UC will contribute 7 percent.
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Big and Bold
Classes will begin with new large signs around the Highlander Union Building and a large stylized UCR logo at the foot of the bell tower. During the commons expansion project, the students on the building committee had asked for a signature monument - a “Kodak moment” location, and now the sign at the bell tower will serve that purpose.
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Reza Abbaschian
Abbaschian Honored for Contributions to Materials Science
Reza Abbaschian, William R. Johnson, Jr. Family Professor and dean of the Bourns College of Engineering, will be honored for more than four decades of seminal contributions to the field at the Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) Conference and Exhibition Oct. 17 to 21 in Houston. Abbaschian will be recognized through a special event titled, “A Symposium in Honor of Professor Reza Abbaschian: Processing, Crystal Growth and Phase Equilibrium of Advanced Materials.”
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Book Arts Seller to be at Rivera Library
Vamp & Tramp, a bookseller of artists’ books, will be at the Rivera Library, fourth floor conference room, on Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with examples of what’s new in the world of book arts. They will take orders.
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Top: Tony Norman shows off his “Vitamin D” vanity license plates. Bottom: Nick Toscano is a UCBUGDR.
UCR Vanity Plates: Show Your Pride on Your Car
When asked if he would ever give up his personalized license plate, which reads “VITAMN D,” Anthony Norman, a vitamin D researcher, said, “Not as long as God is willing and my health is cooperative.” In other words, no. An enthusiastic supporter of vanity plates, Norman, a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemisty and biomedical sciences, uses his car to show off his pride about the work he does here at UCR. He is not alone.
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BCOE Grants total $1.3 Million
Four faculty members in the Bourns College of Engineering Department of Computer Science and Engineering have been awarded National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $1.3 million for research in software development and computing and network performance improvement.
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Jacqueline Avila, who works under the direction of Leonora Saavedra, received a musicology fellowship for minority scholars.
UCR Student Gets Prestigious Doctoral Fellowship
Doctoral student Jacqueline Avila has been awarded the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship by the American Musicological Society for 2010-11. The fellowship, which this year totals $19,000, is intended to increase the presence of minority scholars and teachers in musicology and supports one year of graduate work for a student at a North American university who is a member of a group historically underrepresented in the discipline.
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Lan Fang is a visiting Fulbright Scholar, working with the Water Science and Policy Center.
Visiting Scholar Takes Knowledge of State’s Water Resources to China
When Lan Fang, the deputy director of the Center for Rural Development Research at Shaanxi Normal University, received a Fulbright fellowship in 2009, she chose to work with Ariel Dinar, the director of UCR’s Water Science and Policy Center. “I had read a book by Dr. Dinar when I was in Germany, working on my doctoral degree,” said Fang, who teaches and researches environmental economics at Shaanxi Normal University in the city of Xi’an. ”He is a well-known economist who specializes in water resources — a topic of interest to me and to China.”
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UCR a Platinum Sponsor of Diversity Conference
UCR is a platinum sponsor this year of the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center, Sept. 30–Oct. 3.
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Diversity Certificate Program Sign ups Sought
UCR is about to kick off its third year of Making Excellence Inclusive (MEI): A UCR Diversity Certificate Program. Applications are being accepted for the six-month program, which teaches participants about the complexities of UCR’s diversity challenges, and helps them to propose solutions that can be implemented within one year.
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Discussion Set About Academic Honor Code
UCR faculty members will discuss the pros and cons of implementing an academic honor code for UCR students at a forum from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, in Bourns Hall A205.
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Catastrophic Leave-sharing Helps Colleagues
Each year, several faculty and staff members, or a member of their immediate family, experience an injury or catastrophic illness that keeps them from working here at UCR. The result is an added financial burden that makes an already desperate situation even worse. Enter the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program, which allows UCR employees to donate their vacation time. Those hours are used to provide temporary salary and benefit continuation for staff or fiscal-year academic employees in need, after they have exhausted their own vacation and sick time.
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CNAS Grants Increase
The College of Natural and Agricultural Science led the campus with a 36 percent increase in grant and contract funds for the fiscal year just ended. From 726 proposals submitted, the grants and contracts total was $64.1 million (vs. $47.2 million for fiscal year 2009).
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Academic Advisors to Speak at Conference in Florida
Four academic advisors will make presentations at the National Academic Advising Association’s 34th annual conference Oct. 3-6 at Walt Disney World, Florida that are commission-sponsored. Very few of the more than 400 conference presentations received commission-sponsored status as being particularly representative of the interests of a specific NACADA commission.
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History Department Partners with Local Schools
UCR American history scholars will participate in a three-year program aimed at improving the knowledge of 50 elementary, middle and high school teachers in Riverside County – an effort that ultimately will reach thousands of students in three school districts. Funded by a $999,966 Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program will involve fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grade teachers from the Lake Elsinore Unified, Perris Union and Romoland school districts.
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Bottom: Karen and Tim White address the crowd.
Welcome Back
Staff and faculty kicked off the new academic year with a picnic lunch, held Sept. 17 on the lawn near the Student Services building. More than 600 people showed up to eat lunch and ice cream , and mingle with their fellow colleagues.
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New Faculty Hires Join the UCR Team
UCR added a handful of faculty members this year with areas of expertise ranging from the history of photography to kinetic theory to nanomaterials.
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Los Lobos (top) will perform on Oct. 15, “Imperial Silence: A Dead Opera in Four Acts” (middle) will be performed on Oct. 29, and Gamelan Çudamani (bottom) will perform “Bamboo to Bronze” on Nov. 9. These performances will be held in the University Theatr
UC Riverside Presents: A New Lineup
This year’s new lineup brings the noise and the movement with 11 renowned groups of artists, performers, and musicians.
For more than three decades, UC Riverside Presents has brought notable acts and performers to Riverside. This year’s 2010-11 lineup is no exception. Beginning Oct. 15 and ending May 20, 2011, the lineup consists of musical acts and bands such as Los Lobos, the Calder Quartet, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, the Shanghai Quartet, and performances such as “Imperial Silence: A Dead Opera in Four Acts” and Gamelan Çudamani: “Bamboo to Bronze.”
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Gluck Program Gets Funding to Continue Outreach
The program, which brings the arts to those who might not otherwise have access, is in its 15th year.
The Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation has awarded UCR a $600,000 grant to continue the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, the university’s arts outreach program, through June 30, 2011.
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Two Engineering Faculty Recognized with CAREER Awards
Sharon Walker and David Cwiertny, members of the Bourns College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering have been awarded the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, a prestigious grant for promising junior faculty members.
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