Dear Campus Community,
Fifty years ago this fall, I stepped onto the campus of a research university as a first-year student. I didn’t know what to expect and carried with me a complex set of emotions. Like many of the students at UC Riverside, I was a first-generation student. I was proud to be continuing my education, excited (and a little intimidated) by my interesting peers, and nervous about whether I would succeed.
The experience, of course, altered my life course and now, all these years later, I am still proud to step onto the campus of a research university, excited by our amazing community, and ready for a successful academic year. But this year, my enthusiasm has grown.
The pandemic temporarily interrupted some of our activities and changed ways of working but it didn’t stop progress. An extensive slate of Welcome Week events like a student organization involvement fair and live music at The Barn are helping students transition into the quarter. I’ve attended several meetings at the White House recently and see how our national visibility continues to increase. And new activities like some of those mentioned below show how we are expanding the reach of our mission.
UCR to lead Regional K-16 collaborative program
UCR and the Inland Empire have been awarded an $18M grant for a collaboration between our institution and the California State University system, community colleges, K-12 districts, regional education collaboratives, and workforce partners. The program as detailed in this UCR news story is intended to address inequities by improving education-to-career pathways starting in elementary school and continuing at all levels through college graduation. UCR is leading the initiative with the help of many dedicated individuals throughout the Inland Empire with the intention of effecting change in our region.
“Taking the Pentagon to the People”
On October 7, UC Riverside will host the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Diversity Management Operations Center for “Taking the Pentagon to the People,” a day of activities designed to facilitate conversations between the federal agency and UCR faculty, staff, and students. For faculty, the program provides an opportunity to learn about opportunities for research and fellowships. The event will also give students a chance to explore career and development opportunities.
Disciplines in which the Department of Defense invests resource include water management, sustainability, linguistics, and mental health, just to provide a few examples. You’ll find more information about the agenda and a link to register on the event website.
Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture
In February 2022, Nobel Prize-winner Jennifer Doudna delivered an exceptional virtual lecture about her work with CRISPR. As we plan future events, we invite you to consider nominating a preeminent scholar or professional for this lecture series by completing the online nomination form.
Nominations for the UC Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Committee
I recently announced a call for nominations for the committee that oversees implementation of the UC NAGPRA policy. We are seeking two representatives from UC Riverside who meet the required educational and professional qualifications. Please see the announcement for more information about the position and application details.
Participation in staff organizations
Throughout the year, groups like Staff Assembly organize professional development, engagement, and recognition programs for our tremendous staff. They also advocate on behalf of UCR. Each September, I send a reminder that participation in staff organizations is service to the university and importantly, helps enhance staff belonging and community. Staff should be encouraged to participate in staff organizations and events as part of their jobs. Thank you to all supervisors and staff for helping to make UCR an employer of choice.
I look forward to the year ahead. Thanks for everything you are doing to welcome students, expand our research enterprise, and deliver increasingly greater impact.