UCI has received a five-year, $45 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for infectious disease research. The renewal grant, the campus's largest ever, went to the Pacific-Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research and its director, Dr. Alan Barbour, a UCI infectious disease expert. Created in May 2005 with a four-year, $40 million NIAID grant, the center is one of only 11 federally funded research sites dedicated to countering threats from bioterrorism agents and emerging infections.
UCI's Program in Nursing Science has received accreditation for its bachelor's of science program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. "This is excellent news for our program, especially for our students who must graduate from an accredited degree program to secure certain nursing positions or go to graduate school,” said Ellen Olshansky, nursing science director and professor. News of the five-year CCNE accreditation — the longest allowed for a new program — comes as UCI's inaugural class of 36 nursing science students prepares to graduate. A pinning ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 14, in the Student Center, followed by commencement exercises featuring Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of UCI's law school, at 1 p.m. in the Bren Events Center.
UCI's School of Law has received a $2 million grant to start an environmental law clinic that will enable students to do hands-on environmental legal and policy work. It's the first of several legal clinics envisioned for the new law school. An anonymous foundation of global reach provided the grant to create a clinic to further the public interest in environmental law, health and sustainability. This clinic will allow students "to learn up close what environmental lawyers do on a day-to-day basis," said Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of the law school. "It will also provide students with the opportunity to help protect the natural resources of Southern California."
It may look like the kind of high-tech gizmo seen on "Mission Impossible," but a new hand scanner at Anteater Recreation Center isn't designed to keep out spies: It allows ARC members to enter the facility without breaking a sweat. In March, UCI became the first University of California campus to install the new biometric system, though some state schools — such as San Diego State University — have been using the technology for years. "It's all part of evolution, to make it more convenient for users. Who knows? Someday we might even do retinal scanning," says Jill Schindele, director of Campus Recreation. "We like making sure the ARC is on the cutting edge."
In his latest novel, The Signal, award-winning author Ron Carlson, director of the master's program in fiction writing at UCI, tells the story of Mack and his wife, Vonnie, backpacking into the mountains of Wyoming. They've made this trip to say goodbye to each other, but Mack has a secret: He's trying to receive a signal and retrieve something that has fallen from the sky. It's a beacon that will lead them into a wood far darker than they've ever imagined. Carlson came to UCI in fall 2006 and has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, a Cohen Award from Ploughshares, and a National Society of Arts and Letters literature award.
After 10 years, C. Ronald Huff will step down as dean of the School of Social Ecology and return to faculty status effective July 1. During Huff's tenure, the number of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members in social ecology grew substantially. Among his many accomplishments, Huff initiated the recently approved master's program in public policy, in collaboration with social sciences; reorganized the social ecology departmental structure; oversaw important curricular revisions to the school's academic programs; and directed development of the master of advanced study degree in criminology, law and society, the first online degree program in the University of California system. The search for a permanent dean is under way. Valerie Jenness, professor of criminology, law and society, will serve as interim dean pending regental approval.