Volume I, Issue 8: July 2009
Around the Circle

Around the Circle

PRIME-LC graduates ready to serve Latinos

Sarah Lopez
Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications
"The sad part is that we're all going separate ways," says Sarah Lopez, a PRIME-LC graduate who joined the emergency-medicine program at USC.

Four medical students graduated May 30 from UC Irvine's innovative Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community, embarking on careers as doctors dedicated to meeting the unique healthcare needs of the underserved.

"PRIME-LC is a dynamic program focused on improving the well-being of poor and disenfranchised Latino communities in California, and the passion for this critical mission begins with our students," says Dr. Charles Vega, program director.

Anna Altshuler, Sarah Lopez, Gabriel Rivera and Carl Smith received medical and master's degrees and will join residency programs in — respectively — Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington and Albuquerque, N.M.

PRIME-LC graduates »

Romance (and construction dust) is in the air

Eugene Ho proposes to Mai Huong Nguyen
Laura Swendson
Eugene Ho proposes on bended knee to Mai Huong Nguyen at the Humanities Gateway building site.

Construction noise at the Humanities Gateway building site was interrupted May 21 by cheers from humanities staff who witnessed the engagement of Eugene Ho '02 and Mai Huong Nguyen '03. It wasn't exactly a romantic setting for a marriage proposal, but the spot holds great significance for the happy couple, who met there as freshman biology majors in 1998.

Romance »

First nursing graduates earn their medal

Nursing science graduates
Laurel Hungerford Photography
UCI's first nursing science graduates gathered for a traditional pinning ceremony.

In a tradition that goes back more than a century, the first graduating class of UCI's nursing science program participated in a pinning ceremony June 14 in the Student Center's Pacific Ballroom.

Dressed in white coats, 36 graduates were awarded specially designed UCI pins by program director Ellen Olshansky and associate director Ellen Lewis as a symbolic welcoming into the nursing profession.

"The pinning ceremony is a rite of passage for each nurse on a long journey toward a rewarding career," Olshansky says. "Because we're honoring UCI's inaugural class of nursing graduates, this event is even more special."

Nursing science program »

New UCI group gives aid to Africa

Conarkry, capital of Guinea
Hans Keirstead
The UCI Africa Initiative is sending vitamins and wheelchairs to Guinea, Africa. Pictured is downtown Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

A campus group headed by neuroscientist Hans Keirstead is sending vitamins and wheelchairs to disadvantaged people in Africa.

Formed in April, the UCI Africa Initiative includes participants from student affairs and the School of Medicine and aims to raise awareness that even small gestures can have a huge effect on Africans' lives.

UCI Africa Initiative »


Snow named sociological society's VP

David Snow
David Snow

David Snow, Chancellor's Professor of Sociology, has been named vice president-elect of the American Sociological Association, the discipline's premier organization with more than 14,000 members. Snow will assume the full office of vice president in 2010 after serving one year as vice president-elect, starting Aug. 8 at the association's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Snow named VP »

Mount wins peace prize

Mandy Mount
Mandy Mount

Mandy Mount, Campus Assault Resources & Education director, has received a 2009 Ambassador of Peace Award from the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County. The award honors individuals working to prevent violence in the county or who have made significant national or international contributions to violence prevention.

Ambassador of Peace »

It takes a rocket scientist

William Sirignano
William Sirignano

William Sirignano, the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering, received the prestigious American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Wyld Propulsion Award for 2009, for outstanding achievement in the development or application of rocket propulsion systems. Sirignano, mechanical & aerospace engineering professor, also was named a Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics fellow.

Sirignano faculty profile »

Huntington's researcher honored

Leslie Thompson
Leslie Thompson

Leslie Thompson, psychiatry & human behavior and neurobiology & behavior professor, was named 2009 Researcher of the Year by the Huntington's Disease Society of America. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding research progress in the fight against Huntington's, a genetically inherited and deadly neurological disorder.

Thompson profile »

Epilepsy expert recognized

Ivan Soltesz
Ivan Soltesz

Ivan Soltesz, professor and chair of anatomy & neurobiology, has received the 2009 Michael Prize, a top international award for biomedical research on epilepsy. Soltesz studies the causes of epileptic seizures related to head trauma in adults and febrile seizures in infants. The award includes a 20,000-euro prize and was presented at the International Epilepsy Congress June 28 in Budapest, Hungary. Soltesz was recently elected chair of the basic science committee of the American Epilepsy Society.

Soltesz faculty profile »