Rebecca Constantino's recommended reading for kids
In 1999, education lecturer Rebecca Constantino,
concerned that low-income children didn't have enough good books to read, launched the nonprofit Access Books
to distribute volumes to inner-city schools in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. The mother of three, Constantino knows her kid lit. Here, she shares some titles that entertain, educate and delight young readers.
- Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys & Their Monkey Business, by Esphyr Slobodkina is a favorite in our house. It's about a peddler who can't sell the caps tottering on his head. One morning, he sits down under a tree, checks that all of his caps are in place and falls asleep. When he wakes up, the caps are gone — and the tree is full of cap-wearing monkeys. Young children love the book's pictures and language. My 3-year-old son has even offered to buy caps off people on the street for 50 cents, the price in the book.
- A Fly Went By, by Mike McClintock, is one of the first books a child can read on his or her own. The illustrations are darling, but more importantly, the repetition of language is fun and engaging. By the third read, my 3-year-old almost had it memorized. The story begins with a fly being chased by a frog, who is chased by a cat, and ends with the healing of a little lamb.
- Though it's a picture book, I Like Myself, by Karen Beaumont, is great for kids of every age. The wild-haired African American girl likes herself under any circumstances — with purple lips or big, protruding horns. As a white mother with African American children, I was thrilled to find a book with such a great message — for children in general and black girls in particular. All my kids love it, even my 12-year-old daughter, who is usually too cool for picture books.
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,by Kate Dicamillo, is one of the best books to read aloud, to either one child or a group. Edward Tulane's tale of being loved, lost and loved again touches everyone. I read this to a bunch of tough second-graders, and by the end the entire class was in tears.
- As much as she did not want to, my then-10-year-old daughter loved Hachet,by Gary Paulsen. The boy in it is stranded alone on an island after a plane crash. His smarts, resilience and wit make for a great story of survival, and — thanks to the language — readers feel they're in the moment with him. When a 10-year-old asks for just one more chapter, you know it's a good book.
Thomas Parham named interim vice chancellor for student affairs
Thomas Parham (right), with Chancellor Michael Drake at the New Student Convocation in September, calls himself "a glass-half-full person."
Thomas Parham '77 has been tapped to fill the position of interim vice chancellor for student affairs, succeeding the now-retired Manuel Gómez. In his 26-year career at UCI, Parham has served as an adjunct faculty member, director of the Career Center and, most recently, assistant vice chancellor for counseling and health services. He earned a bachelor's in social ecology at UCI, a master's in counseling psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, and a doctorate in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He lectures extensively, contributes to scholarly journals and has written five books.
Parham Q&A »
Infectious diseases researcher wins $2.3 million NIH innovation award
Rommie Amaro, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and computer science, has received a 2010 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award. The five-year, $2.3 million grant will further her research on infectious diseases carried by parasites called trypanosomes. She hopes to discover new treatments for devastating illnesses like Chagas disease and sleeping sickness that infect the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations. The NIH created the award to support exceptionally creative researchers who propose projects with the potential for great impact.
New Innovator Award recipients »
Documentary by professor, alumna honored at film festival
Gilbert Gonzalez, Chicano/Latino studies professor, and Vivian Price, who earned a doctorate in political science at UCI, garnered the Cinelatino Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the 2010 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. In "Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program," the co-directors explore the historical accounts of Mexican farm workers brought to the U.S. between 1942 and 1964 under the Bracero Program. The documentary was among more than 90 films presented at the 14th annual festival, held in Hollywood in August.
Film festival winners »
UCI doctors lauded for commitment to the underserved
Dr. Laura Mosqueda (left) consults with patient Marie Chu.
Orange County healthcare officials recently honored Dr. Laura Mosqueda, director of geriatrics at UCI's School of Medicine, and Dr. Clarence E. Foster III, chief of transplant surgery at UC Irvine Medical Center, with CalOptima Circle of Care Awards for their commitment to Medi-Cal patients and other medically underserved local populations. "Orange County is a better and healthier place because of their extraordinary work and dedication," said CalOptima CEO Richard Chambers.
Nursing researcher gets award to study post-traumatic stress
E. Alison Holman is one of 12 nurse educators in the U.S. to receive the three-year $350,000 award this year.
E. Alison Holman, assistant professor of nursing science and a health psychologist, has won a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars award to study how genes influence acute and post-traumatic stress and their role in cardiovascular disorders among those who experience traumatic events. The three-year $350,000 award is given to junior faculty members who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.
Holman award »