Volume III, Issue 7: April 2011


Courtney Burkes' simple suggestions for saving the planet

Courtney Burkes
Courtney Burkes

Just in time for Earth Day, April 22, here are five tips for saving energy — and money — from Courtney Burkes, fitness & wellness director with UCI Campus Recreation. Burkes oversees Green Up UCI, which offers conservation ideas to faculty and staff. For information on more such efforts, visit the university's sustainability website.

  1. Make your own baby food with locally grown or homegrown organic fruits and vegetables. Pureed batches will be fresher, cheaper, tastier and more nutritious than store-bought versions. "I did this with my 2-year-old son and strongly believe it's the reason he loves fruits and veggies," Burkes says. "I plan to do the same for my newborn daughter when she's old enough."
  2. Turn off your computer screen at home or work when leaving for a long time. A computer in screensaver mode uses almost as much energy as normal operation. The small amount of time it will take you to start up your computer when you return is worth the benefit to our planet.
  3. On long, open stretches of road, turn on your vehicle's cruise control, which can save fuel by maintaining a steady speed. This is crucial with gas prices soaring — especially on those summer road trips.
  4. Use LEDs (light-emitting diodes), small, energy-efficient light bulbs that last 10 times longer than fluorescent bulbs and 130 times longer than incandescent bulbs. "We changed all the lights in our house last year to LEDs, including our outdoor Christmas lights, and saw lower energy bills," Burkes reports.
  5. Rather than circle a parking lot for the closest space, park in the first spot you find. You'll get to the store quicker, save gas and do your body some good with the extra walking.

'Wine for the MIND' supports Alzheimer's research

Daniel and Elaine Aldrich on the runway
Daniel G. Aldrich III and his wife, Elaine, model fashions at Wine for the MIND.

More than 300 people turned out for "Wine for the MIND: Saving Memories with Style," a fashion show and fundraiser for UCI's Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, held in February at the home and gardens of Rand and Rosemary Sperry in Orange. Among those attending were celebrity guest Donna Mills, master of ceremonies Vince Ferragamo, "Real Orange" news anchor Ed Arnold and event chair Jacqueline DuPont. Some familiar faces from UCI were seen on  the runway, including Daniel G. Aldrich III and his wife, Elaine; Dr. Neal Hermanowicz; UCI MIND Institute director Frank LaFerla; and Dr. Leslie Thompson.

Wine for the Mind photo gallery »

Alumnus wins Hemingway award

Madonnas of Eacho Park cover

Brando Skyhorse, M.F.A. '97 has received the 2011 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for his novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park. The book follows the intersecting lives of eight residents of Echo Park — a Mexican neighborhood in East Los Angeles — after a tragic drive-by shooting. The Hemingway/PEN Foundation Award is given for a novel or book of short stories by an American author who has not previously published a book of fiction.

Hemingway winner »

Powell earns three prestigious fellowships

Amy Powell
Amy Powell

Amy Powell, assistant professor of art history, was awarded the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts Senior Fellowship and the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute Clark Fellowship. She will spend a year in Washington, D.C., at CASVA researching how the Protestant iconoclasms of 1566 shaped the making of Dutch landscapes in the century or so after. Powell's research interests include Northern European art and visual culture from 1300 to 1700.

Nelson honored for tattoo removal program

Dr. J. Stuart Nelson
Dr. J. Stuart Nelson

Dr. J. Stuart Nelson and the Beckman Laser Institute were recognized by the U.S. Probation Service in Orange County and U.S. District Judge David O. Carter for an innovative tattoo removal program that helps men and women integrate into society after completing federal prison terms. Nelson, UCI professor of surgery and BLI medical director, uses the institute's novel laser technology to erase tattoo images. Under the federal program, he has worked with about two dozen probationers to remove hand, lower arm and neck tattoos that may hinder their efforts to find employment. Nelson and other BLI members were honored during a March ceremony in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building & Courthouse in downtown Santa Ana.