Celebrate UCI, the campus's annual all-day open house, takes place Saturday, April 21. Vikram Nayudu, president of the Associated Students of UCI, which hosts the event's popular Wayzgoose festival, says the university is worth celebrating. "UCI is not simply made of students who try their best at school," he says. "It's a campus filled with innovative artists, creative minds and free spirits who try to make a difference in others' lives." Nayudu, a mechanical engineering major, plans to pursue an MBA after he graduates in June 2013. Here are his suggestions for making the most of Celebrate UCI, whether you're a return visitor or a first-timer:
Michael Gottfredson, executive vice chancellor and provost, will receive the 2012 Extraordinarius award May 17 at the 42nd annual Lauds & Laurels ceremony, sponsored by the UCI Alumni Association. He's among 20 campus faculty, staff and students who'll be honored at the event, to be held in the UCI Student Center's Pacific Ballroom. This year's Outstanding University Service recipients, Liz Toomey and Daniel Aldrich III, have lifelong ties to the campus. They're the children of UCI's founding chancellor, the late Daniel G. Aldrich Jr. Toomey is assistant vice chancellor for community and government relations, and Aldrich recently completed a stint as interim vice chancellor for advancement.
Nancy Minear, Ph.D. '97, research & evaluation director for UCI Student Affairs, died Feb. 21 after a long battle with cancer. She was 53. Minear attended UCI for her undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a doctorate in social sciences. She served the campus in various capacities during her 20-year tenure while donating countless hours to community service. She was a founding member of the UCI Stars, a group of volunteers who make quilts for oncology patients at UC Irvine Medical Center. In 2009, the UCI Stars won the 2009 Living Our Values staff team award. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Cynthia Feliciano, associate professor of Chicano/Latino studies and sociology, and Jeanett Castellanos, Social Sciences Academic Resource Center director, have been recognized by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education for supporting Latinos in higher education. Feliciano, who both studies and teaches courses on race, ethnicity and education, has been named the Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education at a Research Institution. Castellanos, a UCI alumna and lecturer, is one of two recipients of the Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues in Higher Education Award.
Shara Lessley '97 has published a book of poems entitled Two-Headed Nightingale through New Issues Press. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University from 2007 to 2009. Her awards include an artist fellowship from the state of North Carolina, the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin's Institute for Creative Writing, the Olive B. O'Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing from Colgate University, the Gilman School's Reginald S. Tickner Writing Fellowship, and a "Discovery"/The Nation prize. Lessley earned bachelor's degrees in English and dance at UCI and an M.F.A. in poetry at the University of Maryland. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Nation, and New England Review. She currently lives in the Middle East.
Henry Pontell, professor of criminology, law & society and sociology, has been named one of the top 10 "coolest college professors" by Best Colleges Online, a website devoted to news and trends in online education. Pontell, the director of UCI's online master's degree program in criminology, law & society, has researched and written about corporate crime for almost 30 years and is the co-author of Profit Without Honor: White-Collar Crime & the Looting of America. He has testified before the U.S. Senate on financial fraud, given presentations to the National Academies and the federal Department of Justice, and worked with the FBI and the Secret Service.