Deborah Vandell, dean of the School of Education, has overseen a steady rise in the school’s U.S. News Graduate School Rankings.
UCI’s New School of Education Jumps in U.S. News’ Graduate School Ranking
UCI’s School of Education is among a number of campus graduate programs moving up in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 ranking of “Best Graduate Schools,” announced March 12. The education school, approved in July by the University of California regents, leaped six spots, to 37th nationwide. The schools of Humanities, Medicine, Engineering and Social Sciences also advanced in the rankings.
Campus News & Announcements
UCI Receives $1.25 Million from Hellman Fellows Fund
The Hellman Fellows Fund has approved a gift of $1.25 million to establish the UC Irvine Hellman Fellows Program, which will support the research of promising assistant professors who exhibit the capacity for great distinction. Starting July 1, the fund will provide $250,000 a year for five years, creating individual fellowships to help junior faculty pursue their research passions. Those eligible will receive emails inviting them to apply by the April 30 deadline, and an advisory panel – chaired by Herbert P. Killackey, vice provost for academic personnel – will review the first round of fellowship applications.
Campus’s Car-Sharing Program Charges Ahead
A zippy new electric car has arrived at its first American destination, ready for use by commuters to UCI and area businesses. Thirty 2013 Scion iQ electric vehicles are being added to the UCI-administered Zero Emission Vehicle-Network Enabled Transport fleet, via Toyota’s partnership with the campus’s Advanced Power & Energy Program.
The Day They Became Doctors
After endless hours of intense studying and clinical rotations, soon-to-graduate UCI medical students saw their dreams come into focus on March 15 when they found out where they’ll start their careers as doctors. Annual Match Day activities take place simultaneously at all U.S. medical schools, involving about 16,000 graduating students. Shown: Natalie Chen, medical student.
Citizen of the World
Georges Van Den Abbeele jokingly calls himself a “Euro-cowboy.” Born in Belgium, he was raised in Alberta, Canada – a “prairie province” that hosts the annual Calgary Stampede – and speaks six languages. The work of American pop artist Wayne Thiebaud graces his Humanities Gateway office, along with various awards, diplomas, and an ink-and-watercolor painting of a Bruges canal. As UCI’s new humanities dean, Van Den Abbeele heads a school that enrolls about 2,800 students and touches nearly all Anteaters at some point in their academic careers.
Sports’ Social Media Hub
In an effort to further engage Anteater fans, UC Irvine Athletics in February launched a social media command center called Zot Com. Inspired by such high-profile facilities as the New Jersey Devils’ Mission Control and the University of Oregon’s Quack Cave, Zot Com coordinates UC Irvine Athletics’ digital media efforts across its website, 17 Facebook pages, eight Twitter feeds, two Instagram accounts and an official YouTube channel.
Seeking the Source of Seizures
For most people, flies are a household nuisance. But Ryan Schutte has found a greater purpose for the little buzzers. They’re helping him uncover clues to a severe form of childhood epilepsy. Schutte, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in UCI’s Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology working in the laboratories of Diane O’Dowd and Martin Smith, is using fruit flies to model fever-induced seizures similar to those seen in Dravet syndrome.
New Mechanism for Long-Term Memory Formation Discovered
UCI neurobiologists have found a novel molecular mechanism that helps trigger the formation of long-term memory. The researchers believe the discovery of this mechanism adds another piece to the puzzle in the ongoing effort to uncover the mysteries of memory and, potentially, certain intellectual disabilities. In a study led by Marcelo Wood of UCI’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, the team investigated the role of this mechanism – a gene designated Baf53b – in long-term memory formation.
Ocean Plankton Sponge Up Nearly Twice the Carbon Currently Assumed
Models of carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans need to be revised, according to new work by UCI and other scientists published online in Nature Geoscience. Trillions of plankton near the surface of warm waters are far more carbon-rich than has long been thought, they found.
Submit 2012 Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Claims by April 15
Submit reimbursement requests for eligible expenses for 2012 healthcare flexible spending account claims by the last day of the run-out period, which is April 15, 2013. All claims and supporting documentation must be submitted online, faxed or postmarked by this date. IRS rules state that 2012 plan year funds left in your FSA after the end of the run-out period will be forfeited.
Request a 403(b) Loan to Help Purchase a Home, Pay Bills or Go to College
UC employees who have a 403(b) account managed through Fidelity Retirement Services may be eligible to take a loan either for the purchase of a primary residence or general purposes (medical bills, college tuition, etc.) from their retirement savings account. To request a loan, go to Fidelity’s website and log in. Within the 403(b) section, select “Quick Links.” From the dropdown menu, choose “Loans and Withdrawals” and follow the prompts. A 403(b) loan allows employees to borrow money from retirement plans and repay it over time. Both the principal and interest employees pay goes back into their account. For more information, read “Help Me Decide” on the Net Benefits website (log in required). For further assistance, call a Fidelity representative at 866.682.7787.
What Is COBRA?
COBRA provides continued coverage for a certain period of time at applicable monthly COBRA rates if employees, a spouse or domestic partner, or dependents lose group medical, dental, vision or health flexible spending account coverage. For UC, CONEXIS is the third-party administrator for COBRA continuation. If employees lose coverage because of a qualifying event, CONEXIS will send a COBRA election packet, which will include the necessary forms and information regarding premiums. To start the COBRA continuation process, employees must send all enrollment forms, premiums and other related items directly to CONEXIS. It is up to employees to notify their local benefits office in the event of divorce/legal separation/annulment, termination of domestic partnership, or loss of dependent status (e.g., child turns age 26) within 60 days, either by completing the Notice to UC of a Qualifying Event form (PDF) or by providing written notice.
Incident and Safety Concern Reporting Available Online
Environmental Health & Safety’s “Report an Injury, Incident or Safety Concern” online form facilitates reporting all work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as safety hazards or unsafe conditions. Submitting the form also will automatically notify EH&S, Workers’ Compensation and Risk Management.
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