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The Magazine of UC Riverside

Spring 2016 Vol.11 No.4

The Search for the Arctic Bumblebee–Page 12

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Kim A. Wilcox

Vice Chancellor, Advancement

Peter Hayashida


James Grant

Publications Director

Kris Lovekin


Lilledeshan Bose

Creative Director

Luis Sanz


Jeanette Marantos

Sandra Baltazar Martinez

Sean Nealon

Koren Wetmore

Senior Designer

Brad Rowe


Michelle Baty

Krissy Danforth

Denise Wolf

Editorial Assistant

Bethanie Le


Lisa Tyson

Konrad Nagy


Mike Tofanelli


Lonnie Duka

Peter Phun

Carlos Puma

Carrie Rosema

Senior Programmer

Bob Bottomley


Desiree Valle


Christy Zwicke

Christina Rodriguez

UCR Magazine is published by the Office of Strategic Communications, University of California, Riverside, and it is distributed free to the University community.

Editorial offices: 900 University Ave., 1156 Hinderaker Hall, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, telephone (951) 827-6397. Unless otherwise indicated, text may be reprinted without permission. Please credit University of California, Riverside. USPS 006-433 is published four times a year: winter, spring, summer and fall by the University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0155.

Periodicals postage rates paid at Riverside, CA.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to UCR, Subscription Services (0063), 900 University Ave., 1156 Hinderaker Hall, Riverside, CA 92521.

In accordance with applicable federal laws and University policy, the University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures or practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or handicap. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal opportunity policies may be directed to the Affirmative Action Office, (951) 827-5604.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Change of address? Contact Kris Lovekin at

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Cover Story

12 | The Search for the Arctic Bumblebee–Writer Sean Nealon travels with UCR researchers to find Bombus polaris


10 | Sealing the Deal–CHASS Dean Milagros Peña on her first year at UCR

11 | Making Connections–Meet CNAS Dean Kathyrn Uhrich

22 | The Bell Tower by the Numbers–UCR’s mosticonic landmark is 50 this year

24 | Passion at KUCR–Renowned alumni of KUCR on how the radio station changed their lives

28 | The Professor of Small Things–Dong-Hwan Choe is itching to tell you about his research

31 | Approaching Residency–UCR’s School of Medicine will graduate its first class in 2017

34 | Shaping History–Alumni Association President Ken Noller on inspiring Highlanders

35 | Relationships are Key to Success–Darin Anderson is the new chair of the UCR Foundation


03 | RView–A message from Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox

04 | R Space– Catch up on the laetest news at UCR Riverside

36 | Class Acts

42 | Alumni Connection

46 | Page Turners

48 | C Scape–Brenda Martinez ’10 had a shot at a gold medal at the Rio Olympics

What’s New?


Watch videos, read online extras and more at

On the Web

The road to the Bombus polaris

Archival KUCR interviews with Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and more

Watch Brenda Martinez’s race-changing kicks

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Friends of Botanic Gardens Fall Plant Sale

10.22; 10.23–Nearly 10,000 plants and more than 500 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous plants, shade plants, and house and patio plants will be available for purchase.

Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside (ICR) Project

11.2–The ICR project looks at how dance provides a way of understanding indigenous history. Performances this year are inspired by and dedicated to core ICR member Mohave scholar Michael Tsosie, who recently passed.

“Warsaw Uprising”

11.12–The film tells the story of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 through the eyes of a U.S. airman, an escapee from a concentration camp, and two young reporters. The screening is free and open to the public at ARTSblock in honor of Poland’s National Independence Day (Nov. 11, 1918).

Trans Remembrance Display

11.14- 11.18–The LGBT Resource Center honors the National Transgender Day of Remembrance with a display memorial to be posted outside the Highlander Union Building. It will commemorate the hundreds of known victims of transgender-related violence.


11.19–From the Spirit of the Tribes 5k to the big basketball game, Homecoming will be a celebration of all things UCR! There will be student performances, family activities, music from KUCR, and more. Check out the day’s complete schedule below.

11th Annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K run/walk

7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. –Fun and exercise for everyone at this fundraising event for UC Riverside student scholarships. To register, go to

ARTSblock Mobile Exhibition

12 p.m. – 2 p.m. –A showcase of art from our permanent collections.

Entomology Bug Petting Zoo

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. –Watch insects in action and learn the ways they react to predators!

Botanic Gardens Tour

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. –Take the trolley to the Botanic Gardens for a guided tour that will showcase UCR’s living plant museum

Scot Fest

10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. –The Ninth Annual Highlander Scot Fest at the bell tower will feature food trucks, games for the whole family, interactive college booths, photo booths, music, and more.

Homecoming Basketball Game

4 p.m. – 6 p.m. –Cheer on the men’s basketball team at the Homecoming Game at the Student Recreation Center! Tickets are $5 when purchased in advance.

Overtime: Fun, Food & Friends

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. –Close out Homecoming weekend with Casino Night at the Alumni & Visitors Center, featuring games, tailgate food, and beer tasting from a local brewery. All ages. Tickets are $25; children under 12 are free.

Chicano Latino Alumni Reunion

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. –Celebrate the Chicano Latino alumni chapter at HUB 302 with the third annual reunion dinner at Homecoming. Tickets are $40.

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Ringing Bells in Riverside and Around the World

Fifty years ago this fall, the UC Riverside community gathered to dedicate what has become one of our most iconic symbols – the UCR Bell Tower. For half a century, its distinctive ringing has marked the hours and serenaded our campus. It has also served as a backdrop to countless concerts, performances, and rallies, not to mention a million graduation photos (see story on pages 22 – 23).

But the bell tower is more than just a UCR landmark – it embodies our core principle that what we do here reaches far beyond our campus. Just as the ringing from the tower can be heard far beyond our classrooms and laboratories, so, too, does the work of our students, faculty, and staff make a difference outside our campus.

With more than 22,000 current students, nearly 800 faculty, and 100,000 living alumni, the chimes of the bell tower can be heard across our state, the nation, and the world.

In this edition of UCR Magazine, you will meet a team of UCR researchers led by S. Hollis Woodard of the Department of Entomology. They are making the bell tower heard as far away as the North Slope of Alaska. Joined by a reporter and photographer from The New York Times, Assistant Professor Woodard and her team journeyed to the Arctic Circle this summer looking for rare bumblebees. Their work is essential in deciphering how climate change is affecting ecosystems and how we can mitigate its effects (read the full story on page 12).

The chimes of the bell tower could also be heard in Rio de Janeiro at the Summer Olympics. Three-time All-American Brenda Saucedo Martinez ’10 qualified as a member of the U.S. Olympic team this summer, winning her spot in the 1500-meter track and field competition by a mere three-hundredths of a second. Like a true Highlander, Ms. Martinez has used her success as an athlete to make a difference in the lives of others. Each summer she holds an all-expenses-paid camp for girls at Big Bear Lake focused on running and building life skills.

And of course the figurative bells continue to ring here on campus as well. In July we learned that UCR was named as one of five national finalists for the 2016 Project Degree Completion Award. Administered by the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU), the award recognizes institutions for innovative approaches to improving student success. UCR stands as a national model for student success, one of the few research universities in the nation where all students graduate at the same rate, regardless of economic background, race, or ethnicity.

Each time I walk by the bell tower or hear its chimes, I am reminded of the incredible work of Highlanders here and all over the world. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of our great landmark, we can also look forward to where its bells will ring for the next 50 years and beyond.

Fiat lux,

Kim A. Wilcox


Photo: Carrie Rosema

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Sharon Walker Named Interim Dean for Bourns College of Engineering

UCR Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Paul D’Anieri named Sharon Walker, professor and John Babbage chair in Environmental Engineering and associate dean for Student Academic Affairs, to serve as interim dean of Bourns College of Engineering.

Walker received her Ph.D. from Yale University and joined the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at UCR in 2005. Her research program focuses on water quality, particularly the fate and transport of bacteria and nanoparticles in water.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead BCOE during this critical transition period,” Walker said.

Walker follows Reza Abbaschian, who stepped down after 11 years as dean of the college. Walker will serve as interim dean while a national search is conducted for a permanent BCOE dean.

Fortino Morales III Wins Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 Award

Fortino Morales III, coordinator of UCR’s community garden (R’Garden), was recognized for his work in the inaugural UC Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 Awards.

Morales has been involved in growing the R’Garden, a 3-acre project, since he was an undergraduate environmental science student at UCR. He established the first student-run course, the urban garden seminar, and ushered through a student referendum to fund sustainability engagement.

“R’Garden’s role as a living laboratory, coupled with community outreach, the film series, and conferences, spreads Fortino’s impact far beyond just one community,” said Glenda Humiston, vice president, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, and member of the selection committee for the awards.

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Rediscovering a Wasp After a Century

A species of wasp that is a natural enemy of the locust borer, a woodboring beetle that kills black locust trees, has been rediscovered more than 100 years after the last wasp of this species was found.

The only previous known specimens of the wasp (Oobius depressus) date back to 1914 and were found in Morristown, Illinois. The problem with those specimens is that they were missing their heads and antennae, making them difficult to identify.

That led Serguei V. Triapitsyn, director of UCR’s Entomology Research Museum, and Toby R. Petrice, an entomologist with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service Northern Research Station in Lansing, Michigan, to search for new specimens.

Through insect traps, the scientists found one female wasp that perfectly matched both the original description and the remains of the type specimens of Oobius depressus. Triapitsyn made a positive taxonomic identification, photographed it, and then redescribed the species based on the new specimen.

A manuscript with this redescription has been accepted for publication in the scientific journal of the Michigan Entomological Society, The Great Lakes Entomologist.

Racial Disparities Found in Political Participation in California

Latinos and Asian Americans are the least likely to have a say in California’s politics, during election cycles, and year round. That is a key finding in a new report by Advancement Project and the School of Public Policy at UCR, the first comprehensive assessment in more than a decade of political participation at the ballot box and beyond in California.

“Unequal Voices: California’s Racial Disparities in Political Participation” analyzes 10 years of political participation. The report finds that, while people of color make up more than 60 percent of California's population, stark disparities exist in their ability to influence politics at all levels and to shape the policies that impact their lives.

“Our political system is in trouble when some groups have significantly more say than others,” said political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan, co-author of the report and associate dean of the UCR School of Public Policy.

“This election cycle rightly has brought heightened awareness about class inequality, but our report raises the alarm about racial disparities in political participation that persist even after taking class into account.”

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Tod Goldberg Wins Silver Pen Award

Tod Goldberg, administrative director of UC Riverside’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the Palm Desert Center, has won the 2016 Silver Pen Award presented by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

The award recognizes writers who are midcareer and have shown substantial achievement. Honorees are also selected based upon their body of work, critical recognition, and “a strong connection to Nevada through the themes of their writing or residence in the state,” according to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, which sponsors the award.

Goldberg will receive the award during a ceremony Nov. 9 at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I only lived in Nevada for a few years, but my affection and fascination with the state goes back to my childhood, when I became obsessed with the Old West and the New West, with gunfighters and gangsters alike,” Goldberg said. “This honor means a great deal to me as I’ve devoted a significant part of my career to writing about the myths, legends, and realities of Las Vegas, a town that is both the embodiment and the detriment of the American dream.”

Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including “Gangsterland,” which was a finalist for the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in the field of crime-writing.

UCR International Affairs Creates a Team

Once scattered across the campus, the offices that work with international students, staff, and faculty moved to the third floor of the Surge building and will be known collectively as the International Affairs Office. They report to Vice Provost for International Affairs Kelechi Kalu.

International Affairs serves the entire campus as a place to connect research programs, study abroad, and facilitate UCR’s considerable international activity.

With this new collaborative merger, the International Student Resource Center and the International Scholar Center now form the International Students and Scholars Office. Also, the Study Abroad Programs are now called Education Abroad. It will respond to increasing student interest in international research, internships, and volunteer or service-learning programs.

Vice Provost Kalu points out that the team’s organization reimagines the work that UCR does. “The world is already here – it is reflected in the diversity of our faculty, students, and staff; it is in our scholarship, research, alumni, and community partnerships. Our goal is to help amplify the message that UCR is in the world and the world is at UCR.”

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Citrus Industry, UC Riverside Team Up to Fight Citrus Killer

UCR and the California Citrus Research Foundation launched an effort on June 6 that will result in construction of a new facility to be used by researchers to fight Huanglongbing, a bacterial plant disease fatal to citrus trees.

The construction of a biosafety-level 3 plant facility in Riverside will be located about two miles north of UCR, at the southeast corner of Marlborough and Rustin avenues.

This facility will allow researchers, including many from UCR who are experts on citrus pests, diseases, and breeding, to conduct work with plant pathogens that previously couldn’t be done in Southern California. (Only one other such facility exists in California – at UC Davis.)

The partnership was launched with an event called “Save R’ Citrus” at the UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection. The event, attended by about 100 people, included tasting fruit from the collection, a tour of the collection, and speakers from several university, government, and citrus industry leaders.

Mantis Shrimp Inspires Next Generation of Ultra-strong Materials

Researchers at UCR and Purdue University are one step closer to developing super strong composite materials, thanks to the mantis shrimp, a small, multicolored marine crustacean that crushes the shells of its prey using a fist-like appendage called a dactyl club.

The current research, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under a $7.5 million Multi-University Research Initiative that Professor David Kisailus leads, describes for the first time a unique herringbone structure within the dactyl club’s outer layer, called the impact region. This tough herringbone structure not only protects the club during impact, but also enables the mantis shrimp to inflict incredible damage to its prey.

Kisailus said the discovery of the highly impact-resistant herringbone structure adds new inspiration as his team designs the next generation of materials for a variety of applications, including aerospace, automotive, and armor.

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Open House Highlights Features to Keep the Campus Safe

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 17 marked the grand opening of the new home for Enterprise Risk Management, the group responsible for protecting the campus operation every day from fire, lab chemicals, and other risks. The $21 million building is also the new home for the campus Emergency Operations Center, a very important place for managing crises such as fires, earthquakes, and floods.

The nearly 30,000-square-foot building brings together UCR Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Office of Emergency Management, and the UCOP Center of Excellence for Training & Education. A fifth unit, UC Police Department, will continue to be housed in its current police station just down Linden Street.

“Now UCR will be ready to strategically respond to any emergency, crisis, or disaster,” said Ron T. Coley, vice chancellor of Business and Administrative Services, at the open house.

Reza Aslan Receives James Joyce Award

Reza Aslan, professor of creative writing, has been named the recipient of the James Joyce Award and an Honorary Fellowship of the Literary & Historical Society, Europe’s largest university society.

The James Joyce Award is given to those who have excelled in a field of human endeavor and have made a profound impact on the world around them. Recipients in recent years have included Salman Rushdie, Alan Rickman, Desmond Tutu, and Noam Chomsky.

Aslan is an internationally renowned author and scholar of religions. His books include the New York Times Bestseller “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” and international bestseller “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.”

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Who Says?

UCR experts weigh in on the issues of the day via media outlets around the world

“If I’m pregnant and I’m trying to figure out whether my baby is in danger or not, it makes a huge difference whether it’s Zika or dengue.”

Ilhem Messaoudi, associate professor of biomedical sciences, on how the lack of tests specific to the Zika virus creates a dilemma for pregnant women


“It’s been estimated that the citrus industry may go commercially extinct unless they can get on top of this problem.”

Mark Hoddle, director of the Center for Invasive Species Research, on the Asian citrus psyllid and how it poses a serious threat to California’s multibillion-dollar citrus industry


“Arthropods do generally get bad press. Unpleasant space aliens in movies often tend to look curiously arthropodial.”

Nigel Hughes, professor of geology on how the discovery of the species Aquilonifer spinosus, a fossilized animal that kept is brood tethered to its body like swarms of tiny kites, can help arthropods get better reputations


“We’re thinking ahead to how we’ll look back.”

Bergis Jules, university and political papers archivist, on how an archive of the Internet could change history


“I feel like as a Muslim and as a Middle Easterner, we will never be part of American culture until people start making fun of us on television.”

Reza Aslan, professor of creative writing, on how television can transform how people view Muslims and Middle Easterners


“El Niño failed.”

Richard Minnich, professor of geography, on an El Niño season that failed to meet weather experts’ expectations in California


“When you list off and name people from the Marvel Universe that use metals you have Iron Man, you have Wolverine’s claws and skeleton, you have Thor’s hammer made out of Uru metal, you have Captain America’s shield. All of these iconic features rotate around light weight and super strong metals.”

Suveen Mathaudhu assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on how stories behind famous comic book characters can act as an aid in teaching science and engineering to the general public


“Mosquitoes are perhaps the most dangerous animals in the world.”

Omar S. Akbari, assistant professor of entomology on the danger of mosquitoes as they are primary vectors for major human diseases


“These elaborate rafts are some of the most visually stunning examples of cooperation in ants.”

Jessica Purcell, assistant professor of entomology, on the discovery that raft-building ants exhibit memory and repeatedly occupy the same position when forming their rafts


“The benefits that we find from napping include: alertness; motor memory, which is your ability to play piano or play baseball; and also declarative memory, which is the ability to remember things like my phone number or name.”

Sara Mednick, assistant professor of psychology, on the benefits of napping


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Sealing the Deal at UCR

Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Milagros Peña looks back at her first year

A year ago, sociologist and ethnic and women’s studies scholar Milagros Peña came onboard as UCR’s dean of the UCR College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS).

Peña, whose research focuses on Latina activism in Mexico and the United States, said she was drawn to UCR because of its mission, the quality of its faculty, and student diversity. Like many UCR students, she was also first in her family to achieve a high school diploma and move on to college.

It was a moment at the HUB that sealed the deal for her. At the time, Peña was visiting the campus and was still the associate dean at the University of Florida’s College of Liberal Arts and Science.

“I had some time between interviews, so I went over to the HUB to grab a snack. I sat down and started looking around. I watched students from so many different backgrounds sitting together, talking about their work, studying together, or eating together.

“The space that this university has given to a diverse student population, and the way that they engaged each other in that moment really crystallized for me. When I got home, I told my husband, ‘I really feel like I have found the institution that I would leave the University of Florida for. If I don’t get a follow-up phone call, I will be very disappointed.’”

Peña did get a follow-up call – and the job. Although she had spent most of her life in the East Coast (she grew up in New York City, earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, and a bachelor’s degree from Iona College), she previously spent time in California when her husband did his postdoc at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, and was happy to return.

In her first few months, she made herself available to talk to faculty and staff – not just in formal meetings, but over lunch and coffee too. Peña says her first year was all about having colleagues sense how excited she was to be at UCR, building on the strengths of the college, and supporting collaborations across disciplines, colleges, and schools. “There’s a lot that’s going on the campus that’s just exciting to be a part of,” she says. It helps, she says, that she has a positive disposition. “A colleague commented that they see me always smiling. I try to figure out how to best work with people even in difficult situations. As long as I’m open to learn and engage in the different perspectives, I’ll continue to experience this position in a very positive way.”

Moving forward, Peña’s immediate plan is to focus on CHASS’s identity, and how to translate that in terms of programming within its departments. “We’re thinking of the college in terms of this larger intellectual enterprise,” she said. “We can leverage our strengths as an intellectual community when we work across disciplines, which is attractive to people who potentially want to come here.”

Peña knows that UCR’s growth will impact CHASS, so she’s very involved in development work. This year, Peña and her husband, Frederick Hamann (a professor in physics and astronomy at UCR), started an international experience fund called CHASS: At Home and in the World. “The international experience for me as a first-generation college-goer was the beginning of my awakening as an intellectual and a scholar.”

– Lilledeshan Bose

Photo: Carrie Rosema

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Making Connections

Kathryn Uhrich started as the dean of UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on Jan. 1. Her research links chemistry with life sciences and engineering to create new materials and devices to improve human health. An entrepreneur with 70 U.S. and international patents, Uhrich looks back at her first six months on campus.

How did you first get interested in science?

My mom tells a story of how I took the vacuum cleaner apart and put it back together. I was always asking, “How does this work?” In high school, my chemistry teacher told us that there was a summer research opportunity at the Human Nutrition Laboratory in Grand Forks, North Dakota (my hometown). I got the job, which was to prepare a diet for rats, and look for the interaction of cysteine, vanadium, and iron. I was a 16-year-old girl who had no idea what science really was – and I totally dug it.

What about your current research?

My recent research has been focused on biodegradable polymers or plastics for human use, replacing tissue and bone, and for drug delivery in the body. In the past few years, those same concepts morphed into biodegradable food wraps and plastics that do not harm the environment.

What drew you to UCR?

I was a teacher, researcher, and administrator at Rutgers University for 20 years and was very happy, but I wanted to contribute more. I had been following Kim Wilcox’s career, and his vision for UCR really resonated with me. I had worked with vice chancellor for research Michael Pazzani, who asked me to consider UCR. Like a lot of UCR students, I’m the first person in my family to go to college, which was made possible through Pell grants. I felt a close connection to UCR’s mission and became really excited to work with the administration and faculty to drive college access and promote excellence.

What are some highlights of your first months on campus?

The biggest highlight has been learning about UCR. Meetings with the dedicated staff, enthusiastic students, energetic faculty, visionary administrators, and passionate alumni have confirmed that UCR is the place. An outcome of these meetings was a decision to move our dean’s office from the edge of campus to the center of campus. As a dean, my job is to serve the faculty, so we should be where they are. A seemingly strange highlight was brainstorming with faculty about our strengths and weaknesses. One of my goals was to create a strategic plan for fundraising, but before one can ask for support, one needs to have a great story to tell and find the right people to tell that story to. From those brainstorming meetings, I learned so much about CNAS. For example, we are the only college in the United States that spans all sciences – from statistics to particle physics to monitoring air quality, or from genes to plant biology to growing lemons.

What are some of your goals for the future of CNAS?

I want to better trumpet our successes. Our faculty here deserve even more accolades on the national and international stage. This means working to nominate faculty for awards, international committees, and grants. Relatedly, we should enhance our research funding from government agencies, like NIH, as well as our corporate partners. Getting research and teaching dollars is another type of accolade from our peers. A third goal is to increase our college’s geographical inclusivity. I really look forward to enriching our students’ educational experience by ensuring a rich diversity of backgrounds.

– Kris Lovekin

Photo: Carrie Rosema

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Writer Sean Nealon travels with a team of UCR scientists as they track Bombus polaris, an elusive bee that could teach us about climate change in the Arctic one of the least-understood environments on Earth

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The Search for the Arctic Bumblebee

Photos: Sean Nealon

The search for the elusive arctic bumblebee named Bombus polaris began at the Thai Orchid Drive-Thru in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The drive-through – a neon painted shed in a parking lot – offered the team of six UC Riverside scientists one last chance for anything close to pad thai or tom kha soup for the next two weeks.

It was late June, and the team was about to embark on a more-than-1,000-mile trip north toward the Arctic Ocean, where the sun does not set in summer and mosquitoes are often unbearable. Cellphone service and Wi-Fi would be nonexistent nearly the entire trip. Food was limited to what could be stored in the vehicles without refrigeration. By the end of the trip, the group would grow tired of pancakes, pasta and instant oatmeal, and missed fresh fruits and vegetables.

The researchers were searching for B. polaris, one of only two species of bumblebee in the high Arctic. The bee is black, with a mixture of yellow and orange, and a thicker coat of hair than most bees. The long coat of hair helps it to spread pollen and adapt to the cold. The bumblebee also has an ability to increase its internal temperature up to 38 degrees Celsius (warmer than a human body) through a process called thermoregulation.

The UCR researchers wanted to know: How is this bee uniquely adapted to Arctic conditions? And how is it impacted by climate change?

Bumblebees are important pollinators of wildflowers and food crops, so much so that in 2007 Canada placed B. polaris on a 5-cent postage stamp to draw attention to its significance. But some species are undergoing precipitous declines. The implications of UCR researchers’ findings could be significant because the effects of climate change are amplified in the Arctic, and B. polaris is the primary pollinator of about 80 plants threatened in the region.

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Day 1

Photo: Bruce Link

After the Thai food, with sunny skies and a temperature in the mid-70s, a warmer-than-usual temperature that persisted for most of the trip, the team headed north on Highway 2 in two vehicles: a Ford Expedition nicknamed the “Beespedition” and a 22-foot-long Ford F-350 known as the “Bee-hemoth.”

S. Hollis Woodard, the trip leader and an assistant professor of entomology, sat shotgun in the Beespedition. She arrived at UC Riverside in the summer of 2015 as part of a wave of pollination experts hired by the university. Within months, she had assembled the Alaska team.

Woodard has studied bees for 10 years and has three bee tattoos. She often dreams of bees. About 100 miles north of Fairbanks, Highway 2 turns into the Dalton Highway, the only road that reaches the Arctic Ocean. Over 414 miles, it switches from pavement to packed gravel and dirt, with a healthy mix of dust, mud, and bumps caused by melting permafrost.

Built in the mid-1970s in conjunction with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the road gained fame from the show “Ice Road Truckers.” The most important rule of the road? Big trucks have the right of way.

The plan the first day was to drive 115 miles through a boreal forest carpeted with spruce, poplar, and aspen to a campsite where the highway meets the Arctic Circle.

About halfway, the team crossed the nearly 2,000-mile-long Yukon River and bought gas for $5.49 per gallon at the Yukon River Camp. It was one of only three places to fuel up along the highway.

Two hours later, just after 8 p.m., the caravan reached the Arctic Circle campground.

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Day 2

In the morning, insect nets in hand, the group set out to catch bees. “We’re lucky because we can look for things bees depend on, such as flowering plants. It’s a visual signal, so when we see a patch of flowers, we stop to look,” Woodard says. Within a couple hours, the group had caught 28 bees.

Some were captured by Kristal Watrous, an assistant specialist in Woodard’s lab.

Watrous had wanted to work with bees since she was 8 years old. “I thought they were fuzzy and cute,” she said. “And I wanted to save them. Nothing has changed.”

She likes to talk to the bees after catching them. “Hey, friend. Look at you, you’re so little.”

Team member Jeff Diez, an assistant professor of plant ecology who was nicknamed Timberwolf due to his regal poses before stunning landscapes, wasn’t sure how to react to Watrous.

“I’m not sure how I feel about the cooing,” Diez said jokingly. “I’ve yet to meet a botanist who does that.”

Michelle Duennes, a post-doctoral researcher in Woodard’s lab who is an expert at rescuing bees from a state of bedraggledness – she fluffs up and dries the bees to make it easier to look at their color patterns to identify them – spent the morning with Woodard processing the collected specimens.

They created a bee-processing assembly line, recording the time and place of collection, bee species, food source, quality of pollen, and gut health. They preserved each bee’s pollen load to understand its diet and removed its guts to understand what disease-causing organisms might be present, something which could offer insight into what pathogens are causing bumblebee declines. (The researchers believe they are the first to analyze pathogens of Arctic bumblebees.) Finally, each bee was placed in a tube filled with ethanol to preserve it for future genetic analysis.

By day’s end, the group caught 81 bees, but not a single B. polaris.

In such a remote area, safety was a top concern. The night ended at 11 p.m. with a briefing by Alan Brelsford, an assistant professor of biology who spent much of his childhood in rural Alaska, hunting, fishing, and developing an appreciation of the outdoors. Brelsford shared the dangers posed by moose, black bears, and grizzly bears.

Some important details: Carry bear spray at all times. Don’t work alone in the field. Fight back during a predatory attack. Play dead in a defensive attack.

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Day 3

Breaking down camp, the team bid farewell to two bicyclists who had camped nearby. One planned to bike to Vancouver. The other expected to reach Patagonia in 18 months.

After two nights at Arctic Circle, the researchers were on the road again. Destination: Marion Creek Campground, just north of Coldfoot.

There, Woodard and Jessica Purcell, an assistant professor of entomology, celebrated their one-year anniversary of working at UC Riverside by sharing a bag of Doritos.

Later that night, Jim Gorman, a reporter with The New York Times, and Katie Orlinsky, a freelance photographer working for the newspaper, caught up with the group for an article on the expedition.

Soon after, a rainstorm descended. While most of the group fled to their tents, Woodard and Duennes relocated to the Bee-hemoth for an evening of processing bees. But still, no B. polaris.

Collaborating Across Disciplines in Pollination Research

One high-level administrative initiative at UC Riverside helped fund the university researchers’ trip to Alaska. Another aims to make the university a leader in pollination research. A collaborative seed grant program offered by the Office of Research and Economic Development is designed to initiate new research directions for faculty and make UCR more competitive for larger grants.

Woodard and her team received $30,000 in seed grant funding to help pay for the Alaska trip, and they’ll use the data from Alaska to help them compete for larger federal grants.

It’s part of UCR’s commitment to help increase research funding for its faculty. “We have high-caliber faculty at UCR and our faculty are becoming increasingly competitive at the federal level,” says Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Michael Pazzani. “We have a goal of tripling our funding in 10 years. To do that, we need about a 12 percent annual increase. I am happy to say UCR is on track to do that.”

The Arctic bumblebee research also ties in with plans by Chancellor Kim Wilcox and Provost Paul D’Anieri to add 300 faculty positions in the coming years.

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Many of those hires will come via a concept called cluster hires. This calls for hiring groups of faculty in 34 vital and emerging fields of scholarship to build critical mass in those areas and foster cross-disciplinary work.

One cluster hire area is focused on pollination research.

UCR aims to hire collaborative biologists examining issues related to bee health, pollinator and plant interaction networks, and evolutionary ecology of pollination from the plant perspective.

Thirty-five percent of the world’s food and about 87 percent of flowering plants require pollinators for their reproduction; bees provide the majority of these services. Knowledge of the pollination interactions in these systems can provide solutions to health and management problems.

“The pollination initiative captures our overall strategy: Build off existing competitive advantages to tackle crucial emerging problems for the region and the world,” says D’Anieri. “We have the world’s best Department of Entomology, great facilities, and decades of experience tackling problems for growers. We can attract the best talent and help them address some really pressing concerns.”

Day 4

The next morning, the search continued as the caravan approached the Brooks Range, an east-west mountain range stretching to Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Conversation in the Bee-spedition turned to B. polaris – specifically the recent campaign by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to assess the status of bumblebees worldwide due to alarming population collapses in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.

IUCN has placed B. polaris in the “data deficient” category. When describing the records and collections of the species, it includes phrases such as “need to be checked,” “uncertain,” and “under sampled.”

“You couldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, say how this bee is doing,” Woodard said.

Shortly after, with Diez driving, Woodard pulled out her laptop. The two began to outline ideas for a National Science Foundation grant proposal to study bumblebees in other Arctic regions of the world.

The team had already received a $10,000 seed grant, and $20,000 in subsequent funding, from UC Riverside’s Office of Research and Economic Development to help pay for the Alaska tip. With the data collected in Alaska, they planned to make their case for a larger National Science Foundation grant.

A few minutes later, the group made a significant wildlife sighting, but not of B. polaris: a white wolf walking along a riverbed. Other sightings would include a moose, red fox, caribou, and a herd of muskox.

The group then made one final bee-collecting stop before ascending toward the jagged ridges of the Brooks Range.

They caught 39 bees, including one that led Woodard to say: “It’s the biggest frickin’ bumblebee I have ever seen.” The group couldn’t identify it definitively, but after returning to California, they determined it was B. polaris – the first one caught on the trip.

Soon, the group crossed Atigun Pass, elevation of 4,643 feet, the highest highway corridor in Alaska. But a stop at the top yielded no bees.

It was on to Galbraith Lake for the night. The forest had receded, giving way to flat, treeless arctic tundra. And ever-present mosquitoes.

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Day 5

On the tundra, mosquito head nets were necessary and bug spray was useless. There were hordes of mosquitoes around at all times. The wet tundra is home to more mosquitoes because it is wet; the terrain holds water because it doesn’t penetrate the permafrost below, making it a perfect habitat for mosquito larvae.

After only catching two bees, it was time to move on for two nights at Toolik Field Station, a research center about 140 miles south of the Arctic Ocean. It is operated and managed by the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The accommodations were an upgrade: Quonset huts with six bunks. Wi-Fi. Three hot meals a day. A refrigerator stocked with leftovers, including crab legs and steak. Even two-minute showers were allowed.

After checking in at Toolik, the team headed out to search for bees. They struggled to walk through willow bushes that covered the ground. Occasional lakes and streams dotted the landscape, but not a single tree.

“This place is so pretty it could be a Windows background,” Duennes said.

But B. polaris proved elusive. The researchers theorized that an early warm spell followed by a cold spell could have disrupted the bees’ behavior.

What’s in the Arctic Researcher’s Bag?

1. Forceps–To help in the careful handling and identification of the bees.

2. Collection vials–Bees are placed in ethanol to preserve them for future, genetic analysis. It’s possible to study a bee’s DNA by just making a tarsal snip (which means cutting off its back foot). But bringing bees back to the lab to study their guts helps researchers understand what internal parasites could be harming the bee populations, which pathogens affect them, and how that them impacts flowering plant populations.

3. Lab gloves–To avoid contaminating the samples collected.

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What’s in the Arctic Researcher’s Bag?

It’s important to study Bombus polaris because climate change’s effects are most evident in the Arctic. “Some of the things we can learn from B. polaris can teach us a lot about conservation issues and how important is it to protect them up here,” Woodard says.

At the moment, it hasn’t been assessed whether B. polaris is endangered; “not enough people study them to know.” Woodard and her team know that the bumblebees have a short season. Queens live for about a year; they emerge in the fall as a new adult, mate over winter, and start a colony in spring. During the winter – when it gets to about 40 to 60 degrees below freezing in the Arctic – only queens survive; they spend the winter in an inactive state. In the spring they forage and raise their temperatures to build their colonies. Worker bees have a life span of about a month; during that month, they build colonies, forage, and reproduce. Here’s a look at the tools the researchers packed for use in the Arctic.

4. Field notebook–For recording the time and place of collection, bee species, food source, quality of pollen, and gut health.

5. Ethanol–Ethanol is the best preserving agent for bees, preventing their bodies from deteriorating.

6. Mosquito head net–To keep the hordes of mosquitoes at bay. Incidentally, by their sheer mass, mosquitoes are also pollinators of some plants in the Arctic. However, bees are often better pollinators because they can fly farther and do a better job of moving pollen around the landscape. They reliably visit certain species of plants, and are hairy enough to carry a lot of pollen between flowers.

7. Plant cuttings–Studying the flowers that B. polaris pollinates also helps the researchers understand the bee. Some important arctic plants pollinated by bumblebees include wild berry species (blueberry, lingonberry, cloudberry, cranberry), which produce fruits eaten by local people and wildlife. Another group of plants–willows–flower very early in the year, providing food to bumblebee queens as the snow melts.

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Day 6

July 4 began as another day of trekking across sponge-like tundra in search of B. polaris. But few bees were found.

Watrous spotted one and dove, net in hand. She missed. Throwing down the net, she used her hand to try to trap the bee, but missed again.

“I was willing to get stung to get that bee,” she said. “Sacrifices. When they are few and far between, you got to go the extra mile.”

Back at Toolik, hope revived. The team learned of another scientist who was searching for birds and had inadvertently trapped 24 bees, an unintended gift for the UC Riverside researchers.

That evening, as Woodard, Diez, Brelsford, and Purcell met in a community room at Toolik to discuss plans to apply for the National Science Foundation grant, Duennes closely examined the bees.

She soon realized one looked different. Possibly a B. polaris. But it also resembled Bombus balteatus.

But there were three characteristics that separated it from B. balteatus – a longer cheek, no black hair on the sides of its thorax and a bit of yellow on the third segment of its abdomen.

Woodard and Watrous confirmed the identification. It was B. polaris – the first specimen definitively identified on the trip. A toast ensued.

Day 7

A Facebook live chat with Woodard hosted by The New York Times started the day and quickly drew tens of thousands of online views.

During the chat, Woodard describes the appeal of bumblebees: “They are the panda bear of the insect world. They are big and fuzzy and they move really slow, so you can actually see them do their thing. Because of that they’ve captivated a lot of people.”

Afterward, the group departed Toolik, with the hope of finding more B. polaris.

By midafternoon, the group had reached Franklin Bluffs, a coastal plain about 40 miles south of the Arctic Ocean. A gravel lot with construction vehicles became the team’s base of operations and campsite.

By 5 p.m., the team had caught 37 bees, 15 of which they later confirmed were B. polaris. A windfall.

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Days 8–14

The team, minus Diez and Purcell, who had left the previous night to return to Fairbanks, continued north to Deadhorse, a town about 10 miles south of the Arctic Ocean that serves as base for workers in the nearby oil fields.

There, they collected 23 bees, including six more B. polaris.

The following morning, they were on the Dalton Highway heading south. After a few bee sampling stops, they reached the Arctic Circle campground, where they had spent the first two nights.

In search of more B. polaris specimens, they headed east along the Steese Highway to Eagle Summit in the White Mountains. (Other scientists had previously found B. polaris in this area, so the UC Riverside scientists were interested to see if they could find it there, too.)

During two days of sampling, they found 18 more.

On July 11, the team returned to Fairbanks and immediately drove to the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where they compared bumblebee specimens with the ones they had collected. The visit was critical because bumblebees are notoriously difficult to identify and even bumblebees of the same species can vary in appearance when found in different regions.

After leaving the museum, attention quickly turned to shipping the approximately 700 bees to Riverside. (Stored in plastic tubes filled with flammable ethanol, the specimens are not allowed on airplanes.) Luckily, a FedEx store could accommodate them.

That night, Woodard, Watrous, Duennes, and Bren Woodard (Woodard’s brother, who came along as a volunteer to help collect bees) set about securely packing the bees for their journey south. They taped the top of each tube and placed them in boxes, which went into Ziploc bags that were then taped shut.

More than three hours later, and having watched the first season and beginning of the second season of “Trailer Park Boys” on Netflix, they were done. It was after 1 a.m.

Two days later, in Riverside, the researchers were reunited with the bees.

The team is now making plans to analyze the genomes of some of the bees they collected. They want to better understand how the bees have adapted to arctic conditions and the weeks of uninterrupted daylight. They want to learn more about one of the least understood pollination systems on Earth. And they plan to take the data they collect to provide a better view of the status of the bees.

Woodard deemed the trip a success.

They had found the bees they were looking for. They had met scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who will likely be key partners in their research. And the attention from the New York Times Facebook live chat had moved scientists from two leading bumblebee research groups in Europe to reach out to Woodard about possible collaborations.

“All this is only going to translate to good things,” Woodard said.

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The Bell Tower By The Numbers

UCR’s Most Iconic Structure Turns 50 This Year

Compiled by Bethanie Le

If there were ever a spot that meant UC Riverside to the 100,000- plus Highlanders, it is the bell tower. Rising up from the middle of the campus, it is a landmark, a meeting place, a stage-setter and – most recently – a Twitter and Instagram account holder. The carillon and tower at UCR were a gift from former UC Regent Philip Boyd and his wife, Dorothy. Then-Professor of Music William Reynolds was asked to choose a carillon for the campus. He recommended that UCR purchase a 48-bell carillon from the Paccard Bell Foundry in France. The dedication of the carillon and tower took place on Oct. 2, 1966, and the rest are bongs in history.

1966– The year that the bell tower was dedicated to UCR by UC Regent Philip Boyd and his wife, Dorothy.

9– The number of months that it took to build the bell tower.

5,162– The number of holes that cover the iconic bell tower.

5– UCR’s bell tower is only one of five true carillons in California!

The UCR Bell Tower will be hosting a free 50th Anniversary Carillon Concert Series every week until November 2016. For dates, times, carillon videos, and interviews, go to

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15– The weight in tons of the bell tower. This is equivalent to the weight of 45 male grizzly bears, 3,750 bagpipes, and 1,875 bowling balls!

48– The number of bells that are housed in the bell chamber at the top of the tower. A carillon is an instrument that consists of at least 23 cup-shaped bells, tuned in chromatic series and played from a keyboard that allows variation of touch. A pianist would have little trouble learning to play the carillon, even though one plays the carillon keys with fists (and feet, because the larger bells have heavier clappers). Carillon music looks like piano music, and many aspects of playing are the same. The UCR carillon’s 48 bells make it a concert carillon. –by Margo Halsted, former UCR carillonneur (Read more of her memories at!)

161– The height of the bell tower in feet. This is as tall as five fully grown navel orange trees stacked on top of each other.

5,091–The weight in pounds of the largest bell.

28–The weight in pounds of the smallest bell.

78–The depth of the bell tower’s underground foundation in feet. This is deeper than Big Bear Lake’s deepest water at 72 feet.

945–The number of Twitter followers that @UCR_Belltower has. This account tweets a huge, “BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG,” hour-by-hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also take a bell tower selfie and tag the @UCR_Belltower Instagram account!

29–The number of years that the current University Carillonneur David Christensen has been performing bell tower concerts. (UCR has only had three carillonneurs, including Margo Halsted and Lowell J. Smith.) During the academic year, Christensen performs on Mondays at noon.

Illustration: Judy Field-Baker, courtesy of UCR Jack & Marilyn Sweeney Art Gallery Permanent Collection.

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Passion at KUCR: An Oral History

As UC Riverside’s iconic radio station celebrates its 50th anniversary, a few notable alumni–who’ve gone on to become legislators, activists, Pulitzer Prize winners, venture capitalists, producers–tell us how this unassuming campus station sparked their life goals.

As told to Lilledeshan Bose and Sandra Baltazar Martínez

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LOUIS VANDENBERG ’77 (KUCR director and general manager): The original foundation of KUCR was in the A&I dormitory. Rumor had it that Bill Farmer, KUCR’s founding engineer, was part of the trio who had built a pirate AM station out of the Aberdeen-Inverness dorms, using a metal trash can as an antenna. Our (now-deceased) chief engineer Bill Elledge, then the news director, used to say the signal went halfway to Los Angeles. They took their enthusiasm to Chancellor Ivan Hinderaker, who immediately recognized that a radio station was something that could make UCR special because there weren’t many college campuses with radio stations. There is limited frequency available, and all the frequencies have been allocated. That’s why UC San Diego, UCLA, UC Merced don’t have radio stations. He gave his full support to establishing KUCR in 1965.

HANS WYNHOLDS ’67 (KUCR founding manager, Silicon Valley venture capitalist): I started working with KUCR as a junior. My roommate, Kerry Kelts, was a member of the Student Council, and he volunteered me to be involved with building the station. Building the station involved recruiting a team to build out the electronics and staff the operation, customizing the building donated by the administration to be a viable sound studio, acquiring the necessary licenses and permits for operation, and gathering a record library so there would be content to play on the air. The next year, as a senior, I served as KUCR station manager. The main goal was to find the soul of the station. What would be its personality, how would it fit in with student life at UCR? What would be its points of advocacy, and how would it evolve as an ongoing entity? Fifty years ago the campus was new with very few students and an open agenda. KUCR was one of many initiatives underway to help flesh out the campus environment. For me, it was an opportunity to build something from scratch. It was a challenge.

LOUIS VANDENBERG: When I came into KUCR, I saw that the university had all kinds of resources; we have professors who can comment on world issues and politics, and we could draw upon the intellectual resources of the campus and do really interesting programs. That was the inspiration to actively recruit members of diverse communities who were in the student body and in the larger community to do programs here.

MAC TAYLOR ’76 (KUCR DJ, 1974-1976, California legislative analyst): I started out at the station just helping on the news broadcast – taking feeds off the AP wire and packaging them into the nightly newscast. I ended up serving as co-news director for two years. It was a great all-around experience as I got to interview people, produce pieces, and read on-air. It also exposed me to the particularly fun and eclectic group of people who worked at the station. My news-related work led to other activities at the station – from deejaying shows to doing the play-by-play on Highlander basketball games.

JANE BLOCK (KUCR host, 1978, “Women’s Space Women’s Place,” co-founder of the UCR Women’s Resource Center and the Commission for Women in Riverside County): This [time period, the 1970s] was a big moment for women, but women were very unpracticed in [making] public statements. One day I went to KUCR and explained [to Louis Vandenberg] that I would like to create a program on issues that affected women. He said yes. I invited local women to come speak on different issues; many had suffered domestic violence. That was a big deal. Women didn’t have much practice, much exposure on how to communicate with the media. KUCR was a fantastic entry for them; radio was their first media exposure. KUCR taught me how to be conscientious and how to present myself with the media. Having that visibility helped the women’s movement in Riverside tremendously.

MAX BURGOS ’82 (KUCR DJ from 1989 to 1992, Emmy award-nominee, TV producer): I was proudest of developing an initiative that was passed to help fund KUCR by the students. But one of my most memorable moments at KUCR was the dichotomy of having in our studio, within the same week, Jack Endino, who produced Nirvana’s first two albums and was one of the fathers of the grunge music scene, and the spokesperson for the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, which was an El Salvadorian rebel faction at the time.

ROBERT PEREZ, M.A. ’96, PH.D. ’03 (KUCR host of “Indian Time” since 1994 and associate professor of ethnic studies at UCR): “Indian Time” was started in 1993 by Earl Dean Sisto, former director of the Native American Student Programs. Then Earl passed the show on to the students and I was one of those early students. To me, [radio has] always been about saying things on air that people say in the community. [Radio DJs] ask questions we hear the Native American community asking. Even though it’s an obscure section of the world, listeners like the fact that we are asking the same questions and represent their views. Even if they don’t agree with us, it’s having a native voice; it’s bringing that perspective.

DEXTER THOMAS ’06 (KUCR program director from 2003-2008, Pulitzer Prize winner, Vice news host): In my freshman year I was living in A&I. I saw this dude walking around with a big crate of CDs and I thought he was cool. He was a KUCR DJ, and he invited me to the station. I watched him do his show, and really

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wanted to do what he did, so I applied as a DJ-in-training. Eventually I became a program director and station manager in charge of hip-hop and electronica. I went through every single hip-hop album at the station from the 1980s to 2008 and listened to every single song to make sure that everything we had was playable. We had a lot of records that had not been checked in years, and things had gotten a lot stricter since they were originally checked. The FCC has a strict protocol, which specifically regulates indecency, and as a KUCR DJ, you have to know all of this. I spent hours and hours at KUCR – I slept on that couch so many times, I can’t even tell you. Asking me what my favorite memory at KUCR is like asking me what the last six years of my college life was like. KUCR was my passion and focus. I would skip classes but I never missed a show; I never was once less than 100 percent on point for a show.

HANNAH BENSON ’16 (KUCR DJ, 2014-2016): KUCR is so great that it’s almost like a really cliché movie, where everyone is super hip, into really obscure music, funny, and everyone gets along. If you were to put my experience at KUCR into a movie and portray it accurately, it would look to other people like a fabricated thing.

LOUIS VANDENBERG: When you have a licensed radio station, it is licensed expressly for the purpose of serving the public interest. If you look at the fundamental foundation of the University of California, we are a land grant institution whose purpose is to serve the public interest. And UCR does that with community outreach and supporting commerce and agriculture, supporting culture and the arts – in a lot of ways

7 Things You Didn’t Know About KUCR

1. In 1966, UC Regents approved the ASUCR-originated proposal for the allocation of $10,000 to establish KUCR as a 10-watt broadcast signal situated at 88.1 on the FM dial. KUCR went on-air at 2 p.m. the afternoon of Oct. 2, 1966, with a well-attended open house followed by a live broadcast of the very first carillon concert from the UCR bell tower. It has broadcast from the same building across from the A & I dorms ever since (but on a different frequency and bigger transmitter).

2. Both chancellors Ivan Hinderaker and Tomás Rivera were champions of KUCR. Rivera had been a member of the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broadcasting.

3. KUCR students have covered elections, elected officials, and special events. Among those interviewed include President Ronald Reagan, Gov. Jerry Brown, activist César Chávez, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Barbara Boxer, labor activist Dolores Huerta, Vice President Al Gore, Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Richard Cheney, and Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

4. More than 4,000 UCR alumni have staffed KUCR throughout its 50 years.

5. Hans Wynholds on that Ansel Adams photo: “I had little appreciation of the truly fortuitous experience of being photographed by Ansel Adams. It was blind luck that events conspired to work out as, they did – my timing at KUCR, having KUCR go on the air just when UC had its centennial, having the Chancellor be solidly behind the radio station project, and encouraging Ansel Adams to photograph the studio. Finally, having Ansel Adams find this photo worthy of inclusion when there were so many others he could have chosen.”

6. Skateboard artist and musician Tracy Lee Nelson, a Diegueno/Luiseno Indian, was visiting KUCR with his band Native Blues and they spontaneously created an Indian Time theme song, which Robert Perez still plays today.

7. Authors and artists have been interviewed at KUCR: Ray Bradbury, author of “Fahrenheit 451,” was there in 1975. Singer Janis Joplin created an on-air promo for the station. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., author of “Slaughterhouse Five,” was interviewed in 1966. Cameron Crowe, award-winning filmmaker (“Almost Famous”) and journalist, was at KUCR in 1975. Listen to these interviews at

Love KUCR? Donate to the station by mailing a check payable to “UCR Foundation,” reference KUCR in the memo line, and send to UCR Foundation, P.O. Box 112, Riverside, CA 92502-0112.

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– and one of the ways that this campus does that is with the radio station. KUCR to me combines these elements. Not only is KUCR supposed to be a really enriching thing for the campus and for the student experience, it’s also supposed to enrich the community with radio broadcasting and content that wasn’t otherwise available on commercial radio.

MAX BURGOS: The significance of having a radio station on campus is two-fold as it is providing a service outside of mainstream media for the community in both news and entertainment. Additionally, it serves as a training ground for students to learn skills in broadcast as well as entertainment. Lastly, it is a touchpoint for students with the entertainment industry.

HANNAH BENSON: KUCR has really helped me connect to the community in more ways than I can count. I feel like KUCR provides this bridge between UCR and Riverside. It’s important for those two to be bridged. And it’s important for Riverside to have a local media source. KUCR provides a way to really emphasize, express, and grow the culture that already exists here.

HANS WYNHOLDS: After my time at UCR and working at KUCR, I went to work for Lockheed in the aerospace industry and continued my education at USC and Stanford. After 10 years working for Lockheed (and by then living in the Bay Area), I ventured out on my own, starting my own business and eventually helping to found and build several more. In hindsight, my work with KUCR became a model for my working career of building small teams of motivated people to tackle interesting technical projects.

MAX BURGOS: My time at KUCR wasn’t just about deejaying, which I loved, or being on air, which I also loved, but the student-run organization, learning the ins and outs of working with a team, and managing a staff. Also, most importantly, I got my first job in entertainment as a direct result of KUCR.

MAC TAYLOR: My experiences at KUCR certainly contributed positively to my career. First, it offered me opportunities to try new things, often times pushing my comfort level. It also required a lot of public speaking, which was a great way to build confidence in one’s ability to handle such situations. Being at KUCR also exposed me to a wide variety of people, which was helpful in understanding the different perspectives individuals have. All of these factors have been beneficial to me in my career.

DEXTER THOMAS: At the LA Times, I covered culture – from Ferguson to Japanese pop, tech to Kanye West and Islamophobia. A lot of it came from what I was doing at KUCR – it’s where I learned to take culture very seriously. At UCR, I learned that the world is something that can be studied. But KUCR was the laboratory where I got to put that into practice, and I experimented with that by spinning, putting a jungle track from the ’90s and dropping into rap and then going into indie rock and making these connections. And that influenced my writing; it was an extension of what I was doing musically. Now I’m on the nightly news program with VICE HBO; I’m still chasing that KUCR feeling, where you can experiment and talk about everything. No culture is off the table, and you’re able to show people what they wouldn’t normally see. I had six years of absolute freedom doing that at KUCR, so that’s what I still want to be doing.

LOUIS VANDENBERG: If you are very passionate about something and you are presenting that to someone, or to a group of people or to the general public, there’s a nonverbal thing that people will just key on. They will recognize your passion; it will produce their own interest in it. So what we often tell people to do is let people hear their enthusiasm. We say, “Know the material, but always be expanding your mind as well; expand into other kinds of music and other artists and always be developing that.” These personal connections – where people bring forth their personal passions and air that into the radio show – is why so many of our students have developed a really strong, emotional connection to the radio station. And that’s sustained over years and decades. They recognize that they have the capacity to do things that they haven’t previously done and connected to the things that move them. If you can’t do that at the university, there’s probably no other time in your life when you’ll be able to do that. So KUCR is a place where people try things and connect in a way they never have and never would otherwise.

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The Professor of Small Things

Urban entomologist Dong-Hwan Choe on studying–and thinking–like a bug

By Lilledeshan Bose

Photo: Carrie Rosema

Dong-Hwan Choe grew up in Korea, where, as a child, he loved playing with bugs. In fact, he likes to show his introductory entomology class a childhood photo. “In it, I’m holding a stone in front of a tree and two other kids are watching me. I think I was perhaps squishing ants.”

Maybe Choe’s actions were prescient; today, the assistant Cooperative Extension specialist and assistant professor of entomology studies ants, spiders, cockroaches, termites, and bedbugs – insects that are affecting people’s lives in urban settings. Studying their behavior tells Choe how to effectively control and manage these pests. His most recent bedbug research, for example, found that bedbugs’ shed skins retain the “obnoxious sweetness” smell often associated with the pests. The skins, known as exuviae, contain pheromone compounds. Choe and his team found that living bedbugs are likely to settle down in the vicinity of the shed skins by sensing these compounds. To develop more effective management tools, Choe draws upon his expertise in behavioral ecology, experimental design, chemical ecology, and analytical chemistry. From 2012 to 2016, he was awarded the Early Career Chair in Urban Entomology because of this expertise.

He talks to UCR Magazine about the zen of studying insects and what his endowment helped him achieve.

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By Bethanie Le


An endowed chair is one of the most important gifts to higher education; it’s an honor that fosters academic excellence and recognizes superior faculty. Established with sizeable donor gifts to an academic area, the endowed chair provides invaluable financial support above and beyond the salary that the professor uses in research, teaching, or service activities.

To find out more about establishing an endowed chair, contact UCR’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Development Hieu Nguyen at

Q: How did you end up studying urban entomology?

A: I always liked insects from my childhood, much like the other kids. My parents were really supportive. They bought a lot of insect-related books for me in my childhood. I think they knew that by doing something unique, I could be able to get a job more easily. Even these days, I sometimes join the entomology outreach program, and whenever I go to the elementary school I see the kids fascinated by small insects crawling around.

Q: So that was you when you were a kid?

A: I’d like to think so. The insect was something that continuously fascinated me, but it was also like a free toy that didn’t even need batteries. I never lost the interest even as a teenager or college student. I studied agricultural biology in Korea, and they had a lot of entomology-related classes. I decided to go to the United States because there are a lot of universities with entomology programs in this country.

Q: Why did you choose UCR?

A: UCR provided me a very nice scholarship package at the time. I knew that the UCs had really good entomology programs from searching on the web. The departmental website at UCR had a really nice lineup of faculty and of the students, which was a really good sign of a very productive department. So I was really happy to get in. Before I came here as a Ph.D. student, I didn’t have any idea about Riverside. When I arrived in 2003, that was the first time I set foot in the United States, in California. I landed at LAX and went straight to Riverside.

Q: Your undergrad was in agriculture; why did you go into urban entomology?

A: The United States has always heavily relied on agriculture to feed people. A lot of insects prey on plant materials that we need as our own food source. So the entomology program is always developing better strategies to combat plant insects in agricultural settings. But now, as our cities are getting more populated, the urban pest problem is more important. A lot of what I learned from my undergraduate program – especially regarding pesticide – is really relevant to urban entomology. So it’s not really separate in terms of the concept; it’s using the knowledge of insect biology to develop the better strategies to manage the pest problem in the urban setting.

Q: Aside from the actual department, Riverside is close enough to agriculture but it’s also an urban setting. Does being in Riverside, then, help your research?

A: Absolutely. Riverside is unique in terms of location. We can go to the largest cities in the country – Los Angeles, San Diego – within an hour or two by driving. Riverside is large enough to get all kinds of residential buildings. So I can study pests from small residential homes to multi-unit dwellings, such as cockroaches and bedbugs. Some of my projects relating to urban pests are actually being carried out in those big cities. One such project has been recently funded by the UC ANR (Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources). We have investigated the current status of bedbug infestations in multi-dwelling units/apartment buildings and developed the best pest management program for bedbugs in those specific settings.

Q: As an urban entomologist, you must talk to other researchers in disciplines like public policy and anthropology. Do you collaborate with scholars in those fields?

A: Yes, absolutely. We have a relationship with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CADPR), which has provided important resources for research to find the best strategy to reduce the amount

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of insecticide runoff to the fresh water system in the urban settings. So right now, the CADPR does a lot of monitoring for pesticide concentration and other types like organic nutrients in the water, and they’re detecting a lot of different pesticides in the water system. We are also developing a close collaboration with the professional pest management companies because they are the ones who actually use a lot of the commercially available pesticides around the structures (of course, a lot of commercial pesticides are also available for homeowners’ purchase and are used by homeowners). We work with California DPR, professional pest control companies, and consumers; we collaborate and think of better strategies to reduce the pesticide runoff and water contamination.

Q: How did your endowed chair help your research?

A: I used it to support my staff, my graduate students traveling to different conferences, for trainings and workshops, and even supported undergraduate student researchers in my laboratory over summer break. Sending graduate students to conferences and training opportunities is very important because they make their own professional networks there. They are educational opportunities that stimulate their imaginations, providing them more drive.

Q: So far, what are you most proud of in your career and what are your other goals while you are at UCR?

A: I’m proud of being a faculty member of UCR’s entomology department. I think I have been pretty successful since my hire at UC Riverside as a faculty. And since my hire, I was able to get outside funding as well. I have also been developing successful collaborations with other faculty members on our campus, such as Ashok Mulchandani from chemical engineering. We’re developing novel biodegradable bait stations for ant management. Mark Hoddle is another collaborator for that project. Urban entomology doesn’t always get multimillion-dollar grants, but we have smaller yet critical opportunities everywhere. So I have to spend my time to find out critical areas of research.

Q: What is your big goal in terms of the next five to 10 years?

A: To continue to have graduate students, work on fascinating biology of urban pests, and develop better management strategies. Those are my main goals. I think my job is always fun and fascinating; we are thriving because a lot of people hate bugs. There’s an emotional element to it. At the same time, to do this job in a smarter way, I think we have to understand the insects better. While understanding the biology is the most fun part of the research, it’s great to develop something very practical and useful for every day life because you are making a difference in people’s lives.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: I have a little 5-year-old son. The most exciting period of my day is playing with him. He is doing different things every day and he is developing every day, asking crazy questions. I try to enjoy his young age as much as I can.

I am a member of UCR Pipe Band. I learned to play the bagpipes from Mike Terry in 2003. That was one of the most important leisure activities I had as a graduate student here. Bagpipes are not very popular in Korea. It’s a really fun team activity.

I also like to take pictures. I guess you can call me an avid photographer of small things. I’m not really good at taking pictures of people, but I enjoy taking pictures of small life like snails and insects. So I spend quite a bit of time now in my backyard. I don’t have a lot of time to travel and take pictures, but my house is located where the urban area meets undeveloped, open area, providing ample opportunity to find small living things.

Q: People say entomologists have to think like a bug to do their job well.

A: Yes, especially when I am studying the behavior of the insect, I always try to think just like a bug. The one thing is that you have to pay attention to really small details. It is really important to pick up small changes in their gesture and behavior to understand the significance of the changes in terms of communication and ecology. Because they are much smaller than us, we sometimes lose important information just because we just did not notice it. So understanding those small changes is essential.

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The First 50 Approaching Residency

On the cusp of graduating, the UCR School of Medicine’s first class prepares for residency

By Bethanie Le

In the series “the First 50,” we follow members of the inaugural class of the UCR School of Medicine through the challenges they face.

Ever since they slipped into that white coat three years ago, the Class of 2017 has worked hard toward the ultimate goal: graduating from the School of Medicine. That day is now closer than ever.

For the past three years, the students have honed their clinical skills working with their physician mentors and, last year, completed “clerkship” rotations that gave them experience in a variety of medical specialties. They’ve passed rigorous science courses and learned the ins and outs of the hospital setting. Now on the last leg before they can officially add an M.D. to their names, most have found their calling in medicine.

In med school, the fourth year is the most flexible. Students are able to create individualized schedules depending on their field of interest. For students Rafael Ornelas and Diana Tran, this means choosing electives geared toward internal medicine, the specialty that they both hope to pursue into residency.

“If there was a rotation that I didn’t like so much, I don’t have to go through it again,” Ornelas says. “I’m looking forward to learning in a more focused way since now I get to pick electives I really enjoy.”

Still, their days are constantly packed, considering what’s involved in applying for residency programs. After students secure their letters of recommendation, write personal statements, and apply to the programs of their choice, the waiting game begins.

Like their classmates, Ornelas and Tran are waiting patiently for the programs to contact them for interviews, a process that will last from October to January. This will all lead up to Match Day in March – the day when these soon-to-be doctors are notified which residency program they have been “matched” into.

“I’m nervous and kind of scared, but I feel ready,” said Tran. “Our mentors and patients have taught us so well.”

For Tran, some of these lessons learned include giving back to the Inland community. She’s one of the clinical directors for the San Bernardino Free Clinic.

A partnership between UCR School of Medicine and the Lestonnac Free Clinic organization, the SBFC is a full-service primary care clinic that serves patients the first Saturday of every month.

“San Bernardino is one of the biggest communities in the nation, yet they rank at almost the bottom of the list in terms of health,” Tran explains.

The clinic has a holistic approach to patient care; it offers not only free medical treatment, but also health and wellness education for this underserved community. “There is an overwhelming need there so we don’t want to just treat the symptoms; we want to actually try to attack the root of the health disparities,” adds Matt Gomez, second-year UCR medical student and the clinic’s co-founder.

“It’s very bizarre to think that we’re graduating at the end of the year,” said Ornelas. “It seems so far away, but I know that it is going to come a lot sooner than I think.”

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Living The Promise


In search of a chemical to mimic estrogen treatment without negative side effects, biomedical scientist Seema Tiwari-Woodruff’s drug compound indazole chloride offers hope of diminishing inflammation and reversing the damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).

Watch video to learn more


Michael Pirrung’s work with complex organic molecules has a wide range of potential applications, from creating flavors and fragrances, to providing new cancer and HIV treatments. By inhibiting the proteasome, a huge molecular machine found in each cell, his research has developed a promising new compound for treating kidney cancer.

Get a look inside his lab

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Curing Diseases

Research at UCR has the potential to save lives.


Looking at the way the brain and immune system interact in both health and disease, Monica Carson finds in her research that it’s imperative for these two systems to constantly “play well” together to maintain brain health. Her findings offer a better understanding of how to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

See inside UCR’s new School of Medicine


Combining chemistry and biology tools to understand the biological consequences of DNA damage, how DNA damage is repaired, and how it compromises the flow of genetic information, research from the lab of Yinsheng Wang could lead to the development of new and effective drugs to treat cancer.

Hear more from the expert

Visit to see videos about UCR’s exciting research, innovation, and startups.


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Shaping History

Alumni Association President Ken Noller on how looking to the past can inspire Highlanders of the future.

By Koren Wetmore

Three-time alumnus Ken Noller ’75, T.C. ’76, M.A. ’84, recalls the day his passion for history nearly ruined a date.

Seated in a local restaurant, Noller eagerly lined up individual coffee creamers across the tabletop while the young woman dining with him looked on, puzzled.

“Before I realized what I was doing, I had used the creamers to draw the Union battle lines at Gettysburg,” he says. “Nancy was looking at me like I was crazy. All she had asked was whether or not I had been to the place.”

Fortunately, for Noller, Nancy not only understood but also later became his wife.

Like that memory, history is filled with people, events, and connections. Because nothing in this world happens in isolation.

It’s a lesson Noller shared with students during his 36 years of teaching history at Gage Middle School in Riverside. As the new president of the UCR Alumni Association, it’s something he hopes to convey to UCR students and alumni.

“You’re a Highlander for life,” he says, and that common bond, which links the university’s alumni and students to an ever-growing academic family, is what Noller believes holds the greatest potential to positively influence each other’s lives, professions, and communities.

In fact, Noller feels a distinct pride and urgency about the role that “family” and the university could play in the future of the Inland Empire. “When you look at the businesses, schools, legal profession, and politics of the area, you see so many individuals with a connection to UCR. That’s only going to grow,” Noller says. “Now with the new School of Medicine and the School of Public Policy, the university will have a huge impact on the economics of the area.”

And since many UCR alumni come from less privileged backgrounds, one of his goals as president is to encourage alumni to remember those roots and do what they can to help open doors of opportunity for the next generation of students and graduates. He hopes to inspire alumni to facilitate professional introductions, offer internships, and to fully endow the Alumni Association’s scholarship fund.

“Scholarships are so important. Someone could have all the ambition and intelligence in the world, but if they can’t pay the bills, they can’t go to college. Yet a UCR education could be a real life-changer for them and their families,” says Noller.

He hopes Highlanders today and tomorrow will build their connections and pave the way for new students to follow in their footsteps. Their influence, he says, could help bolster the region and its people, along with the value and meaning of a UCR degree.

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Relationships Key to Success

Darin Anderson is the new chair of UCR Foundation

By Koren Wetmore

Whether he’s running and cycling in a world duathlon championship or building a business, Darin Anderson ’89, M.B.A. ’91, commits himself fully to the task.

In his 25-year career, he’s led mergers and acquisitions, launched two companies, and expanded his current firm twelvefold in a single decade. His achievements and community leadership spurred Ernst & Young to honor him as its 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year for Orange County and the Inland Empire.

While his success formula includes familiar ingredients such as persistence, skill, and hard work, his secret sauce boils down to one thing: relationships.

“You can achieve something on your own, but when you do it with people you know and trust, the journey is more rewarding and the success even sweeter,” says Anderson, CEO of Salas O’Brien LLC, an engineering and architecture firm specializing in critical systems and energy-efficient, sustainable design.

For Anderson, such relationships span personal, academic, and professional arenas.

Recruited in his early 20s to work on mergers and acquisitions for a public company in Irvine, he was mentored by a venture capitalist who taught him that connecting and engaging people are vital to business success. “We did more than 15 acquisitions during a two-year period. I learned how to listen, to understand the psychology behind relationships, and to align people’s motivations, interests, and cultural fits,” he says.

While doing that work, Anderson also taught accounting courses at UCR. A friendship that started in the classroom soon led to his first chief financial officer position. Five years later, another UCR relationship – with fraternity brother Chuck O’Neal ’88 – steered him toward entrepreneurship. He and O’Neal grew and sold two companies together and, in 2006, purchased 85 percent of Salas O’Brien.

Working together with “an extraordinary team of talented people,” Anderson built the firm from 30 employees and $5 million in annual revenue to a company that boasts 300 employees and $65 million in revenue.

“I’m blessed to work with people I trust and believe in, and we’ve had an exciting run,” says Anderson. “I’m also blessed with a supportive wife, who in her own right is extremely accomplished.”

Out of gratitude for the relationships that led to their success, he and his wife started the Darin and Lori Anderson Foundation, which funds several social and educational programs. The couple also established the Ronald S. Anderson Memorial Engineering Scholarship at UCR in honor of Anderson’s father.

In addition, Anderson has served the UCR Foundation Board chair and recent chair of the Dean's Advisory Council for the UCR School of Business, and has served on the Board of the UCR Alumni Association.

As foundation chair, he aims to apply his skills to support the university and to make a UCR education accessible to all. This includes fundraising to support scholarships and further research, and to grow support for existing campus programs.

“UCR transforms lives every day. It did for me,” he says. “So I support the ambitious plans of the chancellor, especially the emphasis on affordable access for all students to advance the lives of all people.”

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’63 David Ulrich*, helped build a wildlife viewing blind at Mount Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene, Oregon. The tunnel of woven branches guides visitors through the “water garden” where they can slide different panels featuring facts about different wildlife in the surrounding wetland habitat. The exhibit is dedicated to Ann Johnson, David’s life partner and a longtime visitor of the arboretum who passed in 2011.

’67 Pamela Lewis* recently retired from her position of interim director of communications from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

’69 Ofelia Valdez-Yeager* was named UCR Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award recipient of 2016. The award honors superior service in the public sector or a sustained pattern of volunteer service in the community, arts, or for the benefit of UCR that has positively represented the university and fellow citizens. Ofelia and the other award recipients will be honored at the 30th Annual Alumni Awards of Distinction on Nov. 18.


’72 Kathy Hudson is retiring after more than 20 years of service at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) as the health and life sciences dean. As she begins her retirement, she will continue to make a difference through raising funds for the Kathy Hudson Student Financial Emergency Fund, which provides support to students experiencing a financial emergency. All students at PVCC are eligible to apply for consideration when they are facing a financial crisis that would force them to withdraw from school or impact their ability to succeed.

’75 M.S. Manuela Martins-Green* is a professor of cell biology at UCR and led research on how thirdhand smoke can be harmful after cigarettes are extinguished. Her research team does not experiment on humans but does try to reflect the situation people might find themselves in. Using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the researchers made chambers used in mouse experimentation that reflect the thirdhand smoke particles the EPA has detected in the homes of smokers. An article about her research was featured in U.S. News & World Report and on

’79 MADM Tadaatsu Nakayama* recently became the president of KK Kawatiya in Muko, Japan.


’80 Barbara Mendes* was honored by the City of Los Angeles with the dedication of Barbara Mendes Square at South Robertson Boulevard and Gibson Street.

Barbara Mendes Square is distinguished by the ANGEL WALL, an L.A. City Vintage Mural, created by Barbara over a five-year period. The mural grew in celebration of the diverse South Robertson community, while shining light on the artist’s Jewish heritage and memorializing the artist’s beloved daughter Oma “Annie” Kunstler, who inspired the angel theme of the wall. The Angel Wall is also an ode to the lively Hamilton High School kids and to the individual neighbors, helpers, and loved ones of the artist. Most of all, the Angel Wall celebrates the power and sanctity of women.

’80 Erin Snyder received the 2015 Riverside Hero Award from the City of Riverside Human Relations Commission. The hero award is given to Riverside residents who selflessly give their time for the well being of the community, thus enhancing and enriching the city.

’88 Martin Berg* was recently promoted to the director of sales for Gate City Beverage Distributors, part of the Reyes Beverage Group. Martin currently resides in Riverside with his wife and 14-year-old son.

’89; ’91 MBA Darin Anderson* was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Orange County and the Inland Empire. Darin is chairman and CEO at Salas O’Brien, an ENR top 300 facilities planning, design and construction-management firm which makes complex environments simple to understand and highly functional. The company integrates all disciplines to create the most reliable, sustainable, relevant, coordinated, and cost-effective projects. Over the past four years, the company has been among Inc.’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. (See P. 35 for a profile on Anderson.)

’89 Ph.D. Richard Stouthamer was featured in the VC Reporter regarding his research about a species of beetles that arrived in Ventura County from Southeast Asia. The beetle can devastate trees as it spreads, causing branch dieback and the death of the tree. Richard has traveled to areas of Southeast Asia in search of natural prevention methods. His research has found that a parasitoid wasp, which lays eggs on the beetle’s larvae, shows promise.


’92; ’95 M.S. Michael Bergler* was elected to serve on the CASE District VII leadership team as chair-elect. He recently served as board secretary in 2015-2016. Michael is currently the executive director of campaign operations and constitutuent relations at Concordia University Irvine where he is responsible for alumni and parent programs, church and community relations, communi-

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cations, finance, human resources, and a comprehensive campaign.

’92 Ph.D. Cindy Larive* was appointed vice provost for undergraduate education at UCR starting July 2016. Prior to her appointment, Cindy served as a professor of chemistry and was the divisional dean for physical sciences and mathematics in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

’94 Philip Tan* recently became a director for the Project Management Office at NBC Universal. Within this role, Philip will oversee many of the company’s major growth initiatives, including the addition of a dozen new state-of-the-art soundstage and production facilities on the Universal Studios backlot.

’95 M.A. Shola Lynch was named UCR Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus of 2016. The award is the most prestigious of honors bestowed by the association. The award is based on national and international distinction in one’s field and significant contribution to humankind. Shola and the other award recipients will be honored at the 30th Annual Alumni Awards of Distinction on Nov. 18.

’98 Ph.D. Andreas Westphal was featured in an article on titled “Consider Fumigating for Nematodes Before Replanting Almonds, Stone Fruit” where he commented on how nematode pressure can significantly affect growth and yield in replanted orchards.

’99 Ph.D. Kirk Pastorian* recently became a patent attorney for Agilent Technologies Inc., a leader in life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets. The company provides laboratories worldwide with instruments, services, consumables, applications, and expertise.


’00 Joel Lofton of La Crescenta-Montrose, was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Joel has served as a deputy public defender at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 2005. He has been a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps since 2011, where he has served as an officer since 2009. Joel served as a deputy public defender at the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office from 2004 to 2005 and was an attorney at the African Community Resource Center from 2003 to 2004. He earned a juris doctor degree from Southwestern Law School.

’02; ’05 M.A.; ’13 Ph.D. Michael Chavez recently accepted a new position at California State University, Long Beach, as an assistant professor of sociology.

’04 Michael Ferrera is president of the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals. The league is a member-based organization dedicated to


As alumni, we are Tartan True–joining with fellow Highlanders to ensure a better future through annual financial support and volunteer service to UCR.

What are six signs that you are Tartan True?

– Reading the UCR Magazine

– Coming to Homecoming!

– Proudly wearing Highlander Gear

– Volunteering at Commencement

– Belonging to the UCR Alumni Association

– Giving to UCR!

UCR | UC Riverside Foundation

Annual Giving

PO Box 112, Riverside, CA 92502

* Is a member of the UCR Alumni Association. To update your membership, visit

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promoting equality in all urban underprivileged communities in the greater Los Angeles area. Some of the primary areas of focus are youth education enhancements, job equality, and justice for all regardless of racial background.

’04 David Gutierrez* was named UCR Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumnus of 2016. The award is presented to alumni 35 or younger with a significant record of career and/ or civic achievement and promise in their profession. David and the other award recipients will be honored at the 30th Annual Alumni Awards of Distinction on Nov. 18.

’05 Felicia Lincoln is now a self-sufficiency counselor III for Tulare County.

’05; ’08 M.S.; ’10 Ph.D. Alfredo Martinez-Morales, UCR’s solar energy expert and managing director of the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy, was in The Desert Sun news regarding a study that California could get 74 percent of power from rooftop solar. He commented that although he trusts the study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, he sees that there would be many obstacles to making it possible.

’05; ’11 Ph.D. Tom K. Wong serves as a policy advisor on a White House initiative to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by increasing access to, and participation in, federal programs. He started his six-month appointment on May 2 and will focus primarily on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, as well as on a new White House effort to increase citizenship acquisition among eligible immigrants.

’06 Evita Tapia-Gonzalez was recognized as the Classified Administrator of the Year for the Corona-Norco Unified School District. As the communications manager for the largest district in the Inland Empire, Evita’s job involves managing potential school crises, responding to media requests, publicizing school and student accomplishments via social media, or via the CNUSD Connection online publication.

’08; ’11 M.S.; ’14 Ph.D. Alex Edgcomb* along with Joshua Yuen ’12, were featured on regarding their research on modern online learning materials. Their research makes answers viewable to students in an attempt to encourage learning. The purpose was to discover whether students will make a real attempt at answering the questions without looking at the solution first. The study found that 84 percent of students make an honest attempt at answering questions before clicking the button to view the answer.

’09; ’13 M.Ed. Aaron Jones* is now a retention specialist at UC Santa Cruz. He recently worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a residence director. Within his new position, Aaron will work as an academic advisor and counselor for all students who identify as African/Black, and/or Caribbean and create projects and cross-campus collaborations to foster thriving within this community.

’09 Srikanth Krishnan* recently started his residency at UCLA in internal medicine. Srikanth graduated from UC Irvine Medical School in June where he was awarded the Outstanding Graduate in the Department of Medicine.

’09 Leslie Lopez is the weekend morning weather anchor for “ABC7 Eyewitness News Los Angeles.” Prior to joining the ABC7 team she spent several years at KUSI News in San Diego where she worked as weekday morning weather anchor and host. Leslie also held dual roles at Bakersfield NBC affiliate KGET where she worked as a reporter and weekend weather anchor.

’09 Rita Medina has been named immigration campaign manager at the Center for American Progress. In this capacity, she works on immigration issues in Washington, D.C., and at the state level with groups who also focus on immigration. She previously served as principal legislative analyst at Riverside Public Utilities, senior policy advocate for the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and district representative for a member of the U.S. Congress.

’09 Ravi Shah recently started at Allergan as a medical science liaison in New York City. While attending Touro College of Pharmacy he worked as a pharmacy intern at Jacobi Medical Center, drug safety and epidemiology intern at Novartis, and a graduate pharmacist intern with CVS.


’10 Daniel Delperdang* received a new position as mailroom supervisor for UCR’s School of Medicine Research Operations Unit. Daniel is responsible for coordinating deliveries and shipments for the 19 research laboratories in the School of Medicine. Before returning to UCR, he was a clerk for the city of Anaheim.

’10 Ying Gao* was featured on regarding his contribution to a study on the value of dynamic forecasting in intermodal management. The study characterized the effects of dynamic forecasting on profitability and policy choice. When it comes to profitability, dynamic forecasting reduces the need for carrying large stockpiles for an extended time, thereby saving on holding costs. It also ensures swift stock buildups for imminent shortages. With policy choice, dynamic forecasting guides policy formulation. As a co-author of the paper, he also determined that dynamic forecasting should be used when customer heterogeneity is high, inventory costs are low, capacity supply is moderate, and forecast accuracy is high.

’10 Lesley Martinez* is the new enrollment coordinator for the UCR Child Development Center.

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’11 Neema Adhami is currently a graduate student at UCR and was one of only four students who were awarded a UC Smoke and Tobacco Free Fellowship. The goal of the fellowships, open to all UC undergraduate and graduate students, is to develop the next generation of leaders in reducing the harm and social costs of smoking and use of tobacco products worldwide. Fellows are expected to conduct their proposed projects within a year. Neema will work on a research project focusing on the effect on offspring of mothers exposed to thirdhand smoke.

’11 Scott White received his master’s in education in November 2015.

’12 Karla Aguilar joined the Campus Advocacy Resources & Education (CARE) center as an assistant director and advocate at UCR. CARE is a service created to assist survivors of sexual assault and focuses on supporting, educating, and empowering the victim (students, staff, and faculty). CARE is a program supported by President Janet Napolitano’s office and has been implemented across the UC system.

’12 Brendon Butler* is one of six UCR graduate students who have won 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships for having demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. He will be using his fellowship at UC Irvine.

Take Five

Michael Ferrera ’04

Michael Ferrera is the founder and president of his own company, Michael Ferrera Custom Clothing, where he creates clothing for business professionals, athletes, and entertainers. He is also the author of a book series, “The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide.” At UCR, he was an economics major and a basketball player; he describes his personal style as consistent, creative, and fun. For more style tips from Michael, go to

1– What are some of your favorite UCR memories?

One is playing basketball. It has given me so many different opportunities in life and taught me how to manage time as a student-athlete, a skill that I use today for my business. Those three years of playing basketball in college were without a doubt the most enjoyable time of my life.

Second to that takes place in the classroom. I was in a business-economics class and I wasn’t paying attention because I was in the back of the room, hand-drawing my logo for my first clothing company. It was a 90-minute class and I just drew the whole time. Some of the foundations of what you see today with my company were created [there].

2– What was the inspiration behind your book, “The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide”?

As a keynote speaker and a presenter, I worked a lot with universities and corporations, but there came a point where I couldn’t speak at every location, be at every seminar, or come to every workshop. So I decided to write the book with the intent of helping people even when I am not physically there.

And in time, it became a valuable tool to add to my speaking and other engagements.

Now I’m working on the follow-up to that book. “The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide for College” will be coming to stores at the end of 2016. It is important because it is a gentleman’s insider to college with topics like how to go on great dates on a low college budget.

3– What does being a “gentleman” mean to you?

To me, being a gentleman is being conscious and considerate of other people around you. Because as a gentleman, we are supposed to be an asset to other people that we interact with. So if we’re conscious of the feelings and environment of the other person, we can better help them. How can you be of value to other people? That’s what being a gentleman is.

4– Are there any style icons that you look up to?

I wouldn’t say style icon, but rather business icon, because I’ve seen that your style in business is your own form of personality or “swag.” That would be Ralph Lauren. Outside of being a fashion designer and brand, he’s also an amazing car collector and a businessman. It’s these different components that allow him to succeed in different levels. That is iconic. It’s how you go beyond the realm that individuals know you for.

5– Do you have a motto that you live by?

My philosophy as a businessman and an entrepreneur is in the power of belief or unbelief. If you truly believe that opportunities are endless or that growth is infinite, then it is! But if you think that there’s only so far that you can grow, then you’re absolutely right as well. You can only go that far because that’s as far as your mind can believe, but if we can change the way we think at a young age [like in college], our enjoyment of life will be greater because then there’s no end to the successes or the opportunities.

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’12 Heather VanMouwerik was featured on with her article titled “Loving Your Back in Graduate School.” In the article she discusses back health and offers ways to heal nonspecific back pain and keep your back healthy. Heather is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Russian history at UCR and is the Congressman George Brown graduate intern at Rivera Library

’13 Natalie Duran competed in the “American Ninja Warrior: LA City” finals on NBC in July. Out of 120 athletes during the qualifying round, Natalie made it to the top 30 for a chance to complete in city finals. She was only one of two women to compete in the finals.

’13 Haroun Mohammad is currently a first-year UCR Medical School student and received a $5,000 scholarship during the annual School of Medicine Faculty Recognition and Student Awards Ceremony in May. The scholarship is awarded to a medical student by a faculty selection committee, based on academic achievement, strong ties to Inland Southern California, and a desire to practice medicine in the area upon completion of medical training.

’14 Ph.D. Carly Dierkhising was appointed to the State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Dierkhising has been an assistant professor at the California State University Los Angeles, School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics since 2014.

’14 Fallon Fowler is one of six UCR graduate students who have won 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships for having demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. She will be using her fellowship at North Carolina State University.

Take Five

Judyth Reed

M.A. ’79

Judyth Reed is a senior archaeologist with ASM Affiliates Inc., a California cultural resources consulting firm. Reed spent 32 years in federal service, both with the Bureau of Land Management and with the U.S. Forest Service. She was first exposed to fieldwork while at UCR, studying anthropology, and she pinpoints this time period in graduate school as the start of her long and successful career in archaeology.

1– What drew you to the field of archaeology?

In fourth grade, I found a book by Roy Chapman Andrews in the school library about expeditions that he led in the Gobi Desert, hunting for dinosaur bones. He went there during a time when things were dangerous and conditions were harsh and I just loved it. The whole idea of doing scientific expeditions in exotic, dangerous places just grabbed me. Eventually, I traded dinosaurs for archaeology and never seriously considered doing anything else as a career. For most of my career, I was in jobs that included a lot of time on the ground rather than in the office. It wasn’t the Gobi Desert, but it was always interesting and sometimes quite exciting. I feel very fortunate that I got to spend the majority of my adult life doing what I love.

2– What are some interesting sights or discoveries that you have encountered in all of your years doing fieldwork?

One is from one of my favorite places, the California Desert. It’s a particularly beautiful valley out there, surrounded by mountains. Thousands of years ago, there were freshwater lakes in most of the desert valleys and the people who lived around those lakes and in this particular valley created figures on the ground by aligning rocks in particular shapes and designs, including one that looked to us like a large bird. Some of them had been known for some time but when we assembled a crew of archaeologists and went out surveying this valley, we found these rock alignments everywhere we went. The valley was full of them.

3– Why did you choose UCR to pursue your graduate studies?

The program at UCR sounded interesting and I thought I would enjoy California.

4– How has UCR helped you get to where you are today?

I got hired into my first part-time archaeology job off campus through the work-study program at UCR. That was for one of the federal agencies that I ended up working for after graduation – the Bureau of Land Management. That part-time work-study job led to a full-time career. So I guess you can say that UCR was where my career started.

5– If you could repeat a class at UCR, what would it be and why?

It would be a field class in archaeological excavation taught by Richard Ambro. It was my first formal “expedition!” I remember going back to my apartment after the first day of excavation and my roommate telling me that I looked like a coal miner. I was hot, tired, dirty, and happy. It would be fun to go back and redo that class, knowing now all the things that I didn’t know then.

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’14 Jorge Serafio* is an underwriting trainee for CNA, the largest commercial line insurance company in the nation. He is located in the San Francisco office.

’15 Andrea Gonzalez recently accepted a position as financial aid counselor at Whittier College. She previously worked as a financial aid student assistant in the financial aid office at UCR.

’15 Spenser Howell is now an administrative specialist at UCLA.

’15 Nerli Paredes Ruvalcaba is one of six UCR graduate students who have won 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships for having demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. She will be using her fellowship at Michigan State University.

’16 Charles Brinkley* recently started as a manufacturing engineer I at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

’16 Ph.D. Pamela Rueda-Cediel recently became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota. Prior to her new position she was a specialist consultant at San Diego State University Research Foundation. There she assisted with statistical analysis and graphs for a project in which they are developing fire hazard indexes in the Camp Pendleton military station. At UMN, she is developing a modeling framework to assess the effect of pesticides on listed plants in the United States.

’16 Ph.D. Behnam Darvish Sarvestani led a team of researchers to sample approximately 70,000 galaxies to find out why galaxies stop creating stars. The team included scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Lancaster University, United Kingdom. The finding gives astronomers an important clue toward understanding which process dominates quenching at various cosmic times. As astronomers detect quenched non-star-forming galaxies at different distances (and therefore times after the Big Bang), they now can more easily pinpoint what quenching mechanism was at work. Behnam is now a postdoctoral scholar at CalTech.

Are you celebrating a milestone event? Maybe you published your latest book, you got elected into office or you just turned 100. Tell us all about it, send a picture, and we’ll celebrate with you! Email us at and we’ll include it in the next UCR Magazine.

We are Living the Promise

Join us!

Discover, explore, and celebrate the many ways UCR is impacting our community, our nation, and our world, and how YOU are part of it all!

Living the Promise Symposia Launch


Living the Promise in Orange County


Living the Promise Symposium: Social Innovation and Empowerment


Alumni Awards of Distinction Dinner


For more information and to RSVP, visit

LIVING THE PROMISE | The campaign for UC Riverside

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Alumni Connection

Wanted: Alumni Regent

The University of California, Riverside, is seeking highly qualified candidates for the position of alumni regent. The successful candidate will serve one term as Regent-designate and secretary of the Alumni Associations of the University of California (AAUC) from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, and then as Regent with full voting rights and as president of AAUC in 2018-19. Candidates must be graduates of UCR and a member in good standing of the UCR Alumni Association (UCRAA); have a complete understanding and appreciation of the mission of the UCRAA; and not be a current University of California employee. Preference will be given to those individuals who have a history of active participation in UCRAA and UCR activities and programs. Alumni Association members who wish to apply for the position can request an application by contacting the Alumni Office at 951-UCR-ALUM (951-827-2586) or The deadline to submit nominations and applications is Oct. 21.

Living the Promise OC

Join fellow Highlanders and Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox for an engaging evening of conversation as we explore how UCR is impacting our community, our nation and our world, and how you can be part of it all! Visit > to register.

30th Annual Alumni Awards of Distinction

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the UCR Alumni Awards of Distinction and the 40th anniversary of the Alumni Association’s Scholarship Program, you are invited to join us on Nov. 18 for an evening of celebration, inspiration, and recognition.

2016 Alumni Awards of Distinction Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus: Shola Lynch, M.A. ’95

Alumni Service: Ofelia Valdez-Yeager ’69

Outstanding Young Alumnus: David Gutierrez ’04

Visit for more information.


Join us for the annual Homecoming event with food trucks, games, live music, tours, parents’ days, and a basketball game on Nov. 19! Visit for more information.

Learn from Leaders in Los Angeles

The UCR Alumni Association invites you to a special night of networking in Los Angeles on Oct. 26. Learn from Leaders is a new program that brings together industry leaders to speak on their success. Learn the skills you need to rise to the top of your organization or start your own business. This will be a panel format where the audience members will have the opportunity to ask CEOs and executives their questions. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best! To RSVP, visit

Call for Applications

The UCR Alumni Association is accepting applications to serve on the board of directors. Help promote the vision, mission, and goals of the association and UCR. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31 for a term start date of July 2017. board-of-directors/board-of-directorsapplication/

It’s easy to connect with the UCR Alumni Association:



Phone: (951) UCR-ALUM or (800) 426-ALUM (2586)

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20 Questions with Scotty Highlander

Your favorite fuzzy bear finally answers all your burning questions

By Bethanie Le

How do you get pumped before a big game?

I give myself an inspirational pep talk ... mostly of growls.

What’s your favorite pastime?

I love to go on campus, giving high-fives and taking selfies with people.

How does it feel to be immortalized in bronze on campus?

It feels pretty surreal. I always have to do a double-take every time I walk past that bench. But it is such a great honor. I’m glad they got my eyes right.

Are you a boxers bear or a briefs bear?

I’m a bear in a kilt. I think that says it all.

Have you ever been involved in a scandal?

One time, I got caught sneaking a bite from oranges at UCR’s Citrus Experiment Station. Not my proudest moment, but it’s hard to resist when the oranges are so fresh.

What’s on your current playlist?

“Panda” by Desiigner, “Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley, I love the Swedish band the Teddybears, and the UCR Fight Song. Anything with an upbeat tempo or in the genre of pep band is my all-time favorite though. I’m also a fan of the Scottish bagpipes.

What are some of your bear necessities?

A UCR T-Shirt, tartan, blue and gold sneakers, and Highlander Pride!

You have a line of bobble heads, stuffed animals, t-shirts, and expanding Scotty Markets. What are you trying to accomplish next?

I’m still trying to break the world record of most hugs in an hour.

How do you feel about Norm the Navel Orange, UCR Housing Services’ Mascot?

We’re best buddies! UCR mascots have to stick together.

As long as you don’t try to eat him, right? Is there any relation between you and UCLA’s mascots, Joe and Josephine Bruin?

They are my aunt and uncle.

What about UC Berkeley’s Oski the Bear?

He’s my cousin. My family has a long line of mascots. It’s just in our blood to be spirited wherever we go, but between you and me, they can be a bit overbearing sometimes.

We always wanted to know, what’s your shoe size and hat size?

Men’s 32.5. I have to get my hats custom-made; my head is 50.12 inches in circumference, which is like a XXXXL!

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A Life Well Lived

Remembering Pamela Clute, assistant vice chancellor emerita and UCR Foundation trustee

Pamela Clute ’71, M.A. ’78, Ph.D. ’82, assistant vice chancellor emerita and UCR Foundation trustee, passed away on Aug. 21.

Clute was a passionate teacher and pioneer of STEM education. UCR was her home; as she told UCR Today: “I earned three degrees and a teaching credential, landed a job, and found a husband all at UCR, so you can see why I say it’s my life. You can be sure I’ll always have some connections to the campus which shaped me as a person and as a professional.”

Although Clute retired from UCR last year after more than 40 years of teaching, directing the ALPHA Center and creating innovative programs and partnerships in mathematics and science instruction, the former assistant vice chancellor continued her work with educators in Southern California to help further prepare students for college.

Clute led a colorful life and followed her interests with passion, whether it was winning awards for her baking (she won $25,000 in the Pillsbury Bakeoff for her Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars at 16 years old); financing her college education by playing blackjack in Las Vegas; founding UC Riverside’s ALPHA Center, which over 16 years brought in $20 million in grants for college readiness programs; teaching UCR’s popular “Ab Attack” exercise class; or creating the Federation for a Competitive Economy (FACE), a multipartner effort to increase college readiness and double the number of college graduates in the Inland Empire.

“The common thread for me is I truly have this genuine need to do something for someone,” Clute said. “So when I find a receptive audience, whether it’s people who want to learn mathematics or work out or eat good food, I want to step in and fill the need. I just never want to let anyone down.”

She is survived by her husband, former California Rep. Steve Clute ’71, of Palm Desert.

In recognition of Clute’s long service to UCR, California, and beyond, a public memorial service was held on campus on Sept. 6. The event, “Pam Clute: A Celebration of Life,” included tributes by community leaders from the Inland region.

Those wishing to commemorate Clute’s life can make donations to the Pam Clute Memorial Scholarship Fund. By mail, please make checks payable to “UCR Foundation,” reference Pamela Clute in the memo line, and send to UCR Foundation, P.O. Box 112, Riverside, CA 92502-0112.

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In Memoriam

D.V. Gokhale, professor emeritus of statistics, passed away on Feb. 2, shortly before his 80th birthday.

Working at UCR since 1970, Gokhale had served as chair of the Statistics Department, advisor for the UC Education Abroad Program, the graduate advisor in the Applied Statistics Ph.D. Program and as a mentor for 13 Ph.D. students.

Gokhale is survived by his wife, Asha; his daughter Dalika; his son Vinay; and four grandchildren. A campus memorial service will be held at UCR on Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. If interested in attending or writing a tribute, please submit the following response form.

Also, memorial donations may be sent to 14451 Franklin Ave., Tustin, CA 92780 for the Chinmaya Mission, or to the Gokhale Fund at

Leland R. Brown, born on March 7, 1922, died on May 7 at his home in Canby, Oregon.

Brown received his bachelor’s in entomology from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. in 1949 from Cornell University.

In 1961, his position at UCLA’s Department of Entomology was transferred to UCR. During his research career at UCLA and UCR, Brown published 92 publications in entomological journals, trade journals, and UC bulletins. He also taught general entomology and was a graduate advisor for many years.

He is predeceased by his wife, Barbara, in 2012. He is survived by three children: Steven Brown, Sally O’Neill, and Susan Davenport; along with three grandchildren.

Sylvia N. Martin, M.A. ’73, UCR Alumni Association’s first woman president, passed away in March after a stroke. She was 82.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Martin earned her master’s degree, two teaching credentials and a pupil/personnel credential from UCR’s Graduate School of Education, all in the 1970s.

Her teaching career included many years working with high school students in the Riverside Unified School District. One of her proudest accomplishments was spearheading the effort to establish the Grier Pavilion in memory of Riverside civil rights champions Barnett Grier and his wife, Eleanor Jean.

Robert Krieger, UCR Cooperative Extension specialist in toxicology, died on July 26 after complications from a stroke.

Born Nov. 23, 1943, Krieger received his bachelor’s in chemistry/biology in 1967 from Pacific Lutheran University and his doctorate in 1970 from Cornell University.

He served as a founding faculty member of UC Davis’ Department of Environmental Toxicology and two major Washington, D.C., consulting firms before coming to UCR as an Extension toxicologist in September 1994. Krieger’s research concerned the fate and effects of pesticides in humans, risk assessments, and risk communication.

Joseph Norbeck, emeritus professor of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, founding director of the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), and former director of the UCR Environmental Research Institute, passed away on Aug. 24. He was 72.

Norbeck played a key role in developing CE-CERT, UC Riverside’s largest research center, into the successful center it is today. He was the head of the chemistry department at Ford Motor Co. in Michigan in the early 1990s, and counseled UCR leadership to establish a center that would not just focus on cars, but on bigger environmental issues such as atmospheric processes, emission measurements, and fuels. Norbeck became CE-CERT’s founding director and continued to conduct research there until he retired from full-time service in 2013.

Among many honors, Norbeck was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and received a South Coast Air Quality Management District Clean Air Award. In addition, he held a gubernatorial appointment as an Air Quality Expert on the California Inspection/Maintenance Review Committee.

We Remember

’63 Robert David Merrill May 2016

’64 M.A.; ’68 Ph.D. Charles E. Harvey January 2016

’66 M.A.; ’68 Ph.D. James Ted Rogers Jr. March 2016

’69 Charles David Stout April 2016

’70 M.S. Jerry Bigbie May 2016

’74 M.A. Lynn “Mac” Morris McQuern April 2016

’76 M.A., ’79 Ph.D. Robert Prentice Kneisel March 2016

’77 James William Kershaw Jr. January 2016

’78 Ph.D. Robert Michael Zablotowicz March 2016

’79 M.A. Harry Frederick Kunkel February 2016

’82 M.S. Carol Ann Richardson March 2016

’83 Mark Williams Rocha May 2016

’89 M.S. Daniel Leon Ardron January 2016

’92 David Charles Ashworth May 2016

’92 Blaine Aaron Crismon April 2016

’93 M.A. Jennifer L. Fish-Kashay January 2016

’01 Eugene Andre Moyneir March 2016

’14 M.S. Tim Ngo February 2016

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Page Turners

Runaway slaves, epilepsy for neuroscientists and researchers, soccer for the literati, and other Page Turners

These books are available for purchase at the UCR Campus Store and online at They have been discounted up to 30 percent.

Numismatic Archaeology of North America: A Field Guide

By Marjorie Akin ’86, M.A. ’90, Ph.D. ’92, James Bard and Kevin Akin

Routledge May 2016, 292 pages

“Numismatic Archaeology of North America” is the first book to provide an archaeological overview of the coins and tokens found in a wide range of North American archaeological sites. It begins with a comprehensive and well-illustrated review of the various coins and tokens that circulated in North America with descriptions of the uses for – and human behavior associated with – each type. The book contains practical sections on standardized nomenclature, photographing, cleaning, and curating coins, and discusses the impacts of looting and of working with collectors. It’s an important tool for archaeologists working with coins, and for numismatists and collectors, and it explains the importance of archaeological context for complete analysis.

Akins is a retired archaeologist.

Confederate Political Economy: Creating and Managing a Southern Corporatist Nation

By Michael Bonner, Ph.D. ’06

LSU Press May 2016, 272 pages

In “Confederate Political Economy,” Michael Bonner suggests that the Confederate nation was an expedient corporatist state – a society that required all sectors of the economy to work for the national interest, as defined by a partnership of industrial leaders and a dominant government. As Bonner shows, the characteristics of the Confederate States’ political economy included modern organizational methods that mirrored the economic landscape of other late 19th-century and early 20th-century corporatist governments. The research and analysis of “Confederate Political Economy” helps to illuminate the complex organization and relationships in Confederate political and economic culture during the Civil War.

Bonner is an assistant professor of history at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.

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By Natashia Deon, M.F.A. ’12

Counterpoint Press June 2016, 400 pages

For a runaway slave in the 1840s South, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic master. That’s what Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation. Striking out on her own, she must leave behind her beloved Momma, sister Hazel, and daughter Josey. Deftly weaving together the stories of Josey and Naomi, “Grace” is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood, told in a dazzling and original voice set against a rich historical backdrop.

Deon is an attorney and a writer.

Astrocytes and Epilepsy

By Devin Binder and Jacqueline Hubbard, M.S. ’12

Academic Press August 2016, 400 pages

Epilepsy is a devastating group of neurological disorders characterized by periodic and unpredictable seizure activity in the brain. “Astrocytes and Epilepsy” includes background explanatory text on astrocyte morphology and physiology, epilepsy models and syndromes, and evidence from both human tissue studies and animal models linking functional changes in astrocytes to epilepsy. Beautifully labelled diagrams are presented, and relevant figures from the literature are reproduced to elucidate key findings and concepts in this rapidly emerging field. “Astrocytes and Epilepsy” is written for neuroscientists, epilepsy researchers, astrocyte investigators, as well as neurologists and other specialists caring for patients with epilepsy.

Binder is an associate professor of biomedical sciences at UCR. Hubbard is a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry and molecular biology department at UCR.

Idols and Underdogs

By Shawn Stein, M.A. ’00, Ph.D. ’06 Nicolas Campisi

Freight Books October 2016, 294 pages

This collection of 11 stories – one from each country in the South American World Cup qualifying group, plus Mexico (following a precedent set by the Copa America) – includes some of the most prestigious names in Latin American literature. A hymn to the “juego benito,” these stories demonstrate just how connected South American soccer is to its roots in backstreets, barrios, and favelas. Including Juan Villoro (Mexico), Edmundo Paz Soldán (Bolivia), Ricardo Silva Romero (Colombia), Sérgio Sant’Anna (Brazil), Sergio Galarza (Peru), Selva Almada (Argentina), Carlos Abin (Uruguay), Roberto Fuentes (Chile), Miguel Hidalgo Prince (Venezuela), José Hidalgo Pallares (Ecuador), and Javier Viveros (Paraguay), “Idols and Underdogs” is a Who’s Who of Latin male fiction, with additional author interviews, changing views on the sport, and its intersections with politics, literature, and culture.

Stein is an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Indie Game Development: The Freedom to Create Your Game

By Ed Magnin ’72

Magnin & Associates October 2015, 82 pages

“Indie Game Development” provides an informative overview of what it takes to make an indie game, covering a wide range of topics to help potential developers through the many decisions they will have to make. Magnin brings years of experience spanning a game development career of more than 35 games, from retro to indie, to his book to help readers escape and avoid common pitfalls.

Magnin is a developer and consultant.

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The Olympian Brenda Martinez ’10

“Behind every strong, independent woman lies a broken little girl who had to learn to get back up! I will be back!”

By Jeanette Marantos ’84

Illustrated by Mike Tofanelli

To watch the excruciating 1,500-meter race that qualified UCR alumna Brenda Martinez ’10 for the 2016 Summer Olympics is to feel like you’re holding your breath for 4 minutes and 6 harrowing seconds.

For most of the race, Martinez is at the back of the pack, her dark ponytail swaying and her face an impassive mask of concentration. Watching her stride forward, drop back and then, unbelievably, fling herself over the finish line to win third place by .03 of a second is both exhilarating and exhausting.

“It was definitely the hardest thing I ever did in my life,” Martinez, 29, said in July, right before she left for Rio de Janeiro. “I got sick after that trial, just because I broke myself.”

Don’t be alarmed. Martinez breaks herself a lot. It’s part of her training, and the toughness she learned from driving all over Southern California looking for tracks to train on, and being rejected by two top-notch running teams before she was taken on by legendary distance-running coach Joe Vigil – who sends her workouts from Arizona every week.

The 2016 trials were Martinez’s third attempt to make an Olympic team. The first was in 2008, when she was a sophomore at UCR, where she graduated two years later with a B.A. in sociology. “Being at UCR gave me the best experience,” she said. “It wasn’t a big powerhouse program, but I got to know the coaches on a personal level, which I appreciate.”

Her then-coaches Irv Ray and Nate Browne encouraged her to compete around the world. “They wanted me to make sure this was something I wanted to do,” she said. “I went to Europe on my own during my junior year, and walked away with two personal bests.”

In the past few years, Martinez has focused on the 800 meter. She earned a bronze medal for that race at the 2013 World Championships, and was the first American woman to medal in the 800 meter at a major championship since 1988. In the qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics, however, she was accidentally tripped by another athlete and fell behind.

“It was heartbreaking,” Martinez said, “[But] I said, ‘I still have the 1,500 and I’m strong enough to make it. Let’s start over.’”

In late July she packed for Rio – “bug spray, ear buds, lots of gear (from her sponsor New Balance), dry food that doesn’t go bad, tons of Pedialyte, and probiotics” with high hopes. She finished third in the 1,500 meter qualifiers and advanced to the semifinals, but finished with a time of 4:10.41, and did not make it to the finals. On Twitter, she vowed to return to the Olympics. “Behind every strong, independent woman lies a broken little girl who had to learn to get back up! I will be back!”

Martinez credits her grit to her supporters – especially her family and coaches. She doesn’t want to let her family down, she said, but that doesn’t necessarily mean winning a medal.

“The only thing I promise myself is I will give it my best,” she said. “I don’t care if I finish dead last; If I tell myself I did my best, then I can walk away happy.”

To Martinez, happiness also means giving back. Knowing how hard her parents worked to support her dreams, Martinez hosts an all-expenses paid summer camp for young girls in the city of Big Bear Lake. The girls attend positive thinking and injury prevention clinics, and receive running shoes and gear.

“Over the years, I’ve learned what mostly matters is how happy I am. I’ve had a baseline of being happy for so long, a little adversity shouldn’t knock me down too much.”

Watch videos of Brenda Martinez racing on

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Health | Sustainability | Policy | Technology University of California, UC Riverside

Real World Solutions

A New Spin on Electronics:

With global demands for energy on the rise, an Energy Frontier Research Center led by UCR physicist Jing Shi is working to improve energy efficiencies in electronic devices.

Explore more sustainability impacts:

Back Cover

UCR Alumni

Get Connected. Stay Connected.

The UCR Alumni network is more than 100,000 Highlanders strong. With a membership in the UCR Alumni Association, get connected, stay connected and unlock exclusive member benefits while supporting the Highlander heritage.

UCR Alumni Association–Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations

2203 Alumni & Visitors Center, Riverside, CA 92521 | 951.827.2586 |