Page: Front Cover

Page: Publication Info

Page: 1 Page: 2 Page: 3 Page: 4 Page: 5 Page: 6 Page: 7 Page: 8 Page: 9 Page: 10

Page: 11 Page: 12 Page: 13 Page: 14 Page: 15 Page: 16 Page: 17 Page: 18 Page: 19 Page: 20

Page: 21 Page: 22 Page: 23 Page: 24 Page: 25 Page: 26 Page: 27 Page: 28 Page: 29 Page: 30

Page: 31 Page: 32 Page: 33 Page: 34 Page: 35 Page: 36 Page: 37 Page: 38 Page: 39 Page: 40

Page: 41 Page: Back Cover

Page: Front Cover

The Magazine of UC Riverside

Spring 2016 Vol.11 No.2

UCR’s new School of Public Policy will impact lives beyond our borders

Page: Publication Info


Kim A. Wilcox

Vice Chancellor, Advancement

Peter Hayashida


James Grant

Publications Director

Kris Lovekin


Lilledeshan Bose

Creative Director

Luis Sanz


Julie Gallego

Vanessa Hua

Jeanette Marantos

Senior Designer

Brad Rowe


Denise Wolf

Editorial Assistant

Bethanie Le


Lisa Tyson

Konrad Nagy

Iqbal Pittalwala


Alex Eben Meyer

Mike Tofanelli


Lonnie Duka

Carlos Puma

Carrie Rosema

Senior Programmer

Bob Bottomley


Desiree Valle

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

Page: 1

Cover Story

10 | Solutions for Inland California, Solutions for the World–UCR’s new School of Public Policy is solving problems that will impact lives at home and beyondour borders


20 | The Asian-American Vote Matters–Karthick Ramakrishnan talks about how this upcoming presidential election is different

24 | Speaking for Scholars–UCR student Marcela Ramirez is UC’s new student regent

26 | Engineering Global Cures–Professor of Bioengineering Victor G. J. Rodgers on healing the world through science

29 | The First 50–Now juniors, the School of Medicine's first class talk about their journey

30 | Athletics By the Numbers–Highlanders had an amazing year in sports, as evidenced by ou golf, women's basketball and track stats!


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

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

32 | Class Acts

36 | Alumni Connection

39 | Page Turners

40 | C Scape–Anthony Rendon, Ph.D. ’00, is California’s speaker for the State Assembly

What’s New?


Watch videos, read online extras and more at

On the Web

School of Public Policy–The School of Public Policy is changing the Inland Empire

Highlander Athletes–Watch Highlander Athletes in action

Turning into Real Doctors–The First 50 on the difference between learning and practice

Karthick Ramakrishnan–The scholar talks about his research on Asian immigration reform

Page: 2


Commencement 2016

6.10-6.13 –UC Riverside holds seven commencement ceremonies on Pierce Hall lawn, near the campus bell tower. More than 4,500 students are expected to make their way across the stage over four days.

Flash: Cauleen Smith

Through 7.2–The California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock presents an exhibition featuring “Crow Requiem” (2015), a video work by Chicago-based artist Cauleen Smith.

Ninth Annual Alumni Day at the Races in Del Mar

7.31–Watch and wager on thoroughbreds with fellow alumni in the private Native Diver Skyroom with betting windows, a cocktail bar and a balcony overlooking the track.

States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories

Through 8.6–The California Museum of Photography presents “States of Incarceration,” a multimedia exhibit that explores the history and future of mass incarceration in the United States. Using historic photographs, audio and video interviews, data and artwork, the exhibit is informed by—and takes part in—the national dialogue.

Walk and Talk with Leadership

8.10; 9.16; 10.4–A 30-minute walk and talk opportunity with a member of the UCR leadership team is held monthly. It’s a healthy opportunity for faculty, staff and students to move and get to know the campus. A different leader is scheduled for each walk-and-talk.

Laurie Brown: “Earth Edges”

9.19-7.1.2017–The California Museum of Photography presents Laurie Brown’s “Earth Edges” (1982-84), part of the artist’s “Landsite Displacement” series. Brown captures various construction sites throughout Orange County. Barren and unpopulated, her fragmented compositions were created using successive shots, her camera pointed toward the horizon, resulting in dynamic panoramas that bare witness to the shared mutability and singularity of the temporal physical environment.

“The Chicago Gift Revisited”

Through 10.1–“The Chicago Gift Revisited” examines a 1981 donation made to the California Museum of Photography by 22 Chicago-based photographers in honor of Charles Desmarais, the recently appointed director of the California Museum of Photography.

Find out about more campus events on

Page: 3

Stepping Up to Impact Public Policy

Last fall, I had the honor of joining with the campus community in formally launching the UC Riverside School of Public Policy. As the first public policy school in the Inland Empire, it will play a pivotal role in training the future leaders of our region, state and nation. As seen in this edition of UCR Magazine, the school draws on research strengths from across the university aimed at meeting the greatest challenges of our time.

When considered in a larger context, our new School of Public Policy preserves UCR’s century-old commitment to making a difference in California and the world. UCR has changed drastically from its beginning as a citrus experiment station in 1907. But despite the perpetual change, one thing has remained constant – our commitment to making a difference. From mapping genomes to training the next generation of novelists, UCR is impacting the lives of Californians and the lives of people across the nation and the world.

I am pleased to report that a new chapter in our legacy was written last March when the California Air Resources Board (ARB) voted to relocate its El Monte offices and build a new research facility on the UCR campus (see story on Page 5). This project represents a massive investment in our community, draws on UCR’s national prominence in air quality research and further solidifies the decades-old collaboration between the ARB and the University of California.

But more importantly, it will make a difference.

Since it was established in 1967, the ARB has been at the forefront of reducing air pollution. Under the ARB’s leadership, California initiated the nation’s first motor vehicle emissions standards and was the first state to begin removing lead from gasoline. Thanks to the ARB’s efforts, new cars today pollute 99 percent less than their predecessors did 30 years ago, and ozone levels in Los Angeles are 40 percent of what they were in the mid- 1970s. These efforts have improved countless lives over the past 50 years, and now UCR will be a principal partner in achieving even greater accomplishments over the next 50 years and beyond.

The effort to bring the ARB to Riverside also showcased the strength of our campus community. In 2014, the ARB announced their plans to relocate and wanted a university as a formal partner to increase their research efforts. Our campus, along with the city of Riverside, Riverside County, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and our many partners in the local community worked together to make the case for moving to Riverside. With support from across our coalition, including earnest and enthusiastic support from our local, state and federal elected officials, UCR was named as the ARB’s new home.

Our new School of Public Policy and the upcoming construction of the new ARB facility serve as tangible reminders of UCR’s commitment to improving lives and making a difference. This commitment has defined our university for over 100 years and promises to live on for generations to come.

Fiat lux,

Kim A. Wilcox


Photo: Carrie Rosema

Page: 4

UC Riverside Alumna is Ambassador in Africa

UCR alumna Julie Furuta-Toy ’81, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, after having served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Norway.

Furuta-Toy is the daughter of UCR Professor Tokuji Furuta. To her, the university was a playground long before she became a comparative literature major in 1978. “I grew up a lot on that campus,” she said.

She credits many of the experiences she had as a UCR student, including her liberal arts education and studying in England during her final year, with the attitude that prompted her to seek a career in the foreign service after her graduation in 1981.

The foreign service enabled her to have a direct, palpable impact on people’s lives, Furuta-Toy said. “Being able to help people realize their full potential is something that I think embassies are well placed to do.”

New Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program Launches in California

A new cardiovascular fellowship program, sponsored by the UCR School of Medicine and based at Dignity Health- St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, will begin on July 1. The three-year fellowship will provide accepted applicants a clinical learning environment and rigorous, comprehensive training in cardiovascular medicine and address the shortage of cardiologists in inland Southern California.

Areas of training to be covered in rotations include preventive cardiovascular medicine, echocardiography, vascular medicine, cardiac catheterization, heart failure, critical care cardiology and congenital heart disease. Four fellows will be accepted into the three-year training program each year.

Page: 5

California Air Resources Board Chooses Riverside for $366 Million Facility

The California Air Resources Board voted to relocate its motor vehicle and engine emissions testing and research facility from El Monte to an 18-acre site at UCR in March. The move represents a $366 million investment into the community and 400 knowledge-based jobs in the Inland Empire.

The board chose Riverside after deciding that land owned by the University of California on Iowa Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard would provide the best opportunity for growth in the coming decades and for collaboration with world-class air quality research already underway at UCR.

According to Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, “This facility will bring together two world-class institutions working in air quality and emissions science and promises to create a whole range of synergies that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Building this new facility in Riverside now positions our region to become the global capital for air quality research.” Construction is slated to begin in 2017.

UC Riverside Sees Record Number of Applicants for Fall 2016

UCR received more than 50,000 student applications for admission into the university for the fall 2016 term. That is just over a 10 percent increase compared with the previous application cycle.

The pool of 52,467 applicants was made up of 41,559 freshmen and 10,908 transfer students. UCR exceeded the 50,000 mark in total applications for the first time in the school’s history. There was also a significant increase in transfer applications.

“Hitting this milestone is significant for the Riverside campus because it demonstrates in real numbers UCR’s popularity across the state,” said Emily Engelschall, the director of under- graduate admissions. “The numbers show that UC Riverside continues to grow as a campus of choice.”

Page: 6

Julia Bailey-Serres Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Julia Bailey-Serres, a professor of genetics at UCR, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for her excellence in original scientific research in May.

Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Bailey-Serres is being recognized for her role in the discovery and characterization of a gene that allows rice to survive underwater. That gene has subsequently been introduced through breeding by the International Rice Research Institute and others, creating flood-tolerant rice varieties that are grown by more than 5 million farmers in flood-prone areas of Asia.

Bailey-Serres is also one of five UCR professors named as the most influential scientists in their fields in 2015, according to an analysis by Thomson Reuters. The list of highly cited researchers named more than 3,000 scientists from around the globe whose work was in the top 1 percent of most referenced research in academic journals from 2003 to 2013.

The other UCR professors named are Alexander Balandin, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Wei Ren, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Charles E. Wyman, distinguished professor of chemical and environmental engineering; and Yadong Yin, professor of chemistry.

Maria Anguiano Appointed to Board of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation

Maria Anguiano, UCR vice chancellor for planning and budget, has been appointed to the James Irvine Foundation board of directors.

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit, grant-making foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The foundation’s grant-making focuses on expanding economic and political opportunity for families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty.

“Maria’s background in education finance will be invaluable as the Irvine Foundation seeks ways to ensure that California’s students are given the tools to succeed,” said Greg Avis, chair of the Irvine board and a founding managing director of Summit Partners in Palo Alto. “Maria brings a valuable understanding of – and a wealth of experience working in – Riverside and San Bernardino counties, a priority region for the Irvine Foundation.”

Page: 7

An Iconic B-Boy

UCR’s Department of Dance welcomed Ken Swift as a visiting assistant professor during the 2016 spring quarter. Swift is internationally acclaimed as one of the purveyors of the hip-hop dance form breaking, popularly known as b-boying or break- dancing. He has also been named one of the most iconic dancers of the 20th century by CNN.

UCR Alumnus Part of Pulitzer Prize-winning Team at LA Times

Dexter Thomas ’06, was one of the reporters from the Los Angeles Times who helped produce a Pulitzer Prize-winning package about the San Bernardino attack in December 2, 2015.

Hired in July 2015 at the LA Times to write on culture and minority communities, Thomas recalled watching Twitter in early December as reports emerged about a shooting in San Bernardino, the city where he grew up. He said he realized quickly that his hometown was going to be part of the national conversation. “I knew my city was about to become a hashtag,” he said.

When he started reporting, it was an honest attempt to check in with people he knew. “People that I lived with [and] worked with were an absolute influence on my reporting,” he said. “I could come and talk to somebody and they would say, ‘I know this guy. I can trust this guy.’ I was able to go where people felt comfortable talking to me.”

One of those places was the Islamic Center of Riverside, where Thomas had attended several Ramadan dinners. Thomas’ interview with the center’s director, Mustafa Kuko, was part of the package of stories named by the Pulitzer jury.

Page: 8

Anthropologist’s Book a Best-seller in South Korea

Written in Korean, “Human Origins” (ScienceBooks, Seoul, Korea) by UCR paleoanthropologist Sang-Hee Lee has captivated a broad spectrum of readers in South Korea and turned Lee into something of celebrity. Published in September 2015, “Human Origins” was named Science Book of the Year by SisaIN, an influential Korean media outlet, and has been on the respected Kyobo Book Centre’s Best- seller list since publication.

Although not written as a textbook, two Korean universities have adopted “Human Origins” for anthropology courses. An elementary school made it required reading for all sixth-graders, and mothers have brought their daughters to public lectures to meet and be photographed with Lee.

The 352-page book is a collection of 22 essays Lee wrote about human evolution for a leading science magazine in Korea over a two-year period. Now in its fourth printing with nearly 10,000 copies sold – an enormous number for a science book in South Korea – Lee shared authorship of the book with the magazine’s award-winning editor, Shin-Young Yoon, who edited her essays to appeal to a general audience.

“Human Origins” is the first book about human evolution written in Korean by a Korean scholar. It is especially significant in a nation where few women study science.

Juan Felipe Herrera to Serve Second Term as U.S. Poet Laureate

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, professor emeritus at UCR, has been appointed to a second term as the nation’s top poet, an honor he said will enable him to continue sharing the “inspiration tsunami” he experienced in the last year.

Herrera, who retired from UCR in 2015, is one of several multiyear laureates, a group that includes UCR alumnus Billy Collins (2001-2003). His second term begins Sept. 1.

“In his first term as laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera traveled the country championing poetry; he also launched an ambitious project on the library’s website,” acting Librarian of Congress David Mao said in announcing the appointment at Herrera’s end-of the-term lecture at the Library of Congress in April. “We look forward to seeing what Herrera will accomplish in his second term, and we know he will continue to inspire and educate with his warmth, enthusiasm and creative genius.”

Herrera served as California poet laureate from 2012 to 2015. He is the first Hispanic to serve as poet laureate for both the state and the nation.

“Deep gratitude and great joy and many thank yous to the Library [of Congress],” he said in response to his reappointment. “I look forward to continuing my first year’s momentum and sharing the inspiration tsunami given to me in every community that I visit throughout the U.S.A. as laureate.”

Page: 9

Deborah Deas

Newly appointed dean of the School of Medicine is committed to UCR’s mission of caring for the underserved

Deborah Deas, M.D., M.P.H., was named the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean and Chief Executive Officer for Clinical Affairs for the School of Medicine.

The appointment was confirmed on March 24 by the University of California Regents Committee on Health Services. The Mark and Pam Rubin deanship was created with a generous gift from UCR benefactors Mark and Pam Rubin of Beverly Hills, California.

Deas joined UCR on May 16, moving from her previous position as interim dean of the College of Medicine and professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.

In making the announcement, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said:

“Dr. Deas brings an exceptional record of commitment to medical education and research, clinical affairs, and addressing the comprehensive health care needs of underserved communities, with a firm commitment to diversifying the physician workforce. We look forward to the leadership she will bring to our campus and community.”

Deas, who grew up on a farm in Adams Run, South Carolina, said she is excited about joining UCR because she is deeply committed to the mission of the campus and the school.

“I know all too well what under- served populations grapple with in terms of education, employment and health care,” she said. “The mission of the UCR School of Medicine in training a diverse physician workforce and developing programs in research and clinical care to serve these populations aligns with my passion and my values. I have advocated for progress on these issues throughout my career.”

At the Medical University of South Carolina, Deas has served as senior associate dean for medical education, chief academic officer and associate dean for admissions, and led the College of Medicine’s committee on accreditation by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education.

She is a recognized leader in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she served as counselor-at-large. Deas is a leading researcher of adolescent substance-abuse treatment, anxiety disorders and depression, and has led several research initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health and other public and private supporters. A reviewer for several academic journals, she has earned recognition as one of the U.S. News & World Report best doctors in America in each of the past eight years.

Deas earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Charleston, a master of public health degree from the University of South Carolina, and an M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Medicine.

Page: 10

Solutions for Inland California, Solutions for the World

By Vanessa Hua, M.F.A. ‘09

The mission of UCR’s new School of Public Policy is to solve local and regional challenges; it will also impact lives beyond our borders

Page: 11

In the fall, the School of Public Policy welcomed its first graduate students – the culmination of a decade- long effort to establish itself not only as a training ground for policymakers but to also address and solve the most pressing challenges facing the state of California.

“We are like a nation in many ways,” said Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the School of Public Policy. He noted that California has the eighth-largest economy in the world. “California is a pioneer in adopting innovative policies to address some of its biggest social, economic and environmental challenges,” he added. “Many of California’s successful policies have been adopted by other states and by the federal government. The policy challenges that the Inland Empire faces are not entirely different from those confronting emerging countries like China, Brazil and Mexico.

“So the study of policymaking in California holds great promise not just for the state itself but indeed for the entire world. Within California, the inland region is likely the one where good policy will make the most difference, given that the region is the poorest and most underserved part of the state.”

Deolalikar began planning for the School of Public Policy in 2005; the idea was to “translate” the world-class research done at UCR and turn it into concrete policy solutions that would improve the quality of policymaking – and thereby the lives of people – in the region. He led a task force that met with department chairs, deans, faculty, mayors, public agency heads and policymakers throughout the Inland Empire to develop a proposal that made its way slowly through the UC approval process. Meanwhile, he launched a popular interdisciplinary undergraduate major in public policy, housed within the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

In 2008, the UC Regents approved the School of Public Policy – only a week before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and the global financial crisis hit. Plans to launch the school remained on hold until the California state budget stabilized in late 2012. Deolalikar was then appointed founding dean, and in 2014-15, the school recruited its inaugural cohort of 27 Master of Public Policy students, who started the program in fall 2015. Thanks to philanthropic donations, about three- quarters of the students are receiving a full ride, and the remainder have substantial scholarships.

The largest donation to the scholarship fund came from Joseph N. Sanberg, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, who named his scholarship after his grandfather. Sanberg’s grandfather moved from Chicago to Orange County after World War II because of affordable housing and development opportunities. Decades later, Riverside and San Bernardino counties remain the most welcoming places to new Californians for those same reasons.

“The inland region is the key to revitalizing the middle-class California economy, and one step is to create a more robust civic life,” Sanberg said. “The UC Riverside School of Public Policy will produce a steady stream of leaders who will stay in the region and in California, creating civic energy and will lead to economic vitality and a new narrative for the inland region.”

This fall, the school will begin offering a concurrent degree program – a medical degree and a master of public policy – geared toward the university’s medical school, which enrolled its first students in 2013. “Many of these students are very socially conscious,” Deolalikar said.

In the works are possible concurrent degrees with the Graduate School of Education, a doctoral degree in public policy and a master’s degree in global health. “We want to be deliberate in starting new programs,” Deolalikar said.

The school has been actively reaching out to legislators and policymakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., helping shape and influence policy with research and technical expertise and also raising the university&squo;s profile– whether in having faculty testify in committee hearings on diversity and student success or by inviting California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, Anthony Rendon, speaker of the State Assembly, and Dave Jones, state insurance commissioner, to speak on campus. The school also produces a quarterly policy brief highlighting research on campus, “Policy Matters,” that is disseminated widely to public agencies and policymakers throughout the state.

The school is working with the university’s office of government and community relations to get faculty involved in state boards and commissions. Karthick Ramakrishnan, the school’s associate dean, has served on the state’s Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs since August 2014.

“I’m able to visit different parts of the state to hear about issues that haven’t been on my radar,” said Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy and political science whose research focuses on civic participation and immigration policy. “I’m able to bring my demographic research to bear on questions we debate on the commission. Having expertise in the room makes a huge difference.”

As Deolalikar put it, “We want to be known as the go-to place for policy research expertise on California. When a policymaker in Sacramento or in Riverside/San Bernardino counties wants advice on a policy issue, we want them to come to us. We’ve already been working extensively with lawmakers and public agencies on immigration, water and environmental issues.”

Page: 12

Improving Lives of The Poor

Answering pivotal questions on income inequality

Photo: David Brady

The brand-new Bloom initiative on Global and Regional Poverty focuses on research, teaching and outreach to improve the lives of the poor.

“For a long time, I’ve been motivated by the classic question: Why does the United States have more poverty than other rich democracies? I’ve done a lot of work over the years trying to puzzle with this question,” said David Brady, a public policy professor hired last July to lead the initiative.

He has an ambitious set of proposals, including undergraduate and graduate-level classes focused on poverty, as well as a program that would subsidize volunteer and internship activities. “Hypothetically, we can buy a student a plane ticket and they can go to India – or they can go to Indio, California – and volunteer for three months, making a difference with an intellectually rigorous component,” Brady said.

He also aims to provide grants for faculty and students. “We can’t fund for a whole year, but it’s enough money to midwife a research project, to help get them birthed,” he said. “If a faculty member is on the fence about a project with community components, we will get them the resources to fund their summer.”

In the works are conferences centered on pivotal questions about the social science of poverty, such as how to measure income and poverty. Experts will meet with faculty and give public lectures on campus.

“This will be a place where important conversations are happening,” Brady said, “serving as an incubator and idea generator for the social science of poverty.”

A Grandfather’s Tribute

Joseph N. Sanberg provided scholarships and mentoring for seven public policy graduate students

Photo: Joseph N. Sanberg (seated on rock), flanked by Abraham Rice Scholars (from left) Naomi Soto, Jessica May, Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick, Daniel Peeden, Darrell Peeden, School of Public Policy Dean Anil Deolalikar, Jesse Melgar and Tyler Madary.

When entrepreneur, investor and Orange County native Joseph N. Sanberg funded seven two-year graduate student scholarships in UCR’s School of Public Policy in February, he named them after his maternal grandfather, Abraham “Manny” Rice. Rice was a successful Orange County businessman born to Ukrainian immigrants, and he lived by a simple code: Work hard. Take risks. Be humble. Give back. Face the unknown with courage.

It is this code that summarizes what Sanberg hopes the Master of Public Policy students will use to transform the Inland Empire, the state and the nation.

Sanberg, 36, is an entrepreneur who has made it his life’s goal to eradicate poverty in California.

The scholarships, funded through Sanberg’s quarter- million-dollar investment in the School of Public Policy, were a gift because the SPP is change agent for the Inland Empire, Sanberg said. Its graduates, he said, will have the skills and the passion needed to transform the region as they assume leadership roles in government service. “As more individuals graduate from the M.P.P. program, they will change civic life in the region.”

Watch interviews with Deolalikar, Sanberg and more at MAGAZINEARCHIVE.UCR.EDU

Page: 13

On Water Works

Policymakers can manage our water practices better

Photo: Ariel Dinar

Ariel Dinar, a professor of environmental economics and policy, is working on ways policymakers can create sustainable water-management practices. If they increase the price of water, policymakers may assume that consumers will use less – but in reality, some users continue in their usual habits and may even increase their consumption.

The policy may become “perverse,” borne of good intentions, but leading to bad results. “With that approach, we waste resources, time and the political support,” Dinar said.

Researchers can test policies in the laboratory, using games and simulations to see how different groups might react to policies before foisting them upon their constituents.

“It’s a much lower investment in terms of time, effort and political losses,” said Dinar, who previously held a post at the World Bank. “I am an empirical person who tries to find relevant results for decision making and improving livelihoods.”

To maximize the impact of his research, he also boils down his complex, 20-page technical papers into briefs aimed at policymakers, helping put his research on their radar screens. In February, he organized a conference in Sacramento that convened legislators, water utilities and agencies, and prominent experts in water economics from countries also facing scarcity.

“It’s to learn what works, what didn’t work, and what could potentially work in California, based on the experiences of other countries,” Dinar said.

Page: 14

Considering Health

Studying the impact of public policy on health makes a big difference in local communities

Photo: Bruce Link

The One Health Center of the UC Global Health Institutes will work closely with policymakers, asking what they need to know and designing experiments around those issues.

“Sometimes [the policymakers] need to know too quickly, other times academics aren’t interested enough in those questions,” said Bruce Link, center director and a professor of sociology and public policy. “But a lot can be done in that domain.”

He pointed out that UCR “is one of the most diverse campuses, racially and ethnically, and the region that we live in is very diverse, with many groups from all over the world.” So we have a natural laboratory for seeing how certain health solutions work or don’t work for diverse populations, or how they work only for certain groups.

The center has launched a new speaker series that will highlight research into how policy can impact health outcomes locally, but also globally.

In January, Mark Hatzenbuehler, a professor from Columbia University, presented his findings that communities with a structural stigma on the gay and lesbian community – for instance, an official ban on gay marriage – have a higher incidence of anxiety and other mental disorders.

“We want policymakers to consider health when they’re considering what policies to enact,” Link said. “If there’s a cost you’re bearing, you ought to know it even if it is hidden and not immediately obvious.”

Page: 15

Broadening the Message on Crime

Photo: Steven Clark

The Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies examines law enforcement, corrections, recidivism – “anything to do with crime, in terms of preventing it or preventing it again,” said Director Steven Clark.

Since taking charge in 2013, Clark has worked at communicating the research findings of the university by distributing research briefs so that law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys and policymakers can make better-informed decisions. A new multicampus collaborative initiative administered by the center taps into social science and law research across the UC system. “We’re broadening our message so we’re not only academics talking to academics,” said Clark, a professor of psychology.

Take eyewitness identification. In the past two decades, state governments have been mandating reform in eyewitness identification. Five bills in California have been introduced to reform eyewitness procedure, though none have been signed into law. Research has found such reforms haven’t increased accuracy and may even reduce the accuracy of eyewitness identification.

The center also provides financial incentives for researchers to write articles especially for policymakers and law enforcement personnel. This would be something “that doesn’t paper over the dirty details, yet is accessible to practitioners,” Clark said.

The center brings law enforcement and policymakers in the criminal justice system to campus, such as Michael Hestrin, Riverside County district attorney, and Ross Mirkarimi, then-sheriff of San Francisco. “Policymakers can tell us what’s important to them,” Clark said, “and what are the practicalities of implementing in the real world.”

Watch Steven Clark talk about his research on the accuracy of eyewitness technology: MAGAZINEARCHIVE.UCR.EDU

Page: 16

Engaging the Community

Studying and sharing vital issues on growth with communities under stress

Photo: Juliann Emmons Allison, associate director, Center for Sustainable Suburban Development

The Center for Sustainable Suburban Development conducts research on the social, economic, ecological and political impact of growth.

Helmed by Ronald O. Loveridge, a professor of political science and former mayor of Riverside, the center aims to engage the campus and community with seminars and talks showcasing vital public policy issues. For instance, recent seminars have focused on how Stockton and Vallejo are emerging from bankruptcy; elected officials graded by journalists on vision, effectiveness, courage and transparency; the inequality gap and why fewer Americans today have opportunity for upward mobility.

For representatives from local government – cities, water districts, school districts – across the region, the center holds conferences on sustainability in cities. For students, it’s launching a new executive fellow program. A dozen or so graduates from UC Riverside and California Baptist University will work in a city or county office for a year, starting in September.

For residents, the center investigates local and regional issues and presents findings to policymakers. A recent study advised the Riverside City Council on best practices to integrate more pedestrian-friendly shopping and housing in two older neighborhoods in Riverside.

More broadly, in conjunction with the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank, the center is planning to examine the Inland Empire’s economic future. “What does it want to be when it grows up?” Loveridge said. “How will it use its assets and resources? What are the choices it is going to make? And how are these choices going to affect the growth of stable, middle-class jobs in the region?”

Page: 17

Today’s Interns, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Ron Loveridge has been setting up UCR students with internships at government agencies for decades. Since 2014, he’s been doing so specifically for the School of Public Policy.

Photo: Ronald O. Loveridge

Nearly a half-century ago, Ronald O. Loveridge started setting up internships for students at local government agencies. Today, he’s placed close to 1,500 interns. In 2014, Loveridge founded an internship program specific to the School of Public Policy, which has placed interns in 15 to 17 partner agencies around the region.

In addition to interning eight hours a week, his undergraduate students also write book reviews, take midterms, write field journals and a final paper, and meet weekly to analyze the political process from formulation to adoption to implementation – or, as he puts it, “Who gets what, when and why?”

Students have a chance to test out their interests and to start building a professional network, gaining confidence and professional experience.

“You can’t talk about public policy in this region without connecting with the principal players in the region that work on economic development and quality of life,” said Loveridge, a former Riverside mayor and councilman with a wealth of contacts at local agencies.

The master’s students at the School of Public Policy will spend the summer between their first and second years in an internship at local, regional and county agencies, which may pave the way for jobs after graduation.

“Students need to know how public policies are made in the real world,” said Anil Deolalikar, dean of the School of Public Policy.

In 1974, Mac Taylor participated in a Loveridge program. He interned with the local county supervisor. That spring, he interned in Sacramento in the office of a state assemblyman. He worked on constituent-related matters, researched different issues and joined meetings. “My interest in public policy blossomed as a result of participating in his internship programs,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t just the theoretical or academic aspect. You got exposure to how government works, how to implement programs efficiently and effectively.” Taylor is now the state’s legislative analyst, providing nonpartisan and fiscal and policy analysis to the California Legislature. “How do you go from someone&squo;s idea on what needs to be done to implementing in a way to achieve results that you want?”

Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, is another former Loveridge intern.

As a student, he used to dream about working overseas with the State Department. Then he interned, at Loveridge’s suggestion, at the Redevelopment Agency in Riverside in his senior year. “It opened my eyes. I realized I’m someone who enjoys dealing with the nuts-and-bolts operation of how government operates and delivers services. The internship was pivotal,” Huerta said. “Professor Ron Loveridge was a wonderful mentor. He helped me understand that public service is all about making life better for everyday Americans.”

Page: 18

Meet the Inaugural Class

Of the Master of Public Policy Program

Darrell & Daniel Peeden

Identical twins with identical dreams

From childhood, twin brothers Daniel and Darrell Peeden have never left each other’s side.

“Being identical twins, [that] comes with the territory. We’ve never had plans that were separate from one another,” said Darrell. “When one of us has an idea, the other jumps on board because we fit right in with that plan or goal,” Daniel added.

With several friends, the Peeden brothers started Sigma Beta Xi, a nonprofit mentoring program for disadvantaged youth in Moreno Valley, and launched a DIY technology company called Briko.

As Inland Empire natives, the Peedens hope to make an impact on the region. “We need people that are not only passionate but are educated to make really strong decisions on where we need to go as a region. With the education that we get from the graduate program here, we believe that we can make that impact,” said Darrell.

Darrell hopes to be elected mayor of Moreno Valley in November, the first time the position will be decided by voters. Daniel is supporting his brother every step of the way.

“As we take on these new projects, we hope to continue to carry on as we have been doing – in sync and glued together,” said Daniel. “Being a twin is an advantage and we try to utilize that fully.”

Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick

Bringing a voice to the underserved

Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick came to California from Mexico at 15. A first-generation student, Aguilar-Wyrick credits her migration with helping find her voice. In pursuing her master’s in public policy, her goal is to provide that voice for others.

“People don’t realize how powerful our voice can be in making a difference,” she said. “That’s why it is important for me as an immigrant to bring a voice to underserved communities.”

Aguilar-Wyrick, who graduated from UCR with a B.A. in women&srquo;s studies in 2008 and is a mother of two boys, has run multiple political campaigns. She was part of California State Senator Richard D. Roth’s district staff for three years and is now a health and safety specialist for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU 121RN). Aguilar-Wyrick is the voice of nurses in the private sector throughout Southern California. She represents them and helps ensure that hospitals follow regulatory guidelines, train staff on handling health and safety concerns and provide support for the Safe Standard Campaign, which addresses workplace violence prevention.

Page: 19

These world travelers, entrepreneurs, full-time workers and parents are passionate about making a difference in the Inland Empire. Meet five students from the inaugural class.

Marianne Melleka

Addressing health issues abroad and in Riverside

Marianne Melleka graduated from UCR with a B.A. in public policy in 2015, but returning to campus to study the same topic in graduate school – even in the same place – is a completely different experience.

“In undergrad, there’s lecturers and Power Points, but now it’s much more hands-on,” said Melleka. “You have to take a much higher leadership role in the classroom, and there’s a lot more critical thinking, discussions and debating.”

Melleka chose the Master of Public Policy program because of the school’s unique mission of “thinking globally and acting locally,” a mission that resonates strongly with Melleka. An avid world traveler, Melleka distributed over 100 water purification straws to residents in Egypt in 2015. As she taught Egyptians health education, she realized that she could apply what she learned abroad at home. “My ultimate goal with public policy is to lower the discrepancy between the rich and the poor when it comes to health. Poor people, after all, aren’t just found in other countries. They’re right here in Riverside, too.”

Jesse Melgar

Applying what is learned in the classroom to the office and vice versa

From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jesse Melgar is in Los Angeles, working for the California State Senate. He then commutes to Riverside, goes to a three-hour class at 5:40 p.m., then goes back home to study. The next day, he does it all over again.

Welcome to Melgar’s typical and busy routine as the communications director for State Sen. Ricardo Lara and an M.P.P. student.

“I have the privilege to access higher education and the opportunity to work. That’s my motivation through those long commutes and late hours of studying,” said Melgar, a Riverside native and first-generation student.

Although it can be tough managing both a full-time work and school schedule, Melgar says his roles supplement each other. Using his networks, he has been able to incorporate his job to benefit his classmates’ education. He brought California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León to deliver the keynote address at the M.P.P. launch event, and he founded the M.P.P. Sacramento Seminar, where the students will travel to the Capitol to meet with high-level policy practitioners and elected officials. “I am fortunate to participate in strategy meetings on legislation that directly impacts people’s lives, particularly low-income, underserved and immigrant communities.”

Page: 20

Page: 21

In California, the Asian-American Vote Matters

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Karthick Ramakrishnan talks about why California’s diverse population will make a significant difference this election year.

By Julie Gallego

Karthick Ramakrishnan has been paying attention to elections – big and small – for a long time, and one thing he can tell you is that 2016 is different.

The raucous Republican contest and the closer-than-anyone-expected Democratic race extended the primary season; California’s primary votes on June 7 had more of an impact on the presidential race than it had in recent elections.

“In 2012, by the time the primaries got to California, Mitt Romney had locked up the nomination and Obama was the incumbent,” Ramakrishnan says.

This year, it’s possible that California’s results were impacted by the often underrated Asian-American vote. In 2012 Asian Americans made up 10 percent of the voters; Ramakrishnan says there are estimates now of being 12 percent.

Still, he says, most of the news reporting talks about California’s value in only the most general terms. “I’d be pleasantly surprised if some news outlet

Page: 22

looked deeper into the Asian-American vote.”

Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy and political science, associate dean at the UCR School of Public Policy and director of the National Asian American Survey, is founder of AAPI Data, a demographic data and policy research project on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Just appointed to the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, he talks about what matters to Asian- American voters in this election year.

Fastest-growing minority

Asian-American voters are the fastest-growing minority in the United States; in some western and southern states, they constitute a big enough bloc to swing an election.

Despite their numbers, Asian Americans are often overlooked by campaigns and parties, he says.

One stumbling block could be the fact that Asian Americans tend to vote at a lower rate than other groups. Unlike the coveted Latino vote, most Asian voters were not born in the United States and haven’t had as much experience in the U.S. political system.

“This is something that most people don’t realize – the majority of the Latino community is native, U.S.-born, but two-thirds of the Asian population is foreign-born. What that means is that it’s a much bigger challenge to get Asian people interested and motivated about U.S. politics.”

Many political campaigns may not have the resources or the ability to communicate face-to-face with the community, he says, but there’s a lot that can be done by reaching out to them and doing voter education. Asian- Americans represent about 1 in every 10 voters or 10 percent; on many of these ballot propositions, the margin of victory is much smaller than 10 percent.

One way to better engage Asian- American voters, Ramakrishnan says, is through unaffiliated community groups.

“Asian-Americans are less likely to vote and so are less likely to be on the radar of campaigns. But you do also have these nonpartisan efforts doing voter outreach efforts, such as the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) in the Bay Area and the Chinese Progressive Association that are doing a lot to mobilize and energize the communities. Although the [Democratic and Republican] parties have a lot more money, they do less. So, absent robust efforts by the parties, you have these other groups and elected officials.”

Asian Americans in office

Although there are more Asian Americans in office now than 10 years ago, having even more would help.

“As more Asian-Americans are elected to office, you get more recognition and pressure to reach out. Eventually having a population that is English-speaking – like Latino voters – would increase outreach; but in the meantime it is the incentive of Asian- American elected officials [to reach out to their communities].

Another possible barrier to engaging Asian Americans is the lack of an animating issue to rally around, Ramakrishnan says.

“The ’90s and the California culture wars over [anti-immigration] Proposition 187 were a game-changer for Latinos; you had more and more voters getting energized and running for office. Now the Latino Caucus in Sacramento has been strong for 10 years or more. You have had a longer history of Latinos in leadership,” he points out. “It will still take a while for Asian-Americans to reach that level of political power.”

However, more telling than a single unifying issue for Asian Americans are their voting habits.

As a group, Asian Americans tend not to affiliate with one party or another, instead preferring to mark “decline to state” on voter registration cards. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have an ideological preference.

“We look at party identification. We also look at the way they vote and over time, even though they are not registered as Democrat or Republican, Asian- Americans still tend to favor the Democratic Party by about a 2-1 ratio.”

Page: 23

Ramakrishnan says that Asian- Americans tend to be more educated and make more money than other minority groups. They also rank education as an issue higher than jobs, the economy and immigration, making them attractive to Republicans. However, in California, where voters in general are more progressive on immigration than other states, Asian Americans have been put off by the GOP’s exclusionary policies and rhetoric.

Reacting to Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

“Friends of mine in the Republican Party talk about outreach to the Asian-American community. Asian-Americans have higher income, so they say, ‘If we just stop the anti-immigrant rhetoric we can get Asian-American voters.’ But 20 years of that divisive rhetoric has hurt the party so much that Asian-Americans started to believe in the other values of the Democratic Party, such as a path to citizenship, higher taxes and health care.”

That means, he says, that Asian Americans skew more liberal and progressive than average, and for the general election their vote is even more crucial for Democratic candidates.

“Asian-American youths tend to participate in elections at a lower rate than white, Latino and black youths.”

No matter how the election season plays out, Ramakrishnan hopes to see more attention paid to the Asian-American vote in the coming months.

“Asian-American voters are important to California in terms of their size and potential to persuade, yet there’s very little investment being made into these populations. So whoever reaches out to them will have their vote.”

Karthick in the News...

Ramakrishnan has been an influence on public policy and is a renowned expert on politics. Here are a few of his observations on the 2016 elections.

“Trump is writing his own rules in terms of what is permissible. He has done things that would have killed any other candidacy, but somehow he survives.”

On Donald Trump’s rise in the 2016 presidential race

TEEN VOGUE, March 14, 2016

“(Asian American and Pacific Islander voters’) party identity is not cast in stone. There’s still potential for persuasion there.”

On Hillary Clinton’s effort to court the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote

CBS EVENING NEWS, Jan. 7, 2016

“Immigration to the United States has changed considerably over the last several years, and our policy conversations need to reflect these new realities.”

On studies that have shown that more Mexicans are leaving the United States than are entering


“(There is) more commonality among Asian Americans in their politics than in their language, food religion or culture.”

On the difficulties many political parties have when trying to recruit Asian American voters

SALON, Nov. 21, 2015

“They’re seeing which party seems like a welcoming party, which party seems like an exclusionary party.”

On how the anti-immigrant rhetoric in this campaign season is making Asian American voters reconsider their political identity

NPR NEWS, Sept. 16, 2015

“Just knowing someone is Asian tells you very little about what they’ve gone through.”

On how Asian ethnic groups are unfairly classified under the umbrella term ‘Asian,’ and how the broadness of the term and its application have harmed certain Asian ethnic groups by not allowing them to pursue financial aid or government assistance


“California was once a major battleground for opposition to unauthorized immigrants, but after years of measures that actually help those immigrants, Californians show overwhelming support for them.”

On how California is a model for immigration reform

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Sept. 3, 2015

“In the past, it was a relative novelty to get ethnic politicians on the ballot. But candidates and voters have matured. … Where they once voted along ethnic lines, they now look for more qualifications.”

On immigrant politicians and how ethnic solidarity may be changing

LOS ANGELES TIMES, Oct. 31, 2014

“If you had asked me three years ago if (the Republican Party’s standing among Asians) could get any worse, I would’ve said it can’t, but it did. They need to stop the bleeding.”

On how Republican outreach to immigrants, minorities and Asian Americans has declined in recent years


Watch Karthick Ramakrishnan on his research: MAGAZINEARCHIVE.UCR.EDU

Page: 24

Speaking for Scholars

Marcela Ramirez, the University of California’s 42nd student regent, talks goals for her tenure

Page: 25

By Jeanette Marantos

When Californians approved a referendum to put a student on the University of California’s Board of Regents in 1974, the idea was to have a voting member who could give voice to the university’s scholars.

Representing the UC’s nearly 239,000 students may sound like a daunting task, but it is one that Marcela Ramirez, a UCR graduate student and the board’s 42nd student regent, takes very seriously. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to serving students, she said, especially in California, “where the complexity of our students is like no other state in the country.”

Ramirez, 35, grew up immersed in California’s multicultural community. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she calls herself a true champion for marginalized communities. Her educational experiences transformed her life, but it all started with awareness, and she credits that to her first year of studying abroad as a student at Cal State Fullerton.

She arrived in the south of France in August 2001, in the midst of Europe’s conversion into the European Union and just a few weeks before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Watching those events unfold gave her an eye-opening perspective, especially after the United States bombed Afghanistan.

“From the United States perspective, we showed patriotism and fought our attackers, but from the European perspective, the U.S. was wrongfully hurting civilians,” she said. “I got really politicized after that. I realized people can have conflicting truths, but they’re still truths to the individuals. The challenge is to build collective understandings and do it together, so each individual reframes their perspective for the greater good.”

Getting others to recognize and understand those multiple truths is one of Ramirez’s missions as a student advocate. She supports programs that increase cultural sensitivity and awareness for all students. “Students are developing their identities in college, [yet] administrators talk about undergraduates and graduates as one-dimensional people,” she said. “We need more multicultural services and multicultural experiences.”

When she becomes a voting member of the board in July, after a year of learning the ropes as student-regent designate, her goal is to advocate for graduate students, who receive just a fraction of the funding and services that the UC provides to undergraduates.

“Graduate students have specialized needs when it comes to career advising and professional socialization. We are the next generation of doctors, lawyers, administrators and faculty members. We are the intellectual minds of the future.”

Ramirez’s passion is fueled in part by her academic background. She has a master’s degree in higher education counseling from Cal State Long Beach, and more than a decade of experience in developing cultural centers and programs on college campuses.

She served as the founding director of the Middle Eastern Student Center at UCR. Her Ph.D. work is studying the purpose and contribution of college cultural centers, but she’s already sold on their value.

“They’re spaces where students of color or marginalized identities are affirmed, a place where they can relax from societal issues and be in community. From Chicano rights to Arab spring, they’re a safe place where they can talk about what’s going on, and learn about their cultures histories, struggles and triumphs,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez was a full-time doctoral student, but she still wanted to continue her advocacy. Being a student regent felt like the perfect opportunity for her, especially since she wants to become a college president someday. “It’s the best way to get hands-on experience with the [higher ed] system and the kinds of difficult decisions you have to make as a university president.

You learn what it’s like to engage with politics in the public sphere.”

Former UC student regent Sadia Saifuddin said Ramirez’s perspective is especially important: “When you have women of color on the board of regents, you open the door for other women to get involved in higher education and politics.”

The position is a lot of work; Ramirez is on the UC President’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault Task Force, and she sits on several committees, including the LGBT Advisory Committee. There’s a myriad of issues that come before the board, but Ramirez is thrilled about all she is learning. The position is unpaid, although student regents do get their tuition and fees reimbursed, and – bonus! – a parking pass valid at all UC campuses.

But Ramirez says her most important job as a student regent will be elevating the concerns and perspectives of all UC students to the board of regents. It’s not a tall order, Ramirez insists. “It’s about building awareness and encouraging relationships. We are institutions of higher education; this is the thing we’re supposed to be good at. If we can’t do it, who is going to do it?”

Page: 26

Engineering Global Cures

Victor G. J. Rodgers on what drives him to heal the world

By Lilledeshan Bose

Page: 27

“I always thought that science was the only thing I was supposed to do,” says Professor of Bioengineering Victor G. J. Rodgers. Growing up, he and his twin brother competed academically; “I think [being competitive] helped to keep us focused on science, even when we were kids.” His parents encouraged their interest, even though they were not scientists themselves.

Today Rodgers’ brother is a theoretical physicist, and Victor Rodgers – who joined UCR in 2006 – has distinguished himself as a leader in teaching, research and in promoting the engagement of underrepresented students in STEM fields.

An active and visible advocate for diversity, he received the 2016 Commitment to Graduate Diversity award. With his involvement in the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and the GEM consortium (a network of corporations, laboratories, universities and research institutions that enable students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering), “he has helped to make Bourns College of Engineering’s diversity recruitment record truly outstanding over the last several years,” said Graduate Dean Joseph Childers.

Rodgers studies the fundamentals of transport phenomena, mathematical modeling, thermodynamics and kinetics. A lot of his research focuses on ways chemical engineering can be applied to the development of biomedical and biological systems, and he collaborates with colleagues at medical schools and pharmaceutical and bioscience programs, including UCR’s School of Medicine.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Rodgers was named the inaugural Jacques S. Yeager Sr. Professor of Bioengineering in 2014.

Q: How did you end up studying chemical engineering?

A: I [was always into science so] it didn’t matter what science I was going to pursue. Even when I was in engineering, I was undeclared because I wanted to solve health or environmental problems, but I didn’t know what major would do that. I figured that I needed to know chemistry. So I became a chemical engineer.

Q: So being competitive with your twin was instrumental to your love of science. Were your parents just like, “Here’s a lab set, have at it?”

A: Yes. My mom was a nurse and my dad was the editor of a black newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. Even though we didn’t have a lot of money, they would always find a way to buy us things like a science kit for Christmas, or a microscope. We would always be very happy to get those kinds of things.

Q: How did you end up marrying chemical engineering and medical research?

A: After I graduated (from the University of Dayton, Ohio), I worked at an oil company for a while, and then I started taking a course at Carnegie Mellon University under Rakesh Jain, a professor in chemical engineering who also studied biomedical engineering. And he was very inspirational. He told me I should go into academia.

Q: That must have been an interesting shift, going from a corporation to academia.

A: Well, my goal was always to use [my studies] for environmental health issues, but at the time schools were driving [us into] chemical engineering. I didn’t really have any background to go into graduate school at that point so I took a job at Gulf Oil, where I did research and development. The other Ph.D.s in my department inspired me to get my Ph.D., too, so I went to the University of Pittsburgh full time and I got my master’s. Then I went to Washington University in St. Louis and got my Ph.D. Then I went to University of Iowa for 17 years as a professor of chemical engineering. Even in Iowa, I was working with medical doctors on bioartificial pancreas and things like that. But then, there was an opportunity to come to UCR and start up a bioengineering program. It seemed pretty cool. I got a chance to go to California.

Page: 28

Q: You’ve been at UCR since 2006, then.

A: Yeah, I really like it. There’s a lot of opportunity and growth when you’re starting a program. We’re still on a growth phase with our bioengineering program and it’s still really exciting.

Q: How has the opening of the School of Medicine impacted your research?

A: Most of my work [in the medical field] has been with Dr. Devin Binder, who is also a neurosurgeon. We are studying cerebral edema, how the brain swells up in the tissue. He wanted to measure how much water was in it, and I remember proposing it to him to just remove it. We published papers on our cerebral brain injury work and developed a device that could remove [edema].

Q: Are you using your endowment to fund the research on cerebral edema?

A: We’re extremely grateful for the Yeager grant; it is a blessing in every sense of the word. I can use that money to get preliminary data, to propose and get larger grants, which can ultimately solve these real problems.

Q: Do you do more research than teaching?

A: I do both. I’m a professor. Research takes a lot of time, but teaching is important because it is exciting to see young people’s minds kicking off.

Q: What do you like most about being at UCR?

A: It is one of the most diverse populations I have ever seen. It’s actually really amazing, and not just to me. People that come to visit us bring it up. It’s not just a mix of a couple groups but of a lot of different ethnic groups here. And I think that was one of the selling points that made me come here.

Q: They always say that engineering is one of the less diverse populations. Is that true?

A: Absolutely true. Especially when you look at (professorships), engineering lacks both female faculty and underrepresented minorities: Hispanics and African- Americans. But you know, when I got my Ph.D. I was one of three black people in the country with Ph.D.s in chemical engineering that year. You see graphics on diversity, and the charts for Hispanics, African-Americans and women going into engineering as professors has flat-lined. It’s a really low number. It’s so low that it’s almost an emergency situation. There’s a lot of talk on what the country is doing for diversity, but not a lot of results at all in the end.

Q: What do you want to leave as your legacy?

A: I always want to do some good because there’s billions of people and billions of opportunities. I just want to be a part of the human energy that is doing positive things for the planet. So that’s what my goal is. I don’t have any notion on taking over the world or anything. I want to be part of that group that’s treating people right and is doing great science at the same time.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

A: I am most proud of my osmotic pressure work. We were looking at crowded protein environments; no one could figure it out for 50 years, but we figured it out.

About the Jacques S. Yeager Sr. Professorship in Bioengineering

The Jacques S. Yeager Sr. Professorship in Bioengineering supports a talented teacher and researcher at the Bourns College of Engineering who has a research affiliation with the university’s School of Medicine.

Yeager, who passed away in April (read his obituary on Page 37) was extensively engaged in philanthropy with UCR. In 1953, E.L. Yeager Construction graded the land for the new UC Riverside campus, and Jacques Yeager and his brother Eugene Yeager helped direct the pouring of the cement “C” on the hillside above the campus.

Yeager is a founding trustee of the UC Riverside Foundation Board and served as chair from 1994 to 1997. He was appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian as a regent of the University of California, serving from 1988 to 1994. Yeager was elected fellow of BCOE in 2012.

Page: 29

A Year Unlike Any Other

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

By Bethanie Le

What makes the third year of medical school so different from the rest? Is it the 13-hour days in the hospital? Or maybe it’s the constant interaction with patients? Student Rafael Ornelas describes it as a transition from being a doctor on paper to being a doctor in real life.

“Before third year, we knew the books, theories and medicine in the text, but it is not until you start practicing that you realize how to use it. Third year is about application, to put what you read into action,” he said.

Adjusting to the new clinical setting is half the battle for third-year students. Whisked away from the familiar classroom, they find that the majority of the third year takes place in the hospital. This change can be overwhelming with trying to figure out how a hospital is run, but luckily for the UCR School of Medicine’s inaugural class, they have had plenty of practice through the Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE). This is a three-year program where students work with primary care physicians to observe diverse patient populations at designated outpatient clinical sites. In traditional medical schools’ curriculum, students do not come into contact with patients until their third year. At UCR, however, students were introduced to the world of patient-provider interaction during their first year.

“We were exposed to clinical medicine the second week of med school so we were able to learn the art of medicine early on,” said student Diana Tran. “The school prepared us for clerkships well with the LACE program.”

Third year also stands out because it is when students decide what path of medicine they want to pursue. Working with different specialties of medicine throughout the year with surgery and internal medicine in Block A and obstetrics-gynecology, family medicine and pediatrics in Block B, they quickly realize what areas they like and dislike.

Tran came into med school thinking she would focus on family medicine, but after her experience as a third year, she is now aiming for a residency in internal medicine.

“Last year, I didn’t even know what internal medicine was,” said Tran. “But in the hospital I really saw the holistic aspect of internal medicine. I saw how the doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists and even family members all work together towards the need of each patient. The team effort is what I really liked.”

Ornelas narrowed his choices down to surgery and internal medicine, his two favorite rotations. After a lot of back-and- forth, he eventually found his calling.

“I ended up going with internal medicine because I really saw myself in those shoes, being the one treating patients and talking to them,” he stated.

Now with third year shaping a clearer vision of their futures as physicians, Ornelas and Tran are ready to take on whatever their fourth and final year has in store for them.

Watch interviews of School of Medicine students: MAGAZINEARCHIVE.UCR.EDU

Page: 30

UCR Athletics by the Numbers

73’6.75– The distance of Vesta Bell’s top indoor weight throw of the season, which won her the NCAA Championship. It was UC Riverside’s first national title since the team made the transition to Division I in the 2001-02 season.

20:27– The time it took Faith Makau to become the Big West Women’s cross country champion. She finished the 6K course nearly 10 seconds faster than her closest competitor.

16:21– The time it took cross country athlete Cody Jordan to win the Nevada Twilight Classic.

2,326– The number of points women’s basketball player Brittany Crain scored in her career. The 5-foot-8 guard won back-to-back Big West Player of the Year awards as well.

10– The number of wins the volleyball team posted this season, which is the most since the 2005 campaign. The Highlanders also broke the program record for Big West wins in a season.

11– The number of wins the women’s soccer team recorded this season, which is the second most in the history of the program.

8– The national ranking for the UCLA men’s soccer team, when the Highlanders beat them, 2-1, in overtime, on Sept. 13, 2015.

Watch Highlander athletes in action: MAGAZINEARCHIVE.UCR.EDU

Page: 31

Highlanders had a stellar year in sports; here’s every important statistic to know!

16–The number of wins the UC Riverside women’s basketball team recorded in Big West play, going a perfect 16-0. The Highlanders also broke the program record for wins in a season with 23.

118–The number of three pointers Jaylen Bland made this season, breaking the school record of 100 set by Maurice Pullum in the 1988-89 season. He also set the program career record for made threes with 213.

13–The number of wins the men’s tennis team recorded this season, which is the most for the program in more than 20 years.

3–The number of strokes by which the men’s golf team won the 2016 Big West Conference Championship. Also the number of Big West Conference Championships the team has won in its 15 years in the conference (2004, 2005, 2016).

4–The number of strokes by which the UC Riverside women’s golf team won its first-ever Big West Conference Championship. Paris Griffith was the Highlanders’ top individual finisher, coming in fourth place.

.452–UC Riverside softball player Maddie Richard hit a Big West-leading .452 in the season, which also ranked her in the top 20 in the nation.

.973–The fielding percentage for the UC Riverside baseball team heading into the last weeks of the season, which is the second-highest percentage for the program since the Highlanders joined the Big West Conference in 2002.

Page: 32


’64 Michael Imhoff, after 43 years of service to Austin College in Sherman, Texas, retired in 2013 as emeritus vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty and emeritus professor of chemistry.

’68 Barbara Kerr* was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She retired from her teaching career in 2008 and is a UCR Alumni Association board member.


’71;’78 M.A.;’82 Ph.D. Pamela Clute* was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She is a national consultant, speaker and a former mathematics instructor and administrator at UCR. She prides herself in making mathematics relevant and interesting to diverse learners of all ages. Her research, programs and presentations received the prestigious National Science Foundation’s Presidential Award of Excellence from President George W. Bush. Recently, she was honored by the state of California and Chevron as a Leading Woman in STEM Education.

’75 Timothy Coyne, recently retired from his career at Xerox. He resides in Ventura, California, with his wife, Mary.

’76; ’77 M.A. John Spurlock* is the author of “Youth and Sexuality in the Twentieth Century United States” (Routledge). John’s work includes two earlier books, “Free Love” and “New and Improved.” He is a professor of history at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

’78 William Hewlett, recently became the CEO of ImageCue LLC. ImageCue is a compact, image server that provides control of high definition still images and videos with only 12 channels of DMX512. The company is located in Running Springs, California.

’79 Mary Figueroa* was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She is a past president of the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees. She was also the recipient of the UCR Alumni Service Award in 2015.

Be Tartan true

Tartan True is the collective effort of all Highlanders, ensuring a better future for our world through annual financial support to the university.

When giving to UCR, your heart may say: “Make it $1,000!” but your budget may say: “Make that $20.”

Now you can follow your heart AND your budget. Become a sustaining donor by making a monthly gift via credit card.

Every Gift Counts

It’s simple to sign up at or by contacting us at 951-827-4705.

Tartan True

Once a Highlander, Always a Highlander!

Page: 33


’81; ’84 M.A. Olivia Balderrama (Gutierrez) was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She has served as the director of planning and community development for the city of Perris for 14 years.

’87; ’92 M.B.A. Michael Beck longtime city and university administrator, has been named UCLA’s administrative vice chancellor. Michael will oversee buildings and grounds, student housing and dining facilities, public safety and a broad range of other support services and operations. Michael is currently the city manager of Pasadena, California; he previously worked at the city of Riverside and for UCR.

’89 M.S. John (Jack) Ainsworth was recently appointed the California Coastal Commission’s interim executive director. Prior to the appointment, Jack held the position of senior deputy director since 2011; he has worked for the commission for 27 years.

’89 Deborah Sauk* recently retired from her career in education. She resides in Reno, Nevada, with her husband, William.


’92 M.A.; ’98 Ph.D. Paulette Brown-Hinds* was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California State Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She is co-founder and managing partner of BPC Mediaworks, a California-focused community engagement, media and outreach firm, and the second- generation publisher of the VOICE and Black Voice News.

’99 Estella Acuna* was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She works within the Chicano Student Programs office at UCR and serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicano Latino Alumni Chapter.


’00 Joel L. Lofton has been appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown. 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. After earning his degree at UCR, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School. Lofton fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Rand S. Rubin.

’00 Callie Neal (Rich) was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. Callie is one of 20 women who were recognized within the district.

’00 Ph.D. Anthony Rendon was sworn in as the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly on March 7. Anthony pledged to focus on the issues of poverty, oversight and participation of the 2.5 million children living in poverty in California. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Rendon was an educator, nonprofit executive director and environmental activist. (See his profile on Page 40.)

’03 David Randall recently wrote his second book, “The King and Queen of Malibu,” a nonfiction account of the family that once owned and lost all of Malibu. The story spans from the Spanish era of California to a landmark Supreme Court decision that paved the way for the construction of the Pacific Coast Highway, and was called “a doozy of a tale” in a review by the Wall Street Journal.

’04; ’11 M.Ed. Rhiannon Little-Surowski* was honored by Rep. Jose Medina and the California Legislature at the 61st Assembly District’s Women of Distinction luncheon. She works at UCR for the African Student Programs office, where her highest priority is to help young women find their academic passion and become leaders in their communities.

’06 Antonio Ortega is now working as the government affairs and communications officer with the Imperial Irrigation District. In 2012, Antonio married fellow highlander Jessica Sanchez ’06.

’06 Marvin Powell Jr. is the founder and chief executive advocate at I.E. Advocates LLC. The company provides local, resourceful, non-attorney representation for Social Security Disability benefits. He has been in this field for nearly 10 years, having worked with Binder and Binder and GENEX Services Inc., two of the industry’s leading firms. Prior to his work in disability claims, he worked as a historian and archivist at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. In 2011 he was elected to the Board of

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

Page: 34

Commissioners to the Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, the county’s official anti-poverty agency. He started classes at Trinity Law School in January 2015. His wife is expecting their fourth child.

’06 Ph.D. Christopher (Chris) Yeomans has published his second book, “The Expansion of Autonomy: Hegel’s Pluralistic Philosophy of Action.” Christopher currently works as an associate professor of philosophy at Purdue University.

’08 Allison Bistline-East entered the UCR Master of Science program in entomology in 2013. While an undergraduate, she worked in Paul de Ley’s lab researching marine and fresh- water nematode ecology. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she was hired by the Hoddle Lab and has worked on various projects, including glassy-winged sharpshooter, goldspotted oak borer, and Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) research. Her graduate research focuses on the biology of parasitoids targeting ACP for use in biological control. She is a recipient of the Hardiman Research Scholarship by the National University of Ireland Galway.

’08 Chandra Char* received her master’s in public health from Touro University in Vallejo, California, in May 2015. In November, Chandra was awarded the “2015 Student Award of Excellence in Disabilities and Public Health Research” from the American Public Health Association. Her study “Learning to Listen: Understanding the Health Care Needs of the Deaf Community Through Medical Interpreters” received the top score of all student abstracts submitted in the disabilities section. Chandra was awarded this honor based on her novel approach to addressing the health care challenges faced by the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

’08 Dennis Alan Dias* received a new position as a teacher for the New York City Department of Education. Dennis formerly worked for the Peace Corps.

’09 Rita Medina has been named C4 Immigration Campaign Manager at the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan policy

Take Five

Pricila Chavez Lara


Pricila Chavez Lara is a music teacher at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, California. Lara is also highly involved with the El Sistema movement, a global organization that uses music as a vehicle for social change. A first-generation college graduate, Lara credits UCR with giving her the confidence to pursue orchestral conducting. She will be a conducting fellow at Bard in New York this summer.

1– What skills did you learn at UCR that you are applying today?

UCR challenged me in every way possible. It challenged my interests, my thoughts, what I thought was foundational and what I thought was 100 percent true. Through it, UCR really broadened my perspectives. I think the mentality of challenging myself continues to mold my conducting and my teaching.

2– What advice would you give current UCR students?

Orchestral conducting is a field where there are not many positions, but I knew I wanted to pursue it. So my advice is to find your passion and go for it wholeheartedly because only then will it all come into play.

3– What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

One, playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Two, when I was under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel at the Kresge Auditorium at MIT in Boston. Both of these experiences involve youth and both were in such a high caliber of music technicality and creative playing. There was a strong sense of community.

4– What do you hope to accomplish in this field?

I want to use music as a vehicle for social change [and bridge the economic gap]. Right now, I am getting paid to build bridges from those in need to higher education through music. I also teach strings to students who would not have otherwise have the opportunity. The challenge is building a sense of community, getting everyone involved and having everyone see the bigger picture behind the music.

5– What instruments do you play? Are there any you’re hoping to learn?

I am an instrumentalist as well as a conductor. I started playing piano and guitar when I was very young and I still play today. For a long time, my main instrument was the tenor saxophone. I took cello lessons while at UCR, and I love playing the ukulele during my free time. I do, however, want to become a better vocalist. I want to start practicing on my voice.

Page: 35

institute in Washington, D.C. Rita previously served as a 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 Oliver Enrique Rodriguez recently published “A Guide for Minority Law School Candidates.” After earning his degree from UCR he went on to earn his M.P.A. from Cal State University, San Bernardino. and is currently a Juris Doctor candidate at the University Of San Diego School Of Law. He has previously worked at Vista Unified School District, the United Way, Target Corporate and the San Francisco Superior Court. He currently works for an education law firm.

’06 M.F.A.; ’09 Ph.D. Shakina Nayfack, will be joining the cast for the second season of the Hulu comedy series “Difficult People” that is co-produced by Amy Poehler. Shakina will play Lola, a new waitress at D’s Café. Season one is currently available on Hulu, and season two will premiere later this year.


’14 Ph.D. Carly Bailey 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. She was a graduate student researcher at UCR from 2009 to 2014 and held several positions at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress from 2008 to 2013, including special program manager for juvenile justice and service systems program coordinator.

’15 Esmeralda Baklayan has accepted a new position as an assistant in the law offices of Lisa Maki in Los Angeles, California.

Take Five

Aaron Pomerantz


Aaron Pomerantz is a field biologist for the Tambopata research center in Southeastern Peru, where he investigates and follows insect behaviors in the Amazon rain forest. He is also involved with science communications as he shares his research and results through social media and works with filmmakers like BBC and National Geographic. Pomerantz’s motto? “The coolest discoveries are the ones you make.”

1– What got you interested in studying entomology?

I grew up in Los Angeles, which is not known for being lush and green and for having wildlife, but my mom was an avid gardener, so that helped. I started liking bugs from childhood and it grew over time. The more you learn in entomology, the more you realize that insects impact us in a lot of very important ways.

2– What is the best part of your job?

I get paid to examine the rain forest, which was a dream of mine. [All I knew of this job was] my friend was going to do research [in the Amazon]. I said, “Dude, take me with you.” I thought I would only go once, but that trip turned into an opportunity to keep going back to find new creatures that no one has ever seen before.

3– What is the biggest challenge about your career?

The biggest challenge is not necessarily finding something new. It is recording and documenting it to share it with a lot of people. Anyone can shoot a video; the challenging part is editing the footage to create a story out of research that is educational, but also entertaining.

4– What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

I grew up watching nature shows like BBC documentaries. A few months ago, BBC interviewed me for an episode! [The interview] was filmed at the UCR Botanic Gardens so that was really cool since it was at my home base. That was a proud moment for me.

5– What are some interesting sights that you have come across in the Amazon?

Southeastern Peru is beautiful. It’s on a national reserve so you see animals that [aren’t] anywhere else in the world, like jaguars or pumas and totally bizarre insects. But one of the coolest things is called a clay lick. You’ll see hundreds of macaws gather at a site to eat clay – they’re eating dirt to supplement their diet with sodium. But to see these really bright, big birds all at one spot, squawking and making noise – it’s just a beautiful phenomenon.

Learn more about Aaron and his latest explorations by visiting his Twitter @AaronPomerantz.

Page: 36

Alumni Connection

Ninth Annual Alumni Day at the Races in Del Mar

July 31

Mix and mingle with fellow alumni and friends in the private Native Diver Skyroom at the Del Mar Race Track where you can watch and wager on exciting thoroughbred racing. The Skyroom suite includes a private betting window, cocktail bar, private balcony overlooking the track and plenty of video monitors. Visit for more information and to place your reservation by July 18.

Welcome Receptions for New Graduates

Congratulations class of 2016!

As a new UCR graduate, you are now a part of an alumni family that is over 100,000 Highlanders strong! Meet and network with other recent UCR graduates in your area.

Inland Empire June 22, 6 p.m.

Los Angeles June 28, 6:30 p.m.

San Diego July 12, 6 p.m.

Orange County July 13, 6:30 p.m.

Bay Area July 23, 11 a.m.

Visit for more information and to register for the reception in your area.

New Alumni Career Programs

The UCR Alumni Association recently launched two new programs in partnership with TalentMarks and Career Journeys. TalentMarks is a resource available to all UCR alumni and offers online webinars on career development. Career Journeys is available to UCR Alumni Association members and offers career counseling for alumni who are looking for a career transition, tips on resume building, interviewing skills and advice on salary negotiations.

For more information visit

Homecoming 2016

Save the Date: November 19

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



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

Page: 37

We Remember

’56 Richard G. Houdek December 2015

’57 Ruth Pertel January 2016

’59 David M. Peterson September 2015

’60 Conrad Driussi August 2015

’62 Raymond D. Hamilton July 2015

’62 Frances Marie Shropshire January 2016

’62 Donald W. Spigner October 2015

’64 Robert C. Bridges August 2015

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

’65 David H. Nash September 2015

’66; ’87 Ph.D. Guy K. Bryan December 2015

’66 Jeanette A. Hollingworth November 2015

’67 Susan J. Hafen October 2015

’67 Kent D. Mason November 2015

’67 Kenji Kawaoka, Ph.D. February 2016

’68 Glenna Jean Dunning October 2015

’68 Jacqueline Q. Russler December 2015

’79; ’72 M.A. Lillie Diana Hansen February 2016

’70; ’73 M.A. Shelley Renee Cauffiel July 2015

’70 Jean M. Nelson December 2015

’72; ’85 Ph.D. Lee O. Hansen October 2015

’73 Philomena C. Hornsby December 2015

’73 Jerome F. Speaks Jr. December 2015

’74 George P. Greco, T.C. January 2016

’74; ’75 M.S.; ’78 Ph.D. Milton L. Hammond October 2015

’74 Ph.D. William M. Colt October 2015

’75 Tony C. Apodaca October 2015

’75 Barbara J. Kidd July 2015

’78 Damian L. Meins December 2015

’79 Wayne R. Low August 2015

’79 M.A. Eleanor E. Elder November 2015

’81 Lisa K. Herman December 2015

’81 M.A. Eleanor Cross Harrison July 2015

’82 Debra L. Rister November 2015

’82 Dowain A. Wright January 2016

’83 Stephen C. Luhn September 2015

’84 Valdis V. Velitis January 2016

’87 M.S. Ellen M. Zunino August 2015

’89 M.S. Dorothy A. Phelps January 2016

’93 Melina C. Thornhill July 2015

’00 M.A. Patty J. Kellison October 2015

’06; ’07 T.C. Steven M. Vasquez January 2016

’08 James M. Ahn September 2015

’08; ’10 M.S. Reid K. Livingston November 2015

’10 Sierra S. Clayborn December 2015

’10 Matthew J. Pusateri December 2015

’15 Jonathan James Chavez August 2015

’15 Robert Clark Roderick December 2015

In Memoriam

Jacques S. “Jack” Yeager Sr., a business leader whose construction company – and influence – helped build UC Riverside along with many of the major roads and housing developments in the Inland Empire, died on April 20 at the age of 94.

The Riverside native and UC Berkeley alumnus spoke volumes in his active and generous support for UCR’s programs, particularly in engineering, and for the entire UC system, where he served on the Board of Regents from 1988 to 1994.

His support for UCR started in 1953, when his family-owned company, the E.L. Yeager Construction Co., did the initial grading for the campus and poured the “C” on the side of Box Springs Mountain. In 2000, Yeager was named an inaugural UCR Laureate for cumulative giving to UCR, and in 2001 he received the Trustees Award for Extraordinary Service.

Yeager’s gifts to UCR significantly strengthened its engineering programs, including creation of the Jacques S. Yeager Sr. Endowed Chair in Bioengineering, the Jacques & Helen Hays Yeager Fund for the Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT) and the Yeager Families Endowed Chair in CE-CERT. Other support created the Yeager Family Foyer at the Anderson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and benefited the UCR Athletics Practice Center Fund.

He chaired the $8.5 million capital campaign for the Anderson Graduate School of Management and was co-chair of the $3.1 million capital campaign for the UCR/California Museum of Photography. He was an emeritus member of the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees, which he joined in June 1977. And in 2012, he and Marlan Bourns were named Fellows of the Bourns College of Engineering.

The family requests memorial donations to the Jacques S. Yeager Sr. Endowed Chair in Bioengineering. Go to for information.

Page: 38


Lynn “Mac” Morris McQuern, M.A. ’74,

died at home in Riverside on April 10 after a long struggle with diabetes- related health problems, including a heart attack, kidney failure and, finally, a stroke. He was 75 and long retired from careers as an environmental planner and a journalist. He was a police reporter and later a copy editor at The Press- Enterprise, then earned a master’s degree in environmental administration from UCR. He worked as an environ- mental planner for regional planning agencies in Sacramento and San Diego, for the cities of Rialto and Moreno Valley and for the Western Riverside Council of Governments. He is survived by his wife of almost 47 years, Marcia; together they established the L.M. and Marcia McQuern Graduate Award in Nonfiction Writing in 2004.


Robert Cort Haddon, UCR distinguished professor of chemistry and of chemical and environmental engineering, and director of the Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering, passed away on April 21.

Haddon is best known for the prediction and discovery of superconductivity in alkali-metal-doped carbon-60, for his preparation and characterization of a stable crystal of phenalenyl radicals, and for his pioneering research in nanotechnology. He was an elected member of several scholarly societies and, in 2014, was named by Thomson Reuters as one of the “best and brightest minds of our times.”

Nanotechnology is “the final frontier in miniaturization, at least on the surface of the planet,” Haddon once said. “It encompasses all of the scientific disciplines including chemistry, engineering, physics, biology, computers and medicine.”

He was appointed distinguished professor in the departments of chemistry and chemical and environ- mental engineering and director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at UCR in 2000; in 2002, the scope of CNSE was expanded to include the Center for Nanoscale Innovation for Defense, which was formed as a multicampus initiative between UCR, UCSB and UCLA. Under Haddon’s leadership UCR’s CNSE Nanofabrication Facility was established.

Haddon is survived by his wife and two children. The family requests that gifts be made to The Robert C. Haddon Memorial Scholarship at UCR. Checks made payable to the UC Riverside Foundation can be sent to the UC Riverside Foundation at PO Box 112, Riverside, CA 92502-0112. Please include “Haddon Scholarship” on the check memo line.

Stanley Stewart, a distinguished professor in the English Department who began working at UCR in 1961, passed away on Feb. 9. Stewart had just begun teaching this quarter when he suddenly fell ill and passed a few weeks later.

Stewart was an accomplished scholar, from his first book on early modern poetry, “The Enclosed Garden: The Tradition and the Image in 17th Century Poetry (1966),” to his most recent, “Shakespeare and Philosophy (2010).” He was a leading expert on the 17th-century poet and dramatist Ben Jonson, and he served as the long- standing editor of the Ben Jonson Journal. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Mellon Grant. He was the UCR Faculty Research Lecturer in 2000. Throughout his career at UCR, he was a masterful teacher; not only a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, he was also an inspiration to graduate students and undergraduates alike.

Earl R. Oatman, 95, died peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 13, 2015. Oatman was at Clark Field in the Philippines when it was attacked on Dec. 8, 1941. He escaped during the Bataan Death March, hid for a year in the jungle, then suffered three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. Returning home, Oatman earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Missouri, then graduated from UC Berkeley with a Ph.D. in entomology. He moved to UCR in 1962, where he was a professor of entomology. He published over 200 research papers. He retired in 1988, after which he and Virginia, his wife of 56 years, enjoyed their three children, nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and many dear friends, colleagues and former students. He donated his personal papers about the Bataan Death March to the UCR Library, and he was a devoted supporter of library activities. He is buried at Riverside National Cemetery.

Bruce Langworthy Chalmers of Riverside died on Dec. 11, 2015, at the age of 77 after a decadelong battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. He spent his entire academic career as a professor of mathematics at UCR, from 1967 to 2008.

Born in Iowa, he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University, Syracuse University and Stanford University (Ph.D. ’67). Chalmers enjoyed mathematics, especially his field of approximation theory, publishing numerous papers, lecturing at many universities here and abroad, and researching and authoring with several colleagues. Chalmers was an inspirational mentor and a sports enthusiast. He is survived by his wife, Patricia (Ploessl) Chalmers; daughters Cynthia Bartlett and Heather Singarella; and grandchildren.

Laura Sobrino, lecturer and director of Mariachi Mexicatl, UCR’s mariachi ensemble, passed away on May 21, 2015. She was 60.

Sobrino was an extraordinarily gifted musician. Not only was she a virtuoso violinist and talented singer, but she could also play virtually any part in a mariachi group. She was also a pioneer, breaking through the gender barrier that for generations had held women back in the mariachi world.

For years she was director and violinist of Mariachi Mujer, an LA-based all-female mariachi group of international renown. In recognition of her many accomplishments, the LA Times dubbed her the “Mariachi Queen” in 1995. Sobrino created UCR’s Mariachi Mexicatl from scratch, purchasing costumes and instruments, teaching students how to play the instruments and songs, and directing the group in performance while singing and playing her violin. When she started at UCR, she immediately attracted a following, which grew to an ensemble of over 20 musicians. Sobrino is survived by her two children, Nicté and Nazul; her husband Dan; her mother; and her two siblings.

Page: 39

Page Turner

Arctic Disasters, 21st Century Wars, Foodies 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.

Writing Arctic Disaster: Authorship and Exploration

By Adriana Cracium

Cambridge University Press April 2016, 356 pages

How did the Victorian fixation on the disastrous John Franklin expedition transform our understanding of the Northwest Passage and the Arctic? Today we still tend to see the Arctic and the Northwest Passage through 19th-century perspectives, which focused on the discoveries of individual explorers, their illustrated books, visual culture, imperial ambitions and high-profile disasters.

“Writing Arctic Disaster” uncovers a wide range of exploration cultures; this innovative study reveals the dangerous afterlife of this Victorian conflation of exploration and disaster, in the geopolitical significance accruing around the 2014 discovery of Franklin’s ship Erebus in the Northwest Passage.

Adriana Craciun is a University of California presidential chair and a professor of English at UCR.

Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

By Kevin Whalen, Ph.D. ‘14

University of Washington Press June 2016, 224 pages

“Native Students at Work” sheds light on Native American participation in the workforce and boarding schools, and tells the stories of Native people from around the American Southwest who participated in labor programs at Sherman Institute, a federal Indian boarding school in Riverside. The school placed young Native men and women in and around Los Angeles as domestic workers, farmhands and factory laborers. Whalen reveals the challenges these students faced as they left their homes for boarding schools and then endured an “outing program” that aimed to strip them of their identities and cultures by sending them to live and work among non-Native people. Despite cruel working conditions, Native people used the program to their advantage whenever they could, forming urban indigenous communities and sharing money and knowledge gained in the city with those back home.

The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise

By David Randall ‘03

W.W. Norton and Company March 2016, 256 pages

Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu’s transformation from an untamed ranch in the middle of nowhere to a paradise seeded with movie stars, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism.

“The King and Queen of Malibu” traces the path of one family as the country around them cast off the last vestiges of the Civil War and moved into the modern age, from the halls of Harvard to the Old West in New Mexico to the beginnings of San Francisco’s counterculture amid the Gilded Age, and culminates in the glamour of early Hollywood.

David K. Randall is a New York Times best-selling author and a senior reporter at Reuters.

American Foodie: Taste, Art and the Cultural Revolution

By Dwight Furrow, Ph.D. ‘03

Rowman and Littlefield Publishers January 2016, 188 pages

As nutrition, food is essential, but in today’s world of excess, a good portion of the world has taken food beyond its functional definition to fine art status. From celebrity chefs to amateur food bloggers, individuals take ownership of the food they eat as a creative expression of personality, heritage and ingenuity. Dwight Furrow examines the contemporary fascination with food and culinary arts not only as global spectacle, but also as an expression of control, authenticity and playful creation for individuals in a homogenized, and increasingly public, world.

Dwight Furrow is a professor of philosophy at San Diego Mesa College.

Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday

By Debbie Graber, M.F.A. ‘10

The Unnamed Press May 2016, 176 pages

Kevin Kramer is the new senior vice president of the Products Profit center at Production Solutions. He’s worked hard for all his success. It’s taken him years to perfect a non-clammy handshake. But Kevin Kramer harbors many dark secrets. In fact, for everyone in these stories, avoiding the truth is a full-time job. The satirical short stories in “Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday” tell the tales of souls adrift in a corporate netherworld. The collection details the delusions the characters wear as comfortably as their khakis and no-iron button downs to skewer corporate culture and, more generally, the lies we tell ourselves as humans in order to persevere.

Page: 40

Anthony Rendon, Ph.D. ’00

The Philosopher Politician

“When deciding to vote on a bill, I keep asking ‘why?’ until I get to the fundamental question of whether or not I believe something is truly good to do or not.”

By Koren Wetmore

Illustration by Mike Tofanelli

Anthony Rendon, Ph.D. ’00, is a great example of how higher education can change not just one life but many.

Sworn in March 7 as the 70th Speaker of the California Assembly, the former warehouse worker marvels at his current position and the path that led him there.

“There was never a time in my adolescence when I thought I’d go to college, let alone get a graduate degree,” he says. “I was very fortunate to find something that interested me intellectually and to grow up in a state that provided the [financial] support to follow that inkling.”

The man who now answers to the title “Mr. Speaker” once worked long hours loading trucks for low pay. Yet a community college philosophy course sparked his interest in political philosophy and questions about the greater public good. He went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Cal State Fullerton and a Ph.D. in political philosophy and theory from UC Riverside.

Twelve years passed before he made the leap to political leadership. His passions first focused on education and community; Rendon served as an adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton for seven years, and later as executive director of Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services Inc., a nonprofit focused on early childhood education and support for families in Los Angeles County.

When government cuts severely impacted that nonprofit, he chose to run for the California Assembly to represent the district in which he lived and worked. “I saw that the public good wasn’t being achieved at the same level everywhere, so I wanted to ensure that southeast Los Angeles County would get its fair share of resources,” Rendon says.

Elected in 2012 to represent California’s 63rd Assembly District, Rendon has authored and passed a variety of bills in support of early childhood education and the environment. Now he hopes to lead the Assembly in tackling issues of poverty, government account- ability and voter participation.

His work involves multifaceted bills, issues and arguments, yet his philosophy training helps to bring order and clarity. “It helps me to analyze people’s arguments and to think about questions on the most rudimentary level,” he says. “When deciding to vote on a bill, I keep asking ‘why?’ until I get to the fundamental question of whether or not I believe something is truly good to do or not. Because what we’re presented with is never perfect. You have to weigh all the good and bad and determine which outweighs the other.”

Page: 41


Real World Solutions

Revolutionizing Online Learning:

UCR computer scientist Frank Vahid’s interactive online textbooks, zyBooks, have been used by more than 50,000 students at 200 universities and colleges since created in 2012.

Explore more policy impacts:

Explore more technology 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 |