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Spring 2021


A New Day

Reflection Point The UCI Student Center is illuminated in blue on March 11 in solidarity with iconic structures across the globe that were also lit up to commemorate the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Steve Zylius / UCI


Spring 2021 Vol. 6, No. 2

A New Day



Meeting the Future: With plans for a new medical complex and college of health sciences underway, UCI continues its evolution to help the individual and the broader community

Lessons Learned: UCI academic leaders and students share key takeaways from an unprecedented year







On the Cover: The UCI campus lies nestled within its Orange County surroundings in this west-facing aerial view.


UCI Magazine



32 30 Lifting Prisoners Into a Brighter Future: UCI launches the UC system’s first B.A. program for incarcerated individuals







The Anteater Experience: Resource-rich environment supports success of burgeoning student body



About This Issue: In this edition of UCI Magazine, we highlight the resilience, ingenuity and future vision that give rise to “A New Day”

for UCI and our greater community as we emerge from a yearlong pandemic. In “Lessons Learned” (page 24), scholars and faculty share how they met challenges during this unique period by coming up with myriad solutions and finding silver linings for going forward, while “The Anteater Experience” (page 32) details how UCI continues to welcome a growing number of students, providing a foundation to help them thrive and become leaders. In “Lifting Prisoners” (page 30), UCI law school professors discuss how they decided to do something, leading to the UC system’s first B.A. program for incarcerated individuals. Finally, our cover story, “Meeting the Future” (page 16), showcases new plans for a state-of-the-art medical center and a college of health sciences to address the well-being of a growing – and aging – Orange County population while simultaneously advancing the frontiers of science. As Chancellor Howard Gillman notes in his letter on the following page, UCI has never stood still. Join us in welcoming this new day.

Spring 2021


Letter From the Chancellor

UCI Magazine Vol. 6, No. 2

A lot of words come to mind when I’m asked to describe UCI – impactful, resilient, trailblazing, popular, respected, mission-driven, creative, future-oriented and world-class, to name just a few – but one word springs to mind first: change. UCI is constantly transforming, evolving, creating better iterations of itself. Look at our academics. In recent years, we’ve added new schools of law, education, nursing and pharmacy – with public health soon to follow – and many new degree programs. Or look at our student body. When I came to UCI as provost in 2013, UCI had just under 30,000 students. Today we have more than 37,000. Or look at our skyline and all the new facilities we’ve constructed to support our mission. There are many such examples. In the pages of this issue, you’ll read about how the campus is changing right now, adapting to new conditions, drawing on the lessons of the recent past to move into the future. As the campus prepares to fully reopen and again offer in-person learning this fall, academic leaders are building on a long tradition of innovation to develop new paradigms of instruction, using the best of remote, hybrid and classroom teaching to help our students thrive. The student experience is constantly being enhanced, with greater opportunities to live on campus, acquire leadership skills and, especially, flourish while engaging in rigorous courses of study. The biggest and most visible change is explored in our cover story. UCI Health, the largest and most important healthcare delivery system in Orange County, is building a new medical complex that will anchor the northern border of university property, bringing the leading-edge care provided by an outstanding academic health center to coastal and southern Orange County. At the same time, the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences is constructing new teaching facilities on our health sciences campus. These buildings will foster and support the synergy of the healthcare professions and ensure that students learn and train to work across disciplines to offer whole-person care. These bold projects position UCI to serve all of Orange County’s 3.2 million people and provide leadership in healthcare excellence, greater equity and access, improved public health, fewer health disparities, and responsible stewardship of protected resources. Yes, UCI is changing – to meet the needs of our students, to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors in the region, to meet the needs of the great California public. But one thing never changes: the UCI spirit. We are dedicated to delivering the finest education to our state’s best students, regardless of their circumstances, and to seeking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. That is our mission. That is our privilege. We are proud to have your participation and support as we move toward the brilliant future. Fiat Lux, Howard Gillman UCI Chancellor

Produced by the University of California, Irvine Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs Chancellor Howard Gillman Associate Chancellor, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs Ria Carlson Associate Vice Chancellor, Public Affairs Sherry Main Managing Editor Marina Dundjerski Design Vince Rini Design Visuals Steve Chang, Corey Tull and Steve Zylius Copy Editor Kymberly Doucette Editorial Advisory Committee Jennie Brewton, Mandi Gonzales, Stacey King (athletics), Will Nagel, Brian O’Dea (health), Janna Parris (advancement) and Lisa Zwick (alumni) Contributing Writers Brian Bell, Christine Byrd, Dan Carlinsky, Cathy Lawhon, Rosemary McClure, Kristin Baird Rattini, Roy Rivenburg, Shari Roan and Jim Washburn Contact Have a comment or suggestion? Address correspondence to: UCI Magazine UCI Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs 120 Theory, Ste. 100 Irvine, CA 92697-5615 949-824-6922 • ucimagazine@uci.edu communications.uci.edu/magazine UCI Magazine is a publication for faculty, staff, alumni, students, parents, community members and UCI supporters. Issues are published in winter, spring and fall. To change your address or receive the electronic version of UCI Magazine, email a request to campusupdates@uci.edu. UCI Magazine is printed with soy-based inks on a recycled paper stock certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Please recycle.

Together, we can create a Brilliant Future. Through the generosity of alumni, parents and friends – like you – we are transforming healthcare and wellness, advancing the American dream, accelerating world-changing research, and exploring the human experience.

We Want to Hear From You

Ways to Get Involved Make a gift online: https://secure.give.uci.edu By phone: 949-824-0142 By mail: UCI Giving, 100 Theory, Ste. 250, Irvine, CA 92617 Explore alumni opportunities: engage.alumni.uci.edu

To submit a letter via U.S. mail, send to: Letters to the Editor / UCI Magazine UCI Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs 120 Theory, Ste. 100 Irvine, CA 92697-5615


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To submit a letter via email, send to: ucimagazine@uci.edu


UCI Libraries’ Special


Collections & Archives

Concrete Hope

CI’s first buildings were designed in the early 1960s by noted architect William Pereira, who had a penchant for science fiction and was already known for such futuristic creations as the iconic Theme Building at LAX. For the nascent University of California campus, Pereira turned to a paneled façade system, using prefabricated, geometric concrete slabs attached to steel underpinnings. Called Brutalism (derived from the French béton brut, meaning “raw concrete”), the minimalist style highlights bare construction materials and has been described as eschewing aesthetics in the interest of ethics. It emerged in the 1950s, out of postwar Europe, and was meant as an investment in cities, underscoring the importance – and permanence – of civic life. New schools, public housing, arts and cultural buildings, and government offices were erected in this form. At a 2005 symposium celebrating UCI’s 40th anniversary, then-campus architect Rebekah Gladson said: “Brutalism as a style was often associated with social utopian ideology. What could be more socially optimistic than the creation of a new university?” While fortresslike, some of Pereira’s designs were set on a pedestal-type structure so that the buildings appeared to magically float above the ground and people below. Some praised the edifices as starkly beautiful and hinting at the technological era that was to come. Others labeled them cold and impersonal. While popular among mid-20th-century architects in the U.S. and abroad, Brutalism began falling out of favor by the mid-1970s. In recent years, however, the style has experienced a revival, with some historians and preservationists joining a cadre of appreciative architects and planners, piquing media interest. A 2016 New York Times headline declared “Brutalism Is Back.” Now, as the world navigates the chaos of an unpredictable pandemic, Pereira’s solid structures seem reassuring in their strength.

Spring 2021




Midway Point Brilliant Future: The Campaign for UCI surpassed the $1 billion mark in early April and is now more than halfway to its goal. Publicly launched in October 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the philanthropic effort to support scholarships, groundbreaking research, top-notch patient care and world-class educational facilities, among other initiatives, is the most ambitious in UCI’s history.

Campaign Goal: $2 billion $1 B


of gifts have been

# of donors

$100 or less



Alumni Engagement Goal: 75,000 44,000

new scholarships, fellowships and student award funds


Longtime UCI Leader Named Provost, EVC Hal S. Stern, former dean of the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences and founding chair of the Department of Statistics, has been appointed as UCI’s provost and executive vice chancellor. Stern, who has served as interim provost and executive vice chancellor since March 2020, will remain UCI’s chief academic and operating officer, assuming primary responsibility for the university’s teaching and research enterprise. Over the last 12 months, he has played a key leadership role in UCI’s unprecedented transition to remote learning and working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; the gradual and staged, safe reopening of some campus operations as conditions permitted; and the anticipated return to full campus operations in the fall. “During this past year, Hal has impressed the UCI community with his tireless, thoughtful, transparent, collaborative and compassionate leadership,” Chancellor Howard Gillman said. “After having had an opportunity to meet many truly outstanding candidates for this position, I can say with confidence that Hal has the vision, experience, character and temperament to best serve UCI in the years to come.” Stern joined UCI in 2002, when he founded the Department of Statistics, and later spent six years as the Ted and Janice Smith Family Foundation Dean of the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences. He retains a faculty position as a Chancellor’s Professor of statistics. “As the campus and society emerge from the many challenges of the past year,” Stern said, “we will continue on our ambitious path to reach new heights of excellence and social impact.”


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Seeding Ground Students on campus are able to borrow from newly installed “seed libraries” set up in repurposed newspaper racks located near the Arroyo Vista Garden and the Verano Place Housing Office. Fruits, vegetables, herbs and perennials are available for pickup year-round by avid campus gardeners. Seeds are ethically sourced from a Southern California company, and Anteaters are also asked to harvest their own seeds and return them to the racks to replenish supplies, encourage more backyard gardeners, and foster a culture of sustainability and resilience.


Pandemic Pro Bono More than 55 percent of currently enrolled UCI law students provided pro bono services under primarily virtual conditions between March 2020 and February 2021.

“I don’t know how in-person school would be conducted safely if there weren’t a vaccination requirement.” Ashima Kundu, UCI neurobiology student and EMT, on her support for the University of California and California State University announcements of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for fall Los Angeles Times April 22, 2021

310 students 219 projects 11,000+ hours served

Help for ‘Long-Haulers’ UCI Health has launched an outpatient treatment program to address the prolonged COVID-19 symptoms and complications experienced by an estimated 10 to 30 percent of people long after their initial illness. Individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome, also known as “longhaulers,” continue to see effects for months after their infection. The new UCI Health COVID Recovery Service at outpatient offices in Tustin and Costa Mesa provides these patients with a comprehensive evaluation, referrals to specialists, follow-up care and monitoring throughout the course of recovery. The most common chronic post-COVID-19 symptoms seen in adults include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, problems sleeping, joint pain, chest pain, anxiety and depression. Some individuals, often those who had more severe cases of the disease, may experience persistent heart issues and lung damage. “As we continue to learn about the long-term effects of COVID-19, we will support patients with health services and case management to improve their health and well-being,” said Long-Co Nguyen, a UCI Health internist who will manage the post-COVID-19 syndrome program.

Spring 2021



Helping People in Pharmacy Deserts Earlier this year, Uber and Walgreens agreed to partner to provide free rides to pharmacies for Americans needing COVID-19 vaccinations. Cheryl Wisseh, a UCI assistant clinical professor of clinical pharmacy practice, says the program is a small but much-needed step in enhancing access to pharmacies for millions of underserved Americans. Cheryl Wisseh, a UCI assistant clinical professor of clinical Her research examines pharmacy practice “pharmacy deserts,” areas where people live a mile or more from a pharmacy. She’s the lead author of a study, published recently in Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, showing that some Los Angeles County neighborhoods lacking pharmacies also have denser populations, larger numbers of Black and Latino residents, higher rates of poverty and crime, lower rates of home and auto ownership, fewer healthcare professionals to serve the area, and lower rates of health insurance coverage. Those characteristics, compounded by pharmacy shortages, can make it tough to fill prescriptions, pick up medical supplies or obtain vaccinations, Wisseh says: “It’s always the same forces at play. A year ago, we had a shortage

of COVID-19 testing sites in these same communities.” Taking a bus to fill a prescription can take up to four times longer than hopping in your own car, she notes. Moreover, health suffers when people don’t fill and take their medications. That can lead to ER visits, which add to the cost of healthcare. Solutions such as prescription delivery programs are sorely needed, Wisseh says. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach to solving this problem,” she says. “It would be good to see programs like the Uber-Walgreens partnership grow and become sustainable. Once we come out of this pandemic, there will still be a lot of disparities.”

A High-Tech Buddy for Kids With Cancer

For children with cancer, pain poses a special challenge, as they experience and express it differently than do adults. That’s what led UCI’s Michelle Fortier to design and evaluate an app aimed at easing kids’ cancer pain. Called Pain Buddy, it provides a real-time assessment of pain to help pediatric healthcare providers with a rapid and effective response. “Pain in children doesn’t get the attention it needs,” says Fortier, an associate professor in the Sue & Bill Gross School


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of Nursing. “We know that most, if not all, kids undergoing treatment for cancer experience recurrent pain. And because kids are mostly at home during treatment, it also means parents become responsible for managing their pain.” Stress exacerbates pain in children, and they have trouble recalling pain episodes at periodic doctor visits, says Fortier, whose research is under the auspices of the UCI Center on Stress & Health. “Kids are more reluctant to report their pain,” she says. “They may worry that it means their cancer is worse or something is wrong or that it might make their parents scared or worried.” With the child-friendly app, pain assessments are reported in real time to healthcare providers instead of waiting days or weeks between appointments. The app also teaches skills – such as mindfulness, breathing and distraction – to help kids manage pain. A recent study on the effectiveness of Pain Buddy showed that when children used the app for eight weeks during cancer treatment, they endured significantly fewer episodes of moderate or severe pain than kids using traditional pain reporting methods. A larger, multiinstitutional study of Pain Buddy, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is now underway. Says Fortier: “Ideally, I’d like to see any child diagnosed with and treated for cancer get something like Pain Buddy as a standard part of treatment.”


Experience the value of an academic health system, right in your community. As Orange County’s only academic health system, UCI Health is the leader in research and medical advances that save lives and improve the health of our community. Whether you need specialty care for a complex condition or an annual checkup, our devoted team of nationally recognized physicians, nurses, researchers and clinicians stop at nothing to give you and your family the best care available. Our newest outpatient health center in Laguna Hills will offer all the expertise and advanced care that only UCI Health can provide — in one convenient location.

To learn more, call 949-238-4100 or visit ucihealth.org/lagunahills NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center


Screen Time Fourth-year dance major Savannah Graves performs for the camera in April in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts’ Experimental Media Performance Lab. The “screendance,” a hybrid art form that combines movement with film, titled “Intersections,” was choreographed by Marc Spaulding as part of his M.F.A. thesis exploring African American heritage and the creative process for independent Black choreographers. Says Spaulding: “I aim to highlight some key aspects that inform dance-making for contemporary Black artists, such as the perception of Blackness, funding and sociopolitical issues.”


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Steve Zylius / UCI

THANKS A BILLION. Thanks to the generous support of our alumni and friends, BRILLIANT FUTURE: The Campaign for UCI is now more than halfway to our goal. Thanks to you, we’ve poured over $1 billion into world-changing medical and scientific research, created new scholarships so students from all backgrounds have access to world-class education and increased programs to benefit O.C. communities. Every gift makes a difference.

Together, we are creating a brilliant future for all.

To learn more about how your support is helping us change the world, please visit m.uci.edu/brilliant-impact


Switzerland Geneva


In Pursuit of Particles Almost 300 feet underground, in a side tunnel adjacent to the 17-mile loop of the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) facility, near Geneva, technicians have recently completed the assembly of FASER, a new particle detector that may one day provide hints to the origin and nature of dark matter. FASER is the brainchild of Jonathan Feng, UCI professor of physics & astronomy, with Dave Casper, UCI associate professor of physics & astronomy, responsible for the design and ultimate management of the experiment. Compared to some of the other instruments at the LHC, FASER was built in a hurry – less than two years after winning CERN approval – on a tight budget and partially during a global pandemic. In addition to hunting for dark matter signals, FASER will extend UCI’s primacy in the study of another type of particle, the neutrino, when the LHC resumes operations within the next several months. “No neutrino has ever been detected at the LHC,” Feng says. “But FASER is expected to detect about 10,000 in the coming three years, opening up a whole new area of research.” He adds: “It’s a nice tie-in to the tradition here at UCI because of the legacy of Frederick Reines, a UCI founding faculty member who won the Nobel Prize in physics for being the first to find neutrinos.”



UCI Magazine

Spring 2021




Marcelle Hayashida Associate vice chancellor for wellness, health & counseling services

Steve Zylius / UCI

Seizing Opportunities to Improve Campus Health When opportunity knocks, Marcelle Hayashida answers. UCI’s associate vice chancellor for wellness, health & counseling services celebrates her 20th anniversary in academia this year. It was a career path that didn’t cross her mind as she completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan. However, appealing clinical positions were scarce upon graduation. When a tenuretrack offer to teach psychology arrived from Pomona College, “I couldn’t resist the warmer weather or the opportunity to work with a prestigious institution filled with incredibly bright students,” she says. It was the first of many doors that opened in unexpected and enticing directions for Hayashida. She balanced work as a therapist with teaching and research,


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joined the counseling center at the Claremont Colleges, and leveraged an interim associate dean position at Pomona College into the role of associate dean of students/dean of women. Since joining UCI in 2012, she has overseen eight centers, ranging from the Student Health Center and the Counseling Center to the Campus Assault Resources & Education office and the Disability Services Center. “It’s been the story of my career: being told, ‘We don’t have that, but do you want to try this?’ and me saying yes to something that wasn’t what I was looking for but something even better,” Hayashida says. She spoke with UCI Magazine contributing writer Kristin Baird Rattini about her personal journey and caring for the UCI community during a pandemic.

What drew you to psychology? I can’t pinpoint one specific experience or one moment where it clicked. It was just a fascination with helping people who were suffering and trying to figure out how people behave in groups. What brought you to UCI? Two words: Thomas Parham [UCI’s former vice chancellor for student affairs, currently president of Cal State Dominguez Hills]. This was someone whose works I had studied and taught. I was really excited just to meet him, even if I hadn’t been offered the job. When I saw the job advertised, I initially thought, “Wow, this is a huge portfolio.” I was at a smaller school with one direct report and different resources. I knew I could do the job, but it would be a huge career jump. A friend said to me, “Marcelle, this position has your name all over it. You’ll get to do wellness; you are a psychologist. You’ll oversee disability services; you’re the disability coordinator at your school now. You would oversee campus recreation; you currently teach yoga sometimes to students. You need to apply.” When I interviewed, I knew that my colleagues would be really bright and that UCI had well-developed systems that worked well. I felt I could step in and put my spin on things. What achievements at UCI are you most proud of? When I got here, there was only one social worker. Since then, our social work team has exploded. You need to meet people’s psychosocial needs before they can thrive intellectually and academically. I’m proud that our campus provides that. We have a stellar team of people who care passionately and understand the larger mission we’re working toward. We’ve expanded the CARE office and added more comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services to the Student Health Center. I’m also happy we’ve been able to do more than just manage people and have clinical services: We’ve placed a larger emphasis on public health, something that’s important to the university. I’m on a committee to try to adapt the Okanagan Charter from Canada to the U.S. context. It’s a framework to promote the importance of holistic health and well-being on higher education campuses and embed wellness into policies. How has your department rallied its resources to care for the UCI community during the pandemic?

had 25 kids enrolled in virtual preschool in the fall through our child care services. We had 8,450 primary care telehealth visits at Student Health and four virtual psychotherapy groups run through the Counseling Center. We know that we’ll keep telehealth and telemedicine services going forward, and we’re making sure that our websites are user-friendly so that people can get the information they need. I also oversee the Anteater Pledge Ambassadors team. From October through March of this year, our 200 members had 4,100 engagements promoting how students can keep themselves safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our team is really proud of all our work.

“You need to meet people’s psychosocial needs before they can thrive intellectually and academically. I’m proud that our campus provides that.” There is much greater awareness of mental health because of the pandemic. How do you see approaches to mental health changing as a result? What we learned during the pandemic is that there are a lot of other things that go into mental health beyond depression, anxiety and seeing a psychologist. What are you feeding yourself? How are you sleeping? What do your social connections look like? Do you feel included? What support are we offering for students of color, for low-income students, for undocumented students? We’ve learned a lot about all of these different threads that we need to weave together to support student mental health. How do you practice self-care? Sleep is extremely important to me and my health. I do yoga. I read a lot. I hang out with my kids and take walks in the neighborhood. Something I care a lot about from personal experience is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. I’ve run two half-marathons in Las Vegas on behalf of the foundation. So that’s a form of self-care that’s a way of helping myself and the foundation but also giving back to other people.

From a tally we did in fall 2020, our campus social workers had 358 active cases, some of which involved helping find housing or food or problem-solving with finances. We screened student-athletes, had 339 intake meetings for our Disability Services Center, and even

Spring 2021


Meeting the


With plans for a new medical complex and college of health sciences underway, UCI continues its evolution to help the individual and the broader community By Cathy Lawhon


Photos by Steve Zylius

ebar and steel girders rising at UCI signal a new era in the campus’s growth and healthcare profile. Never shy of a challenge, UCI is emerging from a year defined by COVID-19, realizing a decadeslong vision fueled by medical and managerial lessons learned during that time. The clear message: When a once-in-a-century pandemic throws a wrench into the world, use it to build something worthy of transforming lives for the next generation. Taking that to heart, UCI has embarked on a building boom that incorporates its expertise in technology, green energy and eco-friendly design and fulfills commitments to healthcare and wellness and worldchanging research articulated in the university’s $2 billion Brilliant Future fundraising campaign. The strategic growth spurt began with the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building, which opened in December 2020. Meanwhile, funding and development continues on a permanent home for the UCI Institute and Museum of California Art. Two combined healthcare projects kicked off in November 2020, when the campus broke ground on a landmark, 9-acre health sciences complex at Bison and California avenues. That project will be joined by the construction of a new medical center that will anchor the northern edge of university property. “We knew when I came here in 2013 that we would get bigger, but we’re not growing just to grow,” says UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We’re continuing to grow in a way that has impact – on our student body, on the community and in the world – with our research and with a vision of health sciences that’s different from what we had originally. We’re realizing a unique opportunity among all of American higher education to build out in accordance with our special mission of working together to serve the whole person and community.” For Dr. Steven Goldstein, vice chancellor for health affairs, the combined projects position UCI to serve all of Orange County’s 3.2 million people and provide leadership in the future of healthcare excellence, equity, access, precision and cost control. Accomplishing all that will require collaboration from STEM fields, humanities, arts, social sciences and more – a multidisciplinary approach that has become UCI’s hallmark.


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Spring 2021


Health Center An academic medical facility serving coastal and southern Orange County

A hospital as hub for research, teaching and healing on the UCI campus realizes the dream born when President Lyndon B. Johnson landed in a helicopter a short distance away from the corner of Jamboree Road and Campus Drive 57 years ago to dedicate the land upon which the university would rise. Construction on the UCI Medical Center in Irvine is expected to begin in the latter half of 2021 and be completed in two phases between 2022 and 2025. Philanthropic donations, health operations revenue and loans will fund the $1.2 billion project. The plans anticipate demographic changes – including 30 percent growth in those over the age of 65, the population most in need of healthcare – during the next four decades. The new medical campus will allow the community to stay ahead of the demand for the cuttingedge services provided by an academic health center. The


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COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges also highlight the need for the facilities, Goldstein says. “The only way to offer the best possible care – now and in the future – is through our mission to discover, teach and heal,” he says. “This new medical center is a central star in that process. The discovery domain includes services like advanced cancer trials, where our patients can benefit from new therapies only available at National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, like our Chao Family Center. As teachers, we also lead the nation, educating health innovators who form the backbone of the diverse workforce of the future. And this new health campus allows us to continue to attract world-leading physicians, nurses, pharmacists and population health experts to Orange County who promote healing in the most advanced ways.”


The new medical complex will grow from what has been the peripheral nervous system of the campus since its founding – most recently home to facilities management, transportation and distribution services, and the UCI Arboretum, which will be relocated as part of a new campus “naturescape” project. Phase one is the 168,000-squarefoot UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, which comprises the Center for Children’s Health, wellness programs, outpatient specialty disciplines and clinical trials in cancer infusion. Phase two is a 144bed acute care hospital and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care, focused on oncology, neurosciences, orthopedics, and spine and digestive health, along with emergency services. Opening for the combined 632,000 square feet is planned for 2025. Buildings will incorporate sustainable construction and green technology. Low-water-demand plantings and recycled water for irrigation will mitigate water use. High-performance glazing and building insulation, efficient lighting and air conditioning, and

“The only way to offer the best possible care – now and in the future – is through our mission to discover, teach and heal.”

other measures will exceed California energy efficiency requirements by at least 20 percent. Electric heating and cooling systems will be served by UC green power – a system of renewable power sources. More visible to patients will be the many innovations in patient-based healing. Imagine cancer infusion suites with expansive views of marshland preserves and outdoor porches that give patients access to the healing power of nature, Goldstein says. Crowded waiting rooms are part of the pre-pandemic past. Instead, patients will find options for outdoor waiting areas and technologically advanced diagnostic hubs. And from intensive care to step-down units, patients will stay in one bed and caregivers will rotate as required, eliminating the need to transfer people from room to room. New technology will allow medical teams to leverage UCI’s

Acres: 222, including the medical center, a healing garden and the marsh reserve Buildings: 2, including a 144-bed acute care hospital and the UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, home to children’s services and medical specialties Square feet: 800,000 combined, with 64,400 square feet of reserved build-out space for future projects Parking: 1,350 spaces Jobs created: 2,500 in construction and staffing

unique expertise in artificial intelligence to assess care needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, UCI Health doctors entered patient data into a vulnerability algorithm that predicted who would most likely require intensive care and intubation and advised how best to treat each patient to avoid that outcome. “The system was so successful that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked us to share it nationwide, and we were proud to do so,” Goldstein says. “These buildings and UCI’s growth at other medical sites throughout the region are designed for the future,” he notes. “Like the cuttingedge clinical care delivered at UCI Medical Center in Orange, the new health center on the main UCI campus will offer the very best patient-focused care and support for lifelong wellness.”

Community health benefits: Serving an expected double-digit increase in Orange County population, with 30 percent growth in those over age 65 Cost: $1.2 billion combined, funded by philanthropic donations, health operations revenue and loans Special features: Includes the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care, one of only 51 nationally designated centers; and offers advanced technology such as artificial intelligence patient vulnerability algorithm programs that allow analysis of patient data to assess best practices for treatment

Spring 2021


Health Sciences Complex A national beacon of integrated care

Just a short walk away from the campus medical center, a teaching facility is rising on 9 acres at the corner of Bison and California avenues. It will stand as a testament to UCI’s commitment to integrated healthcare. The 135,111-square-foot, five-floor Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences building will be home to students in medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, and population and public health and will provide headquarters for the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute. The adjoining Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, with 77,028 square feet over four floors, will complete the construction. The complex is expected to open in 2022 and is budgeted at $134 million. “These two new buildings, part of our expanded health sciences campus, are designed to foster the creation


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of the team-based, precision healthcare workers of tomorrow,” Goldstein says. “The facilities will enable interprofessional education and train care providers to operate in synchrony.” Sharing space with the integrative health institute will allow students to incorporate its focus on wellness and the whole person. The institute aims to discover and promote effective, evidence-based practices that optimize well-being. Students will be trained to evaluate both conventional and complementary therapies, such as nutrition for long-term health, acupuncture as an alternative to addictive opioids for pain control, and meditation as a method of stress reduction. The health sciences complex taking advantage of UCI’s unique open space will fulfill the human desire to interact

“These two new buildings, part of our expanded health sciences campus, are designed to foster the creation of the team-based, precision healthcare workers of tomorrow. The facilities will enable interprofessional education and train care providers to operate in synchrony.”

first-of-its-kind college of health sciences focused on interdisciplinary healthcare and whole-person care. “We are very excited for the UCI College of Health Sciences to become a national model for integrative health,” Henry Samueli said at the time of the donation – one of the largest ever to a public university. “We believe this model will eventually become the standard approach for promoting health and well-being in our society.” The William and Sue Gross Family Foundation committed $40 million to establish a nursing school and assist in the construction of a building to house it.


with nature by providing access to light, airy views of vegetation and water and walking trails. The integration of physical locations with natural habitats is deeply rooted in a vision set forth by founding Chancellor Dan Aldrich Jr. to nurture the building of UCI. The design also features a 150-seat auditorium, a central courtyard that connects to the existing Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, spaces for encouraging such health activities as yoga and tai chi in nature, a Zen garden, and a 600-foot-long wellness walk that leads to the School of Medicine’s Biomedical Research Center. Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million in part to build this

Acres: 9 Buildings: 2 – the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences and the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing Square feet: 212,139 combined Students served: Medical, nursing, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, population and public health, and integrative health Cost: $134 million, funded by philanthropic donations Special feature: Serves as a national model for promoting team-based care and integrative medicine

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Naturescape/Public Gardens A living laboratory

Workers carefully transplant a Uitenhage aloe, an arborescent species of aloe indigenous to the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, to Aldrich Park in March.

UCI’s substantial open space, which distinguishes it from most other major research universities, has given a 15-member Naturescape Advisory Committee the opportunity to redefine the concept of “outdoors” at UCI and transform the stewardship of the campus’s open and wildland resources to enhance the university’s mission. The vision – defined by a multidisciplinary faculty/staff committee co-chaired by Richard Demerjian, assistant vice chancellor for campus physical & environmental planning, and Travis Huxman, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology – is a campuswide garden that reflects the area’s human and biological heritage. Like the UCI Arboretum before them, the public


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gardens, learning centers, experimental sites and more will support teaching, research and community engagement. UCI’s naturescape emanates from the center of the campus, linking research, ecology, hydrology, wellness and art radially, reaching outward into academic plazas and greenbelts. The public gardens vision highlights five major plant collections representing the state’s Mediterranean-climate ecosystem. It celebrates the biodiversity of native plants in the California garden, which will be flanked by four additional gardens representing the Western Cape, Chilean, Mediterranean and Australian biomes.

The university’s core will connect to the new medical complex at UCI’s northern edge via the North Campus Health and Wellness Trail. Traversing the 202-acre, UCoperated San Joaquin Marsh Reserve, outside a protected 150-foot biological buffer zone, the 1-mile  pedestrian and bicycle path will feature two outdoor classrooms, information kiosks, research plots and shaded overlooks. Designed to be open to the community, the trail will be fenced to protect sensitive marsh habitat. Its southern end will

meet the San Diego Creek bridge, seamlessly linking the central campus to the marsh. Gillman credits campus leaders’ bold strategic plan – one that captured the strong aspirations of the UCI community – for the ambitious new growth spurt. “Everyone has agreed that we don’t look for incremental growth,” he says. “We look for big leaps that are specifically linked to a distinct vision and a different way of thinking.” Aldrich Park, with its more than 10,000 trees, is abloom in April.

Over the years, the San Joaquin Marsh Reserve has provided many UCI students the opportunity for hands-on ecological research.

Spring 2021



UCI Magazine



UCI academic leaders and students share key takeaways from an unprecedented year By Rosemary McClure

Photos by Corey Tull


ew, if any, could have imagined the rollercoaster that followed the outbreak of COVID-19 last year. The pandemic claimed millions of lives globally and gave rise to devastating economic and social disruptions. At UCI, it spawned rapid change that rocked the institution into a “new normal,” causing the greatest challenge the university has faced in its 56-year history. But there are bright spots on the horizon. “What we learned … will set the foundation for the years ahead,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman in a note to the campus community in April 2021, and will result in “a better experience for our employees, students and patients.” What’s next at UCI in a post-pandemic world? Academic leaders and students summarize the hardships of 2020 and – building on the university’s long tradition of innovation – discuss key takeaways from the past year and predict beneficial changes to come.

2020 Reflections: Making the Best of It As the virus spread in 2020, the university was forced to suspend nearly all on-campus activities. The colossal task of mobilizing the organization required decisive leadership, rapid action and incredible teamwork. “With extraordinary speed, we moved from in-person instruction to remote learning,” said Gillman as the transition was taking place last spring. “Our students packed up their lives and moved to their permanent residences. Our faculty embraced the new teaching technology and adapted to altered research conditions. And with the utmost professionalism, our staff helped enable all these changes.” Meanwhile, at UCI Medical Center, “the men and women of UCI Health worked tirelessly and selflessly to care for our neighbors and friends across the whole region,” he added. On campus, three administrators assumed responsibility for providing access to classes, labs and research opportunities: Michael Dennin, dean of UCI’s Division of Undergraduate Education and vice provost for teaching and learning; Gillian Hayes, dean of the Graduate Division and vice provost for graduate education; and Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor for research and Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering & computer science. Everything needed to be done at full throttle. “There were two weeks in which the parameters we were working under changed every 24 hours as new information about the virus emerged,” Dennin recalls. In the 10th week of the winter quarter, it became clear that spring classes would have to go fully online.

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Fortunately, spring break offered faculty a chance to record lectures. Those more experienced in remote instruction helped out those with less experience, Dennin says, adding that the pandemic afforded opportunities for growth. “For faculty, it spurred a reassessment of course curricula,” he says. “The first recorded lectures remained fairly close to the in-person experience. Then, as the comfort level with the technology rose, instructors began tweaking their delivery to make the best use of online platforms.” There were additional challenges for UCI’s 6,500 graduate students, Hayes notes. Closed labs and canceled fieldwork disrupted research and delayed timetables for finishing experiments and dissertations. “Students were pulled out of research sites in Africa or Europe or wherever. If they were doing fieldwork here, they often had to be pulled back as well,” Hayes says. “And, of course, if they were in a wet lab or needed access to an MRI machine or other physical resources, their research was put on hold – unless it was deemed essential.” Some were able to pivot. Prior to the pandemic, Jazette Johnson, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, was designing social support technologies for people with dementia and volunteering in person with Alzheimer’s Orange County.

“Once the lockdown happened, my research took a turn,” Johnson says. Instead of focusing on ways to aid groups using virtual reality and other complex technologies, she began “to think about ways we can improve the experiences of support groups online.” To do so, she began studying a Facebook support group being run by Alzheimer’s Orange County – “a place where caregivers can post things to receive or provide various forms of social support.” Her research may have been stalled, Johnson says, if she had not already been working with that organization. It was one of thousands of solutions that UCI faculty, staff and students struggled to find to confront the crisis. In the early days of the pandemic, Douglas M. Haynes, vice chancellor for equity, diversity & inclusion, worried about employing stopgap measures. “How do we maintain our mission when people are not physically on campus? How do we maintain our commitment to inclusive excellence? Can we actually teach on a remote platform?” he asks rhetorically. “The faculty had been very skeptical up to that point about fully embracing alternatives to on-campus teaching. “I want to give my colleagues and the career staff credit,” Haynes continues. “They were unsung heroes in facilitating this rapid shift. We call it a pivot, but it was a major shift within weeks. There was no plan B. Being a national leader of inclusive excellence means serving our talented students under any circumstances.”

2020-21: Shifting Priorities Predictably, the use of online platforms mushroomed. Tom Andriola, vice chancellor for information, technology & data, says that administration of quizzes, tests and assignments through technology spurred 5,000 percent growth in internet portals. UCI was fortunate in several ways. It was already a proven leader in cutting-edge teaching and learning strategies. More than a decade ago, pioneering work by the Division of Continuing Education had created some of the original widely available online courses. The university was also the first to equip all medical students with iPads and reinvent the curriculum for today’s healthcare via the iMedEd Initiative. Three years ago, the campus set up “smart” classrooms in a new Anteater Learning Pavilion that paired online readings with in-class discussions and exercises. The approach, called active learning, requires students to participate, rather than passively taking notes and


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utilizing memorization for exams. Familiarity with this technique helped students cope with virtual instruction. Dennin says that as faculty members adjusted to remote teaching, they began taking time to identify the core learning objectives and outcomes of their classes. “If we’re not self-reflective at this moment and realize that all of our courses have room to improve, then I think it’s a wasted opportunity,” he says, adding that faculty who reflect on the benefits of online versus in-person classes are developing better-designed courses. But one size doesn’t fit all. “Before the pandemic, lots of people – students and faculty – would have said that in-person learning is better,” Dennin adds. “We now have a whole suite of tools we can use. So take those tools and use the best ones, based on various criteria: the content of the class, the goal of the class, the level of the students.”

Self-reflection is also important for grad students and postdocs, who learned some painful lessons about coping with transitions during the past year, Hayes says: “It was hectic and hard, but not all were in crisis. Many were dealing pretty well, better than some faculty.” Among other silver linings, she says, they learned how to be flexible and resilient. One of those who weathered the storm was Franceli Cibrian, a UCI postdoctoral scholar who scored a coup during the pandemic, landing a job as an assistant professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Engineering. But life has been a bit weird, she says. “I moved to Orange because I was excited about teaching at Chapman – but then it turned out that I’m only online,” Cibrian says, laughing. After months of leading web-only classes, she was allowed to visit the campus to see where her class eventually would meet in person. “It was

exciting,” she says. “You have to learn to appreciate the small things.” Doctoral student Deyanira Nevarez Martinez also garnered a new job: a tenure-track position that she’ll begin in August at Michigan State University. But her prospects seemed bleak last year when the pandemic threatened to derail Nevarez Martinez’s efforts to earn a Ph.D. in urban & environmental planning & policy. Her research initially dealt mainly with Mexican border housing, but she was able to shift some of the focus to homelessness in Orange County. “I don’t want to romanticize it because it was very challenging,” Nevarez Martinez says. “But it was an opportunity for me to be creative and still come up with something that will help individuals.” Dean Hayes is the first to agree that the past year has caused acute pain. “Some Ph.D. students had to give up on a particular research project and move on with their Spring 2021


lives – shift things entirely,” she says. “Others spent time analyzing data they already had. The challenge is what happens in the long haul; we won’t know the full effects for maybe five years. “But those who have had to change their research topic have learned a lot,” Hayes continues. “As miserable as they are right now, I hope that five years from now, they’ll say: ‘Wow! I learned how to adapt when adversity was thrown at me.’”

2021: What Lies Ahead? Everyone agrees that the university is evolving. Chancellor Gillman’s prediction: “Our next chapter will focus on the needs of our community, utilizing innovative solutions to create a UCI experience that is more satisfying, productive and supportive. “Many of us have enjoyed the benefits of remote work … while others long for greater in-person interaction. Tomorrow will bring us the freedom to have both – virtual and physical, remote and local, digital and analog – blended in a way that advances excellence.” COVID-19 has shown that you can have high-quality hybrid programs, Hayes notes: “In the early days of online learning, that was not necessarily true, but there has been lots of research. We know how to do it now.” Interestingly enough, well-run, online graduate-level programs are not cost-savers, she says. They can be more expensive than traditional programs, requiring additional staff. “It takes a ton of work to create videos, make the course interactive, and ensure that students feel engaged and connected,” Hayes says, “but it’s definitely well worth it.” Among the other benefits of a hybrid program is the possibility of extending the university’s reach. If a program calls for in-person classes, the school is constrained to reaching students within about a 50-mile radius of Irvine, Hayes says: “Students in these hybrids can come from all over the country – and other countries as well – so it really opens up who we can serve.” Dennin has a long list of positive changes he identified during the past year. A sampling: Office hours are easier for students to access when they’re online; routine course announcements can be posted online, freeing up more time in class; and campus orientation can be simplified if portions of it are online. “‘In person’ isn’t a meaningful term anymore, but ‘on campus’ is,” Dennin says. “The faculty will be here, the students will be here, and all of that informal interaction we missed will be back.”


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“Many of us have enjoyed the benefits of remote work … while others long for greater in-person interaction. Tomorrow will bring us the freedom to have both – virtual and physical, remote and local, digital and analog – blended in a way that advances excellence.” Despite COVID-19’s effect on the campus, interest in its programs has skyrocketed – a development that administrators hope will continue in the future. UCI received almost 134,000 applications for fall 2021, setting a record and solidifying its position as one of the most desired schools in the country. Additionally, the Irvine campus was the top University of California choice for in-state, first-generation students for the third consecutive year, with 47 percent of its California-resident applications coming from students who will be the first in their families to attend college. “The word is out: UCI is a place that welcomes and supports our state’s very best students, regardless of their economic circumstances, and provides them with an outstanding college experience and lifelong opportunities,” Gillman says. Another major thrust is UCI’s Black Thriving Initiative, which is mobilizing the university to promote Black student success by increasing total enrollments and eliminating differences in undergraduate graduation and graduate degree completion rates. During the pandemic, “the campus worked hard to reduce the substantial inequities and support its firstgen students,” Vice Chancellor Haynes says. “They responded with grit and resilience. Our students are among the most highly talented, achievement-oriented young people you’ll find anywhere.” For all of the UCI community, the days ahead offer excitement, Gillman suggested in his April 2021 message: “Our pioneering spirit will lead us through a once-in-alifetime opportunity to craft a more meaningful, fulfilling, truly brilliant future. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you.”

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Lifting Prisoners Into a

Brighter Future

UCI launches the UC system’s first B.A. program for incarcerated individuals By Jim Washburn

Keramet Reiter’s interest in prison education began when she was an undergrad at Harvard University, participating in and eventually managing a program to help convicts earn a GED diploma. She then taught in a private college’s A.A. degree program inside San Quentin State Prison from 2007 to 2012, while attaining a law degree and a doctorate in jurisprudence & social policy at UC Berkeley. So after joining the UCI faculty in 2012, Reiter naturally fell into informal discussions with colleagues who shared her interest. “We began talking about the need for a B.A. program in prisons,” she says, “and because many of us who study prisons think about maybe doing something, we started putting the building blocks in place to make it happen.” Those blocks took concrete form in December, when UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman signed a memorandum of understanding with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for UCI to create the University of California system’s first in-prison Bachelor of Arts program: Leveraging Inspiring Futures Through Educational Degrees. Classes are expected to commence in fall 2022 at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County. Reiter, an associate professor of criminology, law &


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society as well as law, had three UCI co-instigators in shaping the program who now join her on the initiative’s core team: Valerie Jenness, acting vice provost for academic planning, Distinguished Professor of criminology, law & society and former dean of social ecology; Carroll Seron, professor emerita of criminology, law & society; and Pavan Kadandale, associate professor of teaching in molecular biology & biochemistry. There’s a 59-member advisory committee drawn from schools across campus. Reiter knew they had something when the group presented the idea to Gillman. “I vividly remember his excitement when we first met with him to talk about this,” she says. “It was really key to have Chancellor Gillman on board so officials in the prison system would know that it wasn’t just a group of faculty calling but that it would be the institution they were partnering with.” The chancellor’s commitment was evident during an online press conference in December announcing the memorandum about Leveraging Inspiring Futures Through Educational Degrees, at which he said, “Providing a UC education to students in state prison will help us make good on our promise to provide a high-quality education to Californians, regardless of their circumstances. LIFTED will transform lives for

those in prison in ways that higher education already does for millions of students.” There has been similar enthusiasm from UCI faculty, with so many volunteering to teach courses that Reiter says: “As much as I would love to be one of them, I’ll probably just play a mentorship role at first, because I don’t want to deny any of them experiencing the level of gratitude and engagement that prisoners almost uniformly show for a college education.” The initial degree offered will be in sociology, in part because it’s a large department with a range of electives, but mainly for what Reiter calls structural reasons: The community college working in the Donovan facility – Southwestern College in Chula Vista – offers an A.A. there in sociology. Southwestern has a transfer program with UCI, which simplifies the bureaucracy involved. To transfer to UCI’s program, inmates must first have their A.A., maintain a 3.5 GPA and meet other qualifications. It’s anticipated that some 25 students in Southwestern’s program will transfer to UCI’s B.A. program, with the prospect of graduating in 2024. “We’re viewing the sociology B.A. as a proof-of-concept project,” Reiter says, “to show that if this is possible for one group, then it will be readily replicable across other degrees and other UC campuses.” The timing for the program is propitious. Since 2014, the state has funded community college programs that offer A.A. degrees in correctional facilities. A few state universities have developed B.A. programs as well. LIFTED also aligns with the recent national focus on prison reform and with federal Pell Grants again being made available to the incarcerated. And it doesn’t hurt that there’s a move to allow prisoners greater access to technology. Brant Choate, director of rehabilitative programs in California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is one of the officials working with UCI on the LIFTED project. Regarding access to technology, he says: “Even back in 2014, community colleges were putting all their courseware online, and students submitted assignments online. But when they came into the prisons, I essentially told them, ‘Your students here only have a golf pencil and are going to write their papers by hand. We can probably provide some chalk for you and that’s about it.’ “By the time UCI starts at Donovan, the students will have their own laptop computers and will be able to access learning management systems and upload their assignments.” It takes money and effort to launch a program like LIFTED. But the goal is to have a positive societal

outcome, and there are indications that such initiatives are working. “I view it as a public safety matter,” Choate says. “When somebody comes back to your community with a bachelor’s degree, they don’t commit crimes. They don’t go back to prison. “National studies and our own internal numbers tell us that somebody with a high school diploma is 50 percent less likely to recidivate. Only 3 to 4 percent with an A.A. degree do. If they have a bachelor’s degree, they just basically don’t come back.” He adds, “The experience provides convicts with the critical thinking skills to navigate life, and that’s the most important thing when they get out and are faced with life’s challenges.” And the investment is less than the price of recidivism. “We spend an immense amount of money on incarceration in California, and we know that hasn’t worked that well,” Reiter says. “A third of the people in the state system recidivate. Keeping someone in prison in this state costs an estimated $70,000 to $80,000 per person per year. Providing a college education to them is more on the order of $20,000 to $30,000.” She also stresses that helping convicts realize their potential can lead to advanced degrees and result in heightened success.

“The experience provides convicts with the critical thinking skills to navigate life, and that’s the most important thing when they get out and are faced with life’s challenges.” “A key aspect about the UCs being involved is that it opens the pathways to graduate school,” Reiter says. “I do a lot of work on our campus advising formerly incarcerated students who are earning graduate degrees. The more education you put between yourself and your criminal record, the lower the stigma – and the greater the number of people with criminal records who end up in positions where they’re able to contribute more to society.”

Spring 2021



UCI Magazine

The Anteater


Resource-rich environment supports success of burgeoning student body


By Christine Byrd

Photos by Steve Zylius

hen Megan Kosai first arrived at UCI in fall 2019, she wasn’t sure what to expect and worried about feeling lost amid the campus’s 37,000 students. “I honestly didn’t think I’d love UCI as much as I do,” Kosai says. “UCI is such a huge school, but it feels really personal and intimate, with the professors and the whole community taking the time to get to know each student individually.” Now finishing her second year as a social ecology major, Kosai has joined a sorority, assists in a cognitive sciences research lab, is active with the CrossCultural Center and works in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, speaking to prospective students about life at UCI. While every student’s journey is unique, UCI provides a slew of programming and people focused on helping Anteaters like Kosai find their fit and thrive. “Our work centers around students – making sure that at UCI they have the support needed to be the best leaders and citizens of the world,” says Willie Banks Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs. “We do that by marrying what students learn in the classroom with the experiences and opportunities they have outside the classroom.” In the last decade, UCI enrollment has increased by 30 percent, and a growing number of students, Kosai included, come from low-income families. About 60 percent of UCI students are the first in their family to attend college. Based on the ethnic and economic demographics of the student body, UCI has been federally designated as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. UCI has topped The New York Times’ two most recent College Access Indexes of U.S. universities “doing the most for the American dream” and placed second in the U.S. News & World Report 2021 national listing of “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which takes into account the graduation rate of students awarded Pell Grants. “We’re accomplishing the American dream with the accessibility and social mobility we strive to provide for future generations,” says Rameen Talesh, dean of students and assistant vice chancellor for student life & leadership, who also earned an undergraduate degree at UCI. “So many of our students are here not just for themselves, but for their families. It means something of significance.”

Students walk near the bustling UCI Student Center, a hub of activity in pre-pandemic days.

Spring 2021


Helping Students Thrive Much of the programming established by Student Affairs in recent years focuses on easing students into a “soft landing” at UCI and then fostering their leadership skills. “We want to make sure that students know the resources available to them and that they feel connected, whether it’s to a student leader or through residential life, student orientation or other student services,” Talesh says. “We know there are a lot of stressors too, so there’s an element of self-care in the student experience that’s much more prevalent now. We ask: How can we make sure our students are taking the time to slow down to enjoy and reflect on the experience – and meet them where they’re at?” The Thrive@UCI seminar, a 1.3-unit course taught by administrators including Talesh, aims to continue connecting students to campus resources after their initial introduction through the Student Parent Orientation Program. Roughly 800 students have participated in Thrive@UCI since it debuted in 2015. Each week, the course covers a different campus resource, such as study abroad, financial aid, the career center, and wellness and health promotion. But more than that, the course helps students create a support network and cope with inevitable college stress.

“For freshmen dealing with college for the first time, Thrive@UCI gives you a step up on how to deal with things,” says Jimmy Tuan Nguyen, a business administration major who completed his bachelor’s degree in fall 2020. “Dealing with stress was something I learned throughout my four years here. A lot of times, as freshmen, we’re gung-ho and want to do the best we can, but then we neglect ourselves.” Kosai took the course her first quarter on campus and uses the services she learned about, including getting help with her resumé and applying to study abroad. “The Thrive@UCI speakers made me feel welcome, like I had a place at UCI,” she says. “It can be intimidating to go ask for help, but meeting the directors of these centers and having them reach out to us in person made us feel more comfortable and welcome.” In her second year at UCI, Kosai joined the Second-Year Transitional Experience Program, designed to help first-generation and low-income students smoothly transition from their first year into the rest of their college experience. “The students are really ambitious and want to do exciting things in their lives, so it’s encouraging to be surrounded by peers who want to take advantage of all the university offers,” she says. In Kosai, Talesh sees the perfect example of what he

Megan Kosai, a second-year social ecology major, says that while UCI is a large university, “it feels really personal and intimate, with the professors and the whole community taking the time to get to know each student individually.”


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wishes for all students: that they go from being “Anteaters to Antleaders,” he says. “We rely on students to be the influencers of other students and to connect with them and model leadership,” Talesh says. “Leadership is a cycle, and hopefully, new students become the juniors or seniors who are looked up to, mentoring other students and demonstrating good characteristics of student leadership.” Although almost two-thirds of UCI’s undergraduates receive need-based grants, more Anteaters than ever before are also working while going to school. In fact, fully 3,000 students are employed on campus. Working nearby makes a difference, playing a role in decreasing the time spent earning a bachelor’s degree, academic leaders say. “More students are trying to be efficient with their time at the university, whereas back in the day, students would stay a fifth or sixth year,” Talesh says. “Now more of them are focused on getting in and getting out, which gives a more serious tone to the students and their engagements.”

A Home on Campus Long gone are the days when UCI was considered a commuter campus. Kosai, despite growing up in Orange County, was among the 81 percent of first-year students who typically live on campus. Although she returned home when COVID-19 forced the campus to go to remote instruction, Kosai says, those months living in the Mesa Court towers were some of the best of her life. “The dorm experience was my first introduction to how wonderful the community

Jimmy Tuan Nguyen, who completed a B.A. degree in business administration in fall 2020, says that programs like the Thrive@UCI seminar give undergraduates “a step up on how to deal with things” by helping them create a support network, better cope with inevitable college stressors and “not neglect ourselves.”

at UCI is,” she says. “I made friends in my hall who are still my best friends.” UCI’s skyline may be the most visible sign of the student body’s growth. Five residential towers for undergraduates have opened in the last five years, with five more currently under construction for graduate students. With sweeping views and ample study spaces, the towers can hold up to four students per unit, with the goal of keeping new campus housing costs roughly 30 percent below the nearby off-campus rental options. “Affordability is the coin of the realm,” says Tim Trevan, executive director of student housing. “The new projects have been tremendously successful and a really positive experience for students.” In fact, even during the pandemic, more than 6,600 students chose to live on campus, following strict COVID-19 safety protocols. During a typical year, about 45 percent of the student body lives on campus, making the residential complexes a focal point for socializing. “A lot of the UCI community building happens in housing,” says Michelle Mallari, a senior majoring in business administration and political science, who lived on campus for two years. “I used to be pretty shy,

but being in the campus housing environment helped me learn how to connect with people better.” Mallari, who’s now president of the Associated Students of UCI, credits her resident assistant in Middle Earth for encouraging her to get involved, which led her to work as a UCI administrative intern, attend the All-University Leadership Conference and, eventually, become a student government leader. Residential life has always included programs such as diversity speakers and healthy living workshops, but last fall UCI introduced a different model that’s catching on nationwide. Under the “curricular approach,” all residents, regardless of where they live on campus, are exposed to a standardized curriculum, almost as if living on campus means enrolling in a course. Drawing from surveys of students about their needs and interests, staff created a curriculum emphasizing three areas: wellness, personal responsibility and social responsibility. The lessons speak to life on campus and beyond. “One of the successes of the curricular approach is that it’s developed specifically for our UCI students,” says Kabria Allen-Ziaee, Student Housing residence life coordinator, who worked on the

Spring 2021


team designing and introducing the new model. “Our students drive our values and position themselves to be advocates. Their power as students influences their community and influences the campus.”

Embracing the Whole Student Evidence of students leading change can be found everywhere on campus. “ASUCI and AGS have really been among the thought leaders pushing everyone to remember that our students are experiencing lots of different challenges – and to think about it in a holistic context,” says Banks, referring to the undergraduate and graduate student government organizations. “We have to focus on the whole student and remember it’s all interconnected. If someone is struggling in the classroom, it could be tied to mental or physical health.” In recent years, the campus has ramped up resources to address student needs, including the opening of the FRESH Basic Needs Hub to provide healthy food for students in need and the establishment of the Office of the Campus Social Worker, staffed with professionals who can respond to students in crisis.

“Our work centers around students – making sure that at UCI they have the support needed to be the best leaders and citizens of the world.” “Before COVID, college campuses were focusing on dealing with mental health, housing insecurity, food insecurity and financial issues, but those problems have only been exacerbated within the past year,” Banks says. “It’s really forced all institutions to think even more about how we’re meeting students’ needs and helping them succeed in college.” At UCI, one silver lining of the pandemic has been the sudden shift to telehealth, which makes seeing a doctor easier than ever for the 20,000-plus students who rely on the university for their healthcare. Last year, the Counseling Center switched to 100 percent virtual mental health services, which, for many students, makes it simpler to work an appointment into a busy day. Even as in-person sessions open up again, the option for virtual mental health visits will remain.


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“What we’re seeing now is tremendous, complicated grief,” says Marcelle Hayashida, associate vice chancellor for wellness, health & counseling services, who oversees eight centers on campus, including the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center and the Center for Student Wellness & Health Promotion. “When we return to campus, there’s still going to be the need to confront the grief that people are carrying with them.” As UCI gradually resumes in-person activities, campus leaders will continue working to help Anteaters establish healthy, sustainable, well-balanced lives, she says. “It’s not just about health but creating a whole culture at UCI where there are accessible paths, incentives to learn more about nutrition, faculty who understand how to get support to students, and peers who are trained to help and educate each other,” Hayashida says. “We want to provide a whole campus infrastructure that supports health promotion.” Many students, like Mallari, arrive at UCI feeling burned out from high school and want to hit the reset button in college. “It’s a difficult balance of pushing yourself to become who you want to be but not pushing yourself to the point where you’re sacrificing what you value most, like your mental or physical health,” says Mallari, who will graduate this year. For her, balance means knowing when to take time out, plug in headphones and go for a walk. For others, it could mean hanging out with friends, picking up a musical instrument or practicing meditation. “One of the things we’re trying to do is help students advocate for themselves and figure out how they develop resilience, whether it’s a mindfulness practice or building healthy relationships,” Hayashida says. “At the same time, we recognize the importance of community and structural care.” Beyond the academic degree and hands-on experiences UCI students gain, it’s those soft skills that will prepare them for the road ahead. As one class of students prepares to leave UCI this spring, an even larger cohort of incoming students eagerly prepare to take their first uncertain steps as new Anteaters. And an entire infrastructure teeming with supportive staff, faculty and peers is ready to enable their success. “I love our UCI community of students. They’re thoughtful, they care, and they’re here for the right reasons,” Talesh says. “It makes me hopeful for the future.”

Housing Anteaters With new facilities, UCI expects to house 49 percent of students on campus. Mesa Court expansion n Opened fall 2016 n Room for 1,000 students, all in quads n Three six-story towers with views of Anteater Ballpark and Irvine n Features Anteatery dining facility, a study pavilion, a mail hub, and a recreation

and fitness center n LEED Platinum-certified .....................................................................................

Middle Earth expansion n Opened fall 2019 n Room for 500 students in doubles, triples and quads n Two seven-story towers with views of Aldrich Park

n Buildings named Laurelin and Telperion after two trees in J.R.R. Tolkien’s

Lord of the Rings n Features Brandywine dining facility, multipurpose rooms and a housing office n LEED Platinum-certified .....................................................................................

Plaza Verde phase 1 n Opened fall 2019, in partnership with developer American Campus Communities n Room for 1,441 students in one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments n One five-story building n Features an academic success center with 18 study rooms, a 120-seat multipurpose

room, a fitness center and a bike hub with storage for up to 760 bicycles n LEED Gold-certified .....................................................................................

Verano Place expansion n Scheduled to open fall 2022 n Room for 1,050 graduate students in one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments n Five five- and seven-story buildings n Features individual and group study spaces, music practice rooms and a wellness

center n Pending LEED Platinum certification .....................................................................................

Plaza Verde phase 2 n Targeting fall 2023 opening, in partnership with developer American Campus

Communities n Room for 1,077 undergraduates in studio and one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments n Four five-story buildings n Pending LEED Gold certification

Spring 2021


Viva Zot Vegas! UCI sophomore Chloe Webb elevates and shoots during the championship game of the Big West Tournament on March 13 at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay – the first time since 1997 that the Anteater women advanced to the title game. The second-seeded squad fell to No. 1 UC Davis, 61-42, and ended the season with a 15-9 overall record. Webb was named to the Big West All-Tournament Team after logging an average 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over three games. The UCI women took to the court hours before the Anteater men also played in the championship; it was a first to have both teams vying for a tournament title on the same day. The UCI men, the 2019 defending champions, fell to UC Santa Barbara, 79-63.

Robert Huskey


Steve Zylius / UCI

We Are Built for This ..............................................................................................................


By Chad Lefteris

ome would say it was a sort of cruel April Fools’ Day prank: being formally approved by the University of California Office of the President as UCI Health’s CEO on April 1, 2020, just days after the state of California had shut down due to the global pandemic. What a time to take the helm of a health system! The irony is that this

thought only came to me many months later, only after I dove right in. I knew I could help, and throughout my career, I have always been the one who remains calm, not reactive, about the crisis at hand – although that characteristic was tested time and time again over the last year. I was fortunate to have been hired from within, as it reduced the normal onboarding and flattened the learning curve; frankly, there was no time for that anyway. As leaders, we get to stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and we immediately went to work transitioning from the interim CEO and prior leaders to ensure that nothing got dropped during a time of great uncertainty. Right after taking the role, I began to preach the need to get back to basics – focused on our teammates and


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on communication – even if there were unknowns, and there were many in the early days and weeks of this pandemic. Sometimes leading isn’t just leaping to action. Instead, we took a very measured approach, based in science and in facts, to our decision-making and then overcommunicated the “why” behind each decision as a way to connect the dots for our teammates. We worked quickly to establish formal and consistent communications from my office to keep our co-workers and clinical faculty informed, which culminated in a daily

“Sometimes leading isn’t just leaping to action. Instead, we took a very measured approach, based in science and in facts, to our decision-making.”

email that they have come to rely upon. And so much was not yet known, or the science and information was changing – sometimes daily. We positioned UCI Health as a trusted partner and “the source of truth” not only to our co-workers but across broader Orange County as well. In spite of the pandemic, UCI Health continued our work to improve the health of our community. Within days, we established a robust telehealth network to allow our patients to continue to get the care they needed. We launched a litany of co-worker support initiatives aimed at keeping our teammates healthy and well, including partnering with providers at the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and opening an on-site commissary that collaborated with local supermarkets and grocery purveyors to provide food and staples for our co-workers – at a time when you had to wait hours in line for the chance to purchase toilet paper or a box of pasta. We created a partnership to start on-site child care because day care centers were closed around the community; we provided hotel rooms as needed; and through the tireless work of our amazing supply chain team, we were able to always have the necessary personal protective equipment readily available. We invested heavily in rapid testing capabilities, and our laboratory team worked around the clock to make sure we received test results safely and quickly while other organizations were waiting weeks for results. I have so many incredible stories and memories from the last year. I was asked early on if we could transfer a patient who was a UCI Health co-worker to our facility from an outlying hospital because we were the leaders and participants in the remdesivir trial and this patient was an ideal candidate. We worked to rapidly transfer that very sick co-worker to our ICU, and I was thrilled to visit her just a few days later as she was recovering in her room. Later that same week, I started delivering groceries from our commissary to co-workers who had tested positive or were quarantining at home. It was a privilege for me and several other of my executive team colleagues to deliver and serve these co-workers and their families during their most vulnerable time of need.

There have been so many clinical accomplishments – too many to list here – but in the end, our teams not only survived but thrived. Recently, we received preliminary data indicating that UCI Health patient outcomes were among the best from academic medical centers not only in the state but across the country, proving yet again that UCI Health is expert at providing the most complex care for our community. In addition to these results, we continued to transform ourselves by launching several new initiatives, programs and ambulatory clinic locations during the pandemic. We started the county’s only ventricular assist device program for heart failure patients and bone marrow transplant program for oncology patients – reducing barriers to care by improving access and reducing the distance Orange County patients have to travel for these lifesaving therapies. We opened two new ambulatory clinic locations in Newport Beach and Anaheim to further expand and bring our UCI Health experts closer to where you live. And we launched At Home With UCI Health, allowing us to discharge patients earlier and monitor them safely at home. We also received regental approval to build a new medical center in Irvine that will include a 144-bed hospital, an ambulatory care center, a cancer center and a center for advanced care. All of this and more were completed during a global pandemic. Imagine what we can and will do as we move out of crisis mode and back to playing offense. Imagine the impact we will have on the health of our community together. The future is bright, and I am so fortunate to have been asked to be CEO at what I believe was the perfect time! Being at the helm of this incredible organization has given me the greatest opportunity to serve our co-workers, the organization and the community. I am so proud of every single one of our UCI Health teammates. I am deeply humbled to have the support of our campus leaders and incredible co-workers and physician colleagues. Together, we did not hesitate but ran to the fight. Lefteris is CEO of UCI Health. Spring 2021


Light Show After a yearlong closure, the UCI Institute and Museum of California Art is preparing to reopen with “Radiant Impressions,” a free exhibit featuring 20th-century California painters and their use of light. Here, museum director Kim Kanatani (right) and assistant registrar Dawn Minegar admire “Tree of Life,” by Carlos Almaraz, a pioneer in the Chicano art movement. The show runs from May 15 through Aug. 14.

Steve Zylius / UCI


Petty Officer 2nd Class Seth Cou

The Promise Keeper Alumna Denise To ’95 leads a forensics team that helps bring home and identify the remains of America’s war dead .............................................................................................................. By Dan Carlinsky

“It’s not clean work,” Denise To says of her 28 years in archaeology. “You’re wearing cargo pants and hiking boots. You may be in the mud, in the jungle. But it’s scientifically satisfying to get messy. That applies to a lot of life: You have to work hard and get dirty before you can reap the rewards.” To emigrated from Mexico at age 7 and summered with extended family below the border every year through high school. “In Mexico, you can’t look in your backyard without finding an artifact of Mesoamerican culture,” she says. “Archaeology is everywhere. For me it was foundational.” Starting UCI as a biology major, To switched to anthropology, then swiftly developed an interest in archaeology – in part, she says, because of her Mexican background.


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Her first experiences in the field came when she volunteered in the university’s radiocarbon dating lab and, for three years, at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, where To learned just how dirty the work can be – and how much she enjoyed it. Today, in her LinkedIn profile, she proudly lists her time excavating saber-toothed cats in the tar pits and adds: “Yeah, it was as cool as you think it might be to work there.” After finishing her B.A. in 1995, she paused for a year and took an administrative position on campus, which also proved educational. Says To: “The job taught me that I didn’t like working in an office 8 to 5 Monday through Friday.” She went to grad school. Over the next dozen years, while earning a Ph.D. in physical anthropology at Arizona State University, she mixed her graduate studies with an assortment of digs

and gigs, including teaching at a community college and at ASU and, in 2005, assisting in casualty processing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. That same year, To joined the federal government’s effort to recover and identify America’s war dead, now centered in the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. The DPAA was established by the U.S. Congress to carry out an obligation to those who died in service and to their families – an endeavor to make good on a pledge never to abandon a missing comrade. The agency’s motto: “Fulfilling our nation’s promise.” The official DPAA search list currently includes more than 81,700 service members missing or buried in U.S. military cemeteries as “unknowns” from conflicts as far back as World War II, which accounts for more than 72,000 of the losses. Perhaps surprisingly, with so many of its cases dating back 75 or 80 years, the agency is able to steadily tick off final identifications – lately around 200 a year until the global pandemic curtailed much of its overseas work. The process typically begins with historical research on a case – sometimes requiring years of exploring archives and records – and collection of information and reference samples of DNA from surviving family members. On-site investigation is performed by a team that might include, among others, a historian, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, a translator and a forensic anthropologist like To. Armed with metal detectors, buckets and shovels, they screen and scrutinize the soil over an area that may be as large as several football fields, looking for clues like obsessed homicide detectives. “It’s not as easy as you see on a TV series,” To says.

“For me, watching those shows can be frustrating.” Later, a larger recovery team may follow up on a mission in hopes of securing bodily remains and material evidence to be brought back to the U.S. for thorough analysis and – if things go right – conclusive identification. To works both in the field and at the DPAA laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, where she supervises other anthropologists and archaeologists.

even a box of bones they’ve kept in the attic for 30 years.” To has worked in some 25 countries but has been lab-bound since the start of the pandemic. “Usually, I don’t go very long without flying somewhere,” she says. “Now, I haven’t been on a plane in 14 months. But we have teams in the field again. I expect to be traveling later this year.” On field missions, To says, it’s always a lift to find something important in the search, especially

“The most moving part of the job is when I get to meet family members. If they come to Hawaii to accept custody of the remains, it’s not pageantry. We don’t announce it, because you have to respect the sanctity. It’s very moving. It’s humbling to be part of that.”

On a given case, if she’s involved in finding evidence in the field, others perform the analysis back at the lab. “The hallmark of any good science is to reduce bias,” she explains. “People have a tendency to see what they want to see, so we never have the same scientists do all the work. If I’m doing the skeletal analysis, I know nothing about the case. I don’t want to know that the missing pilot was 6-foot-2.” Evidence comes to the DPAA lab in three ways, To says: “We recover it in the field. We get remains from the disinterment of a body buried as ‘unknown.’ Or we get what we call unilateral turnover, such as when a country or an individual gives us remains and other evidence they’ve been holding. Sometimes locals walk in with a wallet or a wedding band or

a personal item such as a dog tag. “You’ve been at it 12 hours a day in 110-degree weather,” she says. “The next day isn’t as hot; the bucket isn’t as heavy.” Only one thing is better, To says: “For me, the most moving part of the job is when I get to meet family members. If they come to Hawaii to accept custody of the remains, it’s not pageantry. We don’t announce it, because you have to respect the sanctity. It’s very moving. It’s humbling to be part of that. “One spring, somebody said to me, ‘Memorial Day is coming up, and you work for the DPAA. Aren’t you doing anything special for the holiday?’ And I said, ‘In the DPAA, every day is Memorial Day.’”

Spring 2021


Class Notes

Mark Brickley ’74, social ecology For his latest act, Mark Brickley turned to John, Paul, George and Ringo. After nearly 30 years as a probation officer and manager, he began writing about music, including a book on the Beatles. His time at UCI foreshadowed the new avocation. As an undergrad, Brickley ran the Patogh, a Persian-themed campus coffeehouse and performance lounge. He also led the Associated Students concert committee, helping to bring such talent as the Beach Boys, Dave Mason, Jesse Colin Young and comedian George Carlin to UCI. Those rock roots resurfaced in 2009, when the Carpinteria resident retired from criminal justice work and penned a retrospective on pop star Michael Jackson, who had just died. Since then, Brickley has churned out scores of articles for assorted publications. One of his stories, a look at the Fab Four’s debut single, “Love Me Do,” led to a book, Postcards From Liverpool: Beatles Moments & Memories, and made him – fittingly – a paperback writer.

..................................................... Danny O’Malley ’85, drama As “the Irish Cowboy,” Danny O’Malley spun country-rock records for a high-desert radio station before moving back to L.A. and appearing in national television commercials for Orange Crush and Butterfinger. Between acting gigs, he waited tables, bartended and eventually ascended to management positions with Jerry’s Famous Deli, BJ’s Restaurants, Sysco and other food industry players. Now he’s the Irish faux meat guy. In 2017, O’Malley founded Before the Butcher, a rival to Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. Selling veggie versions of everything from chicken to chorizo, BTB originally supplied corporate cafeterias at Google, Walt Disney Studios, SpaceX and more. O’Malley later added a retail line called Uncut and sold a controlling interest in his startup to the owners of a real beef processor, San Diego-based Jensen Meat Co., who retained him as president. When not plotting new plant-based cow, pig and poultry knockoffs, the gardening aficionado likes growing succulents and bonsai trees.



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Shana (Levy) Martin ‘93, social ecology, MBA ’98 Her luxury hotel for cats features private balconies, CatFlix entertainment, and suites with such names as Romeow and Juliet, Catlas Shrugged and The Wizard of Paws. Shana (Levy) Martin hatched the idea for Club Cat while teaching a business class at Orange Coast College. Located near John Wayne Airport, the feline inn originally catered to pets whose owners were traveling but shifted during the pandemic to whiskered clients displaced by home remodeling projects or termite tenting. Martin, a self-described Valley girl who worked in marketing and communications before shifting to animal lodging, hopes to franchise the 2-year-old Club Cat concept. Outside of work, she enjoys dancing, studying Krav Maga (an Israeli self-defense program), and tending to her human and critter family, which includes a rescue dog named Blue and – of course – cats named Maximus Decimus Meridius (after a fictional Roman gladiator) and Wilbur (the pig from Charlotte’s Web).

..................................................... Charles Dorsey ’06, anthropology When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Charles Dorsey recruited a group of students to join his church on a volunteer mission to the city. “I wanted to be tired, to get dirty, to do what it takes to help these people,” he told a reporter at the time. Today, he calls the trip a turning point that taught him that serving others “gives me life and energy.” Another turning point happened a few years later, when Dorsey reconnected with his father after a three-decade separation. He wrote a book about it and came away determined to “empower, restore and heal families.” Guided by those experiences and armed with advanced degrees from Claremont School of Theology and Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Dorsey now works as a leadership coach, a diversity consultant to corporate and government clients, and an associate minister at Irvine’s Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist Episcopal Church, the congregation behind his New Orleans sojourn.

Virginia Arce, M.F.A. ’17, art Vintage televisions, “reflexology doormats,” an NSYNC cassette tape and the sounds of karaoke singers gathering en masse in China are a few of the art pieces curated by Virginia Arce. As exhibitions program coordinator for the city of Irvine, she organizes shows and events at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Born in Mexico City and raised in Glendale, Arce spotlights emerging and midcareer Southern California artists, striving for a balance of contemporary, high-concept work that is nevertheless approachable to a general audience. Before her current post, she curated exhibits for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation, which showcases paintings, sculptures and drawings by adult artists with developmental disabilities. Arce also co-edits The Invisible Archive, an American-German journal devoted to performance and limited-time art. At UCI, she served as a curatorial assistant for the Pacific Standard Time retrospective on Chicano art pioneer (and Anteater alum) Gilbert “Magu” Luján. Arce’s non-art passions include running, road trips and horror films.

In Memoriam Henry C. Lim, professor emeritus of chemical & biomolecular engineering Henry C. Lim, a founder of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, died on Feb. 12. He was 85. A native of Seoul, South Korea, Lim arrived in the U.S. in 1953 to study chemical engineering at Oklahoma State University. After earning a bachelor’s degree, he obtained a master’s in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. He worked for four years as a process development engineer at Pfizer before leaving to pursue a doctorate at Northwestern University, which he completed in 1966. Lim then joined the faculty at Purdue University, where he was influential in establishing a biochemical engineering specialty within the School of Chemical Engineering. He was recruited to UCI in 1987 by former engineering dean William Sirignano, Distinguished Professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering. Upon arriving at UCI, Lim helped develop a graduate program in biochemical engineering. He then worked to produce full

To submit a Class Notes update, email alumni@uci.edu.

undergraduate and graduate curricula, as well as the necessary laboratories, leading to the establishment in 1994 of the Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering. The following year, he brought materials science faculty, who had been affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, into the new department and served as founding chair of the combined unit until 1997. Remembered Sirignano: “Henry Lim’s stature, energy, sound values and optimistic, friendly style created an extraordinarily good impression for a school of engineering that was working hard at that time to gain recognition on campus, in the supporting business community and in the engineering academic community.” Lim was an active faculty member until his retirement in 2009.

..................................................... Suzanne Toll Peltason, first lady Suzanne Toll Peltason, who served as UCI’s first lady from 1984 through 1992, died in her sleep April 3 at the age of 95 with her family around her. She was born in Santa Barbara and raised in the Midwest. In 1944, while a student at the University of Missouri, she met Jack W. Peltason, who was on his way to Princeton University as a graduate student in political science. They married in 1946, commencing a partnership that lasted until his death in 2015. After Princeton, the couple went to Smith College and, after that, the University of Illinois. In 1964, Suzie – as she was known to everyone – came to UCI when Jack Peltason was named the first dean of the planned College of Arts, Letters, and Science, then, scant months later, vice chancellor for academic affairs. In 1967, Suzanne Peltason returned to the University of Illinois when her husband became the first chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus; the couple then went to Washington, D.C., where he served as president of the American Council on Education. They returned to California for good in 1984, when Jack Peltason was appointed as UCI’s second chancellor. In 1992, he became president of the University of California, and in 1995, the couple retired to University Hills. In the words of their son, Tim Peltason, Suzie was Jack’s “full partner in each of those jobs, defining academic first ladyhood in her own special manner, a manner marked by warm hospitality, by a total lack of pretension, and by kindness and consideration for all. She was beloved in each of those communities and always a special favorite not just of fellow administrators and spouses, but of support staff, assistants, tradespeople and cleaning crews, anyone who had a chance to be the object of her particular appreciation and attention.” In 1993, she received the university’s highest honor, the UCI Medal, alongside her husband; and in 2000, they both received the Extraordinarius Award from the UCI Alumni Association.

Spring 2021



Z O T !

The Road Goes Ever On A winding path in the Middle Earth campus housing complex – offering students an escape with its various nooks – is seen from above on a late afternoon in April. 48

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Profile for UCI Magazine

UCI Magazine Spring 2021 -- A New Day  

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