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2011 2012

HONORS Outlook

Volume 1, Issue 10

Table of Contents: End of Quarter Review...............1 Honors Highlander Spirit............1 Laugh in Peace..........................2 Movie Night..............................2 Dance Marathon.....................3-4 Student Profiles........................5 CTS..........................................6 UH Applications........................6

University Honors 2316 Olmsted Hall Riverside, CA 92521 Tel: (951)827-5323 Fax: (951)827-5320

END OF QUARTER REVIEW A LOOK BACK AT WINTER WITH HONORS BY: CORINNE VERGHESE Winter quarter is widely considered to be the most fast-paced quarter of the year. However, this did not stop the Honors community from participating in a wide array of fun and enriching activities. One of the most memorable events this past quarter was UC Riverside’s return to Quiz Bowl. The Honors students who participated in Quiz Bowl were able to socialize with students from other universities while gaining experience for future competitions. Other noteworthy events were the continuation of new Honors traditions led by the Foodies Club, TED Talks and Game Night. Some of the places that the Foodies Club visited this quarter were Koreana BBQ, Punjab Palace and Pho Vinam. Meanwhile, TED Talks were held every other Monday and featured

student-led discussions after the viewing. The intellectual undertakings of TED Talks were also evident in numerous enrichment activities including the “Miss Representation” documentary screening, the Clark Kerr lecture on higher education and the Sum of All Equals Change conference. With so many thoughtful discussions and food outings held on Mondays, any event on Tuesday faced a tough act to follow. This was accomplished by weekly Game Nights held at the Honors lounge. Game Night attendees were able to take some time off from their studies by playing a range of fun games including Settlers of Catan and Monopoly. A different sort of game night was recently held by the Social Committee, which took Honors students to cheer for the UC Riverside basketball

team. Honors’ involvements also extended to participation with the greater community; this quarter witnessed Honors’ second year of involvement with the Sunrise Living Center’s Senior Prom. Participants helped organize and host the Valentine’s Day dance for the living center’s residents while being able to partake in the evening of dancing. Another example of local involvement was an Honors student’s role in Riverside’s Chinese Lunar Festival. Spring quarter will undoubtedly strive to keep up this momentum with its own series of fun gatherings, community service events and enrichment activities; it’s up to you to become involved! The Honors Outlook wishes everyone a safe spring break.

HONORS HIGHLANDER SPIRIT HONORS CHEERS ON UCR’S BASKETBALL TEAM BY: ANISSA MONTEON On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Honors students showed their Highlander spirit as they rooted for the UC Riverside men’s basketball team in their game against the Titans of CSU Fullerton. “I wanted to go with students from Honors and I wanted to show off some school spirit,” stated Honors student Xinyin Bi, who was among the Highlander supporters. The men’s basketball team has been looking to improve their ranking in the Big West Conference, currently placed as the fi h team out of nine. Unfortunately, this wish didn’t come true as the Titans maintained a tenpoint lead for most of the game and won with a final score of 77-64. Honors students made a splash during the event as they appeared on the court’s big screen during the first half. During one of the breaks in the game, first-year Honors student Lourdes Coria won a prize for her performance in a free-throw compe on. Honors staff Sco Silverman was also in a endance and provided face paint for a endees. Several of the Honors students even had the privilege of si ng alongside Chancellor Timothy White and his wife, Karen. “Honors along with other school organizaons showed what school spirit [should look like],” stated first-year Honors student Gabby Juan. Despite the Highlanders’ loss, Honors students had a great me and were able to expand Honors’ involvement with the campus by a ending athle c events. Go Highlanders!


A COMEDY REVIEW BY: TOWNSEND GALLINGER‐SCHOLZ On Wednesday, Feb. 22, a group of Honors students led by Dr. Perry Link attended UC Riverside’s first Laugh in Peace comedy show, a stand-up medley that sought to u lize the power of laughter to unite students of varying religions and cultures. The event, which was planned and organized by an astoundingly diverse collec on of campus organiza ons (including Hillel, the Muslim Students Associa on, Highlanders for Israel, the Cop c Club and Students for Jus ce in Pales ne, to name a few), featured three standup comedians from very different backgrounds. Susan Sparks, a Bap st minister, joked about the colloquial habits of the Southern culture in which she grew up as well as her experiences as a leader in her religious community. A erwards, Bob Alper, a former Rabbi, regaled students with droll anecdotes from his family life and his rela onships with his faith, friends and peers. The star of the show was un-


doubtedly Ahmed Ahmed, an internaonally syndicated comedian who had the 500-student audience doubled over in laughter for the en rety of his rou ne. Ahmed, a Muslim, spoke o en of his father, who moved their family from Egypt to Riverside when Ahmed was only a boy. The comedian recalled asking his father why he had chosen to se le down in Riverside– his reply: that he wanted to go somewhere that reminded him of home. The show was not only excep onally entertaining, but also very poignant. Though we may not all share the same tradi ons, customs or worldviews, we can always find common ground in our collecve sense of humor. Honors students in a endance that night not only witnessed great stand-up performance; they also watched 500 individuals of varying faiths laugh in unison for over three hours. Perhaps our differences are not so great a er all.


The Social Commi ee is at it again, bringing new and exciting things to do here at University Honors. The newest of these events is Honors Movie Night. At least fi een students showed up for the late night viewing of the ac on-thriller film, “In Time.” The movie, which stars Jus n Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, is set in a future society where no one ages past 35 and me has replaced money as a form of currency—when your me runs out, so does your life. In this society the rich can afford to live for countless years while the poor usually die very young. The film concludes with the main protagonist re-distribu ng me to the poor, thereby disrup ng a world order that relied on the oppression of those who lacked sufficient me. Everyone

seemed to enjoy the movie while indulging in chips, popcorn, soda and ice cream (root beer floats quickly became the most popular item of the night). The event lasted from around 9:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. If you are a fan of watching interes ng movies amongst good company, consider joining us for movie nights next quarter!



On Saturday, Feb. 25, UC Riverside hosted its inaugural Dance Marathon in support of the Guardian Scholar’s program. Members of the community donated a total of $14,734.14 for the charitable cause (exceeding the ini al $10,000 goal), which helps soon-to-be emancipated foster youth achieve their college aspira ons. Teams Honors made its presence felt with the involvement of numerous Honors students and staff who came together for six hours of nonstop dancing. “Dance Marathon was for a good cause and I am glad to be a part of this first-ever philanthropic event!” exclaimed Honors student Claire Cuenca, who a ended the event as part of Team Golden Key. The DJ’s kept dancers on their feet with music ranging from Michael Jackson’s greatest hits to a Zumba workout. Even in the midst of over one hundred dancers, Honors students—especially Jason Elder and Chris Hughes—stood out with their “special” dance moves (a sight that everyone ought to witness).


The event, which took place at the Student Recrea onal Center, set aside space for fun games and acvi es that gave par cipants the chance to win raffle ckets—prizes included an Apple TV console, In-N-Out gi cards and t-shirts. Keeping a feather airborne for 60 seconds, trying to flip a cup to land on top of a water bottle and balancing balloons were among the most popular games of the night. When a endees were not busy dancing or playing games, they could also watch performances by UC Riverside’s 909 Dance Troup, Taiko band (Japanese drums) and the Not So Sharp Acapella group. With the great success of Dance Marathon 2012, it is no surprise that event organizers are already planning ahead for next year. With the epic combina on of dancing and suppor ng a deserving organiza on, we can be sure to expect an even bigger turnout for years to come.



Honors student Victoria Senechal has recently earned admittance into the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities

Program (HHMI EXROP). The program, which allows undergraduates students to spend their summer at a participating university, is intended to promote undergraduate involvement in research experiences. Senechal selected Dr. Richard Huganir’s lab at Johns Hopkins University as her primary choice due to Dr. Huganir’s research that focuses on molecular mechanisms in the brain–a topic which Senechal is currently researching at UC Riverside. “I am passionate about all opportunities that aim to advance knowledge, develop new treatments for diseases, and pushing back the boundaries of the unknown. My goal is to utilize modern methodologies to study

biological mechanisms to discover new treatments for diseases that still elude scientists,” stated Senechal, who wishes to pursue a dual M.D./Ph.D. degree upon completion of her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. “I see this experience as one that will help me in my aspirations to be a leader in my community as a servant-leader who serves first then aspires to lead.” Senechal’s admittance into the competitive program comes as no surprise to those who are aware of her highly impressive achievements. Senechal’s involvement with the campus and local community include leadership positions with the California Alliance for Minority Participation,

CNAS Science Circle, Health Professions Advising Center, Student-run Health Clinic and University Honors. “At UCR I had the opportunity to do many remarkable things during my undergraduate studies including discover a new species of fish, compete at statewide symposiums, and present my research at several symposia and conferences,” stated Senechal in an interview with the Honors Outlook. Senechal’s summer plans remind us of the exceptional talents and dedication that define Honors students. The Honors community is certain that Ms. Senechal with thrive during her summer program and we all wish her the best in her studies.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID TRAN AKA TRAN‐OSAURUS REX BY: SCOTT MANIFOLD With the advent of HNGP 150 and the drive for crea ve ac vity in Honors, it’s not uncommon to see third or fourth-year Honors students involved in research or working on their theses. However, not everyone waits un l their junior year to start par cipa ng in research; second year physics major David Tran always knew he wanted to be involved in research so he began working in Dr. Chun Ning Lau’s lab to study nanodevices. Tran’s research topics ini ally focused on micromechanical exfolia on and later switched to Raman Spectroscopy. Tran has con nued to progress further in his research and was even involved in the Dean’s Summer Research Program, where he not only received a generous s pend but was also able to work with fellow student researchers and scien sts.

One of the main mo va ons behind Tran’s passion for research lies in the fact that he wants to become a professor–specifically, with a research emphasis on experimental condensed ma er physics.. “One of my goals is to push the limits of what we know of the universe,” stated Tran in an interview with the Honors Outlook. Tran also noted that he valued the teaching aspect in sharing his knowledge and passion with others. Outside of being an Honors Peer Mentor and doing research, he also devotes a lot of personal me to maral arts (4 hours a week on Aikido) and learning how to cook. Tran hopes to con nue with his research endeavors and has his sights set on Caltech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program this summer.




As most of you know, University Honors (UH) is now a four year program. The majority of Honors students join the program in the 1st year, but there are some limited opportunities to join in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year for those students looking to be challenged and to distinguish their academic record. Applications are now OPEN at for current UCR students who will be going into their 2nd, 3rd or 4th year to join UH. If you know any students who would be interested in applying, please refer them to our website. Deadline is Friday April 13, 2012. Minimum admission and eligibility requirements: • 3.50 CUM GPA • Demonstrated leadership • Interest in undergraduate research, scholarly work, or creative activity

Last issue, we asked readers to provide a capƟon for this picture!

Program information for each year: • 2nd year students will participate in a civic engagement curriculum and learn the steps to create and implement change in the community and on campus. Students will also be required to enroll in Honors seminars and/or sections. (3rd and 4th year requirements to be completed in successive years as well) • 3rd year students will examine research methodology across the disciplines and begin your Senior Thesis project research. (4th year requirements to be completed in successive year as well) • 4th year students must have a strong foundation of research, scholarly work or creative activity that will result in the completion of a Senior Thesis. Good luck to everyone on their finals! As you head into Spring Break, please encourage fellow students to join our UH Comunity!

entries voted on by the MCC


Honors Outlook Volume 1 Issue 10  
Honors Outlook Volume 1 Issue 10  

The Honors Outlook is a newsletter created by University Honors students at UC Riverside. Generally 3-4 issues are published per academic q...