They are to be honored by the association for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin, representing science and engineering, on Feb. 16, at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Fellows will be formally announced in the “AAAS News and Notes” section of the journal Science on Nov. 29.
The researchers rank in the top 1 percent in their fields in producing widely cited studies, indicating that their work “has been repeatedly judged by their peers to be of notable significance and utility,” according to Clarivate.
The American Talent Initiative (ATI) and the Campaign for College Opportunity have both recognized UCLA for its dedication to helping community college students transfer to and graduate from four-year universities.
ATI’s report The Talent Blind Spot: The Practical Guide to Increasing Community College Transfer to High Graduation Rate Institutions, published in June 2018, features UCLA and CCCP as an example of a university that has created a robust outreach and support system for transfer students, beginning with the outreach programs in CCCP through on campus support structure. The report highlights the breadth and depth of UCLA’s “transfer-friendly ecosystem” as a model for how other universities can scale up their transfer outreach and programming in order to promote student success.
In addition, Alfred Herrera, assistant vice provost for academic partnerships and director of UCLA’s Center for Community College Partnerships, was chosen to receive the Campaign for College Opportunity’s inaugural “Unsung Hero” award at its third annual Champions of Higher Education celebration this December.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized for the work we are doing at UCLA,” Herrera said. “We’ve really tried to demonstrate the need to develop stronger partnerships to support, welcome and transition transfer students to UCLA in order for them to excel and graduate.”
UCLA was one of only three schools that ATI chose to feature in its report as an example of best practices in supporting transfer students. With a transfer population of about 35 percent of all undergraduate students and a four-year transfer graduation rate of 92 percent, UCLA models how a university can guide a large number of transfers to success. ATI also commended UCLA’s commitment to closing equity gaps in transfer student success through the successful partnerships CCCP has with local community colleges and summer programs for prospective students and for incoming transfers.
Herrera said transfers have long been a priority at UCLA. Campus leadership is dedicated to admitting a large cohort of transfers every year and providing a wide range of resources to support them, from transition programs to academic counseling and social activities. Chancellor Gene Block has even visited over a dozen community colleges to discuss new ways the university can partner with them – something that no other top-tier research institution in the country has done, Herrera said.
Admitting and supporting transfer students is a crucial step in increasing low income and underrepresented students’ presence on campus, since these students make up the majority of community college populations, Herrera noted. Students who are members of underrepresented groups – such as parents, former foster youth and undocumented students – offer unique and valuable insights in the classroom that benefit all students’ learning experiences.
But there is still a lot of work to be done. With over 30,000 undergraduates, “UCLA does not need more applicants, we need a different kind of applicant,” Herrera said. “We must understand the importance of the diversity of these students, and we must begin to understand the critical place transfer students occupy in our university.
In just a few days, UCLA space physicist Marco Velli will take a deep breath, look to the skies and take his place in history as part of the monumental Parker Solar Probe mission, billed as humanity’s first visit to the sun.
With the funding, the new UCLA-led Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables center, or SCALAR, will help accelerate research on new types of chemistry and materials for rechargeable batteries.
A first-of-its-kind crowdfunding campaign raised more than $69,000 for the UCLA Undergraduate Research Centers in the span of two weeks, providing critical funding for students to pursue mentorship and research opportunities throughout campus.
Tama Hasson, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research, sees first-hand how these resources can transform a student’s career path.
“When you are in a certain major, and you’re exploring a career, undergraduate research is a way to explore your interests in that career,” she said. “Research is useful for any career. Every discipline is going to ask you to take information and synthesize it.”
Hosted on the UCLA Spark crowdfunding site, the campaign launched just before Undergraduate Research Week, an annual event that brings student researchers from across campus to present their work. After just two weeks, more than 200 donors had contributed nationwide.
For the students who rely on the research centers to deepen their research portfolio, this funding will have a significant impact on their undergraduate experience.
“If it wouldn’t have been for undergraduate research I have no idea what my UCLA experience would have been like,” said Evelyn Hernandez ‘18, who will be pursuing her Ph.D. in the fall. “I’m just glad I got to focus on something – with the money that I got from C.A.R.E., and the fellowships – that I got to focus my extra time solely on research.”
Generations of students and faculty have relied on the Undergraduate Research Centers as catalysts for academic and professional growth. UCLA is the only university in the country to have two research centers, one focused on the sciences and another focused on the humanities, arts and social sciences. Together, the centers connect students with mentorships and opportunities to conduct research with top UCLA faculty, providing hands-on experiences that shape their careers.
The campaign also accomplished something invaluable – visibility. As a result of this dedicated effort, the Undergraduate Research Centers have built a community of supporters who are invested in the success of their students.
That community will prove vital as the centers continue their work providing crucial resources for undergraduate researchers. Whitney Arnold, Director of the Undergraduate Research Center–Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, is optimistic about the show of support.
“What I think is the coolest thing is how people at all levels and in all places in their careers contributed to the undergraduate research campaign,” Arnold said. “It just shows you the breadth and the impact of undergraduate research.”
Researchers from UCLA and the University of Oslo have documented a complex but universally felt emotion they call kama muta — a Sanskrit term that means “moved by love.”
Children arriving at the U.S. border in search of asylum are frequently a particularly vulnerable population. In many cases fleeing violence and persecution, they also encounter hunger, illness and threats of physical harm along their hazardous journey to the border.
“In part, we hope this serves as tool for artists, producers, writers, directors and actors who are seeking funding and support for future projects that appropriately and creatively reflect the gender and ethnic diversity of the United States.”
The Cherry Award honors outstanding professors who are extraordinary, inspiring teachers with a positive, long-lasting effect on students and a record of distinguished scholarship.