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.
Through a $74M, 16-year investment, Amgen Scholars Program will partner with 24 top educational and research institutions worldwide.
UCLA has been awarded a four-year grant from the Amgen Foundation to continue providing hands-on laboratory experience to undergraduate students across Southern California through the Amgen Scholars Program. The Amgen Foundation is expanding the Amgen Scholars Program, bringing the program to a total of 24 premier institutions across the U.S., Europe, Asia and, for the first time, Australia and Canada, to provide undergraduates with financial support and hands-on summer research opportunities in biomedical and biotechnology fields.
The UCLA Amgen Scholars Program, which has hosted 276 Amgen Scholars since 2009, offers an intensive research experience for students to work in the labs of distinguished UCLA faculty members. Students are matched with faculty mentors of their choice and work full time within their mentor’s laboratory for 10 weeks during the summer. In addition to laboratory research, students attend weekly seminars where they learn about the research of invited faculty speakers as well as discuss graduate school applications and interviews, how to prepare research presentations, and discuss the different career opportunities in the basic sciences.
“The Amgen Scholars Program has long been an integral part of Undergraduate Education – offering students both from UCLA and other institutions the unique opportunity for intensive lab work and mentorship opportunities during the summer,” said Dean and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Patricia Turner. “We’ve seen that graduates of this program are better prepared and motivated to attend graduate school and pursue research careers.”
This signature initiative builds upon the Amgen Foundation’s mission to advance excellence in science education and empower tomorrow’s innovators, a goal to which the Foundation has contributed nearly $150 million globally to date. Eight new partners — Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University, University of Melbourne, University of Toronto, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Yale University — will join the already distinguished group of host institutions including UCLA.
“As the pace of innovation increases, so too does the need to educate the scientists of tomorrow,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen. “We look forward to further expanding the reach of the Amgen Scholars Program, which has already provided research opportunities to thousands of talented undergraduates at premier institutions around the globe, and now has the potential do much more.”
Since its inception in 2006, the Amgen Scholars Program has made research opportunities at premier institutions possible for more than 3,900 undergraduate students representing 700 colleges and universities. Of those alumni who have completed their undergraduate studies, nearly 900 are currently pursuing an advanced graduate degree in a scientific field, and another 280 have earned their Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. More than 500 are employed in scientific fields across 33 countries, with 99 percent of surveyed alumni saying the program impacted their academic or professional direction. Alumni of the program are beginning to make a growing impact across academia, industry and government, garnering numerous awards and recognitions such as the Rhodes Scholarship, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and selection to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Healthcare.
Amgen Scholars provides a unique opportunity for students to engage in the process of discovery and build intellectual connections with some of the most accomplished scientists around the world. Undergraduate participants benefit from undertaking a research project with the mentorship of top faculty, being part of a cohort-based experience, participating in seminars and networking events and taking part in a symposium in their respective region where they meet their peers, learn about biotechnology and hear from leading scientists in both industry and academia.
The program aims to break down barriers for many students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to engage in science at the world’s top educational and research institutions. Financial support for students is a critical component of the program, which seeks to ensure that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, can participate.
UCLA will soon be accepting applications for the 2019 Amgen Scholars Program through February 1, 2019.
Amgen Scholars Program Host Institutions:
*Indicates New Host Institution for 2019
- United States: California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Duke University,* Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University,* National Institutes of Health, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC San Francisco, UT Southwestern Medical Center,* Washington University St. Louis, Yale University*
- Europe: ETH Zurich, Institut Pasteur, Karolinska Institute, LMU Munich, University of Cambridge
- Asia: Kyoto University, National University of Singapore,* Tsinghua University,* The University of Tokyo
- Australia: University of Melbourne*
- Canada: University of Toronto*
About the Amgen Foundation:
The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators and to invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $300 million to local, regional and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. For more information, visit www.AmgenInspires.com and follow us on Twitter at @AmgenFoundation.
Her mission for the environment and social justice is just getting started, but she’s already built an impressive resume.
“Morton’s leadership and philanthropy are testaments to his belief that the true measure of a life is not what you get, but what you give,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block at the medal ceremony.
UCLA has begun the three-year accreditation process administered by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
The regional accrediting agency serves higher education institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Region. The agency has accredited UCLA since 1949, and the most recent accreditation was reaffirmed in June 2010.
“UCLA aims to use the reaffirmation process to highlight and enhance ongoing efforts to improve our educational effectiveness,” said Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Patricia Turner, who is co-chair of the campus’ accreditation steering committee. “Together, as a campus, we engage in reflection and self-study, and then apply the insights gained to refining our goals and strengthening our programs.”
The first step in the accreditation process will be the submission of UCLA’s institutional report in December 2018.
Turner noted that the institutional report will drafted in close collaboration with faculty, administration, students and staff. To make the review process as transparent as possible, the steering committee has published all documents for review online. The campus community is encouraged to provide feedback on the Reaffirmation of Accreditation by WSCUC website no later than Friday, November 16.
“This process is meant to assure the educational community, the general public, and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness,” Turner said.
Following the submission of the institutional report, there will be an offsite review in Spring 2019. The final phase of the accreditation process will include a three‐day campus visit in Fall 2019, culminating in WSCUC’s commendations and recommendations.
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.
The 2018 US Open Tennis Championships kicks off today, marking 50 years since UCLA alumnus Arthur Ashe ’66 won the tournament’s first men’s singles title. In honor of this milestone, UCLA will pay tribute to his legacy as a tennis champion and humanitarian.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Ashe’s win, the UCLA College has launched a special Arthur Ashe Legacy social media campaign. Tweet about how Ashe and his legacy inspires you using the hashtag #ArthurAsheLegacy to join in the conversation.
A new UCLA Spark campaign will support the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund. If the campaign’s goal of 50 individual donations of any size is met, $25,000 will be donated to the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund. The Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund will be used to create physical and digital exhibitions of Ashe’s humanitarian and athletic accomplishments, or to host public events in Los Angeles and around the country. Donor support will help UCLA faculty and historians to develop academic events which will explore Ashe’s life and connect his legacy to the realities faced by current students and community members.
As in previous years, UCLA staff and volunteers are operating the Arthur Ashe Legacy booth on the grounds of the US Open for the duration of the tournament. The booth sells merchandise, offers free educational materials and informs visitors about Ashe’s life and accomplishments.
Ashe was the first African American male to win the US Open men’s singles title, and the first winner of the tournament in the Open Era. In addition to his 51 titles and over 800 wins throughout his career, Ashe was known for his published writing and his activism around issues including apartheid in South Africa and AIDS awareness.
The US Open is one of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments along with the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, and is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. It is held annually at the end of August at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
Chancellor Gene Block offered encouragement to UCLA’s newest entrepreneurs during his visit to Startup UCLA’s Summer Accelerator in early August. Startup UCLA’s annual Summer Accelerator provides a workspace, guidance, legal services and mentors to early-stage companies. The 10-week program connects teams of UCLA students or recent graduates with top entrepreneurs, investors and tech experts. At the end of the summer, teams pitch their companies to Startup UCLA’s network of local entrepreneurs and investors.
During his visit to the Startup UCLA co-working space in Covel Commons, Block met briefly with Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Programs Deanna Evans and Director of Startup UCLA’s Summer Accelerator Robert Jadon before visiting with each team at their work stations, hearing about their projects and asking questions.
Several participants showed Chancellor Block their product prototypes on their smartphones and laptops, while others explained what inspired them to start their company and how they came together as teammates.
“Having Chancellor Block take time from his schedule to learn about the innovative ideas of Startup UCLA’s 2018 Summer Accelerator teams meant a great deal to our program,” Evans said. “The teams were excited to share their products and early stage progress with UCLA’s chief executive officer.”
While meeting with Magnus Care, a team that is developing a video check-in service for seniors, Block commented that research on circadian rhythms, an area he specializes in, has found that older people benefit from sticking to a routine. Magnus Care’s service enabling care providers or family members to check in remotely throughout the day could be beneficial, he said.
“It was helpful to hear the Chancellor address the importance of our core mission, which is helping seniors stick to a daily routine,” said Jai Kyeong Kim ‘17. “He gave us some scientific examples and addressed the growing market and opportunities.”
Kim’s teammate Bryan McDermott ’16, who quit his banking job to work full-time on the start-up, added that having the support of the Chancellor of his alma mater is especially meaningful.
“When there’s support from UCLA, it really validates my decision and what we’re trying to do here,” McDermott said.
Block also asked detailed questions about a high protein pancake mix for athletes, which Marcel Salapa ’18 is developing through the e-commerce brand Phoros Nutrition. Salapa explained that he’s gotten positive feedback from customers who like the taste and consistency of the product.
Salapa said he appreciated the Chancellor taking time to visit Startup UCLA and acknowledge the work being done at the Summer Accelerator.
“Having the [Startup UCLA] space and all these awesome people around, and having the Chancellor come by and recognize that, I think is really awesome,” Salapa said.
Kim Seltzer ’17 and Sachin Medhekar ‘15, who are building an app for discovering self-guided adventures called Disco – Discover Local, said they were excited to meet the Chancellor. From the questions he asked and his interest in their project, Seltzer and Medhekar felt he was engaged in their conversation.
“It’s cool already that UCLA provides us this space, but that the head of UCLA came to talk to us was a great feeling,” Medhekar said.
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.