(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
11/20/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
Today is Transgender Day of Rememberence https://www.elle.com/culture/a34660519/transgender-day-of-remembrance-2020/ , capping off Trans Awareness Week, https://www.glaad.org/transweek, a time when transgender people and their allies raise awareness around violence against transgender people, education about transgender experiences, and so on. We have many transgender graduate students and faculty who have made UCI a better place by being here and studying with us.
This past week was Diwali, celebrated by many around the world and in our community. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/diwali-2020-covid-celebrations/index.html In past years, neighbors here in university hills and around Orange County would gather together, light candles, and share gifts. While I was sad not to see our neighbors sharing sweets and gathering with friends, I was impressed by how many lovely candles glowing in windows I saw and art on driveways as we drove around Irvine on Saturday.
This is also the week when Orange County went back to “purple,” https://www.ocregister.com/2020/11/16/coronavirus-heres-what-tier-each-county-in-california-is-on-nov-16/. Counties all over the country locked down further as infection rates surged, and it once again has become difficult to buy sanitizing wipes and other supplies in some places. See below for more information on “purple.”
This is ALSO the week when we learned that a second vaccine, working with a similar mechanism to one announced recently, showed high efficacy rates and may be available in late December or in January. Check out this vaccine tracker for more information: https://www.raps.org/news-and-articles/news-articles/2020/3/covid-19-vaccine-tracker
In short, this week has been an absolute rollercoaster. We have had to close all classroom teaching again at UCI, but we are able to continue limited in-person research with restrictions. Hopefully, you have gotten notice already of any changes, but if you are confused, reach out to an advisor, department chair, PI, or anyone else local to you and your work.
Resources for Mental Health and Wellbeing
We are now converging on the dual challenges of the pandemic and seasonal mental health issues. Please take care of yourselves and access these resources:
- Campus Assist List: https://whcs.uci.edu/do-you-need-help/campus-assist-list
- Red Folder: https://counseling.uci.edu/docs/Red%20Folder.pdf
- Graduate Wellness article: https://cgsnet.org/new-initiative-support-graduate-student-mental-health-and-wellness
- Center for Student Wellness and Health Promotion: https://studentwellness.uci.edu
What does Purple Mean????
California uses a colored tier model for communicating about COVID levels in the community. Orange County is now at purple, which greatly limits what activities are allowed. This means, in practice:
- No one should have any kind of indoor gathering with anyone who does not live in their home. Dependent care and accommodations for disability and health are still allowed.
- Outdoor activities should also be limited to ones that can be done while wearing a face covering, being six feet from another person, with six people or less.
- Classes that can be offered remote but were being offered in-person, such as reading seminars or small lectures, are now remote. I think it would be safe to assume they will stay that way for the remainder of Fall quarter.
- Only in-person research that was already approved under the limited research reopening plans can continue.
I know this is super disappointing, especially for those who live in Grad and Family Housing. The staff there continue to push forward with creating a “zotpod” plan to allow for greater social interaction outdoors, with plans to expand those efforts indoors as soon as we return to red.
As a reminder, please see this updated document Student Affairs released regarding disciplinary processes, and in particular note that most infractions only result in an advisory letter: https://aisc.uci.edu/docs/Student%20Conduct%20Process%20on%20COVID-19%20Compliance.pdf
Faculty Mentoring Series
We're hosting a special webinar on “Tips for Developing a Healthy Mentoring Relationship” with Dr. Martinez-Cola!
- When: Tuesday Nov. 24 3-4:30pm PT - This session is for students and post-docs. There is another on Monday for faculty and staff.
- RSVP: https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eHPh3Dh7Q-mW2ICKt4MT9Q
- Check out her great paper: Collectors, Nightlights, and Allies, Oh My: White Mentors in the Academy - https://www.wpcjournal.com/article/view/20275
Making Waves: Entrepreneur Conversations
Beal Applied Innovation has a new series featuring entrepreneurs from around the world who are inspiring the next generation of great ideas. Covering varying topics, they will discuss how they got started, scaled, maybe failed, and what they would do differently next time.
- First event in the series: Leen Kawas, chief executive officer and member of the board of directors of Athira Pharma.
- December 1 | 12 p.m. PT
- They’ll discuss how a young woman pursuing the American Dream goes from scientist to startup to taking her company public with her IPO in the Alzheimer’s therapy space.
Election Based Webinars
- Health Care and the 2020 Presidential Election
December 2 | 9:30 - 10:45 am PT
- Problems of Democracy
December 7 | Noon - 1:30 pm PT
- Special Book Launch Event: Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now
December 10 | 11 am - Noon PT
Ford Fellowship Workshop from SACNAS
Past fellowship recipients will review your application materials & give feedback. Bring your writing at whatever stage it's in!
- When: Nov. 23, 3 – 4:30pm
- RSVP: https://linktr.ee/sacnasatuci
Academic English Graduate Seminars Winter 2021
- AE 23A and 23B (Graduate-Level Oral Communication Courses) are designed to assist with graduate students’ command of oral communication skills.
- AE 29 (Introduction to Graduate Research Writing) is designed to help new graduate students develop a fundamental understanding of graduate writing necessary for tasks such as academic publishing and thesis/dissertation writing.
- AE 29 (Graduate Writing for Scholarly Publication) is designed to help graduate students in the preparation of a conference paper or journal manuscript for publication. This course is most helpful for those who are in the process of preparing to publish.
Last Graduate Division Town Hall of 2020
December 11th | 3 pm - 4 pm PT - Diversity and Inclusion at UCI
- Register at https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__d7If4MlQQqHlQc83Ug-bQ
- Doug Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Professor, School of Humanities
- Roxane Cohen Silver, Associate Director of ADVANCE, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Professor, School of Social Ecology
- Rameen Talesh, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Life & Leadership
- Rodrigo Lazo, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Graduate Division, Professor, Humanities
- Jade Turner, DECADE PLUS Coordinator, Graduate Division
We will again this week have the option for office hours with me as well as our Associate Deans in grad division. Our new Associate Deans are eager to meet and speak with you! Please pay them a visit, even if it’s just to say hi. Of course, you can always come see me as well. Please note we will have an office hour option on Thanksgiving but not the day after.
Dean Hayes 5PM - https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
AD Lazo 3 PM - https://zoom.us/j/3555252120?pwd=Nm43MmxzVkZvV2grNmNCZlVidk9pQT09
AD Smith Noon - https://uci.zoom.us/j/4520706918
Thursday, 11/26 - Thanksgiving
Dean Hayes Noon - https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Thanksgiving can be a challenging time no matter what. The holiday is meant to honor gratitude, family, and the idea that a community of settlers and native people might come together for a meal. It is also a holiday that creates family conflict and heartbreak for many and often does the opposite of honoring native people. For those who want to think more about the second piece, please read this great guide from last year:
For those who want to think about family conflict part of things, I’ll keep it more lighthearted and quote from Funny Or Die last week: “I don’t need to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, because I’ve already spent every day of 2020 arguing about politics with my family and then falling asleep after eating too much.”
Some of you will be alone for Thanksgiving, and that will no doubt be hard. Despite its complicated history, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I normally spend it running in a Turkey Trot--all virtual this year, volunteering--not allowed, and cooking for a big pile of family and friends--also not allowed.
Sacrificing these things in light of our pandemic is as it must be. I will be sad though. And I am guessing some of you will be as well. So, I’m going to host one special office hour at noon that day in case you need or want someone to talk to. As a reminder, I won’t be sending a weekly message next week, but to see the following week’s office hours, please click here https://www.grad.uci.edu/services/CampusHealthUpdates.php
On behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division