(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
3/19/2021 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
This was a stunning week for many of us, though not surprising to many others. We saw the swell of anti-Asian racism that ramped up in earnest last year come to a head with the murder of 6 Asian women and two other people in Atlanta. If you have not already, please read the Chancellor’s message: https://inclusion.uci.edu/2021/03/17/a-message-from-chancellor-gillman-ucis-commitment-to-inclusion-and-equity/
Self-care is no substitute for real change, but if you need help processing, please reach out to the counseling center (https://counseling.uci.edu/) or Phong Luong in Grad Division (email@example.com). For others, you may find this guide to anti-Asian racism from The Nevada State Media, Identity, & Social Attitudes Lab helpful: https://nscmisalab.weebly.com/racism-in-the-age-of-covid-19.html There are also many resources for Graduate Students related to diversity, equity, and inclusion more broadly on the Office of Inclusive Excellence Website: https://inclusion.uci.edu/graduate-resources/
I’d also like to reshare some more specific resources that Vice Chancellor Haynes sent out earlier this week.
- Listen to podcasts on Inclusivity in Difficult Times (Office of Inclusive Excellence) and Seizing Opportunities to Combat Xenophobia (Southeast Asian Student Association at UCI)
- View resources from the Awaken's webinar on Challenging Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia during COVID-19 (Office of Inclusive Excellence)
- Register for Through Our Eyes, Hear Our Stories: Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities in a Time of Pandemic to be launched on March 17
- Learn about the Community Impact of COVID-19 (UCI Learning from Our Asian American and Pacific Islanders Leaders project)
- Enroll in the OIE Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program
- Report acts of intolerance (Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity)
It can feel like whiplash to process that kind of tragedy at the same time as good news, but there is a lot of good news to celebrate this week as well.
- COVID rates are lower nationwide than they have been since October: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#forecasting_weeklycases
- Orange County is officially in Red Tier and headed rapidly to Orange: https://provost.uci.edu/2021/03/17/public-health-tiers-and-spring-quarter/
- Vaccination rates are high and rising: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations with Callifornia administering almost 300,000 doses per day: https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#California-vaccines-dashboard We expect even those of you who don’t qualify under Phase 1B will be able to be vaccinated in May.
- CARES2 funds have now arrived to our campus, and we hope to be able to distribute at least some portion of them next week (still in Winter quarter). More information on that soon.
Even though next week is Spring break for those of you on quarters, there is still a lot going on. Check out these upcoming opportunities:
Webinar: Career Opportunities in Engineering & Scientific Consulting
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Time: 10 am - Noon PT
Link to view Webinar (Registration required for access): https://uci.zoom.us/j/91913120447?pwd=S2UwaUpxNVMyNGE0SjIrTkFIWW5xUT09#success
Interested in a career in engineering or scientific consulting? Exponent could be the company for you. You’re invited to join this free informational webinar hosted by Pasha Ameli, UCI PhD Alum ‘13. You’ll learn about different positions in the company and the plethora of opportunities available within the industry.
5th Annual UCI Postdoctoral Scholar Research Symposium: Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration
Wednesday, March 24 | 9 am - 4:30 pm via Zoom
Register to Attend: Register Here
Event Program: Symposium Program
Purchase a t-shirt: PDA T-Shirts
This year's research symposium features presentations from Postdocs at UC Irvine, other UC campuses and universities across the country, including Brown University and University of Washington. One Postdoc presenter will join us from ETH Zurich in Switzerland!
Learn about the cutting-edge research taking place to address complex issues across many fields. The Postdoc Association is excited to create a forum for many voices to come together as colleagues and share our passion for research with the larger community. This event is open to everyone.
Some Notes From Today’s Housing Message
- For those staying on campus over the break, check out recreational programs being offered by Student Life & Leadership (with support from RHA - the Residential Housing Association). Brandywine Commons, which will remain open over the break to all students holding a meal plan, has several special events planned, too. Also happening next week--The Hill (campus bookstore) will be open temporarily on March 22 & 23 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., with 50% off clearance for many items.
- For those who are traveling, be sure to schedule a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of your return to campus, a second test seven days later, and plan to sequester for 10 days upon return. Those remaining on campus will have no sequestering or additional testing requirement beyond regularly scheduled weekly testing.
- You will also need to schedule your Spring Quarter Recurring Appointments on the Student Health Portal: https://osh.chs.uci.edu. Recurring appointments can also be made by Covid testing site check-in staff.
For International Students:
You may have heard some rumors of students incoming to the university and returning to the US after time away having visas revoked or other troublesome situations. Any students who have very specific questions or situations should contact the International Center: https://ic.uci.edu/
Students can schedule an appointment with an advisor or drop-in during our "Ask An Advisor" sessions.
One thing that comes up a lot is the fear about losing visas. Please note that losing a visa is not the same thing as losing status, an important and kind of nuanced difference. Please read here for information about visa vs. status - Understanding Student Visa Requirements | UCI International Center | UCI
We continue to track what is happening with consulates around the world and will continue to update as we find out what is happening. For the latest updates, you can always check these resources:
- General information - COVID-19 Updates | UCI International Center | UCI
- Information regarding CDC travel restriction into the U.S. Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States | CDC
- SEVP Guidelines on enrollment and status related information: FAQs for International Students and Scholars | UCI International Center | UCI
Reopening/Returning to Campus:
As we move into red-tier and beyond, more and more things are going to open. Here are some quick summaries:
- Libraries are opening more and more with the goal of being fully operational by Fall terms: https://www.lib.uci.edu/uci-libraries-phased-reopening-plans
- We are still in Phase 2 of research reopening: https://news.research.uci.edu/research-continuity/ However, key changes are coming soon that will allow more people to access office and research space on campus. If you are interested in working from an academic building, reach out to your research advisor or department chair and make your interest known. Schools are adapting now, so it may not be immediate, but it is good to let them know you would like to return to campus if possible.
- Mandates for face coverings and daily symptom checks are staying in place.
- Housing is moving towards greater flexibility while staying in line with the state of CA policies around higher education: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-higher-education--en.pdf and gatherings: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Guidance-for-the-Prevention-of-COVID-19-Transmission-for-Gatherings-November-2020.aspx As these guidelines are updated, we will respond. You should see an email from housing soon (if you haven’t already)
Modules for Confronting Anti-Blackness
The virtual modules engage all to prevent anti-Blackness by understanding it. Each five-hour module includes weekly moderated discussions that are supplemented by reading and viewing resources.
- Module 1: Anti-Blackness in the U.S.: Black Protest Tradition - 12 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 30-April 27
- Module 2: Anti-Blackness in the U.S.: Structures and Mechanisms of De-Valuing Black People - 12 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 4-June 1
- Module 3: Anti-Blackness in the U.S.: Change the Culture through Personal, Professional and Institutional Accountability - at 1 p.m. on Fridays, April 2-April 30 and May 7-June 4.
To register, please click and submit at: https://uciadvance.wufoo.com/forms/q20hp391mqr2yk/.
Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program
These courses will include 10 sections that are 60 minutes each. Participants who successfully complete the core course plus at least one of the electives will receive an Inclusive Excellence certificate.
- Core Course: UCI as a Minority Thriving Campus - 1 p.m. on Thursdays, April 1-June 3
- Elective: Community - 3 p.m. on Thursdays, April 1-June 3 or 11 a.m. on Fridays, April 2-June 4.
To register, please click and submit at: https://uciadvance.wufoo.com/forms/qgax6wc0ld6cl2/.
External Funding Opportunities
- Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program
Deadline April 5, 2021: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsddrap/applicant.html
- Stanford PRISM
Deadline: April 12, 2021: https://postdocs.stanford.edu/PRISM
- Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant
For more information on our offerings for students and faculty visit our Academic Programs page
- PHI BETA KAPPA International Scholarships
Deadline April 16, 2021: https://grad.uci.edu/funding/fellowships-awards/internal/phi-beta-kappa.php
- Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program
Deadline May 5, 2021: https://science.osti.gov/wdts/scgsr/
2021 AGS (Associated Graduate Student) Virtual Symposium
When: Saturday, April 24th
What: The AGS Symposium is a competition hosted by
UC Irvine’s Associated Graduate Students. It showcases the research and accomplishments of all students in the graduate division. This year, we have over $6,000 in gift card awards for participants and raffles for audience members. Additionally, all participants will receive a complimentary $25 meal ticket for their participation. This is a great opportunity for graduate students to come together as a community and share their research with their peers, friends and family.
Applications for the 2021-2022 California Community College Internship Program (CCCIP) are due March 29, 2021
- $1,000 stipend will be provided to all selected interns that complete the program.
- Eligibility Requirements:
- For more details please visit https://www.grad.uci.edu/academics/programs-internships.php or contact Andrea Bannigan, CCCIP Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Register for New Venture Competition Presented by UCI Paul Merage School of Business
- Teams compete for $100,000 in cash prizes
- Click here for more information: https://merage.uci.edu/research-faculty/centers/innovation-entrepreneurship/new-venture-competiton.html
Monday, March 22: 11AM, with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Tuesday, March 23: 10AM with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Wednesday, March 24: 1PM, with Assoc Dean Rodrigo Lazo: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Thursday, March 25: Noon, with Assoc Dean Jaymi Smith: https://uci.zoom.us/j/4520706918
Friday, March 26: Holiday - I get to teach and work with an MHCID capstone group that day. So, I will be online if you need me but in professor mode not dean mode. I am very excited!
Universities are places of growth and learning, places where people from all over the world and all kinds of backgrounds get to come together and make special things happen: cutting edge research, deep scholarship, beautiful art, and innovative startups. Universities are places where students and postdocs move from being trainees to leaders in our ever-changing word. As we close out a very difficult week at the end of a very difficult quarter at the end of an unimaginable 12 months, I am grateful for the improvement in the world that will come from the critical thinking skills and knowledge you will put to work in a positive and impactful way. Audre Lorde once said “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” UCI is a place where we can celebrate differences in opinion, differences in background, differences in pedagogy, in epistemology, in application. We do not always succeed, but let us continue to try. Let us be a light in a world that can sometimes seem dark.
We are turning the corner on COVID, let us turn the corner on celebrating difference. I look forward to seeing you all, in all your different glory. I look forward to arguing with you and learning from you and watching you argue with each other and learn from each other. We are so close.
Stay safe this weekend. If you are traveling for Spring Break, stay safe all week and when you return.
On behalf of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division