(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
4/16/2021 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
Since I last wrote you, this has been an incredibly difficult week for many of us, but especially for our Black students. I urge you to read President Drake’s statement from the UC on the tragic killing of Duante Wright: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/uc-statement-tragic-killing-daunte-wright. Vice Chancellor Haynes also sent this out earlier today: https://inclusion.uci.edu/2021/04/16/daunte-wright-a-death-in-brooklyn-center-minnesota/. I hope you will head VC Haynes’ call to action and become involved in, or at least know a bit about, UCI’s Black Thriving Initiative: https://inclusion.uci.edu/uci-black-thriving-initiative/ We have a chance now to re-envision what college campuses are like, to show how a UC can be a place for Black students, and for all students, to truly thrive.
This week also marked the first week of Ramadan. As many of you are observing yourselves, you will already know this advice, but for those of you who may be teaching or supervising Muslim students, here are a few things it is important to know during this time. Practicing Muslim students will be fasting from dawn until dusk, and given that many of our students are in other timezones, this may vary. Fasting in this case means no food and no water. So, expect people to be tired, hungry, and possibly a bit dehydrated, especially if your class or research session is late in the afternoon wherever they are. Please be mindful and understanding, as we should for any of our students observing anything important to them, religious or secular. Ramadan lasts until May 12 this year.
This is also a good time to remind people that while we here in California have seen massive drops in Covid rates and vaccination is open to all adults, that is not true for all our international students (as well as some faculty and postdocs who are still abroad). A little understanding goes a long way as they may be coping with surges where they are living or people who are here may be fearing for the health of loved ones back home.
And now, for some good news:
- Orange County is headed steadily for yellow (minimal tier): https://ochca.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/cc4859c8c522496b9f21c451de2fedae
- Vaccines are now available in California for anyone over 16: https://myturn.ca.gov/ (you can select the Bren Events center site here for those who are local)
- In case you missed it, grad gatherings policies were relaxed quite a bit last week. You can always find the latest policies for grad and family housing here: https://housing.uci.edu/communityLife/Covid-GFH-Policies.html
Mental Health and Grad Students:
By now, you are all aware--because you feel it and live it--that grad students are under particular strain right now. Here are some articles:
In many ways, this isn’t new, but the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped. This is your reminder to check out the offerings from the Counseling Center and to reach out to them or to us if we can help.
UCI School of Nursing is also running an NIMH funded study specifically focused on mobile mental health tools for students. If you are up for participating in their survey or Zoom interviews, check out the information about the study here: https://nursing.uci.edu/2021/03/mental-health-mobile-app
UCOP Data Breach
The video from UCSD posted on the UCOP Data Breach website is helpful in explaining and instructing employees on steps that can be taken to protect personal and financial information: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/data-security/index.html
C-LAB Graduate Student Forum
The UCI Humanities Center, has received authorization from the Office of Research to form a campus-wide research center that brings together faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, community leaders, and artists. It will be called the Center for the Study of Liberation, Anti-Racism, and Belonging (C-LAB). To read their working concept draft, click here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_0KvlEPf4JpIAY5uztgiA-KzfP20lHZLyFzrbdWfwQA/edit
If you are interested in brainstorming ideas for C-LAB and sharing how the center might benefit your intellectual and community-based work at UCI, please register here for the discussion group on April 26th, 2021 at 4 pm PT
The NASA Postdoctoral Program
The NASA Postdoctoral Program provides fellowships to conduct cutting-edge research at NASA Centers and NASA-affiliated research institutes. Click here for more information: https://npp.usra.edu/opportunities/
Tax Webinar for International Students
Taxes are a pain no matter who you are, but especially for our international students. The International Center has put on this webinar and resource page that can assist in answering a lot of those frequently asked tax questions: https://ic.uci.edu/resource-pages/international-taxpayer-information.php
REMINDER: Tax Day is now May 17th!
Reminder to Input Personal Email Address in UCPath
All Grad Students should input a personal (home) email (non-UCI) in UCPath if they do not currently have one. This will enable you to retain access in times when you are not on payroll status or after you leave UCI.
- Login to UCPath Online (ucpath.universityofcalifornia.edu)
- On the left look for Employee Actions /Personal Information/Email Addresses or Dashboard Personal Information/Personal Information Summary
- If you only have Business then click Change Email Addresses to add a ‘home’ email address
Continuing Student Fellowships Applications/Nominations Now Open.
- Faculty Mentor Program (FMP)
- President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship (PDY)
- Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship (GDDF)
For more information about these fellowships, please visit - https://grad.uci.edu/funding/
The Graduate Division deadline for completed nomination packets is 12:00PM (NOON) on Monday, May 10, 2021. Students should be aware of their own school’s internal deadlines to ensure submissions adhere to the Graduate Division’s final deadline. Instructions on submissions from students and schools can be found on the fellowship page and forms.
Questions about the FMP and PDY Fellowships? Contact Craig Farmer, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Questions regarding GDDF? Contact Gabriella Pham (email@example.com).
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.
Office Hours (all times Pacific, all sessions half an hour)
Monday, April 19: Noon, with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Tuesday, April 20: 5PM with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Wednesday, April 21: 1PM, with Assoc Dean Rodrigo Lazo: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Thursday, April 22: Noon, with Assoc Dean Jaymi Smith: https://uci.zoom.us/j/4520706918
Friday, April 23: Noon, with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
I am a firm believer in always learning. This week, I had the opportunity to learn something new about my own field. I had noticed the beautiful patterns on circuit boards before, and I have even made my own somewhat sloppy versions of circuits. I had never learned though that circuits look a lot like Navajo weaving patterns, because from 1965 to 1975, the Fairchild Corporation’s Semiconductor Division was the largest employer of indigenous people in the US, as their circuits were made by Navajo women. You can read more about this history here: https://computerhistory.org/blog/indigenous-circuits/?key=indigenous-circuits
The kind of scholarship I do, and the kind of material I teach, tends to be pretty forward looking. It is moments like this when I encounter erased history, especially erased history of people inventing the future, that I am reminded of the importance of looking back and of reflecting. Some day, some of you will supervise dissertations on the historical period of 2020-2021. Some day, industry will look back at the companies that began, thrived, failed, and stalled during these years and make case studies in management and leadership books based on their lessons. Some day, universities will judge the wisdom of the changes they have made during these times and the changes they wish they made. And so in the spirit of reflecting on where we have been and dreaming of the future, today I will share with you some of my hopes. Whatever you are studying now, I hope you will pause this weekend and reflect a bit on what you are living through. For those of you graduating this term, especially those of you on semesters who only have a week of instruction left, I want to thank you for spending your time with us here at UCI. I hope you will look back on this time with the reverence it deserves, and I hope we will all learn and grow together.
On behalf of all of graduate division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division