(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
4/2/2021 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
This week was one of those infrequent times when the various world calendars align, and we got a LOT of both religious and secular holidays all at once: Passover, Christian holy week leading up to Good Friday and Easter, Holi the Indian Festival of Colors, April Fool’s Day, Trans Day of Visibility, World Autism Day, and Walk to Work Day. I am celebrating by walking from my bedroom to my closet office. That's walking to work right?
Congrats to our LEAD Award recipients. Yesterday’s virtual event was truly inspirational. These scholars are incredible, and you can read about them here. https://news.uci.edu/2021/04/02/latinx-excellence-and-achievement-awards-recognizes-hispanic-and-latinx-graduate-students/
On the Covid front there is some good news to share. California is actually trending in the right direction at a pretty rapid pace.
- As of March 31st, we’re only averaging 4.6 new cases of Covid per 100,000 people in California. The state is averaging 0.03 deaths per 100,000 people as well. (Source: CDPH)
- Californians are testing positive for Covid at just 1.8% clip, while we’ve reached 18,023,603 people vaccinated throughout the state.
- At UCI, only four new Covid cases were reported following Spring Break
- As a reminder we're currently in Orange Tier (Tier 3). We are moving in the right direction, but now is not the time to slow up! Keep up your physical distancing and wear that face covering.
- This means, the gatherings executive directive has now been revised: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/executive-directives/executive-directive-gatherings.pdf For those of you living in housing, you can expect new housing policies to align with this in the very near future.
- Beginning April 15th, all individuals 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in California. The full email announcement from Dr. Willie Banks, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and Dr. Albert Chang, Medical Director of Student Health, can be found here. The email includes instructions on how to register your eligibility and schedule an appointment at a location near you. Walk-ins are not permitted. Below are two websites that can help you locate vaccine providers in your area.
We are reopening for Phase 3 research. Check out this guide and work with your advisor, grad program chair, or department chair to get the access you need: https://ehs.uci.edu/public-health/covid-19/_pdf/returning/Phase-3-Research-Reference-Guide.pdf
Summer, Completion, and Doc2A NRST Fellowships will be released today, over the weekend, and Monday. Please watch your email. DTEI Summer fellowships are going to be another week or two.
Are you writing something big this quarter? It’s Spring! That means a lot of you are writing up a masters thesis, a dissertation, or even just a final reflective paper. When writing something big, it helps to stay on track. You will need:
- Clear questions (research or otherwise)
- An argument that answers those questions
- A structure that supports that argument
Argument maps can help. Check out this resource here: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/academic-skills/research-writing/thesis-structures
WEBINAR: Challenging Trump’s WeChat Ban
April 5th, 2021 | Noon - 1:15 pm PT
- Register: https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XsOLAD7wSQCvd0MOdUob6g
- In August 2020, former President Trump issued an executive order banning the messaging app WeChat. In response to the ban, a group of grassroots activists formed the nonprofit WeChat Users Alliance (USWUA), which successfully litigated the executive order in court. This webinar will feature a conversation with leading members of the USWUA and the litigation team.
Faculty Mentoring Series
We're hosting a special webinar titled “Mentoring Up: Tips for Developing a Healthy Mentoring Relationship in the Research Environment” featuring Dr. Diana Azurdia, Director of the UCLA Entering Mentoring Training Program
- When: Tuesday, April 20 from 10 am - Noon PT - This session is for students and postdocs (no faculty allowed!). There is another on Monday, April 19th for Faculty and Staff
- RSVP: https://uci.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwld-2upjIvGdKQRY1v6gSAEjCBtU8bLtPc
Next Graduate Division Town Hall
April 9th | 3 pm - 4 pm PT - Issues Affecting Current International Grad Students
- There is also a Town Hall specifically dedicated to incoming international graduate students on April 6th from 3 -4 pm PT. If you know of anyone coming to UCI next year, please direct them here: https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4tlLQ7tiQQ6EJEfKPb2jXg
- Register: https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_c07KIMQRQpyfwZCRLHc9DQ
- Gillian Hayes, Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Education
- Tim Trevan, Exec. Director of Student Housing
- Dr. Albert Chang, Medical Director, Student Health
- Archana Sheth, Interim Associate Director, International Center
- Song Zhu, International Committee Chair, AGS
- Louis Bronstein, Assistant Director of Federal Gov’t Relations
- Alberto Sandoval, Sr. Director of Community & Gov’t Relations
- David Souleles, Director of the COVID-19 Team, Public Health
- Jeff Barrett, Chancellor’s Professor, Academic Senate
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.
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.
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
Submit Your Proposal: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPcsy9qQzVNS18ZTGzu2F0m6kF5U9xMHdepO1YD9fxmgKEQA/viewform
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.
Monday, April 5: 5PM, with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Tuesday, April 6: 9:30AM with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Wednesday, April 7: 1PM, with Assoc Dean Rodrigo Lazo: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Thursday, April 8: Noon, with Assoc Dean Jaymi Smith: https://uci.zoom.us/j/4520706918
Friday, April 9: 5PM, with me: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
I got a really good question from two students who came to office hours today, “How much of this is the new normal and how much is COVID?” I am paraphrasing slightly, and they were asking about a specific issue, but it is a really good question for us to ask ourselves generally about everything. This past year has been chaos, and we will be dealing with the aftermath for years to come. However, we also have a chance to be purposeful in our changes. Not everything must be reactionary. I have said it before, and I will keep saying it: If we went through all this pain and all these challenges for nothing, it will be a massive waste. I encourage you all to think about what things we have learned this year and share those with your grad program directors, your DECADE leaders and mentors, grad division staff, and anyone else you think it can help. Where have we exposed inequities that existed before but we couldn’t see? Where have we developed new solutions that creatively help us to succeed? What can we take with ourselves into the new normal?
I will share with you a few of the things we have learned in Grad Division. We are moving many of our events and services to predominantly online, because it turns out that for some things, we get greater participation when you don’t have to walk across campus or drive to campus to attend. We are going to joyfully return some of our services to fully in person, because we have learned that for some things, online is not as good an experience. We are working to develop flexible hybrid work schedules that allow people to access our services and get answers to important questions during a broader range of times without unduly burdening our staff with having to be physically present for every service we provide. One thing I am personally most excited about is watching the campus embrace and understand better the myriad of ways we can make services more accessible to our students, staff, and faculty with disabilities. I am so glad to see those changes stick around for the long-term.
And for me personally? I am looking to keep our lives less full of activities that are not important. In my home, and I hope in yours, a return to “normalcy” will still allow for the empowerment and control to stay home and not do that thing you don’t want to do.
Now, go get those vaccine appointments if you are eligible, study hard, stay safe, and enjoy your weekend! Oh and enjoy this meme from @99PhDProblems that describes grad school and postdoc training pretty well, oh and also all our lives for the last year.
[alt text: Michael Scott from the Office looking a bit confused with the words under him “And I knew exactly what to do, but in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”]
On behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division