(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
6/11/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Post-Docs,
It’s been quite a busy week. Some of you began to return to your labs and offices. Many of you took finals or administered them. All of you dealt with the nightmare heat! In light of the ridiculous weather, I am going to start this message with good news, so you can stop reading and go sit in the shade somewhere where there is a breeze.
Summer Funding for Graduate Students
The DTEI fellowship award letters are being emailed this afternoon. We were able to award just over 300 graduate student fellowships, mostly to PhD students but also to some of our masters students and those in other degree programs. This program is truly innovative and will position those of you involved to pursue careers in instructional design and other pathways as well as to be incredibly marketable in a tight faculty market.
I am also very happy to announce that we will also be offering more than 100 additional fellowships to support training our students to conduct contact tracing this summer. Accepting this fellowship means you must commit to approximately 60 to 70 hours of training distributed across the summer:
- HIPPAA GCP – approximately 10 hours of self-paced learning through CITI
- 40 hours of UCI developed contract tracing training, including the history of Orange County and OCHCA protocols, considerations for the unique cultures and languages of the diverse OC population, and key public health information.
- 10-15 hours of training in one of four tracks of your choosing:
- Modeling statistics overview for contact tracing
- Experiential learning, OC surveillance project
- Anti-racist public health seminars (seminars taking place during the year may count toward total required hours)
- Community-based participatory research
At the end of the training, you will receive a certificate attesting to your authorization to conduct contact tracing.
ALL applicants for the DTEI fellows program who were not selected as DTEI fellows and do not have other funding amounting to at least $5,000 for the summer (e.g., TAship, GSR, etc) will automatically be considered for the Contact Tracing funding. So, even if you are not selected as a DTEI fellow, please know that we are still working on other funding. If you do not have funding by the end of next week and still need it, please contact your school’s associate dean, and we will work to get you funded. We believe we will be able to ensure that all PhD and MFA students, as well as some from other programs, will have a minimum of $5,000 of support this summer. We are working closely with the schools to ensure that we have this level of coverage. We hope to provide all of those awards by the end of next week. This is the largest and fastest mobilization of fellowship funds in the history of the university, so it’s not been as fast as any of us would like, but we are ever hopeful to get this broad coverage in place in time for July 1 payments. Thank you again for your patience.
The UCI graduate housing task force has just finished their work for the year. They will be sending a formal recommendation to Graduate Council to move the graduate guarantee from Normative Time to Degree minus one year to Normative Time to Degree. Graduate Council will still need to vote over the summer, but I would be shocked to see them disapprove this recommendation. This change is made possible by the building of Verano 8, so please take this moment to thank your friends-or yourselves-who live near that construction!
#ShutdownSTEM and #ShutdownAcademia
Yesterday was a day spent in reflection by many faculty and students all around the country. I heard from a multitude of faculty about their efforts to spend the day updating their syllabi to a more inclusive reading list. Students told me about their wonderful experiences both on and off campus, reading, learning, attending webinars, and reflecting. For my part, I spent time crafting and sending arguments to change a variety of academic institutions, like Editorial Boards, of which I am a member. Over the last few weeks, I have found my emotions ranging from being optimistic one minute to saddened the next. However, this past week, the work of the Public Safety Advisory Committee, the clear, actionable commitments by OIE and others, and the sheer engagement of students and faculty gives me hope. There are a lot of things at UCI that I believe will be announced soon that give me hope. We have had two weeks of supportive messages, and I know what we all really want is action. It is coming, and I am excited to see it.
Virtual Workshop: How to Access & Use the UC COVID Research Data Set
Monday, June 15
Noon- 1 pm PT
The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI) of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) is pleased to announce a virtual workshop designed to help clinical and translational researchers, as well as data scientists, to access and use the UC COVID Research Data Set (UC CORDS). Graduate students and post-docs are able to access the data, as long as they have a faculty supervisor co-sign the date use agreement.
UC CORDS was recently made available to the UCI research community by the UC Office of The President. It is a continuously updated dataset containing SARS-CoV-2 testing results and inpatient COVID-19 treatment information (for those positive for the virus) collected from across UC Health. It is a HIPAA Limited Data Set (LDS) generated from the UC Health Data Warehouse (UCHDW), a UC-wide centralized database with electronic health records (EHR) data from all of the medical centers. Certain direct identifiers are removed, but dates of services are retained. The data set is updated weekly, and will evolve over time as the UCHDW adds more patients and clinical depth.
Reminder: UCI’s 55th Annual Commencement this Saturday
The UCI-wide Virtual Ceremony begins streaming Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m. PDT on the Commencement website. Ceremony and reception streams will be viewable, no password or special access is required. Click the commencement link above to see the full schedule of various commencements.
Dean’s Office Hours
As always, come see us in Office Hours. I or someone from my Graduate Division staff will be here Monday through Friday to answer any specific questions you may have. See the upcoming schedule below.
Upcoming Dean’s Virtual Office Hours: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
- Friday June 12 9:00am – 9:30am
- Monday, June 15 11:00am – 11:30am
- Tuesday, June 16 9:00am – 9:30am
- Wednesday, June 17 11:30am – 12:00pm
- Thursday, June 18 11:00am – 11:30am
- Friday, June 19 3:30pm – 4:00pm
- Monday, June 22 11:00am – 11:30am
- Tuesday, June 23 9:00am – 9:30am
- Wednesday, June 24 11:00am – 11:30am
- Thursday, June 25 9:00am – 9:30am
- Friday, June 26 8:30am – 9:00am
In honor of Bill & Ted returning from my childhood into this year:
[alt text: meme with Kianu Reeves as Ted from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure that reads “You know it's hot outside when you go outside and it's hot.”]
It is SO hot right now. I want my June Gloom! I, like many of you, do not have air conditioning. So, I offer you these tips that work a little for me:
- As SOON as the sun rises in the morning, close it down. Shut the windows, cover them with blankets, curtains, anything dark. Live like a vampire all day.
- When the evening arrives, throw open those windows, take down those blanket curtains, and let in the breeze. If you have a fan stick it in the window blowing that cool air in.
- If you need a fan and live in grad housing, they can sometimes provide some. So, you can check with them. They did look into ceiling fans universally, and let’s just say we could have had another floor on Verano 8 for the amount it would cost.
- Take an afternoon nap. I have yet to succeed with this one, because for some reason, I keep having to have Zoom calls in the afternoon, but there is a reason that many cultures with hot climates have a tradition of an afternoon nap and evening work.
Buildings--including some with A/C--are also opening, but slowly. I know it’s frustrating. We have had some very stark COVID numbers coming out of Orange County this week though. We simply cannot open faster. I recommend following Public Health faculty member @AndrewNoymer on Twitter to get daily updates on how we are looking from a Public Health standpoint.
On that note, you may have seen that Orange County lifted the face covering ordinance after backlash. ALL of our Public Health experts at UCI, which is some of the BEST and most qualified infectious disease expertise in the nation, disagree with that choice. They ALL recommend universal face coverings when around other people outside of your home pod. Please take science into account when making your choices.
If you need a peppy upbeat way to recommend to your friends and family that they listen to the experts, let They Might Be Giants help you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIoIakk2L10
Sending you all strength for justice, humanity, and peace on behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division