(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
6/18/2021 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
Tomorrow is Juneteenth, and yesterday it was declared a national holiday. Celebrated on the 19th of June, Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Freedom Day, marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free – two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became law. Opal Lee, the 94 year old woman often called the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” called the declaration of a national holiday “off the chain,” which as you might imagine is making the Internet delighted: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/juneteenth-opal-lee-celebration_n_60cc5f7de4b0876cc93c49af?ncid=NEWSSTAND0001 She describes herself as “one little old lady in tennis shoes,” and while we still have a ways to go, and of course, this was a collaborative effort of many organizers--such as the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation founded by the late Dr. Ronald Myers, I always like the vision of one person committed to a cause making a difference.
Today, June 18, 2021, UC President Michael V. Drake declared that the UC system will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday this year on Monday, June 28, 2021.
Campus operations will be closed, with the exception of critical personnel, as identified by their manager or supervisor, who are required to maintain necessary functions.
If you are wondering what this day of remembrance is all about, here are some things you can read:
If you are wondering what you can do to commemorate the day, here are some good links:
- Read some great books: https://www.waysideyouth.org/2020/03/11/16-diversity-equity-inclusion-books-our-staff-love/
- Buy some cool science gear: https://smartypants.store/collections/all (collection designed by new faculty member soon arriving)
- Buy some beautiful jewelry: https://thestudiotwoeleven.com (recommendation from a PhD student, thank you!)
- Eat out at or order in from some of these great Black-owned restaurants:
- Aosa Coffee Huntington Beach, 714-840-5700 aosacoffee.com
- Cloud 9 Bakers San Juan Capistrano, 949-388-8311 cloud9bakers.com/our-story
- The Fuel Shack San Clemente, 949-388-4015 thefuelshack.com
- Georgia’s Restaurant Anaheim, 714-906-1900 georgias-restaurant.com
- Made by Yub Costa Mesa, 562-354-1331 madebyyub.com/contact
- McClain Cellars Laguna Beach, 805-426-4441 mcclaincellars.com
- Munchies Diner Santa Ana munchiesvegandiner.com
- Naughty Panda Santa Ana myveganpanda.com
- Protein Lab Buena Park, 714-503-0775 fueledbyproteinlab.com
Be on the lookout next week for updated housing and work guidelines based on the new CalOsha guidance.
Upcoming Alum Webinars
Our Graduate Alums Talk Summer Webinar Series is in full swing and these virtual webinars are open and free for all graduate students and postdocs. This summer we welcome back three incredible UCI graduate alums to share their graduate journeys and give career advice.
June Talk Track: Transitions
Featuring Alma Zaragoza Petty, PhD, ‘16
Thursday, June 24, 2021 | Noon – 1:00 pm PT
Dr. Alma Zaragoza Petty '16 will make her return to UCI to share some important lessons, tips, and experiences she's learned through several critical personal and professional transitions since leaving UCI. As a Latina, a mom, a wife, an academic, an entrepreneur, her journey has already been multi-faceted and robust. Like so many today, she has had to reconcile hard life facts and find new and unexpected answers. In this session, she is going to share the junctures she encountered and where they led her.
July Talk Track: Lessons Learned
Featuring Lamar Blackwell, PhD, ‘11
Principal Scientist - Scientific Engagement at Johnson & Johnson
Thursday, July 22, 2021 | Noon – 1:00 pm PT
Register Now: https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pBgqfiAgTQ2xMe_rzYK8Xw
Time and experience are both great teachers. The understanding one gains can often be distilled into important lessons and can help navigate the greater challenges that inevitably lie ahead. In his Talk, Dr. Lamar Blackwell will share his journey post UCI and the lessons he learned along the way through a variety of experiences that ultimately helped him understand that we are never really lost, rather if we look back we realize that we have, after all, navigated through uncertainty before. He will share how he learned to use his experiences throughout his professional and personal journey – and the many opportunities and challenges he has faced along to the way – to get to where he is today.
August Talk Track: Lessons Learned
Featuring Renee Reid, MHCID, ‘19
Manager, UX Design Research at LinkedIn
Thursday, August 19, 2021 | Noon – 1:00 pm PT
Owning Your Journey: A dynamic presentation by Renee Reid about the importance of embracing the zig-zags of a career and academic journey, while leveraging what makes you unique in order to be a culture add and not a culture fit.
Students Enrolling in Duo
As many of you have probably seen, DUO is becoming mandatory for students beginning October 18, 2021. DUO is a multi-factor authentication tool that adds an extra layer of account security. Passwords are becoming increasingly easy to compromis. THey can be stolen, “phished”, guessed, and hacked. Duo makes stolen passwords useless. Even if someone has stolen your username and password, they would need your mobile device to access your account. To sign up for DUO visit: https://duo.oit.uci.edu/
Summer Office Hours
For the summer, our associate deans are going to suspend their office hours, and I will reduce mine. Please reach out to either of them anytime for an appointment: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Or as always, come see me during my virtual student time (all times pacific, all meetings a half hour):
Monday June 21: 4PM https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Friday June 25: 12PM https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Tuesday June 29: 8:30AM https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Friday July 2: 12PM https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
It’s that time of year when all the advice for new graduates comes out. Unfortunately, most of the advice either is pretty obvious or ignores some key context that makes the advice work for that author but not for a lot of other people. One of these articles came across my desk last night, and I wanted to unpack some of the fallacies of the recommendations they provided.
Recommendation 1: Persevere through whatever is tough no matter what.
My views: One of these days, I will write something longer about what’s wrong with a focus on overcoming and persevering rather than creating structures that don’t need to be overcome. For today, let me just say that things that are hard are worth doing, things that make you absolutely miserable usually aren’t. If your mental or physical health is suffering, it may be time to take a step back. Just pushing through is not always the answer.
Recommendation 2: You should network early and often. This particular article recommends extensive in-person active networking.
My views: Find a way to make connections with other people in your field that are meaningful and work for you. Do you like conference receptions? Great, enjoy them. But if you hate them, that’s okay too. Busy receptions and bars can also be places that are unsafe for people who are more junior. Work with mentors to help you find the things that will feed you, help you most, and keep you safe.
Recommendation 3: Do as little of the parts of the job you don’t like as possible.
My views: This is perhaps the recommendation that bothered me the most in this particular article, as the author went on to talk about setting work life boundaries by turning down service and other responsibilities without critically reflecting on his ability to do so when others might not be able to. When senior people protect their work-life balance, guess who picks up the slack? Young employees, interns, and students, especially women and under-reprsented groups. You should set your boundaries, yes, but especially as you become more senior or if you are a member of a majority group, remember it’s important to be a part of the team too.
Recommendation 4: Say yes to wacky opportunities as they come along.
My views: This is generally good advice. The problem is not everyone can follow it. In the case of this article, the author was describing taking his wife and kids abroad as part of a prestigious fellowship. This is great for them, but for many people who care for their extended family, have extensive debt, or have a partner with their own career, this is unrealistic. It can feel like you are passing up important opportunities. In this case, the author described how well his kids were doing because of the experience, and reading such an account, you might feel like you are depriving your children of the same. Don’t feel bad about turning something down when your context requires it. You are the only one living your life. There will always be other opportunities.
Okay, enough picking apart other people’s advice. It’s SUMMER. So, what does that mean? Grad Division quiets down a bit in the summer usually. It’s when we pause, regroup, assess how the year has gone, ramp up for the next year, and so on. I encourage you all to do the same. You may be doing research, interning, teaching, or working on a new company, but whatever you are doing, I hope you take a step back, take some deep breaths, and be refreshed for the next year.
On behalf of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division