(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
7/29/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Post-Docs,
On this day in 1958, NASA was created. For those who don’t know, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration coordinates the US activities in space. The creation of NASA as a civilian agency, not military, is an important moment of optimism, faith and investment in science, and commitment to innovation in US history. I rewatched an episode of Community last night--got to have the mindless tv to help me process the day! The episode echoed the space wars of the 1950s and the US response to fears around Sputnik. If you haven’t seen it, let's just say it's mindlessly delightful, as Community often is, and involves a motorhome and fried chicken. It also has echoes of the hope, optimism, and teamwork of that period in the US scientific community. The scientists at NASA continue to do incredible work, including flood mapping, space expeditions, and some of our most important breakthroughs around understanding the universe. We are in an incredibly tough time right now both globally and in the US. So, today, on this anniversary of the creation of NASA, I am hoping for a day when optimism, research, and science might again be at the forefront of national attention. Speaking of space exploration, one of our fantastic graduate students stopped by office hours this week and told me that this weekend was one of the best times of the year to catch a meteor shower. So if you’re the camping type, take the opportunity to get away from it all and look at the stars.
Today’s Message from the Chancellor
Some of you got a message today from the Chancellor that was intended for faculty and staff. The message is long, but its primary point is to tell faculty and staff that if you do not need to physically come to campus, UCI is asking you to continue to work remotely. Please note that this does not change anything with regard to approved returns to research, managed by the Office of Research, nor in-person instruction, approved by Graduate Division and the Office of Teaching and Learning. We understand the fear and confusion this message caused for some of you who know that incoming international students need those in-person classes and of course for those of who were counting on access to research that you have already been granted. As always, things are changing rapidly, and we are doing our best to respond to the latest public health and economic contexts while putting our people first.
We know how frustrated and worried some of you are about housing right now. Housing has been working around the clock to try to do as much for you as possible, to be as flexible as possible, and to support an environment that promotes well-being for all. Please give them your patience for just a couple of more days as they are attempting to make policies even more flexible for you.
Keep an eye out for an in-depth FAQ sheet sent out by Housing, which will address a lot of the questions we’ve been getting about the move in process to campus, lease cancellations, lease extensions, and housing move-in deferrals. For all general questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 949-824-6811. Please do reserve these calls and emails for students who need help now. Your recognition and respect for your fellow students is so appreciated during this difficult time.
National Medal Recipient and Author Julia Alverez to Present as Part of UCI Great Big Read
Thursday, August 6th Noon - 1 pm PT
Recipient of the illustrious National Medal of Arts and internationally-recognized author, Julia Alvarez, is featured presenter as part of a virtual UCI Great Big Read event at noon on Thursday, August 6. Her recent book, Afterlife, is the featured current reading for the UCI Great Big Read.
Known for the power of her storytelling, Julia Alvarez won early international acclaim for her novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, a PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award winner, and In the Time of the Butterflies, a nominee for the National Critics Circle Book Award. A recent poem, "How Will the Pandemic Affect Poetry?" appears in a critically-acclaimed anthology, Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America's Poets Respond to the Pandemic (edited by Alice Quinn, 2020, Knopf).
Alvarez has been recognized for the stunning breadth of her work as well as for the intense themes explored in her fiction and non-fiction, essays, poetry, and children's literature, which range from cross-cultural experiences and finding voice to immigration and political critique such as life during the Trujillo regime. Over twenty years ago, she established with husband Bill Eichner a sustainable coffee farm and literacy center called Alta Gracia in the Dominican Republic.
Fulbright Intent to Apply Deadline on Friday
Don’t forget, if you plan to apply for the 2021-2022 Fulbright Fellowship program, and you’d like to be eligible for an institutional endorsement, you must contact the Fulbright Program Adviser, Dr. Kayleigh Anderson-Natale (email@example.com) this Friday, July 31st. At this time, you do not need to have any materials prepared.
Planning on applying but having trouble getting started on your application materials? Check out this video focused on the essay application component of the Fulbright application. And don’t forget to attend the Graduate Division’s Fulbright Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement essay workshops. Don’t forget to bring a draft of your essay!
Fulbright: Statement of Grant Purpose Workshop
August 6, 2020
Fulbright: Personal Statement Workshop
August 13, 2020
REMINDER: Course Design Certification Program Hosted by DTEI
Thursdays, August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th from 1-3 pm via Zoom
The Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI) is proud to offer the Course Design Certification Program during Summer 2020. This certificate program covers the foundations of successful course design. Participants will practice ‘backwards, integrated course design’ by establishing goals for student learning and aligning assignments and assessments with these goals. Participants will leave this program with a certificate in course design, a draft syllabus for a course they may teach in the future, and strategies for teaching that course. To earn the certificate, full attendance and participation is required for all four days. If you're interested, please RSVP. To find out more about how this can count towards the Certificate in Teaching Excellence.
Dean’s Office Hours:
As always, come see us in Office Hours. I or someone from my Graduate Division staff will be here to answer questions, listen to you vent, or just chat.
See the upcoming schedule below.
Upcoming Dean’s Virtual Office Hours: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
- Thursday, July 30th 9:00am – 9:30am
- Friday, July 31st 9:00am – 9:30am
- Monday, August 3rd 11:00am – 11:30am
- Tuesday, August 4th 9:00am – 9:30am
- Wednesday, August 5th 12:00pm – 12:30pm
- Thursday, August 6th 9:00am – 9:30am
- Friday, August 7th 4:00pm – 4:30pm
I am guessing that for many of you, during this very difficult time, you are wondering what you can be doing, what you should be doing, and whether grad school is really the best use of your time. I turn on that internal critic and think why did I become an academic when I should be in the streets, have learned immigration law, have become a physician or a nurse? Okay, on that last one, I know why: blood makes my stomach churn. I regularly find myself pondering quitting it all to care for my children or to go to the border to fight for other people’s children. For those of you feel as I do, I encourage you to think of Nelson Mandela’s words:
"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."
When I think of Mandela’s life and work, I think of the pain he endured, the movements he inspired, the active protesting, the hunger strikes. That he believed in education’s potential to change the world reminds me that maybe just maybe we are all doing the work we were meant to do. So, get after it. Learn everything you can, and make the world into the place you want it to be. You can do it, and those of us here at Graduate Division will be cheering for you.
On behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division