March 2019

Graduate Rankings

U.S. News & World Report has released its annual ranking of what it considers the best graduate schools in various disciplines (arts and science programs were not evaluated this year), and UCI has come out very well. Confirming our position as a world-class research university, 12 of our graduate programs are ranked in the top 25 among public universities, led by our much-lauded program in critical theory, which once again is the top-ranked program in the nation. Also ranking high are the graduate programs in English, law, sociology and education, with the programs in history, psychology, engineering, business, medical research, political science and economics comparing well with their public university peers. These accolades result from the dedication and hard work of our outstanding faculty, accomplished graduate students and tremendous staff. Congratulations to you all on this signal recognition of your efforts!

Superbug kryptonite

Frances Leslie (left), dean of UCI’s Graduate Division, congratulates Rachel Rosenzweig, Ph.D.

Frances Leslie (left), dean of UCI’s Graduate Division, and mascot Peter the Anteater congratulate Rachel Rosenzweig, Ph.D. candidate in materials science & engineering. Yubo Dong/UCI

And speaking of accomplished graduate students, Rachel Rosenzweig, a doctoral candidate in materials science & engineering, won the annual UCI Grad Slam competition with her presentation on her research into solving the global problem of drug-resistant microbial infections during hospital stays. The microbes can be easily transferred from medical devices to patients. Rosenzweig proposes to coat the devices with an antimicrobial “skin” – what she calls “superbug kryptonite” – that mimics the natural defenses some insects have against similar pathogens. This innovative approach has tremendous potential for reducing the incidence of hospital-caused infections. Best of luck to Rachel Rosenzweig in the UC-wide Grad Slam finals on May 10.

Grad Student Working on ‘Superbug Kryptonite’ Wins UCI Grad Slam, Will Compete Systemwide 

Alumni stories

Sunny Zaman '08
Sunny Zaman

One of the greatest pleasures of being a teacher is seeing your students discover their passions in life and go out into the world to make their dreams come true. Kendra Bean ’06 became fascinated by the legendary actress Vivien Leigh early on in her film & media studies here at UCI. That led to a website, which led to a book, which has led to her being a curator of historical materials at an English museum. Erin Bradner, Ph.D. ’01, chose the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences for its emphasis on human-centered software design. Today she is a leader in amplifying human creativity through technology and a newly inducted member of the ICS Hall of Fame. And Sunny Zaman ’08 discovered at UCI how much he loved connecting with people and solving problems. He has used these talents to pursue a career in digital communications on a global scale. They are just three of the many thousands of Anteater alumni who received an education worthy of their aptitude and promise and are now achieving at the highest level of their potential and leading meaningful and rich lives.

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Faculty honors

Pierre Baldi, Distinguished Professor of computer science, was named one of the “Top 100 AI Leaders in Drug Discovery and Advanced Healthcare” by Deep Knowledge Analytics for his significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. Baldi, an international leader in AI, has helped greatly improve diagnostics and treatment for cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. He is director of the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences.

Dan Stokols, Chancellor’s Professor emeritus and founding dean of the School of Social Ecology, has been honored by the Society for Human Ecology with the Gerald L. Young Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for his 2018 tome Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World. The award cited the comprehensive overview of social ecological theory, research and practice for “exemplifying the highest standards of scholarly work in the field of human ecology.”

Chemerinsky papers

The UCI Libraries are now the proud home of one of the most important legal archives in the nation: the personal and professional papers of the great constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky. The collection contains publications, teaching materials, case and research files, documents related to special projects he worked on, audio and video recordings, media and publicity materials, correspondence, and college and early professional papers. From 2008 to 2017, Chemerinsky served as founding dean and Distinguished Professor at the UCI School of Law and held the Raymond Pryke Endowed Chair in First Amendment Law. He is currently dean and the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The author of numerous books and law reviews, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2016 and was named the most influential person in U.S. legal education by The National Jurist magazine in 2017. UCI is honored by this gift of Chemerinsky’s papers, which will be the focus of scholarly study for generations. Some of the pieces in the collection will be included in the UCI Libraries’ spring exhibit, “UCI Law Stories: Past, Present and Future,” which opens on March 25 in Langson Library.

March Madness

The UCI men’s basketball team, winners of the Big West Conference regular-season title and the Big West Conference tournament, is going to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament – aka “the Big Dance” – for just the second time in its history. The team, one of only five in the entire nation to attain 30 victories in the season, was selected as the No. 13 seed in the tournament’s south division and will open play Friday in San Jose against the No. 4 seed Kansas State Wildcats. UCI is the only team from Southern California to qualify to play for the national championship. Congratulations to coach Russell Turner and all the players on their outstanding season! We’ll be cheering you on on Friday. Go ’Eaters! Zot! Zot! Zot!

Watch "UCI takes 2019 Big West Tournament title"