May 18, 2023
UCI Digest
Ballet student Milford Kemp
Anteater Time Machine: In the 1970s, ballet student Milford Kemp took up boxing for a dance class project. After seeing Muhammad Ali fight on TV, he wanted to choreograph the sport into a dance routine. Continuing in the ring after UCI, Kemp was known as the “ballet boxer” and even fought future heavyweight champ Leon Spinks. He later busked on the streets of Montreal as a Jimi Hendrix impersonator. Last Sunday, Kemp was featured in a Los Angeles Times story about flaws in California’s pension program for retired boxers.


Finding joy in rejection

Rejection letters are a fact of life in academia, the arts, job searches and more. But not everyone wallows in the wake of receiving a “no.” Barbara Sarnecka, a professor of cognitive sciences and associate dean of graduate studies and research at UCI, holds rejection parties featuring champagne, Roman emperor costumes and togas whenever her graduate students’ rejection pile — for academic journals, conferences, grants, fellowships and jobs — reaches 100. Sarnecka began the tradition a few years ago to normalize rejection as a part of academic work. “By sharing our rejections with the group and even celebrating milestones like 100 rejections, we counteract the sense of shame and isolation that early-career academics often have,” she told The New York Times.

Real-world healthcare experience for pre-med students

UCI IMED volunteers visit the Rayito de Luz (Ray of Light) Orphanage in Tijuana twice per quarter
To get a head start on becoming doctors, some UCI pre-med students have joined International Medicine, Education and Development, which sends volunteers around Orange County as well as to such countries as Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. There are 40 Anteaters in the program, which aims to increase access to medical care and health education for underprivileged children, in addition to providing real-world healthcare experience to volunteers. Pictured above, UCI IMED volunteers visit the Rayito de Luz (Ray of Light) Orphanage in Tijuana twice per quarter.


Grappling with lightning-rod campus speakers

Speech matters podcast: Grappling with lightning-rod campus speakers
With increasing frequency, heckler's vetoes and violence have disrupted controversial speakers at universities across the nation. In a new episode of SpeechMatters, the official podcast of UC’s National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, UC Davis student body President Radhika Gawde and Penn State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Danny Shaha join Center Executive Director Michelle Deutchman to discuss their experiences preparing for and responding to polarizing figures invited to speak on campus.


School of Medicine commencement speakers: Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen

School of Medicine Commencement with Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen (livestream)
Saturday, 3 p.m.

Let’s Box Hunger
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (sponsored by Cross-Cultural Center)

Health and Wellbeing Day
Saturday, 11 a.m. (sponsored by School of Biological Sciences)

“Expanded Ecologies” art exhibit
Saturday, noon, through June 10 (sponsored by Beall Center for Art + Technology)

DCP After-Tax Contribution to Roth Conversion Rollover
Monday, 3 p.m. (sponsored by HR Wellness)

Summer is Around the Corner – Is Your Skin Ready?
Monday, 7 p.m. (co-sponsored by UCI Health)

Visit to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


AAPI Heritage Month: Making an Impact

Tamara Inoue - UCI women's basketball head coach
As a head coach at UCI, Tamara Inoue has turned the women’s basketball program into a perennial championship contender. Raised on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii, she invests in the development of her student-athletes off the court as well as on. “A lot of times what you look like gets put before your accolades,” Inoue says. “It’s challenging, but along with that comes more awareness and understanding. … I’ll always pick up the phone for anyone looking for advice or mentorship. The responsibility piece is being available where I can and not shying away from the conversation.”
#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.
Marketing Drive logo

L.L. Bean ditched social media for May — here’s how it’s going so far

Marketing Dive, May 18
Cited: Paul Piff, associate professor of psychological science

Voice of OC logo

Researchers Arm Santa Ana Residents With Data to Fight Pollution

Voice of OC, May 15
Cited: Kim Fortun, professor of anthropology

The New York Times logo

Read Your Way Through Los Angeles

The New York Times, May 17
Cited: Héctor Tobar, professor of Chicano/Latino studies


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