May 24, 2023
UCI Digest
A red bicycle and a shrub provide a pop of color next to Humanities Hall.
A red bicycle and a shrub provide a pop of color next to Humanities Hall. (Photo: Steve Zylius)


UCI students win environmental agency prize for lead contamination video

An interdisciplinary team of UCI graduate students has claimed the top prize in Phase 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Video Challenge for Students. Working with representatives from the Orange County Environmental Justice community organization, the group produced a video about a proposed project to enlist Santa Ana residents in bioremediation efforts to remove lead from soil contamination hot spots (shown above in red) throughout the city.

UCI co-authored reports show local agencies overstepping immigration role

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has released two UCI-led national reports that highlight language access gaps in local immigration enforcement. The reports reveal that some local justice systems are executing federal immigration policy, and lack proper resources to ensure language services for those who need it.

UCI honors engineering and information and computer sciences alums 

 UCI engineering and ICS alumni were selected for the 2023 Hall of Fame.

In a May 5 celebration at the Inn at Mission San Juan Capistrano, six UCI engineering and ICS alumni were selected for the 2023 Hall of Fame. Three people from each school were inducted this year, including Fritz Onion (front row, second from left), Wendy Robello (above, fourth from left), Nenad Medvidović, Manu Gulati and Carlos Coimbra (back row from left) and Leysia Palen (not pictured). Also present to induct the awardees are Deans Marios Papaefthymiou (front row, left) and Magnus Egerstedt (front row, right).

The alumni were selected for making a significant impact on their profession or bringing distinction to their alma mater. Sixty-one engineering alumni and 49 ICS alumni have now been named Hall of Famers since it was established in 2015 to coincide with UCI’s 50th anniversary.

School of Social Sciences celebrates Chancellor’s Award winners

Seven of UCI’s 47 Chancellor’s Award of Distinction recipients are among the School of Social Sciences Class of 2023. The award, given on behalf of the UCI Alumni Association, acknowledges exceptional academic achievement and a commitment to cutting-edge research, leadership and service to UCI. This year’s School of Social Sciences award winners are Faith Ann Couts, Cindy Samantha El Jamrah, Steven Gong, Zachary Richard Griggy, Wei Huang, Kaamilah Kai-yan Sha and Jira Trinetkamol.


Brown Bag Theatre presents "Mojada" by Luis Alfaro

Brown Bag Theatre Company proudly presents "Mojada," written by Luis Alfaro and directed by Eden Millis
Friday, 7 p.m. (sponsored by  Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative)

UCI Symphony Orchestra - Spring 2023
Friday, 8 p.m. (sponsored by Irvine Barclay Theatre)

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


Native Hawaiian scholar awarded National Science Foundation research fellowship

Darcianne K. Watanabe, a doctoral candidate in social ecology
Darcianne K. Watanabe, a doctoral candidate in social ecology, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to continue researching how specific psychosocial and physiological factors influence cardiovascular disease risk among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The fellowship provides the Native Hawaiian scholar with three years of support through $147,000 in stipend and tuition funding. She was selected for demonstrating potential to significantly contribute to research that focuses on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations in the field of social ecology, specializing in psychology.
#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.
Leonard Lane, professor of business, cited in The Orange County Register

How could Orange County be impacted by the debt ceiling crisis?

The Orange County Register, May 24
Cited: Leonard Lane, professor of business

Dr. M. Leonard Seard II, MD, urologist at UCI Health and associate clinical professor of urology, cited in Everyday Health

Battling Self-Blame and Misconceptions About Renal Cancer as a Black American

Everyday Health, May 23
Cited: Dr. M. Leon Seard II, MD, urologist at UCI Health and associate clinical professor of urology

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor of history, cited in The Guardian

Surge in strikes at Chinese factories after Covid rules end

The Guardian, May 21
Cited: Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor of history


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