Sept. 27, 2023
UCI Digest
Black Student Union volunteers at the Anteater Involvement Fair in Aldrich Park.
Black Student Union volunteers at the Anteater Involvement Fair in Aldrich Park. (Photo: Steve Zylius/UCI)


UCI scientists determine that dead trees are biggest factor in Sierra wildfires

Ph.D. candidate Audrey Odwuor wearing white helmet and yellow jumpsuit while standing in front of a controlled burn experiment at the UC Berkeley-run Blodgett Forest Research Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
In a study published in Environmental Research Letters, Earth system scientists at UCI report that one of the chief fuels of wildfires in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is the decades-old remains of large trees. Until now it was unclear what kinds of plant debris contribute most to a fire. Audrey Odwuor, a Ph.D. candidate in earth system science (above), and two of the study’s co-authors – James Randerson, professor of Earth system science, and Alondra Moreno from the California Air Resources Board – drove a mobile lab owned and operated by the lab of study co-author and UCI alumna Francesca Hopkins at UC Riverside, to the southern Sierra Nevada mountains during 2021’s KNP Complex Fire.

UCI doctor to lead Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine

Dr. Federico Vaca
UCI emergency medicine physician Federico Vaca, one of the nation’s leading researchers on motor vehicle crash injuries and prevention, has been named president of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. He will be inducted as such during the organization’s annual conference on Oct. 5. AAAM comprises professionals in medicine, engineering, biomechanics, law, education and public policy from more than 20 countries committed to reducing motor vehicle trauma and improving highway safety. Vaca is professor and executive vice chair in the UCI School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine. Over the last 20 years, his research has focused on injury science – encompassing motor vehicle crash injury epidemiology and prevention – and related health disparities among U.S. youth and Latino populations.


UC Tech community celebrates UCI’s Carolina Manel

Carolina Manel
During Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15), the UC Tech community is celebrating the contributions of the Hispanic Community and those in Information Technology (IT) by sharing stories of empowerment, resilience, and breaking barriers to serve as beacons of inspiration. As a Latina from Mexico, Carolina Manel’s journey through the tech industry has been defined by overcoming challenges, embracing diversity, and championing inclusion. In a candid interview, Manel shares insights into her journey, highlighting the hurdles she has overcome and the transformative impact of her work on future generations, particularly for Latina women in IT.


Red and yellow graphic that reads La Bienvenida

La Bienvenida
Friday, 5 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Latinx Resource Center)

Esports Fall Kickoff at Esports Arena
Friday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by Student Affairs)

Kelli O'Hara
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.


UCI Health trauma surgeon honored at first responders dinner

Jeffrey Ball, CEO, Orange County Business Council; Nate Shinagawa, UCI Health chief operating officer; Dr. Alliya Qazi, UCI Health trauma surgeon; and emcee Vikki Vargas, former NBC4 reporter.
On Sept. 12, the Orange County Business Council’s First Responders Dinner honored UCI Health trauma surgeon Dr. Alliya S. Qazi for saving the lives of injured Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits. On the morning of Nov. 16, 2022, nearly 75 LASD recruits were on a training run in Whittier. A wrong-way driver plowed into the recruits, injuring more than two dozen of them. Several critically injured cadets were transported to UCI Medical Center, where Qazi was on duty. She quickly coordinated their triaging and treatment. Because of Qazi and the efforts of the trauma team, all cadets brought to UCI Health survived.
#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.
The New York Times logo

Opinion: ‘This Is Going to Be the Most Important Election Since 1860’

The New York Times, Sept. 27
Cited: Martin P. Wattenberg, professor of political science

The Wall Street Journal logo

Opinion: Bidenomics Is Keynesianism Without Constraints

The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 22
Cited: Richard B. McKenzie, professor emeritus of economics

Fox News logo

Less than half of nurses are ‘fully engaged’ at work, while many are ‘unengaged,' new report reveals

Fox News, Sept. 25
Cited: Candice Whealon, assistant clinical professor of nursing

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