Nov. 9, 2023
UCI Digest
Photo from 1966 featuring U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps members commemorate Veterans Day on campus.
Anteater Time Machine: In 1966, U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps members commemorate Veterans Day on campus.


Giving voice to veterans

UCI’s veterans studies certificate – launched in 2019 and available to all students – was the first to be offered in California and is one of only four university-level programs in the U.S. Despite numbering more than 18 million and representing 7% of the nation’s population, veterans continue to be an underrepresented and understudied group in academia, says Bill Maurer, dean of social sciences. By creating the certificate program, he and director Anita Casavantes Bradford, professor of Chicano/Latino studies and history, hope to change that.

Veteran sees the art in helping hearts heal

Self-portrait by Efrain Cerrato.
From the moment he opened a first-aid kit in the Boy Scouts, Efrain Cerrato felt a natural connection to helping others. That would eventually lead to his current role as the UCI Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute cardiac rehabilitation lead exercise physiologist, helping patients with heart conditions along the road to recovery. Cerrato’s path intertwines military service and a formally trained artist’s eye (his self-portrait is above) with discipline, deep understanding of the body’s structure and movement, and a sense of compassion that sees each patient as an individual. For Veterans Day, Cerrato shares some of his experiences.

Public health as a foundation for a career in law

Nicole Balucanag ’15 pictured here with UCI Students
UCI public health undergraduates can work at the Veterans Legal Institute, which provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless, at-risk, disabled and low-income current and former service members in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange county areas. VLI offers students – mostly those who major in public health policy – experience working with attorneys who use legal methods to tackle the social factors that negatively affect the health and well-being of service members and their families. VLI strives to restore dignity among service members and eradicate barriers to housing, healthcare, education and employment while fostering self-sufficiency.

HR wins Team of Year award

UCI Human Resources has been honored as a Team of the Year by the OnCon Icon Awards. The awards are presented to teams in the fields of human resources, data analytics, finance, talent acquisition, marketing, operations and more. Winners were selected by peer and community voters based on a mix of success and positive impact on their organization, strong contributions through thought leadership, innovative projects, and a team leader who models exceptional leadership.


University of California TV

University of California Television is a public-serving media outlet featuring programming from throughout the University of California. Since January 2000, UCTV has explored a broad spectrum of subjects including science, health and medicine, public affairs, humanities, arts and music, business, education, and agriculture. Program formats include documentaries, faculty lectures, research symposia and artistic performances. UCTV can be found on cable, online, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Roku and mobile apps.


Women’s Soccer NCAA First Round
Friday, 6 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Athletics)

Free Naloxone Distribution Drive-Thru
Saturday, 10 a.m. (co-sponsored by UCI Health)

Big West Men's Soccer Championship Final
Saturday, 6 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Athletics)

Mental Wellness in Adults
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.


Alum shares journey from UCI to Navy to Amazon

Jumar Balacy

When he transitioned from web developer to Navy SEAL in 2008, Jumar Balacy’s journey didn’t go as planned. After falling ill during the intense Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, he was medically dropped from the program. However, his SEAL experience put him on the path to becoming a U.S. Navy combat camera diver. After six years in the Navy, Balacy moved back into the tech industry and, in 2015, immersed himself in the field of UX. Now a UX designer for Amazon Devices, Balacy is sharing what he has learned over the years, including tips for breaking into UX; the blueprint for his design career; and advice on how to reinvent yourself through preparation, mindset and reflection. As a volunteer for Hire Heroes, he’s also helping fellow veterans start new careers.

#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 Orange County Register logo

Fight to end human trafficking gets new tool, and maybe a new path

The Orange County Register, Nov. 9
Cited: Kelsey Morgan, Ph.D. '23, social ecology

Healio logo

Executive order directs HHS to monitor AI safety in health care

Healio, Nov. 8, 2023
Cited: Dr. Deepti Pandita, chief medical informatics officer, nursing informatics

Electronic Frontier Foundation logo

Speaking Freely: David Kaye

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 8
Cited: David Kaye, clinical professor of law

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