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UCnetwork: May 2024

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UCnetwork is emailed monthly to UC staff, but all members of the UC community are invited to join our email list. You can subscribe online here. Read on for our May issue!

Cashing in some giant checks, from left to right, third-place winner Shannon Brady of UC Riverside; first-place winner Iris Garcia-Pak of UC San Diego; and Kacie Ring of UC Santa Barbara, who won second place and the People's Choice award.

Congrats to the 2024 Grad Slam winners!

Grad Slam is all about building excitement for the groundbreaking research happening across the UC system, giving the public insight into our work — and why it matters. This year’s inspiring winners covered neuroscience, the connection between forests and human health, and how self-talk can help kids. Watch videos of the highlights.

Learn more about UC innovation. Discover five genius inventions that grew out of UC research. 

Emily Giovanelli

Meet UC staff who support mental wellness

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month! To celebrate, we asked staff throughout UC to share how they support mental health — at work and outside of it. Read about their work and the values that motivate them.

Do you need support? Contact your local Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, or review behavioral health benefits through UC health plans.

Juan Felipe Herrera

UC’s rich poetic tradition goes back 100 years

From the nation’s very first university-level creative writing course to one of the first English translations of Chinese literature, early figures in the feminist poetic tradition and anthologies filled with esteemed literary figures, UC’s poetic tradition is truly fabulous. But perhaps most excitingly, poetry thrives across the university today. Explore the poetic legacy of UC.

There’s also poetry in music. Learn how reggae came to Hawai‘i.

Vintage suitcase, books and sunglasses

Your UC benefits will tag along on vacation

If you’re taking a well-deserved vacation out of town this summer, we wish you safe travels! But in the unfortunate case that you become sick or injured while you’re away from home, it’s helpful to know how to get the care you need. Find out how UC’s medical plans can cover you.

Share your perspective. Starting June 3, randomly selected enrollees will begin receiving requests to participate in the annual UC-sponsored medical plan satisfaction survey.

UC Davis medical student Javier Rodrigeuz (back row, second from right) with his fellow UC PRIME classmates and community members at a pop-up clinic they staffed in the small Central Valley community of Poplar-Cotton Center.

Taking on the Central Valley health care crisis

More than 700 students will earn their M.D. from one of UC’s six medical schools. The vast majority will continue their residency training in our state, where many will draw upon specialized knowledge they gained through UC PRIME, a program that’s prepared them to care for medically underserved populations. These students seek to transform “health care deserts” into places where doctors speak their patients’ languages and understand community culture. Explore their stories.

Find out about our progress. Read about the groundbreaking ceremony for UC Merced’s Medical Education Center.

Chase Anderson, M.D.

Microaggressions, your health and how to cope

Despite their name, there’s nothing small about the impact of microaggressions — aka subtle act of racism. Experiencing microaggressions can lead to worse physical and mental health and lower quality of life, including higher risks for many serious diseases and health conditions. UCSF specialists share how microaggressions impact us and how to handle them.

Winners of the UC Santa Barbara 2024 Staff Citation of Excellence Awards

UC Spotlight: Kudos for our work together

UC Spotlight is a new UCnetwork feature that celebrates UC locations, teams and individual staff members who are helping to make UC a great place to work. Read this month’s Spotlight and find out how to share your achievements!

We’re also cheering for faculty and alumni! Read about this year’s UC Pulitzer Prize winners and the newest American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows.

Kaya Mentesoglu at UCLA

UC People: UC People: Kaya Mentesoglu

For more than two decades, Kaya Mentesoglu has served UCLA’s International Institute with key IT support. It’s a job made sweeter by having his family on campus, too.

Meet Kaya

President Drake

From President Drake

Celebrating Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month

This May at the University of California, we have been observing Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month. Every year we relish this opportunity to recognize the rich diversity of our UC communities of Asian / Pacific American faculty, staff, and students — and to appreciate the strength and beauty that these communities bring to our university community.

I am proud of the multitude of talents they contribute — just one recent example being the 2024 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry announced earlier this month: UC San Diego faculty member Brandon Som, a Chicano and Chinese American poet.

We also continue to ensure that our student body and our workforce reflect the vast diversity and talent of our state, and to elevate diverse AAPI leaders and voices at every level. As of this spring, with UCLA receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Education, all nine of our undergraduate campuses are now recognized as eligible Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions.

As the month winds down, I hope you’ll have the chance to partake in at least one of the many events across our 10 campuses honoring Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month.

Fiat Lux!

Michael V. Drake, M.D.
UC President

UC voices

“Feeling connected to the history of a place — or feeling like you’re contributing to a conversation of where you are — is something I think about constantly.”

— Anthony Graham, BAMPFA senior curator, on what drives his career passion

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