Cynthia Larive Appointed Divisional Dean

Cynthia Larive, a professor of chemistry, has been appointed the divisional dean of chemistry, mathematics and physics and astronomy in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.  Her appointment began on Oct. 1. Previous to this appointment, she chaired the Department of Chemistry; Eric Chronister has been named the chair of the department.

Kristine Nicholls is GSOE’s Assistant Director of Teacher Education

Kristine Nicholls started work at the Graduate School of Education as the assistant director of teacher education on Oct. 1. She came to UCR after four years as administrative manager in the Riverside County Office of Education instructional services unit. She has two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s in education with a bilingual emphasis from Cal State San Bernardino and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from UCR’s Graduate School of Education.

During her time as a Ph.D. student, she was the chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow, and worked as an instructor and teacher supervisor in the teacher education program. She has earned many awards and honors as a teacher and administrator. She is fluent in Spanish and English and has had extensive experience working both locally and statewide on issues related to differentiating instruction to support the academic achievement of all students, including English learners, those who are learning English at the same time they are being taught academic content in English.

NIH Awards $1.7 million to Neuroscientist for Visual Perception Research

Aaron Seitz

Aaron Seitz

Aaron Seitz, associate professor of psychology, has been awarded a five-year, $1.7 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to continue groundbreaking research that may lead to new therapies for individuals with amblyopia (lazy eye), dry macular degeneration and cataracts.

His NIH research grant, “Integrating Perceptual Learning Approaches into Effective Therapies for Low Vision,” will support further study of how different mechanisms of perceptual learning interact, and will explore better treatment options for individuals with visual defects.

By the end of the grant, he hopes to have developed a broader understanding of how multiple sensory systems collaborate; have defined better treatment options for people with low vision; and have developed new models that better explain how multiple areas in the brain contribute to perceptual learning and what training would be beneficial.

Alumnus Honors Father with Gift to Business School

Chris Lam

Chris Lam

Chris Lam, a 1991 graduate of UCR’s School of Business Administration, has agreed to give the school $25,000 for student scholarships.

Lam, owner of Hayward-based Pucci Foods, a seafood distribution company, created the Y. Van Lam Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of his father.

The scholarships will be used to recruit and retain business students who demonstrate excellent scholarly work, leadership and commitment to civic duty and cultural understanding.

Two Grants to UC Riverside Boost Scientists’ Efforts in Developing Improved Cowpea Varieties

UCR scientists has received two grants totaling to nearly $7 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to continue their work on developing better yielding varieties of cowpea. This research will allow UCR to directly impact cowpea production in several countries in Africa. The grants support USAID’s agricultural research and capacity building work under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

The first $5 million grant creates the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Cowpea and supports a new five-year cowpea-breeding project with partners in four West African nations: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. The second grant, titled “Genetic improvement of cowpea to overcome biotic stress and drought constraints,” extends a ten-year project and brings additional funding of $2 million over four-and-a-half years to UCR through the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes as a sub-contract with Michigan State University, East Lansing.

UCR scientists that are a part of this research includes: Timothy Close, professor of genetics and the principal investigator of the $5 million grant and Philip Roberts, professor of nematology and principal investigator on the $2 million USAID grant. Close and Roberts will also be joined by Stefano Lonardi, a professor of computer science and engineering and a co-principal investigator, who will help process large amounts of data that the research projects will generate.

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