Office of Strategic Communications Wins Three CASE Awards

UCR’s Office of Strategic Communications won three CASE District VII Awards of Excellence. Inside UCR was ranked Bronze in the category of Internal Audience Publications.  “UCR Magazine: 10 Ways to Happiness” won the Silver prize in the Digital Magazines category. And in the Public Relations, Media Relations and Community Relations Projects category, UCR’s Living the Promise campaign won Gold.
CASE District VII annually recognizes excellence in the district and the Awards of Excellence showcases the best practices in all categories of communications and select the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for each category. The district received a record number of entries this year and had fewer categories, making the competition the most competitive and selective it has ever been.

Susan Straight Gets Lifetime Achievement Award at Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

Susan Straight

Susan Straight

Susan Straight, professor of creative writing, is the recipient of the 2013 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. The award was announced at the 34th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

“Susan Straight is a Southern California original and a tireless supporter, and creator, of our literary culture,” said Times book critic David L. Ulin. “Her novels opened up not just California literature but American literature to the Inland Empire and to the often-neglected voices of the people there. Through her work as a teacher, she has inspired a new generation of California writers.”


Engineer Honored for Pioneering Graphene Research

Alexander A. Balandin

Alexander A. Balandin

Alexander A. Balandin, professor of electrical engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Materials Research Society.

He is the first fellow from UCR. Fellow is a lifetime appointment and the number of new fellows selected each year is capped at 0.2 percent of Materials Research Society membership.

Balandin was recognized “for pioneering contributions on the thermal properties of graphene and low-dimensional materials; seminal contributions to the study of quantum confinement effects in nanostructures; and leadership in materials education.”

He will be honored during the Materials Research Society spring meeting from April 21 to 23 in San Francisco.


NEH Awards UCR $100,000 for Health Humanities Program

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded UCR $100,000 to develop a health humanities program focused on the role of stories in medicine and healing. The two-year, interdisciplinary grant will fund a collaboration of humanities scholars and School of Medicine faculty in an effort to identify how narrative can best be integrated into training medical students.
The project, “Narrative in Tandem: Creating New Medical and Health Humanities Programming,” is organized around understanding and practicing narrative in the humanities and medicine through enacted communication, visualizing, and writing.

In the first year of the grant 12 faculty members will meet in workshops with experts known for telling stories around health and wellness and who have helped build health and humanities programs. The second year of the grant will focus on issues such as diabetes in the community, trauma and health care disparities locally. The project will conclude with a conference in spring 2015 organized around the issues of health and medicine.

Chemistry senior wins national travel award

Mary Nguyen, a senior in chemistry and a science ambassador for the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, has won a national Eli Lilly/Women Chemists Committee (WCC) Travel Award. This highly competitive award – only nine are awarded each year – supported her travel to the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 8-12, 2013.

At the conference, in addition to her divisional presentation, Nguyen presented her research results at a poster session exclusively for Eli Lilly/WCC Travel Award winners. She was also recognized at a luncheon hosted by the WCC, and she was invited to breakfast with the executive director of the American Chemical Society. At UCR, Nguyen works closely with Catharine Larsen, an assistant professor of chemistry.

Martin Johnson awarded Goldsmith Book Prize

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University has awarded Martin Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, and co-author Kevin Arceneaux of Temple University the Goldsmith Book Prize for “Changing Minds or Changing Channels? Partisan News in an Age of Choice” (University of Chicago Press, 2013).
The prize is awarded to trade and academic books published in the United States that best fulfill “the objective of improving democratic governance through an examination of the intersection between the media, politics and public policy,” according to the center’s website. It will be presented at an awards ceremony March 5 at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Johnson and Arceneaux argue in their book that partisan news programs are not as influential as many people think. The bigger problem, they contend, is disengagement with television news generally.

Bob Daly brings home a prize from Napa Valley

Robert “Bob” Daly, retired assistant vice chancellor for Strategic Academic Research and Analysis, won Best Presentation at the 2013 conference in Napa Valley for the California Association for Institutional Research (CAIR).
His talk, “Six Stages of Growth for the IR Professional,” was judged as the most significant contribution to the practice and understanding of institutional research by evaluators at the conference.

Appropriately, his presentation was about the importance of presentation and communication skills to career development. “Being a great communicator is the most important skill that any professional can have,” said Daly, who was recalled from retirement to lead institutional research at UCR during a search for a new leader. His presentation is available at the CAIR website:

For 10 years, Daly served as UCR’s assistant vice chancellor, compiling and analyzing data of all types, with an eye toward streamlining campus programs and processes. Prior to that, he was at UC Irvine for 24 years. He started his career with six years at Santa Ana College.  He has been active in CAIR since serving as the first president in 1987.
As recipient of the Best Presentation award, Daly will receive special recognition at the CAIR 2014 San Diego conference and a modest travel stipend to attend the 2014 AIR Forum in Orlando, where he will give an encore of his “Six Stages” presentation.

Top of Page