Around Storke Tower Summer 2011
Administration, Regents Discuss Strategies for Weathering Financial Storm
On May 18th, the UC Board of Regents discussed short- and long-term options for the UC in regards to the state’s waning financial support for public education. UC President Mark Yudof noted that the top priority of the university is to preserve its excellence in instruction and ability to accept all qualified California students. If the final state budget includes a cut larger than the proposed $500 million, however, the university may need to increase student fees. For every additional dollar the state cuts UC, it would take roughly a dollar in student fees to make up the loss.
Annual Award Recognizes UCSB Student Veterans
The UCSB Student Veterans Organization (SVO) received the 2011 UC President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership for helping student veterans acclimate to campus life. This award reflects the association’s work in promoting veterans’ benefits and their dedication to community service. Raymond Morua, an SVO representative, said the award money – $2,500 – will go towards expanding the organization and promoting other universities to create similar groups for student veterans.
In addition to pushing tirelessly for educational benefits at the local, state, and national level, the group strives to improve the image of returning veterans. The organization sponsors several programs, including scholarships; the "Ask A Vet" forum; a "Boots to Books" webinar that explores ways in which veterans' skills, experiences, and perspectives can strengthen a campus community; and a Central Coast Student Veterans Conference. Also, organization members mentor at-risk youth, volunteer with veterans groups of past wars, and read Dr. Seuss favorites to elementary school children in the Santa Barbara area.
UCSB to Receive More than $14m in Department of Defense Awards
UCSB will receive more than $14 million over five years in two awards from the U.S. Department of Defense's Multicampus University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The two awards to UCSB represent more than 7 percent of the total of $191 million granted by the Department of Defense with the MURI program. Both awards are from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and will be part of an effort in research projects and training for the future generation of quantum scientists and engineers.
Campus Opens New Labyrinth Trail
UCSB’s Lagoon Island is now home to the new Labyrinth Trail, a sixth-mile path designed to provide opportunity for serenity and spiritual balance. Carol Geer, the project’s primary donor, said the labyrinth is a universal cultural symbol used for contemplation and meditation, and a metaphor for life’s journey. Access to the trail is via a path southeast of Manzanita Village. The trail is free and open to the public.
UCSB/SUN Reach Agreement for Campus’s Long Run Development Plan
UC Santa Barbara and representatives of Sustainable University Now (SUN) have reached an agreement relating to the adoption of the campus's Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). The agreement is meant to accelerate the campus’s movement towards environmental sustainability, focusing on issues of transportation, housing, biological resources, water resources, and energy. UCSB's LRDP has already been endorsed by the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara County, and has been adopted by the UC Regents
UCSB Water Project Wins Sustainability Award
UCSB has received a Best Practice Award in the annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Awards competition sponsored by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. UCSB was a winner in the category of Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality for its San Nicolas wetland and library mall storm drain project. The project replaced a large area of invasive Kikuyu grass with a diverse landscape with more than 36 native species of plants, which will help absorb water runoff from the campus mesa to the lagoon below.
UCSB Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant
UCSB won $100,000 for the Grand Challenges Explorations competition, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Guillermo Bazan, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project funded by the Foundation. Bazan's award is for the study of how semiconducting molecules that penetrate the membranes of living organisms can facilitate the conversion of wastewater into energy, which could alleviate the emerging world’s sanitation problem.