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New Fuel Cell Technology Generates Electricity on UCSB Campus

commmencement 2012

UC Santa Barbara is now host to a unique new energy system that is providing electricity as part of the university’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. The new 200-kilowatt Bloom Energy Server is directly connected to Southern California Edison’s electric distribution system.

The Bloom Energy Server produces clean, reliable, and affordable electricity on-site. The system utilizes a unique fuel cell technology, which converts fuel into electricity via an electro-chemical process, without any combustion or harmful, smog-forming particulates.

The new server generates power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is expected to produce more than 1.75 million kilowatt hours annually, enough to power about 160 average U.S. homes. The system is extremely efficient, cutting carbon emissions by almost 30 percent, nearly eliminating nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution, and producing electricity using 99.99 percent less water than an average power plant.

Onward California

Show Your UC Pride at Onward California Tour Stop

The University of California has launched Onward California, a campaign that demonstrates how UC or a UC graduate plays a role in each Californian’s day. The campaign includes a video series, digital initiative, and mobile tour. The video series premiered with a story about UC Santa Barbara Professor John Bowers, who is the director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency, and the Unite to Light organization. On Nov. 20, UC Santa Barbara Professor David Valentine will be featured in a video about oil research. The mobile tour will stop throughout the state and include special guests, photo opportunities, free gelato, and educational displays. Check http://onwardcalifornia.com/ to find out about the mobile tour stop schedule and more information.

UCSB Named Among Top 25 Colleges in Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields

Excelencia Logo

In the third in a series of reports linking college completion with U.S. workforce needs, the nonprofit organization Excelencia in Education has included UC Santa Barbara on its lists of the top 25 colleges and universities in the country in the number of degrees awarded to Latinos in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The report, published in July, covers the 2009-10 academic year.

Based in Washington, D.C., Excelencia in Education is a national organization that aims to accelerate higher education success for Latino students through promoting education policies and institutional practices that support their academic development.

The rankings are categorized by area of study as well as by degree conferred, and each list includes the top 25 colleges and universities. In the category of bachelor degrees awarded in mathematics, UC Santa Barbara placed 10th. In master’s degrees in mathematics, UCSB was ranked No. 9; and in doctoral degrees in mathematics, UC Santa Barbara again came in at No. 10.

In the category of bachelor degrees awarded in the physical sciences, UC Santa Barbara was ranked No. 11; and in doctoral degrees in the physical sciences, UC Santa Barbara placed 19th.

UC Regents Approve Davidson Library Renovations Funding

The University of California Regents approved $71.4 million in funding for the UC Santa Barbara Davidson Library renovations during its September meeting. The funding will pay for seismic repairs, fire safety upgrades, renovations, and a 63,172-square-foot addition. Construction will begin in March 2013. The original two-story library was built in the 1950s. The eight-story tower was added in the 1960s and a four-story wing was added in the 1970s

University Religious Conference

University Religious Conference Legacy Lives On With URC Interfaith Fund

When the University Religious Conference (URC) of Santa Barbara was founded in Isla Vista in 1957, its aim was to support UC Santa Barbara students by fostering interfaith activity and cross-cultural dialogue. Now defunct as an organization, the URC’s legacy lives on — thanks to its unique dissolution, which made provisions for the campus and Isla Vista community that are beginning to bear fruit.

In 2011, the University Religious Center was sold to the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative (SB Co-op), which has just begun renovating the building into a residence that will house 18 students, starting in January 2013. The unique arrangement sees the UCSB Foundation receiving mortgage payments that are in turn being gifted to students and campus interfaith programs.

The new URC Interfaith Fund at UCSB will annually provide the MultiCultural Center and the Office of Student Life’s nascent CommUnity Grants initiative a percentage of those payments to support cross-cultural events. A large portion will be given to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to fund scholarships for eligible UC Santa Barbara undergrads living at SB Co-op’s new student house. And SB Co-op will see some of its money returned, earmarked for relevant activities at that new residence, called Thomas Merton: An Interfaith Cooperative House, named for the Catholic priest, author, and advocate for interfaith understanding.

By The Numbers


UC Santa Barbara’s ranking in Washington Monthly’s list of the Top 30 National Universities. While U.S. News & World Report usually awards its highest ratings to private universities, the editors of Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit, and higher rankings. Thirteen of the top 20 universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded. The University of California dominated Washington Monthly’s 2012 list, with UC San Diego taking the top spot, and UC Berkeley and UCLA ranking fifth and sixth, respectively. UC Riverside is ranked No. 9, and UC Davis is ranked No. 17.


UC Santa Barbara’s expected freshman class for Fall 2012. The campus received 54,381 applications for Fall 2012, which is the largest pool of applicants in the school’s history. The admitted applicants have an average high school grade-point average of 4.07. “UCSB has admitted an extraordinarily talented freshman class,” Christine Van Gieson, director of admissions, told UCSB Today magazine. “In addition to strong academic credentials, students present a wide range of accomplishments outside the classroom.”


UC Santa Barbara’s standing in the colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of graduates to Teach for America. Thirty-five UC Santa Barbara graduates have been selected this year to work as beginning teachers in public schools in low-income communities across the country.

— From UC Santa Barbara Office of Public Affairs and staff reports