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Winter 2017

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Around Storke Tower

Freshman infographic

Big, Diverse First Year Class Arrives

According to the Office of Admissions, the first year class totals 4,996 out of 77,102 applicants. California residents make up 85 percent of the class, with international students comprising just 4 percent of the total enrollment. In a continuing trend across the country, women far outnumber men in the first-year class, 58 to 42 percent.

One third of the class is underrepresented minorities with Chicano-Latino students making up 28 percent of the class and African Americans making up 5 percent. Just 1 percent of the first-year students is Native American while 28 percent is Asian-Filipino-East Indian.

UCSB also enrolled one of its largest third-year transfer classes in history, 2,045 out of almost 17,000 that applied. The transfer class is 55 percent male versus 45 percent female and consists of 29 percent Latino and 5 percent African-American. Some 86 percent of transfers come from California.

The surge in enrollment has led to almost all available on-campus dormitories now being triples. The housing crunch is expected to ease by next year with the opening of the new 1000-bed San Joaquin housing project that is on the adjacent to the former Francisco Torres (now Santa Catalina) housing.

Chancellor Receives Prestigious Honor

The National Academy of Engineering has awarded Chancellor Henry Yang its 2016 Arthur M. Bueche Award for his dedication to science and technology. The award also recognizes Yang’s influence on U.S. technology and science policy. The award is named for Arthur M. Bueche, a statesman and advocate for science and technology who served as a top adviser for government and international science boards.

Chancellor Yang

UCSB Engineering Dean Rod Alferness noted, “The Bueche Award is one of the three awards presented annually to outstanding engineers by the National Academy of Engineering, which is the premier institution of U.S. engineers in all fields.”

Yang, who specializes in aerospace engineering, is also considered in an expert in earthquake loads for buildings and bio-inspired structural control. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1991 and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Association of Mechanical Engineers. He holds seven honorary doctorates and was named a UCSB Honorary Alumnus in 2001.

Gifts to UCSB Hit $119 Million in 2015-2016 School Year

UC Santa Barbara received the second largest total number of gifts in its history during the fiscal year that closed on July 1, 2016, a notable amount because no gift exceeded $10 million. The campus hit its goal of raising $1 billion during its recently concluded Campaign for UCSB. Individual gifts from alumni, friends, parents, faculty and students accounted for just over one-third of all gifts. Ten percent of all gifts went to student support.

The largest gift received was $10 million from the Benioff Foundation to fund an ocean solutions research initiative at UCSB. In all, there were 14,200 gifts to the campus during the fiscal year. “Alumni engagement and philanthropy remains a top priority,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Development Beverly Colgate. “Increasing the number of alumni donations has been challenging at an institution with a long history of state support. With the ever-decreasing support from the state, the campus has been championing the importance of alumni engagement to our graduates.”

A.S. Funds Controversial Speaker

In a vote held behind closed doors, the Associated Students Finance Committee agreed to pay controversial conservative speaker Ben Shapiro $5,000. The vote followed several hours of debate about Shapiro and the theme of his speech, a criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement. The speech is sponsored by the UCSB College Republicans.

A New Director and A New Outdoor Play Yard at the Orfalea Family Children’s Center

Annette Muse `76 takes early childhood education outside the box with a nature-oriented play space

The trees are full of children at the new outdoor play space that opened June 2015 at the Orfalea Family Children’s Center (OFCC) on the west side of the UC Santa Barbara campus.

Kids sitting on rock outside new play area at Orfalea Childrens Center
Kids sitting on rock outside new play area at Orfalea Childrens Center

“There are so many opportunities in the new space for children to harness their curiosity in self-initiated learning through outdoor play and discovery,” said UCSB Associate Director of Development Rachel Johnston `11. She helped raise funds for a project conforming to safety requirements and long-term vision for nature-oriented education that took years of careful planning with the OFCC’s previous director Leslie Voss.

The outdoor space integrates safety features with local plants and sustainable landscaping practices from Kimberly True’s firm True Nature Landscape Architecture, a nature mural by alum artist Brandon Sonntag Borgia `93 and a fun, interactive play structure.

“So many children don’t have access to outdoor spaces,” said new Center Director Annette Muse `76, an early childhood education leader and teacher with 30 years of experience in classrooms and administration. “So being able to provide them with this place, in a safe manner, on an everyday basis is important. The big push in early childhood education is to get kids back outdoors and connected with nature and to see themselves as stewards of the environment – whether it be in this new play space or through our partnership with the Edible Campus Project. It’s very exciting for not just the kids, but for us as educators as well.”

The collaboration with the Edible Campus Project is just one example of how the Children’s Center partners with programs on the main UCSB campus. Through generous funding from the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, a graduate student from GGSE has been hired to help OFCC teachers and children engage in a gardening curriculum. Preschool classrooms will be able to take field trips to greenhouses, gardens and a student-run farm on the main campus. The OFCC also partners with the UCSB Department of Education and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

Early childhood care and education services at UCSB include the Orfalea Family Children’s Center and University Children’s Center. Both sites provide services for over 200 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The Center serves community families, UCSB student parents, staff and faculty. Muse directs a team of 45 staff and 125 UCSB undergraduate students who serve as teaching assistants each quarter. UCSB students also serve as peer mentors, volunteers and conduct research and observations for coursework at the Center.

The Center’s teachers, UCSB parent student subsidies and operations are funded by Associated Students fees, the Orfalea Foundation, the Chancellor’s Child Care Scholarship Fund, the California Department of Education, and grants from the Santa Barbara Foundaiton, BSAS, TGFI, First 5 and SFAC.

Muse hopes to increase the Center’s career staff, create a scholarship for department staff and to foster more improvements to classrooms and facilities. “My team’s commitment and loyalty, their willingness to expand and continue learning – they are truly an amazing community of learners,” she said.

Find out more about the new nature space, Director Annette Muse’s vision for early childhood education for the Orfalea Family Children’s Center at UCSB and what inspired mural artist Brandon Sonntag Borgia ’93 in our special eCoastlines expanded feature “Play, Perseverance and Progress.”

UCSB Achieves Top 25 Ranking Among Global Universities

University places in top tiers across categories in October 24 list from U.S. News & World Report

UC Santa Barbara campus

UC Santa Barbara was ranked the 24th best university in the world based on its academic reputation and the impact of its research in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of 1,000 world universities published online on Oct. 24. Based on 12 indicators of academic influence and reputation, UCSB scored highest in the area of science and the environment. Its materials and physics programs ranked No. 11 in the world, with environment and ecology programs at No. 12. What stood out in the rankings was how often researchers around the world cited UCSB faculty findings. Among the top 1 percent of most cited research work, UCSB is No. 9 in the world and No. 11 in the impact of the citations on science research. Still, UCSB’s reputation in the world of research does not match its actual impact. U.S. News & World Report ranked UCSB at 61 in terms of “global research reputation.” UCSB was ranked 78 in Arts and Humanities, 110 in Social Sciences and Chemistry was ranked 27. The report ranked Harvard, MIT and Stanford as the top global universities based on their indicators.

Pot is Legal, But Not On UC Campuses

Marijuana leaf

Within hours of the official announcement that Prop. 64 had passed legalizing marijuana sales and consumption in California, UC officials reminded students, faculty and staff that pot is still illegal on UC campuses.

The statement came from the Office of the President and said that UC prohibits the use, possession or sale of marijuana on UC property including student housing. It may not be consumed at UC events. The sternly worded statement indicated that violation of the policy could lead to discipline, including dismissal. The statement noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even though three more states legalized it on Nov. 8.

Fifth Attias Victim Dies

The fifth person hit by David Attias as he purposely ran down pedestrians on Sabado Tarde in February 2001 has died. Bert Levy never fully recovered from Attias’ intentional attack. Also killed in the incident were Bert’s sister Ruthie, a Santa Barbara City College student, San Francisco resident Elie Israel, and two UCSB students, Nicholas Bourdakis and Christopher Divis.

Attias, the son of a prominent Hollywood director, was convicted in 2001 of four counts of second degree murder, but was found to be not guilty by reason of insanity. He was sentenced to serve 60 years in Patton State Prison, but was released to an outpatient facility in 2012.

Levy suffered traumatic leg and brain injuries in the accident. According to his family, he subsequently suffered severe seizures. They believe these seizures contributed to his death.

A memorial to the victims was built in Little Acorn Park in Isla Vista.