News in Brief

UC Union Goes on Strike Amidst Contract Negotiations


AFSCME Local 3299, which represents 9,000 UC service workers, is on strike this week from May 7-9.

Rallies are being held at UC Los Angeles, UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Santa Barbara. The UCI chapter is striking at the UCI Medical Center in Orange. Among the issues the union is striking against include higher health care premiums and the increased outsourcing of jobs.


UCI Professors Join National Academy of Sciences


Researchers Eric Rignot and Steven White have been elected into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). They are two of 25 UCI professors who are part of the prestigious organization.

Rignot, an Earth science systems professor, studies how climate change impacts polar regions.

In an interview with UCI News, Rignot said of his recognition by NAS, “I wish to share this honor with the numerous colleagues and students who worked with me in the past decades at UCI and at JPL to study polar regions using exciting and new space technologies and make scientific advances possible.”

White, whose research on quantum spin liquid was featured on Science, an academic journal, is a professor of physics and astronomy.

“I am proud to be included among so many excellent researchers from the United States and around the world by this prestigious organization. I have spent my entire career at UCI, so I owe a tremendous amount to my academic home for its support of my research over the years,” White said to UCI News.


UCI Hosts a Deep Dive into eSports


UCI hosted a conference focused on the future of eSports, organized by Inven Global, a media company from South Korea focused on eSports. The annual event, which brings together prominent players and coaches as well as business leaders and investors, included several panels with keynote speakers, game viewings and a cosplay competition. Panels touched on issues faced by the eSports community, including online harassment and anti-social behavior.

The annual event, which is usually held in China, included guests from all around the world. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Vita Oh, a chief executive of Inven, said, “We just want the industry to grow much bigger than what it is right now, not only [industry professionals] to have opportunities in their own country, but we hope that we can be sort of bridge for these eSports teams and related parties to connect themselves and make a whole new path.”


UCI Ranked as a Top Pell-Serving Institution


D.C.-based think tank, Third Way, ranked UCI as one of the top public universities serving low-income students, particularly in enrolling and graduating students coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds. According to statistics gathered by Third Way and published in their report, a recent cohort of 1,658 students of who received Pell Grants at UCI, 1,417 students graduated, about 85 percent of the recipients, which ties with UC San Diego’s graduating rate.

Among the key findings of the report, Third Way stated: “After six years, only 49 percent of first-time, full-time Pell recipients earned a bachelor’s degree at the institution where they started.”

At the top of the list of public universities doing the most for low income students with UCI was, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC Riverside.