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Faculty

Following a Devastating Pandemic, California’s Sea Stars are Evolving

In 2012, Environmental Systems graduate student Lauren Schiebelhut was collecting DNA from ochre sea stars living along the Northern California coast — part of an effort to study genetic diversity in various marine species that serve as indicators of habitat health. She had no idea that just one year later, most of the sea stars would be dead.

Beaudin Named Campus’ Second Winner of Prestigious Pew Award

Biology Professor Anna Beaudin was named a member of the 2018 class of Pew Biomedical Scholars today, one of 22 early-career researchers nationwide to receive this year’s prestigious award.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be joining such an accomplished and talented group of scientists as a 2018 Pew Biomedical Scholar,” Beaudin said. “Receiving this award will give my lab the opportunity to dig deeper into how early life events shape immunity across the lifespan and contribute to autoimmune disease susceptibility.”

Young Artist Movement Making Room for More Art on Campus

Three enterprising Global Arts Studies Program (GASP) students saw the empty UC Merced Art Gallery on campus and, worried the space would be reallocated, wondered why they couldn’t volunteer to run it.

So they started the Young Artist Movement (YAM) — a “guerilla” group that expanded through word of mouth to 17, then bloomed to more than 50 members. YAM was a finalist for the Division of Student Affairs’ Best New Club or Organization award.

Perseverance, Leadership Key Themes of Campus’ Spring Commencement

UC Merced’s exuberant spring graduates got the chance to demonstrate their gratitude during the 13th Spring Commencement ceremonies this weekend as many of them paused to thank the faculty members and loved ones who helped them through their college journeys.

During the two ceremonies, UC Merced graduated more than 1,200 students, conferring 1,151 bachelor’s degrees, 18 master’s degrees and a record 49 doctoral degrees.

Campus Conferring its Highest Number of Doctorates at Commencement

This weekend, 1,250 UC Merced undergraduate and graduate students, including 52 doctoral candidates — the most in the campus’s 12-year history — are expected to cross the commencement stage and embark on the next chapter of their lives.

“Commencement is the culmination of years of determination and is an exciting time for graduates and their families,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland said. “We are thrilled to celebrate the courage, commitment and spirit of UC Merced students.”

Professor’s Fellowship Allows Renewed Focus on Sociology of Race in South Africa

Professor Whitney Pirtle recently became the first researcher to win the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship while employed at UC Merced — a grant that will help her finish writing a book and move her closer to gaining tenure.

“It’s a really big honor,” Pirtle said. “It comes at a great time in my career.”

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