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Year In Review: Top Stories of 2022

2022 was a banner year for UC Merced marked with growth, innovation and prestige. As we boldly move forward toward 2023, here's a look back at the stories that stood out this year. 

Solar-paneled Canals Getting a Test Run in San Joaquin Valley

February 8, 2022

Report Addresses Barriers to COVID-19 Vaccination in California

As news headlines continue to focus on seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe. As of May 18, California has recorded more than 3.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in over 61,500 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health.

UC Merced Reaches Out with an All-Virtual Research Week

The question: What happens when UC Merced holds Research Week in the middle of a pandemic? The hypothesis: An annual, weeklong presentation of ground-breaking work reaches a big, new virtual audience.

With the Research Week’s usual in-person seminars, tours and showcases untenable because of COVID-19, the event will be accessed primarily through Zoom. Instead of attendees coming to campus March 1-5, Research Week is coming to them.

With Fire Threatening, National Parks Turn to UC Merced for Help Preserving History

Ward Eldredge warily monitored the fire’s progress. As curator of the archives of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, he deliberated what would need to be done if the nearby Castle Fire continued its approach toward the parks’ headquarters.

The air around Three Rivers grew thick with smoke. It was looking bad.

“The fire had exhibited some very alarming behavior — long runs, great distances travelled,” Eldredge recalled.

Low-Wage Work Is Linked to Spread of COVID-19, Study Finds

California counties with high numbers of low-wage workers are seeing higher incidence of COVID-19, suggesting a link between so-called “worker distress” and spread of the virus, according to a new study by UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center.

UC Merced Professor Arias Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Arturo Arias, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation professor in the Humanities at UC Merced, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his ground-breaking study of contemporary indigenous novels from Guatemala and Mexico.

Arias was one of 173 American and Canadian fellows announced Wednesday by the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Whiting Fellowship Will Help Build Refugee View into High School Curricula

The Whiting Public Engagement Program has awarded a $50,000 fellowship to Professor Ma Vang for her efforts to integrate the experiences of refugees into education for high school students in Merced County and beyond.

‘Research Week’ Celebrates UC Merced Innovation

UC Merced celebrates Research Week from March 2-6 to highlight the ground-breaking work taking place at the University of California’s newest campus.

The annual week of events, sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development , is an opportunity for all to see the innovative projects emerging from UC Merced.

Engineered Protein Assemblies that Respond to Cues Open Path for Smart, Protein-Based Medicines

Proteins are miniscule machines inside the body, about 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair. They control all the processes of life — like how cells communicate to each other, how the immune system combats infection, how muscles contract, and how oxygen is picked up in the lungs and delivered to those very same muscles.

Researchers Examine Barriers to Organ Donation and Possible Remedies

Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national organ transplant waiting list, and about once every hour, someone on the list is removed — either because they died while waiting or grew too ill for surgery.

The number of Americans on the waiting list totals more than 114,000 as of this writing, and about 30,000 transplants will be performed this year. In part, that’s because there are not enough organ donors.