University of California, Riverside

Undergraduate Education

Archived News

Staff Assembly: 'Outstanding Staff Awards' Reception and Announcement of New Executive Board

June 20, 2017

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The annual Outstanding Staff Awards recognized 18 staff member nominees - and eight award recipients - during a reception at the chancellor's residence.

On June 12, UCR Staff Assembly organized the annual event, meant to applaud the contributions employees make on a daily basis within their respective departments.

"It's an honor to have a chance to meet all of you. I'm proud and pleased that you are part of our university," Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox told the crowd, which included award winners, nominees, their families and coworkers, as well as several leaders from the campus administration.

This year 23 people were nominated under five categories, 18 were finalists, and eight were chosen as the award recipients. Meet the 2017 Outstanding Staff Awards winners:

Staff Who Make a Difference Staff
Frank Figueroa, Career Center
Rena Burton, Academic Resource Center
David Ladner, Facilities Services
Ross French, School of Medicine, Dean's Office

Read more at UCR Today

UC Riverside Undergraduate Students Win Prestigious National Awards

June 15, 2017

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Fourteen students at the University of California, Riverside, have been honored with prestigious national awards during the 2016-2017 academic year.

"I am very proud of the accomplishments that UCR students are making at the national and international level," said Gladis Herrera-Berkowitz, the director of Student Success Programs in the Office of Undergraduate Education. "A goal of ours is to expose students to opportunities they did not know existed, and inspire them to believe that they are competitive to apply and win."

Since 2012, the Office of Undergraduate Education (UE) has experienced tremendous growth in the number of awards at UCR students win from Gates Cambridge, Goldwater, Fulbright, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program, and the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship, and, the list continues to expand.

Read more at UCR Today

$50,000 Grant Supports Matching Students with Community Learning Opportunities

June 13, 2017

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The University of California Riverside’s Office of Undergraduate Education has received a $50,000 grant to ramp up community-engaged learning opportunities for undergraduate students. The funds will help match students with community service opportunities related to their coursework.

The award, called a Collaborative Opportunity Grant, is from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or APLU, and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, or USU. Twelve universities received $50,000 each with the grant funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to encourage community partnerships that aim to improve student success.

At UCR, the money will support integrating and increasing efforts to match volunteers and interns with community opportunities, said Elizabeth Claassen Thrush, educational initiatives coordinator for Undergraduate Education. This includes streamlining and subsidizing the application and background check process, leading orientations for students, tracking interactions through an online learning module, providing opportunities for academic reflection, and generating reports. Key to this effort are four part-time student coordinators, paid by the grant, who oversee processes, advise students, and maintain communication with community partners.

Read more at UCR Today

'First-Gen Faculty' Campaign Highlights Professors Who Are the First in Their Families to Attend College

June 13, 2017

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On Thursday, June 8, UC Riverside officially joined the UC-wide First-Gen Faculty campaign, meant to highlight and identify first-generation professors who can, in turn, serve as mentors for first-generation students.

This appreciation event was held at the weekly Farmer’s Market by Hinderaker Hall. Faculty members who stopped by the First-Gen Faculty booth could pick up a T-shirt, a pin, and a ticket for a free Moo Moo ice cream cone.

So far, 88 UCR professors have self-identified as first-generation – the first in their families to achieve a four-year college education. Systemwide, about 800 faculty members are participating in the campaign. First-generation faculty members are encouraged to wear First-Gen T-shirts, buttons, and are expected to share their college experience with students.

Read more at UCR Today

14 UCR Students Awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

June 1, 2017

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Fourteen UC Riverside students - eleven of whom completed, or will complete their undergraduate degrees at UCR - have been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF GRFs).

These students were among a total of 2,000 awardees chosen this year, out of more than 13,000 applicants nationwide. The selected students came from 449 baccalaureate institutions.

The NSF GRFs are a tribute to the education UCR offers to its students. In 2016 six UCR graduate students won the prestigious fellowships, and 11 in 2015.

Read more at UCR Today

Celebration of Teaching Event Highlights Those Who Are Creating the 'Next Generation of Scholars'

May 24, 2017

UCR's reputation for consistently high educational outcomes for all students is founded on excellence in teaching, research, and service. That enterprise includes not only faculty members and students, but staff academic advisors, graduate assistants, and many others.

The first "Celebration of Teaching" event at UC Riverside, organized by the Office of Undergraduate Education, brought together outstanding members of the UCR community for special recognition for their work this academic year.

"I believe that there is perhaps nothing more important that a professor does than teach our students - the next generation of scholars," said Richard A. Cardullo, interim vice provost of Undergraduate Education, in kicking off the event on May 18.

Read more at UCR Today

Congratulations to this year's Office of Undergraduate Education teaching award recipients!

MAY 2, 2017

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Dear UCR community,

The Office of Undergraduate Education, in partnership with the UCR Academy of Distinguished Teachers, sponsors two teaching awards each year: The Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching (JET) Award and the Innovative Teaching Award.

The (JET) award recognizes superior teaching at the Assistant Professor level and is supported by funds from the "Chancellorial Chair for Teaching Across Disciplines" that is currently held by Distinguished Professor Perry Link. The JET award specifically honors those Assistant Professors who demonstrate a commitment and determination of an outstanding teacher while pursuing an active research program. Recipients of the JET award are given a one-time monetary award and receive the title "UC Riverside Junior Faculty Distinguished Teaching Professor". This year I am pleased to announce that the Academy of Distinguished Teachers has identified two recipients of the JET award: Professor Kevin Costello, Department of Mathematics and Professor Nicolas Barth, Department of Earth Sciences.

The Innovative Teaching Award is awarded to faculty members who create and implement high-impact teaching methods and demonstrate exceptional passion in finding new and effective ways to help students learn. The recipients are given a one-time monetary award and presents a lecture on their teaching methods to the campus community. I am delighted to announce that Professor Khaleel Razak, Department of Psychology, is this 2016-2017 recipient of the Innovative Teaching award.

All three faculty members will be recognized for their achievements at the upcoming celebration of teaching event on May 18th in HUB 302 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Details about the event will be forthcoming but will also acknowledge this year's winners of the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching awards and the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award recipients sponsored by the Graduate Division.

Please join me in congratulating Professors Costello, Barth, and Razak on their exceptional commitment to teaching excellence.


Richard A. Cardullo, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education
Howard H Hays Jr. Chair, University Honors
1120E Hinderaker Hall
University of California, Riverside

UC Riverside Student Awarded Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship

FEBRUARY 15, 2017

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Phong Au-Hong, a junior in the entomology department at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded one of 20 spots in the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA JSI) at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College.

Each year, PPIA awards high-potential undergraduate students from universities across the country to participate in an intensive seven-week JSI program before their senior years.

Read more at UCR Today

UC Riverside Sees Record Number of Fulbright Semi-Finalists

February 8, 2017

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The University of California, Riverside, Office of Undergraduate Education, and Graduate Division, announced that the Fulbright U.S. Student Program National Selection Committee has recognized 11 UCR students as semi-finalists for a Fulbright fellowship. This is a record for the university.

Fulbright is the leading international education exchange program. Each year, Fulbright funds nearly 2,000 U.S. citizens to teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad.

Read more at UCR Today

UC Riverside Wins Prestigious Award for Student Success in Degree Completion

December 5, 2016

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( - UC Riverside is one of a handful of comprehensive universities that have achieved near parity in graduation rates across racial, socio-economic, and gender boundaries. That success has now been recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), which represents 236 public and land-grant institutions in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

UC Riverside won the 2016 "Project Degree Completion Award" for innovation in boosting graduation rates, the APLU announced at its annual meeting last weekend. UCR's four-year graduation rates in 2015 reached 53 percent, and six-year graduation rates were 73 percent - up 11 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from four years earlier.

Read more at UCR Today

Vice Provost Cynthia Larive is Working to Create Greater Opportunities in Undergraduate Education

October 31, 2016

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Cindy Larive understands first hand what students need to succeed.

She is the first in her family to attend college and is the daughter of a South Dakota gold mine worker with a third grade education. Both of her parents understood though, that school was the key to greater opportunities.

At UCR Larive is hard at work, forging opportunities and programs to help students reach to the top. In May she was named vice provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) and her position became effective in July. Larive took over the role from Steven Brint, distinguished professor of Sociology and Public Policy, who served as VPUE for five years. He's back on campus teaching full-time.

Read more at UCR Today

Professors Recognized in the 2016 Innovative Teaching & Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Awards

October 6, 2016

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Frank Vahid, professor of Computer Science and Engineering, is the winner of the 2016 Innovative Teaching Award.

He, along with the winners of the 2016 Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Awards, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Andreja Novakovic, and Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Brian Siana, will be recognized during an event on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. in HUB 355.

Following the awards, Vahid will present an address, "Experiences Creating Learning Materials for UCR and 500 other Universities, and Five Underlying Teaching Principles" in which he will describe his efforts to oversee the development of more than a dozen interactive, web-native zyBooks in CSE, engineering, and math. These books are used by 500 universities and have impacted over 150,000 students thus far.

Light refreshments will be served.

Read more at UCR Today

Transfer Students and High-Impact Opportunities

September 13, 2016

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Undergraduate Education and International Affa"irs teamed up to welcome hundreds of transfer students to UCR with a presentation on high-impact opportunities. The standing-room only sessions were full of engaged students with questions about study abroad, research, internships, scholarships, and more.

Read the full presentation

Celebrating Undergraduate Student Success

September 9, 2016

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( - Future leaders in academia, public policy, international business and many other fields compete each year for prestigious post-graduation fellowships. At the University of California, Riverside, the number of students seeking - and winning - these honors, is on the rise. Since 2012, UC Riverside undergraduates have received 62 highly competitive scholarships - a figure unprecedented at the campus.

"The prestigious scholarships awarded to UCR students provide external recognition that our students are among the best in the world," said Cindy Larive, UCR's vice provost of undergraduate education.

Four years ago, the Office of Undergraduate Education at UCR launched a new program aimed at mentoring students who want to pursue prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

"The process of applying for national and international awards is long. It requires many hours of drafting essays, obtaining letters of recommendation, and interviewing. But with this program, our faculty and advisors are there guiding students every step of the way," Larive said.

Read more at UCR Today

September 2016 Writing Workshops

September 6, 2016

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All ARC workshops are for undergraduate students only.

General Statements of Purpose
Location: Academic Resource Center, Surge 156
Date and Time: Sept. 8, 11am-12:30pm

Personal statements are necessary if you're planning on applying to graduate or professional schools and even for many scholarships and fellowships. The ARC's Writing Support Specialist will go over common elements of personal statements and how to get started on writing your own.

Fulbright/NSF GRFP Application Writing Drop-In
Location: Academic Resource Center, Surge 156
Date and Time: Sept. 20, 11am-12:30pm

Working on your application to the Fulbright Program or the NSF GRFP? Bring your essays to the ARC and work in our computer lab! The Writing Support Specialist will be available for mini-consultations as you work.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Undergraduate Education
1100 Hinderaker Hall

Tel: (951) 827-7750
Fax: (951) 827-7745