Undergraduate Education—Spring 2022 Newsletter

A Message from the Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education

May 18, 2022

Dear Colleagues, 
I’m excited to be serving as UCR’s Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education! This is my 21st year at UCR, and I’ve watched this office grow and contribute to the success of our undergraduate students in numerous ways. Below are some upcoming events and opportunities we want you to be aware of, as well as some news and information about our staff and the great work they do. Please share with your faculty and staff as appropriate, and thanks for staying connected to UE!  

Ken Baerenklau

Ken Baerenklau, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education 

Summer Sessions

Summer 2022 Enrollment is Open!

The summer quarter is a great opportunity for students to get ahead in their studies, take hard-to-get classes, or work on a minor. And this summer, undergraduate students who enroll in more than 8 units only pay tuition for 8 units! More information about this 8-unit tuition fee cap for UC undergraduates is available here.  

Financial aid is plentiful in summer! Summer Pell and UCR Grants are funded separately and are in addition to the fall, winter, and spring grants. Also, students no longer need to submit a separate application to qualify for summer aid! Students who have submitted a FAFSA or DREAM application, are enrolled in 6 or more units in the summer, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or more will automatically be considered for aid.

Online summer courses also are plentiful! Thanks to a special exception provided by the UCR Academic Senate, 223 of 670 courses are being offered online this summer. For a complete list of classes, please refer to the Schedule of Classes.

The first day of Summer instruction is Tuesday, June 21st. Students are encouraged to register early. For more information on enrolling, dates/deadlines, fees, and additional resources, please visit the Summer Sessions website.   


Join UE, the Academy of Distinguished Teaching, and your faculty and staff colleagues on Wednesday, May 25th for the Celebration of Teaching! The Celebration of Teaching is UCR's annual event to honor and recognize teaching excellence and innovation. This year the event will be held on the lower patio of the Rivera Library. Please register here.

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Mathematics Advisory Exam (MAE)

Incoming freshmen who are in a major requiring a math course must finalize their math course placement before Friday, July 15th. Students who do not have a qualifying exemption will need to complete the UCR Mathematics Advisory Exam (MAE) before Friday, July 15th. For information on the MAE, please visit https://arc.ucr.edu/mae

Summer Instructor Learning


UC Riverside, Bakersfield College, and CSU Sacramento have received a grant from the California Learning Lab to create a mobile-friendly, introductory calculus course. "Access for Equity: Reimagining Calculus Education through Mobile-Friendly Course Design" is seeking two STEM instructors who teach calculus topics or concepts to pilot the course or course components during the Summer 2022 term.

Participating instructors will receive a $1,500 stipend. Instructors may use course components as ancillary resources to supplement their existing curricula. Instructors can view the course on Canvas Commons. If you are interested in participating, please contact Samantha Eastman, XCITE Instructional Designer. Pilot slots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.


This spring, 55 instructors have signed up for XCITE’s newest online seminar, The Art and Science of Active Learning (TASAL). The six-week seminar addresses key theories and practices to help faculty members and teaching assistants embrace the possibilities of active learning in their courses. Active learning strategies are proven to achieve higher levels of student engagement than traditional approaches to teaching and can lead to increased retention resulting in higher gains in student outcomes. It is never too late to sign up to join the TASAL course asynchronously


The Student Engagement staff support students applying for national and international prestigious scholarships and awards. Each year, dozens of students are selected for these honors in support of undergraduate research, internships, service projects, post-graduate opportunities, and graduate study abroad experiences. The program is currently recruiting applicants for prestigious awards with fall deadlines, including Fulbright, the NSF GRPSMART (Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation), the Marshall Scholarship, and the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. For assistance with an application, writing support, or mentorship, please email Gladis Herrera-Berkowitz or Dr. Jennifer Kavetsky.








UCR is adopting Instructure’s Canvas as its new learning management system. As a reminder, the Spring 2022 Quarter is the final term that UCR will use iLearn (Blackboard). Beginning in Summer 2022, Canvas will be the only LMS operating at UCR. Faculty, please remember to migrate your courses from iLearn to Canvas as soon as possible. Faculty can visit canvas.ucr.edu for additional information on course migration.


Undergraduate Research Symposium

Each year, the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Symposium highlights faculty-mentored undergraduate researchers and provides UCR students with an opportunity to present their work to the campus community. Last week, 219 students presented their research via Zoom or through poster sessions held outdoors by the Bell Tower. For information on research opportunities, dates/deadlines, or past presentations, please visit the Student Engagement website.


The Campus Collective peer mentoring program continues to provide first-year freshmen and transfer students mentorship via text message. Mentors share campus knowledge and support their peers as students acclimate to the campus environment. For more information on becoming a mentor, please contact Dr. Tom Dickson or Lisa Des Jardins


University Writing Program

Across campus, there is tangible evidence of a return to some pre-pandemic normalcy. UWP anticipates robust summer and fall enrollments, including a return to in-person instruction for incoming students participating in the Highlander Early Start Academy.

The University Writing Program is pleased to welcome Annette Brock, the new Academic Personnel HR Analyst, formerly of the CHASS Academic Personnel Office.

This year's annual spring recognition of award-winners and new retirees will take place in person for the first time since 2019, celebrating instructors and staff (past and present) in acknowledgment of their service to UCR.  


HPAC Welcomes New Advisors!

Ashley Chrisakis comes to UCR from the Health Professions Advising Office at CSU Fullerton where she advised and supported upper-division students and alumni in the application process to health professions programs. Prior to entering health professions advising, Ashley worked at CSU Dominguez Hills supporting the Veterans Student Resource Center. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from CSU Fullerton and a master’s degree in sociology from CSU Dominguez Hills.

Nicholas Hall comes to UCR from CSU San Bernardino where he served as a Health Professions and STEM Counselor. In addition to advising, Nick has higher education experience in housing and residence life. Nick earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from CSU San Bernardino and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Ashley and Nick join HPAC to support the significant growth of pre-health students on campus. Ashley and Nick will be working closely with Charlie Scruggs, Director of HPAC. Please visit the HPAC website for information on upcoming workshops and events, application assistance, and other resources. 


Summer Bridge Experience Internship Program

This Summer, Undergraduate Education, the Career Center, and UCR’s Career Readiness Assessment will host the third annual Bridge Experience Internship Program. This internship provides career-related opportunities for UC Riverside students, particularly those from low-income and first-generation backgrounds without previous career-related experience. To scale this internship, the Career Center and the University Innovation Alliance Fellow have successfully secured a $50,000 APLU Collaborative Opportunity Grant. This funding will enable UC Riverside to expand and improve the program to benefit more students and re-envision the relationship between academics and career readiness. For more information click here