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Brenda Ortiz

Grad Students Gain an Ally in New Academic Counselor

Graduate students face a number of unique challenges as they embark on the life-changing journey of earning their master’s or Ph.D. Adjusting to graduate studies, achieving work-life balance and dealing with imposter syndrome are just a few.

At UC Merced, graduate students have a new ally in Maria Nishanian, who on Dec. 1 became the university’s first graduate academic counselor.

Ph.D. Student Gets to the Root of Health Disparities Facing Hmong Farmers

Chia Thao was a teenager when she arrived in Fresno with her family to begin a new life. She was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, where her Laotian parents had fled after the Vietnam War.

“Our parents brought a skillset to the U.S., found a home in the Central Valley and began farming,” Thao said. “This connected them back to their homeland.”

Over the years, she witnessed the challenges small-scale farmers faced and it prompted her research interests. Now, she is using her cultural knowledge of her community to help improve health outcomes.

RadioBio Breaks Down Science Through the Airwaves

Audio has become a top form of entertainment over the past several years, in large part due to the rising popularity of podcasts. UC Merced graduate students are seizing the opportunity to help improve science literacy.

A group of Quantitative and Systems Biology (QSB) graduate students started RadioBio, a science podcast that discusses biology topics, in 2016. The podcast sparked from a discussion between the students and Professor Fred Wolf during a graduate professional skills development course.

Undergrad Research Fuels Opportunities for Grad School, Careers

The opportunity to participate in cutting-edge scientific research as an undergraduate is one of the most exciting aspects of a UC Merced education.

One of the best preparation opportunities for graduate school is to engage in research as an undergraduate, but at many universities, it’s not until you’re in graduate school that you conduct research. 

Grad Students Vie for Spot in UC Grad Slam Finals

UC Merced’s Graduate Division will host its Grad Slam competition on April 18 with graduate scholars presenting on topics ranging from Valley Fever immune response and antibiotic resistance to computer vision and mathematical methods for thermal collection. This year’s competition started in March with 30 graduate students in the qualifying round, from which the judges narrowed the field to the top 12.

The campus’s 2019 Grad Slam semi-finalists are:

‘Diverse’ Names Zatz One of the Nation’s Leading Women in Higher Ed

UC Merced’s Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Marjorie S. Zatz was selected as one of the Top 35 Women in Higher Education in Diverse: Issues In Higher Education’s eighth annual special report recognizing the contributions of women to higher education.

The edition, in honor of Women’s History Month, marks the publication’s 35th anniversary by highlighting 35 women who are tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills and making a difference in their respective communities.

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