UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Sept. 1 - UCI becomes a “health-promoting university,” resources for returning to campus

Section 1

Irvine Barclay Theater seen above a bejeweled spider web.

Irvine Barclay Theater seen above a bejeweled spider web. Photo by Ian Parker

Q&A Ask the Expert header

Each day, a UCI expert will answer one of your questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

Today’s question is fielded by Dr. Albert Chang, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director of UCI’s Student Health Center:

I am an international student who received a vaccine in my home country that is not WHO-approved. It has only been two months since I took the second dose at home and my doctors don’t advise taking another vaccine until six months after. Do I still need to get another vaccine when I come to UCI? 

Students who received a vaccine in their home country that does not meet the UC COVID-19 Vaccine policy requirement, must receive an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival into the U.S. and complete the series to meet compliance. 

But there may be a waiver period depending on when they received their last dose. This student should go to the Student Health Portal and submit for a “medical exemption” with the reason of “recent vaccination” with “non-approved vaccine.” If possible, they should have their provider sign the dates they were vaccinated. As a reminder, all students should upload any COVID-19 vaccines they have received through their student portal.

UCI’s Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can also assist international students with issues related to vaccine documentation and answer questions as to whether vaccines received internationally meet the UC COVID-19 vaccine policy requirements. Students who have questions about the timing or safety of receiving another COVID-19 vaccine so soon after their home country vaccine should ask CTVNS for clarity, and may be asked to submit a Request for Medical Exemption. CTVNS can be reached at contacttracing@uci.edu.


Returning to Work Resource Guide

Many of us will be returning to a changed workplace, whether in the way we do work, the people we’re working with or even our attitude about working. Changes in the workplace can leave us feeling vulnerable, anxious and even angry. Change can be scary and may leave you feeling overwhelmed. Follow the steps in the Returning to Work Resource Guide on the HR Future of Work webpage to get started. It is dangerous to oversimplify the complex nature of any life transition, so tailor these suggestions to your own unique reality.

Time, the Finite Resource: tips for faculty and students

In the latest installment of #Dennininsights, Vice Provost Michael Dennin examines the limited nature of time. Ironically, both faculty and students feel like they do not have enough time to do everything they are asked to do, and each group thinks that the other does not respect the constraints on their own time. To address these concerns, Dennin shares four pro tips to help faculty and students manage their time more effectively.

Blood Donor Center – temporarily closed

The UCI campus blood donor center will be closed until Sept. 15 as it relocates back to its permanent site inside the Student Center. Once reopened, the hours will be: Sept. 15-16, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning the week of Sept. 20, hours will be Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

UCI is among inaugural US cohort to adopt Okanagan Charter

UCI is among the inaugural U.S. cohort of eight “health-promoting universities and colleges” to adopt the Okanagan Charter, which calls on institutions of higher education to infuse health and well-being into the campus environment and lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally. It provides signees with a common language, set of principles and framework to become health-promoting campuses with cultures of compassion, well-being and equity.

Free myStrength app

The myStrength experience is based on such clinical models as cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, positive psychology, mindfulness, and motivational interviewing – which have helped millions improve and sustain health and well-being. UC Anthem, Health Net and Kaiser members, use the instructions to download and access the free myStrength program through your UC healthcare provider.


If you could offer 6 words of wisdom to an incoming UC student, what would they be?

Help new UC students succeed with six words of wisdom and the UC community of advocates will share them with the incoming class. Maybe it’s something as simple as scheduling enough time for power naps, or meeting professors during their office hours. To spice things up, this is a competition with three winners receiving a $50 gift card.

CDC says unvaccinated Americans should avoid Labor Day travel

Unvaccinated people should avoid traveling during the Labor Day holiday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Inside Pfizer’s labs, ‘variant hunters’ race to stay ahead

Inside Pfizer’s lab north of New York City, a team of “variant hunters,” as they call themselves, race to track changes in the fast-mutating SARS-CoV-2. A “virus farmer” grows the latest variants so researchers can test how they fare against the vaccine. And a colleague known as the “graphing unicorn” converts the data into intelligible results overnight.


Return to Campus Webinar: Campus Facilities
Friday at noon (sponsored by Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Management)

Afghanistan: Past and Present
Friday at 4 p.m. (sponsored by the UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


Why some COVID-19 infections may be free of symptoms but not free of harm

National Geographic, Sept. 1
Cited: Melissa Pinto, associate professor in the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing

UC Irvine study shows kids are as likely to contract COVID-19 as adults

Spectrum News 1, Aug. 31
Cited: Bernadette Boden-Albala, director of UCI’s program in public health

Study links articulation, gender to vocal attractiveness

UPI, Aug. 31
Cited: Daniel Stehr, a graduate student and researcher at the Visual Perception and Neuroimaging Lab


Ben Delo from Student Housing stands behind sign that welcomes back students.

Ben Delo (project analyst for Student Housing) welcomes staff back to campus. For some, it’s the first day back on campus in more than a year and a half of working remote. Photo by Corey Tull.

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


No new campus cases

No new on-campus cases were reported Tuesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.