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.

Dec. 8 - Coping with loss, Michael Méndez’s COP26 adventure

Section 1

Aldrich Hall is in a haze past the rose garden.

Play misty for me: Aldrich Hall is in a haze past the rose garden. Photo by Ian Parker

Ask the Expert

In this continuing series, UCI experts answer questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

'Tis the season to be... stressed? UCI psychologist Jessica Borelli shares tips on how to handle stress, grief and COVID-19 complexities during the holidays:

If I lost someone, what are some ways to cope with depression during the holidays?

The holidays are usually a time for cheer and enjoying the company of others, but they can also bring up painful feelings if you are missing someone you lost. The last few years have brought a number of losses, many of which have not been adequately mourned because of COVID restrictions on traditional mourning rituals (e.g., funerals, memorials). This can leave people with feelings of grief, loss and longing that arise during holidays, times when you usually huddle closely with family and friends. What can you do if you find yourself contending with these feelings during the holidays?

  • Talking about how you are feeling – particularly with those who are also missing and longing for the person in question – can make you feel less alone. Share memories of the departed person and times you felt close to them. Doing so will help ease feelings of longing in the present.

  • Feelings of sadness and depression may pull us to want to isolate, but that is rarely the right answer, as it typically only exacerbates our negative feelings.

  • More often, when we spend time around others engaging in pleasant activities, we tend to experience a boost in our mood. Thus, the more you can get out and be around others, even when you don’t initially feel motivated to do so, the better.


Michael Méndez’s COP26 adventure

How is this for a trajectory? Michael Méndez, assistant professor of urban planning & public policy, went from inaugural James & Mary Pinchot Fellow in Sustainability Studies at the Yale School of the Environment, to writing the award-winning book Climate Change From the Streets: How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement, to moderating a press conference at his first U.N. Climate Change Conference. Méndez shares why his experiences in Glasgow, Scotland, were “exhilarating, confusing and opportunistic.”

UCI Health rated a ‘High Performing’ hospital for maternity care

That’s the highest attainable rating in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever Best Hospitals for Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) recognition. Earlier this year, UCI Health was named by Newsweek as one of America’s Best Maternity Care Hospitals and received a Maternity Honor Roll Award from the California Health and Human Services Agency, Hospital Quality Institute and Cal Hospital Compare.


A COVID vaccine grown in plants measures up

A Canadian biotech firm is reporting positive results from a large study of its vaccine with a key ingredient grown in plants. "This is an incredible moment for Medicago and for novel vaccine platforms," says CEO and President Takashi Nagao, whose company already developed an experimental flu vaccine in Nicotiana benthamian, a plant related to tobacco. 

Pandemic’s hidden toll: Blood pressure rose in 2020, especially in women

American adults' blood pressure rose markedly in 2020 compared with the year before, according to a study published in the journal Circulation. It was an increase observed across genders and age groups - though researchers found larger increases in women.

The world is dangerously unprepared for the next pandemic: report

Nearly two years into a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people, every country, including the U.S., remains dangerously unprepared to respond to future epidemic and pandemic threats, according to a report released today assessing the efforts of 195 countries. Researchers compiling the Global Health Security Index found insufficient capacity in every country, which they said left the world vulnerable to future health emergencies, including some that might be more devastating than COVID-19.


Plant-Based Proteins
Friday, noon (sponsored by HR Wellness)

“Madame Modjeska’s Wicked Fairytale”
Friday, 8 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Illuminations)

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.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

Murder rates have surged; Are they here to stay?

Fox11 (video), Dec. 8
Guest: Elliott Currie, professor of criminology, law & society

A Look Into Retail and Property Crime Trends and How Recent Incidents are Impacting Consumers and Industry Workers

KPCC AirTalk (audio), Dec. 7
Guest: Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law & society

2021's Most Fun Cities in America

WalletHub, Dec. 8
Cited: James Danziger, professor emeritus of political science


Peter is ready for all seasons. Are you?! Let’s end this year making good memories!

Peter is ready for all seasons. Are you?! Let’s end this year making good memories!

Alltruism (“all true”) is a project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts. The initiative was part of The Alltruism Project, and more letters can be found on Instagram.

#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.


Five new campus cases

One employee and four students tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

Remember to upload your vaccine record

Student Record Upload

Employee Record Upload

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.