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. 14 - December commencement, required training due

Section 1

Dec commencement

Anteater pride: New graduates gathered in Bren Events Center on Monday morning for UCI’s first-ever fall commencement ceremony and first in-person commencement in more than two years. See UCI Announcements and News. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI


2021 UCI All-university December Commencement

About 500 newly minted bachelor's and master's degree recipients were honored at UCI's first ever fall commencement ceremony Monday morning at Bren Events Center. Having completed their degree requirements in summer and fall quarters, the grads were cheered on by 4,000 guests, a stage full of deans and distinguished professors and Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Today we are celebrating UCI’s first ever fall commencement and our first in-person commencement in more than two-and-a-half years,” the chancellor said to applause. “Holy smokes.”

Featured speaker Allison Lim, a 2015 School of Social Sciences graduate who is currently the second youngest chief of staff for a California legislator (Assemblyman Alex Lee, D-Milpitas) and one of only a few Asian Pacific Islander women chiefs in Sacramento, began with an admission. “The funny thing is, six years ago I applied to be the speaker at my own graduation,” Lim said. “I was rejected, so I am extra excited to be here to speak at your graduation.” Her audience included graduates from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, the Program in Public Health, the School of Biological Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Humanities, the School of Physical Sciences, the School of Social Ecology, the School of Social Sciences, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the Paul Merage School of Business. Summer and fall 2021 graduates from other schools will participate in the June ceremonies.

UCI Blood Donor Center in dire need of donations

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross has dealt with low blood supplies, but it is now experiencing the worst shortage in more than a decade. UCI Blood Donor Center needs all types of blood, although there is a critical need for Type O. UCI Health has blood drives scheduled in Anaheim on Thursday and in Orange on Friday and Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 22.

UCI-led study is first to find that long- and short-term memory vie for brain space

Long-term memory consolidation and working memory processes that happen during rest do so at a cost to one another, according to a UCI-led study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Our findings provide the first evidence of this sleep switch mechanism,”says Sara Mednick, professor of cognitive sciences, director of UCI’s Sleep and Cognition Lab and co-author of the study.

Some have not completed required training

Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health require all staff and faculty to complete the Returning to Campus training module available through the UC Learning Center. Even if you work remotely, but may need to come to campus occasionally, you must complete this one-time-only training. Completion of the training is also among the steps required to be approved to return to on-site work.


California issues new indoor mask mandate, guidance on mega events

The state will once again require that all residents — regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status — wear masks indoors. California Health and Human Services announced that the mandate will apply to all indoor settings beginning on Wednesday and last at least until Jan. 15, citing an increase in cases since Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the state Department of Public Health modified mega events guidance, specifically the testing requirement for unvaccinated people entering indoor mega events. Effective Wednesday, the unvaccinated must have negative results from an antigen test within one day or a PCR test within two days.

Omicron more resistant to vaccines but causes less severe COVID: study

The variant of the coronavirus appears to cause less severe illness than earlier variants but is more resistant to the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine widely used in South Africa, according to the first major private study since omicron was first detected last month.

Pfizer claims its COVID-19 pill is effective against severe disease

Company data is said to show its pill was effective in preventing hospitalization and death when taken by people with mild to moderate illness within a few days of first symptoms.


UCI Health Affairs town hall
Thursday, 11 a.m. (sponsored by UCI Health)

Managing Holiday Stress
Thursday, noon (sponsored by HR Wellness)

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.


One year of vaccines: Many lives saved, many needlessly lost

Associated Press, Dec. 13
Cited: Andrew Noymer, associate professor of population health & disease prevention

Your Pocketbook is Ruled by This Agency, and It’s in the Middle of a Huge Fight

The New York Times, Dec. 14
Co-author: Mehrsa Baradaran, professor of law

Midwest Livestock Operations Linked to Rise in Ammonia Pollution

Eos, Dec. 14
Cited: Alyssa Burns, doctorate student, and Ann Marie Carlton, professor of chemistry


Alltruism - A Haiku for seniors

Dear Senior Anteaters,
Here’s a haiku for you!
This is the first page,
This is your final chapter,
See how far you’ve come.

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.


Two new campus cases

An employee and a student tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. 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.