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.

June 15 - Updates on COVID-19

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UCI leaders thank students for their resilience during challenging times.


Mascot Mania

256 university mascots are competing for the 2021 Tokyodachi Mascot Mania championship title. Last year’s winner was Peter the Anteater after the tournament saw 1.9 million votes. Vote for him today on the @tokyodachi Instagram to continue his streak.

No new campus cases*

No student residents or on-campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


Beyond Zoom: Virtual classrooms

UCI informatics professor uses open-source app she helped design to create a simulated learning environment.

Lissette Umanzor, B.A. in environmental science & policy

This graduate has some #AnteaterAdvice for incoming students: Join the club! Literally. “When I first arrived at UCI, I felt so lonely sitting in class with 100 students,” she says. Everything changed when Umanzor signed up for the Peer Academic Advising Program: “I found a family and developed a greater sense of purpose in helping students achieve their goals.” Peer advisers work with students to create multiquarter academic plans and help Anteaters take advantage of career, tutoring and mental health resources. In the last year, Umanzor has pivoted from one-on-one meetings to live online chats and Zoom sessions. Recalling the challenges of 2020, she prefers to focus on the positive aspects of a remote campus environment: “We have seen an increase in the number of students doing course planning, and online check-ins have made it easier for students to follow up with us.” Umanzor is passionate about science-informed public policy, a perfect fit for UCI’s interdisciplinary approach. “My major combines all the science topics I love – like chemistry and biology – plus economics and public policy,” she says. “The interdisciplinary nature of the program will allow me to combine environmental science and social justice issues in my future career.” Her plans include working as an environmental consultant and planner, traveling, and possibly pursuing a graduate degree. As a first-generation college student, Umanzor urges others to take advantage of campus resources. “Seek help when you need it, whether through academic advising or the Student Health Center,” she says. “There’s an entire community on campus ready to help you reach your potential.”

Upcoming events


This section curates noteworthy coronavirus news, trends and opinions. No endorsement by UCI is implied. Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesWall Street JournalOC Register and Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

White House will host a July 4 celebration to mark 'independence from the virus'

The White House will host a celebration for thousands of essential workers and military families on July 4 on the South Lawn to mark the U.S.’s “independence from the virus,” according to a White House official.

US donates batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Mexico

Mexico has received a batch of 1,350,000 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the U.S., officials from both countries have confirmed.

Researchers find more evidence COVID was circulating in December 2019

Researchers have found more evidence that coronavirus was circulating at low levels across the United States as early as December 2019 – weeks before the first officially reported cases.

You should 'strongly consider' getting vaccinated because of Delta variant, former White House adviser says

Andy Slavitt, former White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response, said on CNN’s New Day Tuesday that the Delta variant is a reason to encourage unvaccinated people to “strongly consider” getting a vaccine, as communities with low rates will be subject to potential outbreaks.

California reopening: Why officials say it’s safer this time around

Tuesday is not the first time California has tried to reopen its economy during the pandemic. But officials are hopeful it will be the last.

California reopens, says goodbye to nearly all COVID restrictions

California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. At the stroke of midnight, California lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions and ushered in what has been billed as the state’s “Grand Reopening.


This skateboarder is helping plus-size riders roll

Andy Duran runs “Chub Rollz,” a skateboarding club for plus-size skaters who were previously left out of the sport or hit by fat-phobic comments when they skated. His aim, he says, is to help folks who’ve been told they’re “too fat to skate” find their footing and feel confident at the skatepark. "You don't have to be Tony Hawk to enjoy this,” he says. "I feel very free to be in my body and be myself on a skateboard."


If you have a shoutout, or if you’d like to share what you’ve been up to during the pandemic, send photos and/or words about your COVID-19 vaccination, activities, workstation, volunteering, etc., to marketing@uci.edu or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.