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.

May 20 - Maestro Tucker’s finale; hidden COVID risk uncovered

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Image of water pooled between Plaza Verde and a parking structure

H2Whoa: This moment of reflection is brought to you by water pooled between Plaza Verde and a parking structure. Photo by Ian Parker


UCI Music Director Stephen Tucker conducts the UCI Symphony Orchestra

UCI Music Director Stephen Tucker conducts the UCI Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Pablo Cabrera

Stephen Tucker to conduct final performance as UCI Symphony’s maestro

One week from today, Music Director Stephen Tucker will conduct the UCI Symphony Orchestra for the last time before his June 30 retirement. “After spending this many years and hours of rehearsals and concerts with this orchestra, things will certainly feel different when I leave the podium on May 27,” says Tucker. “This is the end of an era. However, I anticipate continued success for the UCI Symphony and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.” The 2021-22 season finale concert, with special guests violinist Iryna Krechkovsky and cellist Eric Byers, begins at 8 p.m. Friday, May 27, in Irvine Barclay Theatre.

UCI-led study finds social cohesion to be key risk factor in early COVID infections

The same connections that ensure access to support, information and resources also give infectious agents many pathways through which to reach vulnerable individuals, finds a new UCI-led study. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research sheds light on a hidden driver of disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among marginalized communities living in highly populated urban centers.

Tips to prevent skin cancer

Our skin, our body’s largest organ, shields us from the elements — especially the sun. But many years of exposure to its harsh rays can take a toll. While we may not like the resulting sunspots and leathery texture, the greater danger is skin cancer. “The ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a carcinogen,” says UCI Health dermatologist Dr. Natasha Mesinkovska. “We need to treat it as such and take precautions.”


Friday fun fact

Community service: 42% of undergraduates have participated in community service off campus, 29% on campus. (To access the data, click on the link, the right carrot (>) on the tabs across the top of the chart and then the Civic Experience tab.)

UC takes another step toward keeping students debt-free

The University of California is vowing to offer its in-state undergraduates a debt-free college experience by 2030 as part of an overhaul of how the system views college affordability. To get there, the system of 230,000 students seeking bachelor's degrees is relying on a mix of state and federal support, revenues from recent tuition increases, and students working part-time to cover the full cost of an education.

Colleges urged to spend COVID-relief funds on mental-health support

Institutions were initially instructed to use the nearly $40 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for student financial aid and basic-needs support, among other things. As some colleges still have funds remaining, the new U.S. Department of Education guidance clarifies that mental health support for students, faculty and staff is an allowable expense.

State braces for latest COVID-19 surge

The California Department of Public Health reported that the state's seven-day COVID test positivity rate had reached 5% for the first time since February, at the tail end of the omicron surge that sickened wide swaths of the workforce.


Crossing Pride with LGBTQI+ Refugees: Storytelling and Healing
Tuesday, 10 a.m. (sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative)

Crossing Pride with LGBTQI+ Refugee Storytelling: “My Story Doesn’t End” film screening
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. (sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative)

Jenny Sorkin on Art in California
Tuesday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative)

LevelUp: Essentials of Online Marketing
Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. (sponsored by Paul Merage School of Business)

End of Year Celebration
Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. (sponsored by UCI International Center)

From Scotland to Irvine to a Nobel Prize: Why UC Irvine Made it Possible
Tuesday, 6 p.m. (sponsored by School of Physical Sciences)

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.

Ngũgĩ in America

The Atlantic, May 20
Cited: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature

The climate scientists are not alright

The Washington Post, May 20
Cited: David S. Meyer, professor of sociology

Microplastics Have Been Found in Human Blood and Lungs—Should We Be Worried?

SELF, May 19
Cited: Andrea De Vizcaya-Ruiz, associate professor of environmental and occupational health


Class of 2022 graduate Andreea Dinicu, M.D., M.P.H.

#IamUCI: Q&A with Class of 2022 graduate Andreea Dinicu, M.D., M.P.H.

With Saturday’s School of Medicine graduation, Andreea Dinicu will cap her participation in the five-year M.D./masters Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community. Her most cherished UCI memory was her initial PRIME-LC summer experience shortly after arriving from Connecticut. “Having just moved to California, I loved getting to know my new home and creating both personal and professional connections,” says Dinicu, who co-founded the UCI chapters of the Association of Women Surgeons and Future Doctors in Politics.

Graduating this year? Share your UCI story and photos! Tag us with #IamUCI on Instagram and Twitter.


61 new campus cases

On Thursday, UCI recorded 61 new cases of COVID-19: 56 students and five employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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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.