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Brenda Ortiz

Grad Students Gain an Ally in New Academic Counselor

Graduate students face a number of unique challenges as they embark on the life-changing journey of earning their master’s or Ph.D. Adjusting to graduate studies, achieving work-life balance and dealing with imposter syndrome are just a few.

At UC Merced, graduate students have a new ally in Maria Nishanian, who on Dec. 1 became the university’s first graduate academic counselor.

EECS Alumna Named ‘Rising Star’ for Computer Vision Work

UC Merced alumna Sifei Liu, who earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2017, was selected to participate in Rising Stars in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences 2019. Rising Stars is an intensive workshop for women graduate students and post-doctoral scholars who are interested in pursuing academic careers in computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering.
 

Ph.D. Student Gets to the Root of Health Disparities Facing Hmong Farmers

Chia Thao was a teenager when she arrived in Fresno with her family to begin a new life. She was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, where her Laotian parents had fled after the Vietnam War.

“Our parents brought a skillset to the U.S., found a home in the Central Valley and began farming,” Thao said. “This connected them back to their homeland.”

Over the years, she witnessed the challenges small-scale farmers faced and it prompted her research interests. Now, she is using her cultural knowledge of her community to help improve health outcomes.

RadioBio Breaks Down Science Through the Airwaves

Audio has become a top form of entertainment over the past several years, in large part due to the rising popularity of podcasts. UC Merced graduate students are seizing the opportunity to help improve science literacy.

A group of Quantitative and Systems Biology (QSB) graduate students started RadioBio, a science podcast that discusses biology topics, in 2016. The podcast sparked from a discussion between the students and Professor Fred Wolf during a graduate professional skills development course.

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