The Explorer: University Of Arizona

University Of Arizona

Thursday 08/21/2014
What's Up UA? - UA Fall Enrollment Sets Record for Diversity, Number of Freshmen

The University of Arizona will have another record-setting year with the greatest number of incoming freshmen, the highest overall enrollment and greater student diversity, preliminary figures indicate.

New enrollment data shows that the UA will welcome more than 10,000 freshman, transfer and returning undergraduate students – with more than 7,800 of those being incoming freshmen – when classes begin Monday. For fall 2013, there were about 9,600 new students, of which nearly 7,200 were new freshmen.

Also, a projected 41.4 percent of new freshmen are ethnically or racially diverse. Last year, that number was 41.3 percent, marking the first time it had surpassed 40 percent.

 

"We are going against the national trend; our enrollment is increasing during a time that the number of high school graduates has just begun to rebound from one of the lowest points in many years," said Kasey Urquidez, the UA's associate vice president and dean of admissions.

The preliminary enrollment figures also indicate strong academic quality among students. The estimated freshman SAT is 1114 with an average 3.4 high school grade-point average. The Honors College is expecting about 1,300 incoming freshman and transfer students. Their average freshman SAT is 1353 with an average high school GPA of 3.85, both increases over last year.

Data also indicates that students are primarily choosing studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as the STEM fields. 

Alex Urzua, an transfer student from Maricopa Community Colleges who already has an eye on medical school, said he chose the UA because of its physiology program.

"I felt that the UA would be a good place to network with faculty and doctors associated with the medical school here," Urzua said. "I have heard excellent things about the UA's academics and I feel the University will provide me with sufficient knowledge to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor."

The UA received more than 33,600 applications this year from prospective freshman students alone. Generally, that figures caps out at about 26,000, Urquidez said.

"We had an incredible response from prospective students from day one," Urquidez said. Final enrollment calculations are not solidified until the official 21st day of the academic year, at which point figures are reported to the Arizona Board of Regents. "Even so, this is the most freshman applications we have ever had."

Other points on the incoming class, based on preliminary data:

  • The total student enrollment, including undergraduate and graduate students, is projected to be 41,800. The total enrollment on the 21st day last fall was 40,621.
  • About 57 percent of incoming freshmen are Arizona residents.
  • The total number of UA students who will be living on campus in residence halls is 7,200.
  • Applications from Arizona residents were up 20 percent this year, with 7 percent more students enrolling over last year. The top five states for non-Arizona residents are California, Illinois, Washington, Colorado and Texas.
  • More than 2,000 transfer students are expected.
  • The top five declared majors, in order, are: pre-business, pre-physiology, psychology, biology and pre-pharmacy – most of which fall into the STEM fields.
  • Nearly 400 former students have re-enrolled to pursue an undergraduate degree.   
  • About 450 international students will be part of the freshman and transfer classes.

New Jersey twin sisters Corby and Kyler Williams, both incoming freshmen currently deciding on majors, chose the UA because of its reputation, size and school spirit, as well as the local weather.

Both considered institutions across the nation, but it was their high school guidance counselor who pointed them to the UA.

One campus visit sealed the decision for the Williams sisters. Also, their mother gave them encouragement, having moved from back East to Colorado for her college studies.

"We wanted to also go far away so that we could meet new people," said Corby Williams, who is rushing for a sorority. "We came to visit and loved it immediately. There was a good vibe from everyone we met and we felt at home here."

Tristen Vaughn, a Flinn Scholar from Phoenix, also was grew fond of the University because of its welcoming environment, she said.

"Out of all the other schools I visited, it was the only one where I felt comfortable," said Vaughn, who is studying neuroscience, cognitive science and mathematics, and who has already connected with three mentors.

"The friendly and engaging atmosphere caught and kept my attention. I am confident that I have a beautiful support system in place. Such a system has assured me, even in the early stages of starting college, that I can be successful once I graduate," she said.

Vaughn also took interest in the more rigorous Honors College curriculum. "I thought it it would be a challenge to graduate with honors. I made a promise to myself to go above and beyond whenever possible."

Urquidez said many students committed to the UA early for a number of reasons. For example, last fall the UA launched the Wildcat Promise, an initiative to inform applicants if they have gained admission into the University shortly after they apply.

"We've started working earlier with prospective students to give them the information about what the University offers," she said. "A lot of schools might see an increase in applications, but not an increase in the number of students who complete the application and enroll. For us, the numbers were up across the board. We are very proud of this class."

The fall class also is the first to be able to take advantage of the recently implementedGuaranteed Tuition Program, allowing students and families to predict college costs and providing an extra incentive to graduate on time. The UA program provides students with a constant tuition rate for eight continuous fall and spring semesters.

Also, the UA's more intentional recruitment focus resulted in substantial growth from a number of U.S. states as well as other countries.

"We analyzed past classes and focused more of our efforts on growing specific markets," said Mary Venezia, the UA's assistant director of enrollment initiatives.

In the U.S., the UA saw sizable growth among students from states that include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Nebraska, Illinois, Massachusetts and Nevada. Among international students, the UA drew from a number of countries that saw little or no enrollment last year: Bolivia, Colombia, Finland and Indonesia. The UA also saw notable increases among students from countries such as India, Japan, Norway and the Philippines.

"We have traveled to and recruited in many more countries over the last few years and we are now seeing students coming from some of those new areas," Urquidez said.

"We are really dedicated to continuing to diversify the student body, and that includes international students," she added. "We want to ensure that our students have a greater chance to interact with others from around the world and prepare them to compete and cooperate in a global society."

Posted in University of arizona, Deserttimes, Foothillsnews on Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:33 am. | Tags: Freshmen , University Of Arizona , Diversity , Undergraduate , Comments (0)

Tuesday 08/19/2014
What's Up UA? - Remarkable Résumé: UA Student Journalist's Career Includes CNN, NYT Phoenix

Amer Taleb's journalistic talent took him to Japan this summer, where he and other winners of the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition toured multiple cities on a nine-day study trip. While in Hiroshima, he bought a silver keychain in the shape of a coin that was inscribed with a charge to work toward a more peaceful world.

Later in the summer, he traveled to Mexico as part of the United for Service volunteer program. While there, he visited an orphanage in Tepoztlán, where he gave the keychain to a 17-year-old orphan as a reminder that it is possible to rebuild after a crisis. 

That act speaks loudly about who Taleb is and what he does as a University of Arizona School of Journalism senior. With a strong global perspective, Taleb is committed to helping those who have experienced extreme struggles in life.

For Taleb, journalism is an important conduit for social change. And while he is still in training, Taleb has gained recognition for his work nationally.

In his years as a UA journalism student, Taleb has worked with Arizona Public Media, the Arizona Daily Star, The New York Times' Phoenix bureau, The Associated Press and The Nation. He also was an associate producer intern at CNN, assisting with producing on-air segments, writing scripts and editing videos with news anchor Don Lemon.

"I'm extremely grateful for what I've been able to accomplish," Taleb said. "If my achievements indicate anything, it's that I owe so much to so many people."

For his outstanding work, Taleb was named one of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Magellan Circle Scholars in 2012. Earlier this year, he was a keynote speaker for the Magellan Circle Scholarship, which supports students who achieve academic excellence.

Taleb's accomplishments also drew the attention of UA PresidentAnn Weaver Hart , who wrote in a memo that Taleb "deserves great credit for all of the hard work that has led him to this point."

In 2013, while working with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in Washington, D.C., Taleb reported on the U.S. Supreme Court, covering the landmark Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 cases.

"Those are two of the most monumental Supreme Court cases in recent history, and maybe ever," said Taleb, also a Chips Quinn Scholar, which is part of a national training program for students interested in journalism. "That I can say I was quite possibly the youngest journalist in that courtroom is extremely humbling."

Jody Beck, director of the Scripps Howard Foundation, notes Taleb's stamina and dedication.

"He is one of those people that I had to kick out of the office at 9 at night and tell him to go home and relax a little, just because he is so excited about what he is working on," Beck said. "He is very talented and passionate."

That passion was evident from the moment Taleb arrived at the UA. He launched the The Tucson Minaret to cover issues in the Muslim, Arab and refugee communities in Tucson. He also worked alongside Jeannine Relly, an assistant professor of journalism, studying government interaction with journalism in Iraq.

"I have never met a student who has been such an inspiration to fellow students, who has given so much back to the school and to other students," Relly said. "Amer exemplifies what we would hope for any student, that they take advantage of any opportunity and give back to their profession and to their colleagues."

Posted in University of arizona on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 3:13 pm. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Resume , Journalist , Amer Taleb , Comments (0)

Friday 08/15/2014
What's Up UA? - Through Innovative Partnership, 'Hot Shot' Team Tackles Yuma Produce Perils

Agriculture is big business in Arizona, and industry leaders in Yuma County are teaming up with the University of Arizona to arm growers with science and information they need to swiftly tackle threats to their profitability.

The recently launched Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture - YCEDA – will provide the latest research and information in pest management, food safety, plant diseases, water conservation and more.

Yuma, the winter vegetable capital of the world, is home to more than 175 different crops, with an annual gross economic return of $3.2 billion. About 90 percent of leafy greens consumed in the United States and Canada in the winter come through Yuma.

Yuma and the state depend on this economic engine that can fall prey to diseases, pests, drought, frost, labor, wildlife and even public relations challenges. The public-private partnership was created to provide rapid response to issues important for desert crop production systems and the sustainable, responsible practices of local farmers.

More than two dozen industry partners from Yuma and Salinas, Calif., have invested in the center, together committing more than $1.1 million over the next three years. The YCEDA's initiatives will be guided by on-the-ground industry needs. These needs are shared in arid lands around the world—approximately 40 percent of all agricultural land worldwide is arid and so this is no small thing. 

"One outcome we are planning for is that the YCEDA, together with Yuma County Cooperative Extension and the Yuma Experiment Station, will make UA's Yuma operations the pre-eminent place in the world for basic, translational and applied research in arid-land agriculture," said Shane Burgess, vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

A search has identified finalists for the YCEDA executive directorship.

"One of the goals of the center is to provide immediate solutions and impact," said Kurt Nolte, who directs UA's Yuma Experiment Station and Yuma County Cooperative Extension. Nolte chairs the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture's executive director search committee.

For more than a century, the UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and UA Cooperative Extension have provided solutions to problems faced by growers. The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture takes these partnerships to a new level.

"In the world that we live in as research faculty, it can be difficult to obtain funding in a rapid way to combat a particular problem that producers face," Nolte said. "This is similar to a hot shot firefighting effort where these funds would be available immediately to deal with issues in a very rapid way."

The center's director will work with an advisory council to initiate the most effective and efficient responses to a variety of issues – from infectious disease to food safety – that may be encountered by agriculturalists. Problems that normally would require three years of research might be solvable within a few months under the new model.

One immediate need is finding strategies to battle Downy mildew disease in spinach.

"We don't have a clear mechanism for managing this disease," Nolte said. "This committee is talking about releasing funds quickly to gain greater insight on this disease before the winter produce season kicks in."

Also high on the priority list is combating a pest that carries a virus that damages citrus.

"Ongoing drought conditions are also a major concern and the center will be mobilized to assist desert growers if water restrictions become real," Nolte said.

YCEDA will tap into the research and knowledge of UA faculty as well as experts from around the country and world.

Speedy solutions are critical to the success of the industry, Nolte said. "Napa is to wine as Yuma is to agriculture. Well over 50 percent of Yuma's economic base is derived from agricultural commodities that are grown here."

He believes the center has the potential to attract new companies to partner in identifying and funding prioritized research.

"One of the benefits of having a center with the horsepower behind it is to attract outside companies to come to Arizona and invest in the infrastructure within our university," Nolte said.

Investors in the center could come from as far away as Mexico, Israel and the Middle East, where similar growing conditions exist, Nolte said.

Chairing the YCEDA advisory committee is investor Robby Barkley, president & CEO of Yuma'sBarkley Ag Enterprises, which produces leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, grains, melons, cotton and more. His family first came to Yuma in the 1880s.

He called the center "an investment in our future."

"Our goal is to have a world-class research group readily available to us," Barkley said. "What is the best solution to a problem today will be improved upon in the future, so we want to develop a system that continues to feed those better solutions to us."

The goal of the center is to help growers be more profitable. "We are trying to do more with fewer resources, and we need to make sure that food production for our country stays in our country," Barkley said.

The Yuma Center will garner future funds from philanthropy, competitive grants and contracts with industry.

Vic Smith, CEO of the Yuma-based JV Smith Companies, is also an investor and advisor to YCEDA. Through JV Farms, Smith farms more than 7,500 acres of winter vegetables, including lettuce, spinach and broccoli.

By investing in YCEDA, Smith hopes access to the latest information will boost his industry and profits.

"What I like about this is it's a very quick, responsive approach to dealing with problems. When you have a problem, you can't wait for the results of a five-year research grant. You need answers now, and that is the hope for this center."

Posted in University of arizona on Friday, August 15, 2014 3:31 pm. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Hot Shot , Yuma , Desert Agriculture , Yceda , Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/13/2014
What's Up UA? - The UA Named a Top College by The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review has named the University of Arizona one of the best higher education institutions in the nation for undergraduate education.

The UA is included in "The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition," the annual college guide released by The Princeton Review, a Massachusetts-based education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books and other student resources.

"The UA community takes great pride in being recognized by The Princeton Review," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. "We know that our inclusion means that University students are pleased with their overall experience at the UA and see true value in their UA education, whether it's the academic training, career-oriented support or the community aspects of being a Wildcat."

The Princeton Review does not rank the 379 colleges. But it does assign scores between 60 and 99 in several categories. The UA was included in several categories: 96 for sustainability or "green" initiatives; 87 for fire safety; 84 for quality of life; 79 for selectivity; 75 for academics; and 73 for financial aid.

The Princeton Review team relies on a survey of 130,000 students who attend the schools. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics – including the quality of the faculty, library resources, career services, financial aid offerings and social aspects of college – and report on their campus experiences.

"The University of Arizona offers outstanding academics, which is the chief reason we selected it for the book," Rob Franek, the guide's author and The Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher, said in a prepared statement.

Also based on survey results, UA students reported being "happy" with the institution, saying the UA has "great" career services and lab facilities, while noting the University's "strong commitment to undergraduate research." Students also reported being pleased with campus life and found that the University offers "a place for you to fit in no matter what you want to get out of your college education."

Ultimately, only 15 percent of the nation's four-year colleges – and only four institutions outside of the country – were profiled.

"Every college in our book offers outstanding academics," Franek noted. "These colleges differ significantly in their program offerings, campus culture, locales and cost. Our purpose is not to crown one college 'best' overall or to rank these distinctive schools 1 to 379 on any single topic. We present our 62 ranking lists to give applicants the broader base of campus feedback to choose the college that's best for them."

The Princeton Review's announcement follows the UA's inclusion as a top 100 U.S. institution in Money magazine's "Best Colleges" list. Money also ranked the UA 12th among the top 25 "best colleges you can actually get into."

The Princeton Review considers a variety of factors in its rankings, including student surveys and institutional data from college administrators. The guide includes detailed profiles of each school and ratings in a variety of areas, such as academics, quality of life and financial aid.  

Posted in University of arizona on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 3:30 pm. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Princeton Review , Ann Weaver Hart , Undergraduate Education , 379 Colleges , Comments (0)

Monday 08/11/2014
What's Up UA? - UA Researchers Study Increasing Lifespan and Immune Function

Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson are exploring whether dietary interventions that extend lifespan increase or decrease immune defense against infection.

"Research has shown that consuming fewer calories, while maintaining sufficient nutrients, extends lifespan, and there are ongoing clinical studies in humans. However, aging also is associated with increased susceptibility to diseases," said Dr. Nikolich-Žugich, co-director of the UA Center on Aging and principal investigator of the "Longevity Extension and Immune Function in Aging" study.

UA researchers are beginning to study lifespan extension and immune function, thanks to a two-year $403,751 grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"Remarkable extension of lifespan has been achieved in organisms by lowering calorie intake or tricking cells into thinking that there is not enough food. These manipulations are being considered for potentially increasing lifespan in humans," Nikolich-Žugich said. "It is critical to understand the effects of these interventions upon physiological function of older organisms, as any increase in longevity must be accompanied by improved quality of life."

Rapamycin, or Rapa, a drug used to keep the body from rejecting organ and bone marrow transplants, blocks an enzyme that controls cellular division. Rapa has been shown to extend lifespan in mice; however, the effects of chronic low-dose Rapa-mediated treatment on resistance to infection remain unknown.

"Our study will test whether life-extending dietary interventions may improve or impair survival from, and immunity to, infection, allowing us to evaluate whether manipulations of nutrient pathways may be safe and desirable to achieve optimal healthy longevity," said Nikolich-Žugich, who also is chairman of the UA Department of Immunobiology and the Elizabeth Bowman Professor in Medical Research at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and a member of the UA BIO5 Institute.

"While calorie restriction appears to improve immune function and homeostasis in old animals, the few infectious challenge experiments suggest increased susceptibility to infection. Our exploratory proposal aims to test the hypothesis that calorie restriction and drugs that trick the cells into thinking that there is not enough food, such as Rapa, could be deleterious for protective immunity, because they may curtail full development of immune responses," Nikolich-Žugich said.

UA researchers will look for protective T cell and antibody responses to West Nile Virus – a virus transmitted by arthropods, such as mosquitoes or ticks – or listeria – a food-borne bacterium that causes high mortality in older adults. Researchers will measure the efficacy and the type of the immune response.

"We aim to dissect possible defects and discover whether we may use Rapa as is or whether we may need to seek for similar compounds with beneficial effects in healthy aging across different tissues,” Nikolich-Žugich said.

Nearly one quarter of the U.S. population will be over age 65 by 2040, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and those who reach age 65 will live, on average, 19.2 years longer. Ensuring the healthy and productive lives of that very large group is becoming an urgent priority, Nikolich-Žugich says.

A paper related to the UA study was published in the July 15 issue of The Journal of Immunology, a publication of the American Association of Immunologists Inc. The lead author of the paper, which is titled "Immune Memory Boosting Dose of Rapamycin Impairs Macrophage Vesicle Acidification and Curtails Glycolysis in Effector CD8 Cells, Impairing Defense against Acute Infections," is Emily L. Goldberg, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Immunobiology and member of the UA Center on Aging. Other UA researchers who contributed to the paper include the following UA Center on Aging members: Nikolich-Žugich; Megan J. Smithey, research assistant professor in the Department of Immunobiology; Lydia K. Lutes, undergraduate laboratory assistant in the Department of Immunobiology and an undergraduate student in the UA College of Science's Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyJennifer L. Uhrlaub, research associate in the Department of Immunobiology.

This research is supported by the National Institute on Aging under Award No. R21AG045734. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Posted in University of arizona on Monday, August 11, 2014 4:04 pm. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Lifespan , Immune Function , Researchers , Arizona College Of Medicine , Comments (0)

What's Up UA? - UA Undergrads Conducting Microgravity Research Aboard NASA's G-Force One

Six University of Arizona engineering, math and biology students are getting set to turn somersaults in the name of research.

The students are members of the UA Microgravity Research Team, which is one of 18 U.S. undergraduate teams chosen to participate in NASA's 2014 Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. Acrobatics aside, their mission is to explore the effects of weightlessness on organic polymer synthesis.

Polymers are large molecules composed of many repeated subunits, called monomers. Naturally occurring examples include starch, cellulose and rubber. Synthetic polymers are used in a wide variety of products, ranging from replacement heart valves to sports helmets.

The team's research will lay the groundwork for onboard production of polymers for spacecraft repair, the fabrication of insulation for spacesuits, and materials production on long missions.

The UA Microgravity Research Team is at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for a visit that began May 30 and ends Saturday.

The highlight of the week will be a flight on NASA's Low-G Flight Research aircraft. This plane – called G-Force One – flies researchers and their experiments through a series of parabolic flight patterns in a weightless environment, topping out at 34,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico.

After descending from the apex of a parabola, leveling out and beginning another ascent, humans and their gear are pinned to the floor by double the gravitational force humans experience on the Earth's surface. As the plane pushes over the top of the parabola, weightlessness takes over – the technical term is microgravity – and it's research time.

Microgravity aboard G-Force One lasts about 25 seconds, which calls for very efficient experimentation.

"All we have to do is flip a switch," said aerospace engineering student Ruben Adkins, founder of the Microgravity Research Team. The switch activates a heat gun aimed at test tubes full of organic liquid whose molecules have a structure based on chains of six carbon atoms. Gasoline molecules, by comparison, have chains of eight carbon atoms. The heat initiates the polymerization process and turns the liquid six-carbon monomers into a solid foam polymer made up of carbon chains thousands of atoms long.

The UA team's experiments are expected to address as yet unanswered questions. For example, is tensile strength improved in polymers that are fabricated in microgravity? What happens to density? Thermal resistance? Impact strength? The team has already conducted experiments on Earth to determine the properties of the foam polymer created at normal gravity. When the students return, they will conduct the same experiments on the foam created under microgravity aboard G-Force One and compare results to see how different gravities affect the polymer's properties.

"We're working in an area that hasn't been quantified before," Adkins said.

The plane is expected to fly as many as 35 parabolas, and the UA team had 26 tests planned.

When they're not working, they'll enjoy a G-Force One tradition: weightless playtime.

The gleeful somersaults, back flips and walks across the ceiling of the cabin last for only a few seconds. Then it's back to the padded floor for another descent and ascent.

The steep ascents and descents – with weightless interludes – can wreak havoc on the digestive system. Hence the plane's nickname: the Vomit Comet. All passenger flight suits have an airsickness bag tucked into the breast pocket. Unlucky users get belted into a seat for the remainder of the flight.

After their time aboard G-Force One, the Microgravity Research Team will analyze data and prepare a report. They're also planning educational outreach programs for Arizona schools.

 

Posted in University of arizona on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:59 am. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Microgravity , Nasa , Comments (0)

Monday 06/09/2014
What's up UA? - UA to Host U.S. and Mexico Officials Exploring Collaborations in Education, Innovation, Research

Officials from Mexico and the United States will meet at the University of Arizona next week to explore cross-border collaborations as part of a bilateral initiative established by President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The UA Office of Global Initiativeswill host the meeting, which will focus primarily on innovation and research opportunities.

The event is the sixth and final meeting being held as part of the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (Foro Bilateral sobre Educación Superior, Innovación e Investigación, or FOBESII for short). Obama and Peña Nieto established the forum in May 2013 as a way to expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships and cross-border innovation for both countries.

Through the Bilateral Forum, the U.S. and Mexican governments seek to bring together government, the higher education community, the private sector and civil society sectors to promote education and research cooperation. Another important goal is to encourage broader access to quality post-secondary education especially for traditionally underserved students in both countries, as well as providing scientific, technology, engineering and mathematics education – or STEM – opportunities. The program also hopes to expand student, scholar and teacher exchanges, increase joint research in areas of mutual interest and share best practices in higher education and innovation. A portion of prior meetings held under the program have focused on second language acquisition.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for both nations to develop really for the first time, a common strategy on many important issues. The University of Arizona is honored to have the privilege to serve in this effort," said Mike Proctor, vice president for global initiatives at the UA. "The overarching strategy is aimed at enhancing the position of Mexico and the U.S. as partners in the global economy."

The forum – happening Monday and Tuesday – is designed to focus on four main pillars, including increasing academic mobility, strengthening language acquisition, promoting greater workforce development, and expanding joint research and innovation.

The first five meetings were held across the U.S. and Mexico, and focused on topics ranging from promoting student exchange to creating ideas for increasing academic mobility. The sixth meeting, dedicated to research and innovation, will be held Monday and Tuesday at the UA, bringing together representatives from government agencies, higher education, industry and non-governmental organizations.

More than 400 stakeholders from the U.S. and Mexico have participated in the meetings to date, representing more than 38 universities. The U.S. delegation is led by the U.S. Department of State and includes participation from other agencies, including the departments of Education, Commerce and Energy, the National Science Foundation, and others. For Mexico, the initiative is co-chaired by the Ministries of Public Education and Foreign Relations and includes participation from the Ministries of Economy and Energy, and the National Council of Science and Technology.

Several of those attending the Bilateral Forum also will take part in a UA seminar happening this weekend at Miraval Arizona Resort, located north of Tucson. The seminar will focus on binational strategy more generally, with a deeper exploration at the Binational Forum into the focus areas of health; environment; materials and advance manufacture; and logistics and infrastructure.

During the seminar, 30 top government, academic and private sector leaders from Mexico and the U.S. will convene to discuss how the two countries can work together to ensure that a focus on innovation remains at the top of efforts around bilateral policy aimed at creating a region of prosperity. The seminar marks the transition from exploration to action and will be focused on planning, commitment and execution, according to the organizers.

"This effort of both governments is really quite unique and potentially transformative," Proctor said. "It gives our region a real opportunity to craft a coherent binational strategy for research and innovation that could influence relationships and collaborations between researchers and innovators in both countries for years to come."

The University of Arizona/Miraval Institute is a think tank founded as a partnership between the Miraval Arizona Resort and the UA to facilitate communication surrounding health, wellness and sustainability issues, which reflect core areas of strength at the UA. The inaugural institute, held April 27-29, examined how technological advances can provide healthy and productive aging beyond 100. The second event, held May 4-6, centered on innovative diagnostics for personalized medicine.

The Miraval seminar and the Binational Forum complement Obama's "100,000 Strong in the Americas" initiative, which aims to increase student mobility between the U.S. and other countries in the Western hemisphere. The forum also harmonizes with Mexico's "Proyecta 100,000," which seeks to send 100,000 Mexican students to the U.S. and bring 50,000 U.S. students to study in Mexico by 2018.

For more information about the UA Office of Global Initiatives, visit global.arizona.edu.

More information about the Miraval Institute is available here.

Posted in University of arizona on Monday, June 9, 2014 1:25 pm. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Mexico , Arizona , Education , Comments (0)

Thursday 06/05/2014
What's Up UA? - New Wilderness Medicine Class Hones Patient Care Skills in Rugged Conditions

The call of the great outdoors is irresistible to many, and in Southern Arizona you can count on nearly 300 sunny days per year. But venturing into the wilderness and exploring can mean entering into an extreme environment, where an injury can leave you stranded on a mountaintop or in the desert, hurt on a remote bike path, or severely dehydrated. 

During the spring semester, the University of Arizona's new Wilderness Medicine and Advanced Wilderness Life Support class, offered by theDepartment of Emergency Medicine, provided certification and training for graduating medical students, medical residents and faculty, teaching them to apply their medical expertise in the great outdoors. The new medical student elective course is intended to instill a lifelong appreciation for wilderness medicine, both as a practical tool for future forays into the wild and as a legitimate academic pursuit.  

Two weeks of lectures and in-class training were led by Dr. Christopher G. Williams, clinical assistant professor of wilderness medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Williams started the course to teach medical students how to plan, organize, triage, diagnose and treat patients and how to improvise and provide the best medical treatment possible outside of a traditional clinical setting.

The true test of students' skills came through simulated emergency medical situations in the field at Madera Canyon in the Coronado National Forest, 25 miles southeast of Tucson.

On a cold, blustery Saturday, UA medical students encountered mock medical scenarios along the trail in Madera Canyon, where they had to take on, assign or assume various roles to make sure patients' immediate medical needs were met and also ensure the patient's rescue and recovery, while also keeping themselves safe. Students were evaluated on their ability to secure the scene, obtain patient history and perform an interview, develop a likely diagnosis, initiate appropriate treatment – including assessing medication needs and/or fabricating splints, all while ensuring patient comfort.

"It is important to get the students out in the field. You can only do so much during the lecture and it's not real enough until you are out in the gusty wind and cold focusing on patient safety, working on fractures and figuring out how to pack people out and evacuate. Then it becomes real," said Dr. Vivienne Ng, assistant professor of simulation in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Ng and colleagues from the Department of Emergency Medicine led the students through various simulation exercises that included assessing and treating volunteer patients with heat-induced injuries or cold-induced injuries; managing arterial bleeding, diabetes or low blood sugar; and treating mountain biking and climbing injuries, including fractures. Students also did a bit of injury sleuthing involving a nearby snake, allergies and seizures.

One of the more complicated simulation exercises involved a wounded mountain biker with arterial bleeding. The students split into teams and focused on a variety of needs, such as stopping the bleeding, sending out a team to call for an airlift, clearing an evacuation path, building an improvised stretcher using whatever materials were on hand and hoisting the patient to safety.

"Wilderness medicine means you have to be adaptive," said Corey Steinbrecher, a member of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association, which helped stage the simulated emergency medical situations. The association is a nonprofit, all-volunteer search and rescue organization that has served Southern Arizona and Pima County since 1958.

"Part of wilderness rescue is that the scene is hectic and isolated and you don’t have everything you need, so you have to improvise and provide the best care you can under any circumstances," said Steinbrecher, who has been accepted to the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and begins classes this summer.

An additional benefit of the class was the opportunity to earn Advanced Wilderness Life Support certification.

"I have a new perspective for being out in the wilderness. I learned so much from this class and am now much better prepared," said Kelley Stanko, a 2014 UA College of Medicine – Tucson graduate who opted to earn certification in Advanced Wilderness Life Support and who will begin her residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Toledo in Ohio. "Nothing can compare to being out in the wilderness. They did a fantastic job preparing us for what we need to know and what to continue to learn and prepare for in the future being out in the wild."

Williams added: "There are few fields I've found that incorporate the degree of creativity, practicality and fundamental understanding of physiology quite like wilderness medicine. The improvisation and skills we're trying to foster won't occur in a vacuum; they have to be practiced, and a degree of muscle memory and cognitive, experienced-based skills must be developed. I teach my students that only after they understand concepts like physiology, hospital systems, emergency medical system logistics, biology, outdoor survival, psychology and leadership will they be in a position to use that knowledge abstractly and adaptively."  

To certify and train more wilderness-certified physicians, the class will be offered again next spring.

Posted in University of arizona on Thursday, June 5, 2014 11:26 am. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Wilderness , Medicine Class , Comments (0)

Tuesday 06/03/2014
Track Cats Send Eight Athletes to TrackTown USA

The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 20 men’s and No. 14 women’s track and field teams wrapped up competition at NCAA West Preliminaries in Fayetteville, Ark. The NCAA West Preliminaries is the first and second rounds of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field played host to the meet. The semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships will take place June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore. At the end of the meet, the Wildcats will send four student-athletes from the women’s team and four from the men’s team to Eugene.

“I’m very happy with the meet overall,” head coach Fred Harvey said. “I like the position that we are in going into the NCAA Championships because everybody that is going legitimately has an opportunity to score there at the finals. We’re pretty excited about that. All in all, we’re out of here healthy.”

Senior Lawi Lalang, the seven-time NCAA Champion will look to add two more to his collection at the NCAA Championships in Eugene. In 2013, Lalang had the No. 1 time in the country for the 1,500 meters even through the NCAA Championships, but chose to run the 5K and 10K at the NCAA West Preliminaries. He ended up winning individual titles in both events. On Saturday, the senior from Eldoret, Kenya was first in heat one and first overall in the 1,500-meter quarterfinal with a time of 3:40.35. Lalang returned to the track for the 5K and took second place overall and in heat two with an easy time of 13:43.55. It is the third-straight year Lalang has qualified for two races at the semifinals/finals of the NCAA Championships.

“We were trying to take it as easy as possible,” Lalang said. “90 minutes after the 1,500 meters was the 5K. So I ran easy and well controlled. (In the 5K) I had a plan of following (Kennedy) Kithuka (Texas Tech) for a while and just staying in good position so I don’t have to worry about making it to nationals. Once I was in a good position, I just took it easy. I’m really confident. I’m going to go there and do my best, I know I’m in great shape.”

In the women’s 5,000-meter race, redshirt junior Elvin Kibet finished in fourth place overall and fourth place in heat two with a time of 16:06.51. It is the second-straight year (redshirted 2013) that Kibet has reached the finals of the 5K and 10K at the NCAA Championships. In 2012, Kibet earned first-team All-America accolades in the 10K and second-team honors in the 5K.

“The race was really good,” Kibet said. “Coach (James) Li just told me to go in there and stay in the front and wait until they start kicking to go. I followed the plan perfectly and it was good. I was able to hold the pace until the end, too. I’m really happy that I’m able to go to Eugene and race the 5K and 10K. It’s been a really great season so far and I’m really excited because I’m ending the season performing well and I don’t take that for granted at all. I’m really happy that I’m able to help out the team and get as many points as possible.”

Senior Shapri Romero added another event to her slate at the NCAA Championships in Eugene on Saturday. She took 10th place overall and fourth place in heat two with a time of 23.20 (+1.4 wind). That is the second-best time of her career. It is the first time she has made the semifinals of the NCAA Championships, and she will be competing in two events for the Wildcats.

In the men’s discus competition, freshman Gerhard De Beer had a personal-best toss of 182-3 (55.57m) but failed to advance to Eugene, taking 15th place overall. In the women’s high jump competition, juniorShakayla McEaddy cleared 5-7.75 (1.72m), she took 29th place due to misses. Senior Nick Ross fouled on his first two attempts in the triple jump, his third attempt was 47-3 (14.40m), good for 40th place.

In the women’s 4x100-meter relay consisting of senior Tamara Pridgett, Romero, sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks and senior Germe Poston, the Wildcats took 13th place with a time of 44.83. 12th place, the last qualifying spot, clocked a time of 44.79. The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of sophomore Nnenya Hailey, freshman Jasper Gray, Pridgett and Romero finished in 15th place overall and fifth place in heat three. They finished the race with a time of 3:37.02. Sophomore Kate Penney could not complete the women’s 1,500-meter quarterfinal, with around 100 meters to go, she collapsed on the track due to some complications. She is in good condition now; she was helped off the track and was later walking around without any problems.

In the men’s 5K, junior Sam Macaluso clocked a time of 14:22.58 and finished in 21st place overall. On the women’s side, junior Molly Callahan had a time of 17:10.02 and finished in 38th place overall.

The women’s team will send Romero in the 200 meters and 400 meters to Eugene. Kibet will run the 5K and 10K. Hailey will compete in the 400-meter hurdles and senior Julie Labonte will compete in the shot put. The men’s squad will send Lalang in the 1,500 meters and 5K. Ross will compete in the high jump. Redshirt freshman Aaron Castle in the shot put and redshirt freshman Jordan Young in the hammer throw.

For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.
 

Posted in University of arizona on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 9:15 am. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Tracktown , Usa , Eight Athletes , Comments (0)

Monday 06/02/2014
What's Up UA? - Bringing a Spacecraft Back From the Dead

More than 25 years ago, an abandoned NASA spacecraft fulfilled its mission, fell silent and has since been hurtling around the sun, somewhere between the orbits of Earth and Mars. Now, a University of Arizona engineering student is trying to wake it up.

Jacob Gold, an undergraduate student majoring in aerospace engineering, is on a mission against time. If he can't make contact with the SUV-sized space probe when it swoops by the moon this summer, it will disappear into the depths of space, not to return until Gold is 50 years old.

"We hope to establish contact this week," says Gold, who traveled to NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, to join five other space enthusiasts all working toward the same goal: to breathe new life into an abandoned space probe and put it to use for science one more time.

"We have a lot to do, and not much time to do it."

Launched by NASA in 1978, the International Sun/Earth Explorer was the first man-made object placed into the so-called L1 halo orbit, which is a point in space where the gravitational forces of the Earth and the sun balance each other, dragging the spacecraft with them around the sun. The probe, known as ISEE successfully measured the interaction of the solar wind – high-energy charged particles expelled by the sun – with the Earth's magnetic field.

In 1982, NASA reassigned the probe to a mission no spacecraft had ever attempted before: to fly through the tail of a comet. Renamed ICE for International Cometary Explorer, it managed to plunge into the tail of Halley's comet and take measurements.

In 1999, budget cutbacks forced NASA to decommission the communication equipment on the spacecraft and leave it to its own devices.

Gold and his fellow team members want ISEE/ICE to resume its measurements of the solar wind lapping against the Earth's magnetosphere – the area of space around it where charged particles come under the influence of the planet's magnetic field.

In the absence of NASA funding, Gold's team, which set up its headquarters at Skycorp Inc. at Ames Research Center, raised $132,000 in acrowdfunding campaign.

"This is not an inexpensive project, and we are working on a very short timeline," Gold says. "With more money, we are more likely to succeed because we can throw more expensive hardware at it."

"NASA has been incredibly helpful with this," he adds. "As soon as we expressed interest, they gave us all the information they had on it."

"This satellite can still do science," he says. "We can put it back to work for tenth of a percent of the cost of a new mission."

Gold says the team plans to connect the probe's instruments to a Web page, so anyone can download any of the data from it.

"We think this can be a very powerful STEM education tool. High school classes could propose an experiment and track it through the course of their term. There are not many satellites that beam their data in real time to anyone who wants to use it." STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

But before any of this can happen, the ground crew of garage engineers has to coax the spacecraft back into its original orbit around the sun. And before they can do that, they have to wake it up.

"The first step is to talk to the satellite," Gold says. "Only then can we check its systems and its thrusters to make sure they behave the way we expect them to.

"We need to be able to speak its language, and all the programs used to make contact with the probe no longer work on anything. We have to reinvent absolutely everything."

If the probe had been built with modern technology, "we could just say, 'Tell me everything you know,' and it would just stream the data back to us,'" Gold explained. "But it doesn't work that way. It's basically a remote-controlled spaceship. Which means you have to send a command for it to give you a response."

While members of the team are busy writing computer code to communicate with the spacecraft, others are preparing the 305-meter dish of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to transmit the signals to contact the probe.

"We are fortunate to be able to use that telescope, but it's not easy," Gold says. "You have to keep in mind that the last person to control a satellite from the Arecibo radio telescope was a villain from a James Bond movie."

On Aug. 10, the probe will buzz the moon's surface within just over 10 miles so it can take advantage of the gravity and be flung into its new trajectory.

The team has to be able to command the spacecraft because precise burns from its thrusters will be required to steer it onto the desired orbit.

"The longer we wait, the more fuel it will take," Gold says, "and fuel is limited. Once the probe is past the moon, it's gone."

Posted in University of arizona on Monday, June 2, 2014 8:41 am. | Tags: University Of Arizona , Spacecraft , Nasa , Ames Research Center , Comments (0)

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Thursday 08/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Fall Enrollment Sets Record for Diversity, Number of Freshmen

Tuesday 08/19/2014

What's Up UA? - Remarkable Résumé: UA Student Journalist's Career Includes CNN, NYT Phoenix

Friday 08/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Through Innovative Partnership, 'Hot Shot' Team Tackles Yuma Produce Perils

Wednesday 08/13/2014

What's Up UA? - The UA Named a Top College by The Princeton Review

Monday 08/11/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Researchers Study Increasing Lifespan and Immune Function What's Up UA? - UA Undergrads Conducting Microgravity Research Aboard NASA's G-Force One

Monday 06/09/2014

What's up UA? - UA to Host U.S. and Mexico Officials Exploring Collaborations in Education, Innovation, Research

Thursday 06/05/2014

What's Up UA? - New Wilderness Medicine Class Hones Patient Care Skills in Rugged Conditions

Tuesday 06/03/2014

Track Cats Send Eight Athletes to TrackTown USA

Monday 06/02/2014

What's Up UA? - Bringing a Spacecraft Back From the Dead

Friday 05/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Heart Attack Patient Defies Odds with Tailored Surgical Treatment at UA Medical Center

Thursday 05/29/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Marketing Students Win National AT&T Competition

Tuesday 05/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Friday 05/23/2014

What's up UA? - Four UA Students Picked for Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarships

Wednesday 05/21/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Monday 05/19/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Tunnels Get Carbon Fiber Makeover

Thursday 05/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Earning a UA Degree, in a Grandfather’s Memory

Tuesday 05/13/2014

What's Up UA? - UA's Phoenix Cancer Center is 'Topped Off,' Joins Award-Winning Medical School Building

Thursday 05/08/2014

What's Up UA? - University of Arizona to Offer Nation’s First Bachelor of Arts in Law

Monday 05/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Combating Health Disparities to Build Healthier Communities

Wednesday 04/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists at the UA Make Critical End-Stage Liver Disease Discovery

Friday 04/25/2014

What's Up UA? - A Century-Long Track Record of Serving Arizona and Benefiting the State's Economy

Wednesday 04/23/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Opens Nation’s First Resource Center for Student Vets Studying Health Care UA Wildcat Instant Decision Days at PCC campuses April 29-May 2

Monday 04/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Scientists to Begin Construction on NASA Spacecraft that will Visit Asteroid in 2018

Thursday 04/10/2014

What's Up UA? - Spring Fling Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Return to UA Mall

Monday 04/07/2014

Mauga’s Walkoff Sweeps Stanford

Thursday 04/03/2014

What's Up UA? - 4-H Programs Bring Enrichment and Learning to Thousands in Arizona

Monday 03/31/2014

What's Up UA? - The Viruses You Don't Know About (Yet)

Tuesday 03/25/2014

What's Up UA? - Twice Torn Apart: A UA Alumna's Road to the Paralympic Games

Tuesday 03/18/2014

What's Up UA? - Tucson Village Farm Honored as Model Program for the Nation

Friday 03/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Several UA Graduate Programs Reach New Heights

Tuesday 03/11/2014

What's Up UA? - Olympics Interns Share Sochi Experiences

Friday 03/07/2014

What's Up UA? - Seeing Cancer Differently

Wednesday 03/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Offers Accelerated Bachelor's to Master’s Program in Environmental Health Sciences

Tuesday 03/04/2014

What's Up UA? - Third-Ranked Men's Basketball Heads to Corvallis to Face OSU

Friday 02/28/2014

What's Up UA? - UA College of Optical Sciences to Celebrate 50th Anniversary With Laser Fun Day

Thursday 02/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Obesity-Related Gut Bacteria Higher in People in Northern Climes

Monday 02/24/2014

Wildcats Sweep Sunday Doubleheader, Series From Alcorn State

Thursday 02/20/2014

What's Up UA? - First-Year UA Minority Student Retention Rate Highest Ever

Monday 02/17/2014

What's Up UA? - The Flu and You

Friday 02/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Miller to Add to Arizona’s USA Basketball Legacy

Wednesday 02/12/2014

What's Up UA? - $10M Gift to Optical Sciences is Largest Gift for Scholarships in UA History

Monday 02/10/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Study Shows Aggressive Management of Gunshot Wounds to Brain Significantly Increases Survival

Thursday 02/06/2014

Arizona Football Announces 2014 NLI Class

Tuesday 02/04/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Wind Quintet is Finalist in National Competition

Thursday 01/30/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Undergraduate Researcher Earns Prestigious National Award

Tuesday 01/28/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Renewed as a Tillman Foundation Partner

Thursday 01/23/2014

What's Up UA? - Thousands to Celebrate Chinese New Year at UA

Tuesday 01/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Mathematician Earns Presidential Early Career Award
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