Chancellor's Friday Letters

Students Helping Others

Students Helping Others

January 22, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems much of the world is continuing to cope with nature’s fury this week… not only the ongoing horrific circumstances in Haiti, but now many of our students’ families, as well as faculty and staff, are dealing with the serious consequences of the winter storms that are pummeling the west coast.

While at this writing we don’t know the breadth and depth of storm-related issues affecting members of our campus, as a caring community we will be supportive in every way possible as their individual needs become known to us.

I can also update you that we continue to work with our Haitian students whose families, friends and communities sadly were directly affected by the disaster, and helping them navigate the many issues they confront. Furthermore, our students’ interest in helping with the Haitian crisis continues unabated, frustrated only by the inertia that has to be broken through in order to be genuinely helpful to the survivors in the long haul.

I am at the Regent’s meeting this week in San Francisco, and as you would expect much focus continues on the financials of this great institution and the path forward to sustain excellence and access to students from all sectors of California’s richly diverse communities.

You are receiving requests from President Yudof and me to help with the advocacy campaign to tell the UCR story to the public-at-large, Governor and legislators. That powerful effort is starting to show positive results. Many thanks for your help to date… but we are not by any means done yet.

There are many ways to tell the UC and UCR story. One way occurs through engagement with our communities locally and around the world, efforts that often go unheralded and yet are amazingly powerful and inspiring. Let me share one such story that I received this week, unsolicited, from one of our students. If you have ideas for this student, please let me know and I’ll connect you:

“Dear Chancellor White,

This June 13th-19th a group of UCR students and local medical professionals with the UC Riverside’s Global Medical Brigades program, will spend a week traveling to undeserved, rural areas around the city of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, setting up temporary clinics where people can come and receive medical treatment free of charge.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with 53% of the population living in poverty. Disease and malnutrition are the leading causes of death in children under 5 years old. The basic needs of education, health care, and clean water are luxuries for the majority of the people there, and in the rural communities where we will be working, they are even scarcer. We are entering an era where the community is global, and as global citizens, we must do our part to contribute what we can in helping those in need.

We are currently in the search of professionals, or anyone, willing to help the growth of our plans; is it because of such that we humbly ask for your assistance in providing us with contact information of those you think are interested. We would take any help from publicity, so that others are aware of what we intend to do, to ideas on how to carry the aforementioned project to its full potential.

As a UCR Pre-Med student currently in the search of opportunities to develop our health care, I would like to thank you in advance and guarantee you that your help would be a greatly valued gift to the people in Honduras.”

I consulted with our Dean of Biomedical Sciences Craig Byus about this Global Medical Brigades program (http://www.globalbrigades.org/project/medical/ ). He knows that foreign underserved medical “clinic” experiences are life-changing for premed students. Students engage in clinical experiences unlike those available in the US, and gain a real insight into those much less fortunate than themselves. Also the medical professionals who run/work in these clinics are excellent role models, and our students never forget them. Dean Byus comments that this type of program has a positive permanent effect on the students who participate as much as it does on the patients they help.

Best regards,


Tim White, Chancellor

Dollars for Scholars
Searching for scholarship opportunities is now easier because of a new UCR Web site. If you are a mentor to one of our students, or if you are a student yourself, take a look at the scholarships available to help. My thanks to all the donors, past and present, who made these scholarships possible.

Highlanders on ESPN2
The UCR Men’s Basketball game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 Saturday, Jan. 30th for the first time in team history. Plan to pack the Student Recreation Center to show your school pride. Members of the military will get free admission. Game time is 5 p.m.

Celebrate Chicano Culture
If you are a fan of the folk music and dance traditions of Mexico, don’t miss the 17th annual Noche Cultural tomorrow night in the University Theatre, presented by Chicano Student Programs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Wondering what else is going on at UCR? It’s all listed at http://www.ucr.edu/happenings/

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E-mail: chancellor@ucr.edu