UC Irvine’s expertise in alumni programs and written and visual communications earned recognition in seven categories of the 2012 Awards of Excellence contest sponsored by the Council for Advancement & Support of Education District VII. The district includes Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, the Northern Mariana Islands and Utah. UCI’s winning entries were:

  • Regular Alumni Relations Programs: Gold: “UC Irvine Homecoming 2011”: In its seventh year as a campuswide event, homecoming attracts UCI alumni with a free, three-hour street festival before the men’s basketball game. (UCI is a non-football NCAA Division I school.) Alumni can reserve up to four free tickets to the game. A new facet of homecoming in 2011 was the addition of a reception for classes from 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005.
  • Collaborative Alumni Relations Programs: Silver: “Anteater Meet-Up: Philosophy on Tap”: In collaboration with the School of Humanities, this casual night of beer tasting at the on-campus pub was led by alumnus Matt Lawrence, Ph.D. ’99, who infused the guided sampling with musings from his book Philosophy on Tap. The publication pairs existential conundrums with different brews. Each guest received a placemat version of the book’s tasting notes.
  • New Alumni Relations Program Initiatives: Bronze: “Anteater Meet-Ups”: The UCI Alumni Association recently launched a series of events called “Anteater Meet-Ups,” which appeal to all ages, re-engage inactive alumni, provide fun networking opportunities with an intellectual twist, and highlight UCI notables, as the events are consistently attended by deans and athletic department leaders. These campus VIPs aim for one-on-one conversations with alumni in an intimate setting.
  • Issues Management: Silver: Cyber Ink: It’s Permanent”: In response to national stories about cyberbullying and reputation management, Leslie Millerd Rogers, Raquel Buckley and Cindy Love in the Office of the Vice Chancellor Student Affairs created a campaign to promote safe, responsible and respectful electronic communication. The edgy graphics and straightforward message were so appealing that students were collecting the posters as dorm decor.
  • Excellence in General News Writing: Gold: “Demonstrating Excellence”: UCI’s media relations team communicates the campus’s contributions to the community in ways that strike an emotional chord and highlight the university’s people and core mission. Stories entered were produced by Kymberly Doucette, Laura Rico, Tom Vasich and Janet Wilson. In the past year, the team also maintained UCI’s positive presence in key national outlets such as The New York Times, The Associated Press, Time magazine and The Washington Post. Entries were “Waste not, want not: UCI scientists create eco-friendly fuel, heat and electricity from sewage”; “Body’s natural marijuana-like chemicals make fatty foods hard to resist”; “More illness, doctor visits reported in years after Sept. 11, UCI study finds”; and “Sharing the fruits of his labor: Renowned UCI geneticist and vineyard owner Francisco  Ayala donates $10 million to campus.”
  • Individual Photography: Silver: “Pipa Poetry” (Michelle S. Kim)
  • Photographer of the Year: Silver: “UCI, I See You” (Michelle S. Kim); Bronze: “Vision of Excellence” (Daniel A. Anderson); Bronze: “Reaching Higher” (Steve Zylius)