UCI News

2020
Year in Review
Throughout a truly unprecedented and turbulent year, UCI has not only survived but thrived, a feat that wouldn’t have been possible without the strength of its community.

When the coronavirus first began to spread across the globe and overwhelm healthcare systems, scientists such as Dr. Albert Chang, medical director of the Student Health Center; Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention with UCI Health; and Bernadette Boden-Albala, director and founding dean of the Program in Public Health, quickly rose to the challenge of investigating and providing guidance for the mysterious and sudden pandemic. Scholars from every background poured their energy and resources into developing treatment drugs, antibody resistance, efficient testing and protective measures, while professors and students adapted to online learning in as little as a few weeks.

Despite all of the challenges, UCI still saw a record year in research funding, with 20 percent more than last year; built a new pharmacy school – the first of its kind in the L.A.-O.C. area; and received the most applications from California high school seniors. From front-line workers to faculty, students and staff, each individual has played an important role in keeping the university afloat.

The unbreakable Anteater spirit
2020 kicked off with big wins in sports and research – testaments to the teamwork and determination that would come to define the year.
The impact of COVID-19

Few institutions, if any, were prepared for what was to come when a novel coronavirus first began to spread in January. UCI leadership quickly took proactive steps to keep the campus and the Orange County community as safe as possible.

+45,000 covid tests
5,000 ppe face shields developed
$2.5 million for covid-19 research

UCI Podcast: Coronavirus discussion

In late January, UCI interviewed Dr. Albert Chang, Student Health Center medical director, about the novel disease that was quickly spreading around the U.S and the world.

Hand-washing with Peter 

In early March, Bernadette Boden-Albala, director and founding dean of the Program in Public Health, taught Peter how to wash his hands properly.

Adapting to a new normal

Despite physical distancing, we found many ways to connect and celebrate together – from livestreams of future physicians sharing their residency “matches” and undergrads receiving their bachelor’s degrees to social media art projects by students, faculty and community members.

Students help those in need

Supporting the front line
UCI’s schools of engineering, arts, nursing and medicine came together to design and produce 5,000 face shields for front-liners at UCI Medical Center.

Helping healthcare heroes
First-year medical students formed a volunteer coalition to babysit, shop and run errands for UCI healthcare workers.

Virtual nurses make a real difference
Graduating students lifted the spirits of UCI hospital patients through video visits.

Answering the call

UCI Magazine: Answering the Call
View how UCI responded and adapted to the historic COVID-19 pandemic in this special issue.

Hope arrives in a vial
UCI Health receives, administers first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Respiratory therapist Vita Susin gets the first vaccine shot of the day. Photo by Carlos Puma.
Race for solutions

As a leading research institution, UCI took on the responsibility of tackling the world’s most pressing problem. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the generous donations that amounted to $2.5 million in funding for COVID-19-related causes.

Dr Alpesh Amin and Dr. Lanny Hsieh
UCI Health launches therapeutic clinical trial for COVID-19.
Dr. Dan Cooper

UCI Health pediatrician Dan Cooper helps determine how and when K-12 classroom instruction can safely resume.

research assistant Micaila Curtis

UCI leadership amasses $2.5 million for COVID-19 research projects.

ActOC: Finding OC’s true COVID-19 rates

Blood will tell: Blood samples reveal true prevalence of COVID-19

UCI develops low-cost, accurate COVID-19 antibody detection platform

Black lives matter

 

Doug Haynes, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, leads the Black Thriving Initiative, which aims to promote Black student success by fostering an understanding of anti-Blackness, as well as the Black experience and drivers of well-being, and engaging Black communities by linking UCI’s future as a public research university to the success of Black people.
A virtual UCI

The university looked quite different this fall when it opened its single dorm rooms to a new class of Anteaters. The days of Ring Road crowds were gone, but a new Ring Road soon appeared in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” a game in which students can visit UCI in its digital form.

Move in
Back to campus: A minimized move in
#AnteaterCrossing: Anteaters explore “UCI Land,” a virtual playground in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Top choice, top ranked

In a world of uncertainty, UCI continued to make high-quality education accessible for all, ranking as a top choice for first-generation, low-income and minority students in California.

UCI is ranked among nation’s top 10 public universities for sixth year in a row
UCI again receives most applications in UC system from state’s high school seniors
UCI is No. 2 in nation for diversity in 2021 Wall Street Journal ranking
Paving the way forward

Although this year’s headlines were dominated by coronavirus-related topics, UCI logged some great achievements and set the groundwork for a brilliant future. From expanding healthcare facilities to the promise of cutting-edge research, the university found hope.

New UCI Health Center for Advanced Care: North Campus facility will include Center for Children’s Health and adult specialty services

Breaking records: Campus receives record $529 million in research

Can’t crush this: Ironclad beetle can survive being run over by car

Anthem, Apple Watch collaboration: How digital tools can aid asthma management

Bone marrow transplant: Lifesaving care close to home

UCI to launch innovative School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

UCI Health Center for Advanced Care

The 168,000-square-foot UCI Health Center for Advanced Care will bring world-class healthcare services to coastal and southern Orange County. UCI

1-year anniversary of Brilliant Future: The Campaign for UCI

Against the backdrop of a pandemic and one of the largest social movements in our history, UCI continued to create positive change in our community and beyond.

66,787 donors
38,630 alumni engaged
120 plus scholarships, fellowships and awards funded
935 million raised
#Trending Stories

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that Anteaters are resilient. These challenging times drew out our gifts and brought us closer together in unexpected ways. Here are some of our favorite stories to reflect on as we move UCI forward.

ZotTube: A day in the life of an Anteater
“Hamilton”-inspired history of Peter
Campus celebrates Brilliant Future campaign’s 1-year anniversary
UCI Podcast feat. Rick Hasen: What could cause an election meltdown?
Access for all: An interview with Eloy Ortiz Oakley
UCI Magazine
UCI Magazine: Building tomorrow’s AI