News-in-brief

UCR ranked highly among the most environmentally friendly campuses

Sierra Club’s Cool School Rankings, in collaboration with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, recently placed UC Riverside at 27th out of 201 universities. The ranking system aims to highlight which schools have made the most environmentally friendly developments across the country.

According to their website, the methodology and overall scoring system for the rankings entail a reflection of “the broader priorities of the Sierra Club,” which include the presence of outdoor programs, renewable energy courses within universities, energy usage constraints and other demonstrations of sustainability.

Participation and eligibility in this year’s rankings were open to “all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States,” according to the requirements listed on their website. Schools were also required to submit updated information and data about their efforts to promote sustainability, which was analyzed by Sierra Club researchers. This data, which was collected by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), was scored with the schools ranked accordingly. The STARS tool is a self-reporting system that gives “colleges and universities a method for tracking and assessing their sustainability programs.”

UC Irvine ranked third in this ranking system, while UC Davis ranked eighth place. UC Berkeley trailed right behind UCR at 29th place, while UCLA fell behind at 62nd place.

The Sierra Club is an environmental organization founded by naturalist John Muir in 1892, created with the mission of “exploring, enjoying, and protecting the planet.”

UCR School of Medicine providing psychiatric help at the Palm Desert VA Clinic

On Friday, Sept. 16th, the UCR School of Medicine (SOM) announced that four psychiatry residents would be treating patients at the VA Clinic in Palm Desert. The addition of these residents in the Coachella Valley is intended to provide beneficial resources for veterans who struggle with mental illnesses.

Representing California’s 36th District, U.S. Congressman and former Senior Associate Dean of SOM Raul Ruiz made the announcement at the UCR Palm Desert Center. Congressman Ruiz, who received his medical degree from Harvard University, also served on The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs that has jurisdiction over the Veterans Health Administration, which provides medical services to veterans.

Congressman Ruiz stressed the importance of giving veterans access to healthcare in order to combat mental health issues, saying “Veterans face unique and difficult mental health challenges and they need access to efficient and quality mental health services.” This difficulty in managing mental health problems is reflected by the high suicide rates in veterans, where an average of 20 veterans died from suicide each day in 2014. He added “It’s time to end the stigma of mental health issues and expand quality mental health services for our veterans and their families.”

The residents, who will spend four years training under senior physician educators, are Janet Charoensook, M.D., Carlos Fernandez, M.D., Julia Hoang, M.D. and Shalin Patel, M.D.

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