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Mathematician Ralph Abraham touring Japan on Fulbright grant

UCSC student receives $10,000 public service scholarship

Governor’s office on volunteerism honors 51 UC Santa Cruz students



May 24, 2004

Awards and Honors

Mathematician Ralph Abraham touring Japan on Fulbright grant

Ralph Abraham

Ralph Abraham, professor emeritus of mathematics, will give a series of lectures at universities in Japan through the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program. Abraham was in Japan for one week in May and will be there for two weeks in June, giving talks on a range of subjects at the Future University of Hakodate and at the Katsura and Yoshida campuses of Kyoto University.

As a Fulbright Senior Specialist in information technology, Abraham is eligible for grants to support short visits to foreign academic institutions that request a senior specialist in his field. In addition to the lectures in Japan, Abraham has also been invited by the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi for a series of visits to help design a graduate program.

Abraham is known as one of the pioneers of chaos theory (also called dynamic systems theory). He has long been at the forefront of research in the area of nonlinear dynamics, including work on the mathematics as well as applications and experiments. He has been a consultant on chaos theory and its applications in numerous fields, including medical physiology, ecology, mathematical economics, and psychotherapy. Abraham has been at UCSC since 1968.

The Fulbright Senior Specialists Program offers two- to six-week grants to leading U.S. academics and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at academic institutions in 140 countries around the world. Created to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, which was started in 1946, the Senior Specialists Program maintains a roster of approved candidates for awards in a variety of fields. Candidates are matched with appropriate programs as countries submit requests for Fulbright Senior Specialists.

"The traditional Fulbright Scholar Program offers grants ranging from two months to an academic year, and some academics and professionals find it difficult to be away overseas for that length of time," said Patti McGill Peterson, executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the organization that manages the Fulbright Scholar Program. "The new Senior Specialists Program offers them another option."
-By Tim Stephens

UCSC student receives $10,000 public service scholarship

Timothy J. Galarneau, a double major in psychology and community studies, has received a $10,000 scholarship to fund a research project about conventional and organic agriculture on the Central Coast.

The Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation, established as a memorial to the late Don Strauss of Newport Beach, awards $10,000 scholarships to at least 14 California college juniors annually. The scholarships fund public service projects proposed by applicants, and recipients will carry out their projects this summer and during their senior year.

Galarneau, who is from Clifton Park, New York, will research the environmental and social health risks of the most widely used synthetic pesticides in each county. He will launch a public education campaign based on the effect of synthetic pesticides on growers, farmworkers, consumers, and the natural landscape.

Galarneau plans to create a web site, write magazine and newspaper articles and editorials, and produce a documentary about the agricultural practices of the Central Coast. An agricultural summit next year will address ways to promote the use of more biologically sound practices and to improve the environmental and working conditions of farmworkers. The summit will bring together farmworkers, growers, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, labor union and government representatives, and academics.

Donald Strauss, who died in 1995, demonstrated a lifelong commitment to public service and education. His widow, Dorothy M. R. Strauss, established the foundation in January of 1997 and invited 10 universities to nominate up to three students each for scholarships. The foundation has since broadened its reach and now awards at least 14 scholarships each year.

Governor’s office on volunteerism honors 51 UC Santa Cruz students

UCSC students building a house in Tecate, Mexico, during their spring break.
Photo: Luke Botzheim

The hard work of 51 UC Santa Cruz students who spent their spring break building a house, digging trenches, and repairing roofs in Mexico hasn’t gone unnoticed. GOSERV, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, has highlighted the students on its web site with a "Spotlight," honoring the state’s "everyday heroes who give selflessly so that others may benefit."

Letters from the Governor’s Office commending the students will be presented by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Francisco Hernandez at the campus’s College Nine and College Ten Volunteer Recognition Awards ceremony May 25 at the University Center.

"The work you did in that community will be remembered for a very long time," the letters say. "You are the epitome of today's volunteers; you sacrificed a hard-earned vacation from school and spent it improving the lives of people you had never met. The time and effort you dedicated to the families of Tecate is unparalleled and you are an inspiration to anyone who knows you."
"Commitment and involvement such as yours are a shining example of the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism's mission, which is to bring Californians together to meet community challenges through service and volunteerism," the letters continue.

Abbey Asher, service learning coordinator for College Nine and College Ten, accompanied the students on the Mexican trip. "Although I often tell students that being thanked and receiving praise isn't what it is all about when we serve others, it's quite a special thing to receive an unsolicited letter from the Governor's Office in recognition of their dedication and hard work."

Forgoing the traditional spring break, the students slept on the floor of a community center in Tecate, with no indoor plumbing until they installed it themselves. In addition to working alongside the townspeople, the student volunteers spent time with the local children on art projects and played Frisbee and soccer with them. The group worked through the nonprofit Corazón organization in Mexico.

"I am sure that I speak for the entire campus when I say that we are very proud of these students and all they accomplished. They represent the true Santa Cruz student; very smart and very committed to positive change," Vice Chancellor Hernandez said.

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