LAURELS: Veterinary EMS Team Lauded

Veterinary affiliates lined up photo with certificate of commendation.
Veterinary faculty, staff and students accepted a state award on behalf of the entire VERT Medical Reserve Corps, which was commended for its efforts during the Camp Fire. Pictured, from left: Erin Belleville, Tiffany Liem and Stephen Harris, students; Lais Costa, veterinarian and researcher; Jasmine Huynh, student; Michelle Hawkins, professor and director of the California Raptor Center, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology; Kristina Palmer, registered veterinary technician; and Rachel Mckay and Kelsey Palsgaard, students.

Quick Summary

  • Musicologist Henry Spiller named a fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
  • NEA grant goes to Jiayi Young (design) and Tim Hyde (art) to embed artists into scientific laboratories
  • Anjali Nath of American studies among UC President’s Faculty Fellowship Award recipients
  • Research scientist Clifford Saron receives inaugural service award from the Mind and Life Institute
  • TherMOOstat and ACE: Award winners in Facilities Management’s energy-efficiency efforts

The state Emergency Medical Services Authority recently presented a certificate of commendation to the Medical Reserve Corps of UC Davis’ Veterinary Emergency Response Team, or VERT, recognizing the corps’ response to the Camp Fire.

The Medical Reserve Corps deployed twice to Butte County in connection with the fire that destroyed the town of Paradise last year. The deployments involved 11 faculty members, two registered veterinary technicians and 81 veterinary students (members of the sVERT Club), all of whom volunteered their time.

In the first deployment, to the county fairgrounds in Gridley, the Medical Reserve Corps worked in triage and care of large animals, and triage and care of birds. The team subsequently worked at a shelter, assisting with small, stray animals — identifying them and preparing them for relocation.


At an awards ceremony held June 17 at California State University, Chico, the state authority recognized 41 individuals and 41 groups for exceptional acts and service as employees or volunteers in California’s emergency medical system. The individual honorees received either medals of valor or meritorious service medals, while all the groups received certificates of commendation.

“We want to join with the community affected by the Camp Fire to recognize the EMS and health care personnel who demonstrated compassion, dedication, and, in some cases, bravery, to rescue and support the victims of the fire,” said Howard Backer, director of the state Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Henry Spiller, professor of music, has been named a fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2019-20. A musicologist with a specialty in Javanese music and dance, he will research the revival and inventive uses of bamboo musical instruments in Bandung, Indonesia. Spiller’s project, “Bamboo Murmurs: Music, History, and Place in Bandung, Indonesia,” is aimed at contributing to a dialogue about the interrelationships of cultural, natural and human resources.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist, College of Letters and Science

Jiayi Young, associate professor of design, and Tim Hyde, associate professor of art, have been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to embed artists into scientific laboratories to promote interdisciplinary collaboration, produce publicly-engaged scholarship, and narrow the gap between scholars, communities and the public. The project is part of the Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous, or LASER, series in which artists, designers, scientists and technologists how their disciplines intersect.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist, College of Letters and Science

Anjali Nath, assistant professor of American studies, has received a UC President’s Faculty Fellowship Award. Her research focuses on American culture in relationship to the world through warfare, popular culture and media. During the fellowship she will work on a project titled “A Thousand Paper Cuts: U.S. Empire and the Bureaucratic Life of War.”

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist, College of Letters and Science

Clifford Saron, a research scientist at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain in the College of Letters and Science, is the recipient of the inaugural service award from the Mind and Life Institute. Saron studies the long-term effects of intensive meditation.

Read more in this article by Kathleen Holder on the College of Letters and Science website.

Joules the cow drawing
TherMOOstat’s mascot: Joules the cow.

A national organization of educational facilities professionals recently honored UC Davis Facilities Management for TherMOOstat and the Active Commissioning Enterprise, or ACE, program — tools that help the university use energy more efficiently.

The awards are from APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities. Its former names include Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges (1948-54) and the original Association of Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds (1914).

UC Davis received an Effective and Innovative Practices Award for TherMOOstat, an online tool and app by which faculty, staff and students can register their opinions of room temperatures (“cold,” “chilly,” “comfortable, “warm” or “hot,” as represented by Joules the cow, say, wearing earmuffs or sunglasses) and a Sustainability Innovation Award for ACE, by which the campus optimizes the operation of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

“These awards are a testament to our organization’s commitment to sustainability and meeting the UC’s 2025 carbon neutrality goals,” said Allen Tollefson, associate vice chancellor.

With TherMOOstat-generated feedback, Facilities Management investigates and corrects thermostat settings and other HVAC issues  that can contribute to energy waste.

ACE focuses on large buildings with built-in air-flow controls, according to Nicolas Fauchier-Magnan, Facilities Management supervisor and ACE program lead. “You’d be surprised at the energy that can be saved with changes that do not affect building use or occupant comfort levels.”

Read more about the Facilities Management awards.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556,

Primary Category