NEWS BRIEFS: International Connections Reception

Quick Summary

  • Tickets on sale for Soaring to New Heights
  • Lights fixed, tree trimming next
  • Thousands due for Decision UC Davis
  • Workshops address shortcuts in our thinking
  • Support group for women: Integrating Work and Family
  • Check your ‘clutter’ folder

UC Davis has at least eight Iceland experts, two or more people with expertise on Qatar, more than a dozen who have worked on projects in Nicaragua — and the list goes on, comprising the hundreds of faculty, staff and scholars who make UC Davis truly global in reach. Next month, they’re all invited to the first International Connections Reception.

Joanna Regulska, vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs, is hosting the event, scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Her office describes the event as an opportunity for networking, individually and in region-specific breakout sessions.

It’s part of the office’s ongoing efforts to connect faculty, staff and scholars working abroad, said Jennie Konsella-Norene, an international funding analyst. “We find out faculty are in the same country at the same time and didn’t know about it,” Konsella-Norene said.

Global Affairs has long had an International Linkages Database, where faculty (and more recently, staff and scholars) can list the kinds of work they’re doing or have done around the world. The database accessible to the public, includes more than 600 people, and additions are welcome (anyone is invited to create their own entry).

When a diplomat or foreign delegation visits campus, the database can help identify whom they should meet. It’s also useful when someone contacts the department asking for someone with expertise in a specific country.

The April 13 event will provide an opportunity for people to connect with others with expertise in similar areas, to discuss possibilities for collaboration and to share best practices. People interested in attending are asked to RSVP by Monday (March 28) at the event’s website.

Tickets on sale for Soaring to New Heights

Tickets are on sale for the 26th annual Soaring to New Heights, the campus’s premier celebration of diversity, with an international buffet lunch, entertainment, awards and more. This year's event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, in The Pavilion at the ARC.

The program includes an information fair with representatives from various departments and constituent groups. Is your group interested in tabling? Fill out this form and return to

Read earlier coverage, including ticket details (advance purchase only, limited to 600 tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis).

Lights fixed, tree trimming next

As of March 18, campus workers had completed all basic repairs to exterior lighting in response to problems identified on a recent safety walk, according to Allen Tollefson, assistant vice chancellor, Facilities Management.

Students, police and others participated in the safety walk March 9, turning in reports of about 75 problem lights or areas in need of more light.

Tollefson said grounds crews will take care of trimming issues in the next few weeks, cutting back branches and shrubbery that cut off lighting. Finally, he said, “We are putting together a plan for the areas where additional lighting was recommended."

Read earlier coverage. The city of Davis announced a downtown safety walk, 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30; meet at the Davis Downtown kiosk in front of the Amtrak depot, 826 Second St. (near the corner of H Street).

Thousands due for Decision UC Davis

After recently sending out admission offers, UC Davis is now preparing to host thousands of the admitted students for Decision UC Davis, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the university as they ponder whether to accept and enroll.

The first Decision UC Davis, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, is for admitted freshmen and their families. About 6,000 people are expected.

Decision UC Davis for transfer students is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 13. About 800 people are expected.

More information is available online.

Workshops address shortcuts in our thinking

The Office of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation is talking about shortcuts, not the kind we take to get from here to there. But about shortcuts in our thinking that can lead to irrational decisions. And how we can learn to minimize this cognitive distortion. 

Carolyn Penny, director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, will explore this topic in a workshop scheduled for presentation three times the week of April 18. The free workshop is open to faculty and other academics; staff members; graduate and professional students; and undergraduate students.

According to a flier for the workshop, cognitive shortcuts go by a number of names, including “confirmation bias,” “gambler’s fallacy” and “anchoring bias,” and they frequently play out in our brains without our knowledge.

“They can help our decision-making to be very efficient; they can also lead us astray without realizing their impact,” the flier states. “In order to work better with these biases, we need to recognize them and the distortion they create.”

The workshop, Cognitive Distortion: How the Shortcuts of Your Brain Warp Your Decision-Making, will be presented as follows:

  • Monday, April 18 — 9 a.m.-noon, Meeting Room D, Student Community Center
  • Tuesday, April 19 — 1-4 p.m., Meeting Room D, Student Community Center
  • Wednesday, April 20 — 1-4 p.m., 3202 Education Building, 4610 X St., Sacramento (UC Davis Health System)

Space is limited; participants are expected to register with a commitment to engage fully for the entire workshopRegistration can be arranged online. For more information, contact Campus Dialogue and Deliberation by email.

Support group for women: Integrating Work and Family

The Academic and Staff Assistance Program announced it is forming the Integrating Work and Family Group for female staff and faculty members — women who have recently returned to work after being at home with family, or who may be juggling job, family and other responsibilities.

This free program for five or six people will run from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays starting April 20, for five consecutive weeks, at ASAP, 112 A St. (Guilbert House).

For more information, or to schedule a brief intake appointment (by April 15), send an email to Pilar Gonzalez-Grey or Terri Hiroshima-Chan, or call them at 530-752-2727.

Check your ‘clutter’ folder

Faculty and staff who use Office365 for email (and most of us do), don’t forget to check your “clutter” folder. It might contain messages you want. Microsoft added “clutter” to Office365 last year to help people filter and set aside low-priority email.

Microsoft explains it this way: “‘Clutter’ looks at what you’ve done in the past to determine the messages you’re most likely to ignore. It then puts them in the ‘clutter’ folder. Just keep using email as usual, and ‘clutter’ will learn which messages aren't important to you.”

From time to time, “clutter” might get it wrong, and, when you move those messages to your inbox, “clutter” will take notice. “We remove any personally identifiable information from the data we use ... (and) if ‘clutter’ isn't for you, you can turn it off any time." Look for the instructions here (and be sure to exit the “light” version to make the change).

Many people use the feature, and so the campus does not want to turn it off for UC Davis accounts, said Joshua Van Horn, the Information and Educational Technology manager who oversees central email services.

“But we also want to make sure Office365 users are aware of it,” he said, “so they don't miss messages that may have been filtered.”

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