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UCR to Offer Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies

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The new doctoral program will be the third of its kind in the United State 

UC Riverside will become only the third university in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in ethnic studies when the doctoral program launches in fall 2009. The Department of Ethnic Studies will begin accepting applications for the Ph.D. program on Sept. 1.

The program will allow students to focus on one or more of three distinct areas of specialization: theories of race and power, cultural politics and production, and the state, law and social transformation.

"Given the increased diversity of the state population there in a growing need and demand in both the private and public sector for researchers and policy experts who can address pressing social problems and contemporary issues surrounding race, ethnicity, and democracy not only in the Inland region but in California and the nation at large," said Alfredo Mirandé, chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies.

The comprehensive Ph.D. program will prepare students to work for public agencies and educational institutions or the private sector as applied researchers and policy experts, or to pursue careers in academia as researchers and university professors, he said.

The Department of Ethnic Studies has 12 permanent faculty and is conducting a national search for an additional senior tenure professor in the area of critical race studies and theory. Faculty areas of research and teaching cover a range of topics, including Native American, African American, Asian American, and Chicana/Latina literature and culure; black culture and performance; Chicano/a politics and social movements; Native American history and culture; history of black education; education, law and policy; law, race, class, and culture; Asian Americans and culture; Chicano history, music and popular culture; immigration history, law and policy; African American history; anthropology; Chicana feminism; and critical prison studies and critical race studies.

For more information contact Andrea Gonzales at (951) 827-1821, send an e-mail to etstgrad@ucr.edu , or go to www.graduate.ucr.edu.

Competitive Benefits to Employees Green Lighted

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law a measure that will give counties the authority to offer a more competitive benefit to employees that manage monies on behalf of retirement plan members, said Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto), who carried the bill with bi-partisan support through the legislative process.

Assembly Bill 1963 will enable investment staff to defer a portion of incentive compensation until retirement, said Timothy B. Barrett, CFA, Executive Director/Chief Investment Officer of San Bernardino Employees' Retirement Association.  "The ability to attract and retain qualified staff is paramount to any organization's success,"

Currently, counties that operate under The County Employees Law of 1936, have the authority to disburse performance-based bonuses only in the year they are earned, which may subject investment employees to substantial tax penalties.

"County retirement systems are constantly in competition with the private sector for talent. The assets of all of our retirement systems will grow in the coming years and we want to give our counties the ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest," said Assembly Member Carter, who represents Assembly District 62 in San Bernardino County.

CSU Sacramento Hosts Statewide Conference on First Year Student Experience

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Ethnic Studies Professor Says Research Will Help Students of Color 

Dr. David Leon
Sacramento State's First Year Program's Office is set to convene  the 2008 First Year Experience Regional Conference Tuesday, August 26, 8am-4pm in the University Union. The hallmark event will bring together faculty, staff, students, and administrators statewide to share strategies and showcase best practices in the fight to insure student success. That fight has particular importance to students of color, according to Dr. David Leon, Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department.

"Research shows that many students of color have a higher attrition rate, but it appears that students involved in an intensive first year program are more likely to be successful in their second year," said Dr. Leon. "Ethnic Studies is participating to share our success with our freshman seminar course (Ethnic Studies 21) and to learn from experts around the state."

Indeed Sacramento State is the first campus to host a learning community conference in Northern California, a conference built upon the work of the California Learning Communities Consortium (CLCC). In addition to statewide faculty, staff and department directors, renowned speaker Dr. Betsy Barefoot, the Co-Director for the Policy Center on the First Year of College, will speak. In addition to Dr. Barefoot's speech participants can engage in over 31 workshops on issues of technology, assessment, student engagement, diversity, freshman seminar pedagogy, and student excellence.

Arthritis Foundation to Honor Motown Legend

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The Arthritis Foundation-Inland Empire will host its annual fundraising gala, "the 2008 Taste of the Towns" on Sunday, October 5th from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Riverside Convention Center on the outside plaza area, 3443 Orange St. in historic downtown Riverside, Calif. This year's event promises to be a very memorable celebration, honoring the profession of Rheumatology. An elite guest list including medical professionals, executive board members, sponsors and other special guests are some of who will be in attendance for this unforgettable afternoon of the finest cuisine, wine, and live entertainment - all for a worthy cause.

This year, the Arthritis Foundation-Inland Empire, under the direction of Executive Director Catherine Grinnan, will be paying tribute to the late Melvin Franklin of the Grammy-award winning legendary Temptations (Godfather of Arthritis Foundation Committee member Natasha Ferguson). Franklin died in 1995 as a result of complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Special musical guests will be doing a "Sounds of Motown" musical tribute. In addition, attendees will have a rare opportunity to witness local Riverside artist Greg Adamson paint live to music. The finished art piece will be auctioned live at the event.

An estimated 1.3 million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints (it affects adults and children). The 2008 Taste of the Towns is the Inland Empire's premier food and wine tasting event to help raise money for continued research and to assist patients who suffer from this disease. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information call (951) 320-1540.

KaBOOM! Build Brings Out Hundreds

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By April Flowers

At nine in the morning it was only a dirt lot, but by the early afternoon out of the dirt a playground had been built.

KaBOOM! and Albertsons grocery stores, along with plenty of volunteers, came out to the westside of San Bernardino to give the children a safe place to play.  The volunteers ranged from all ages and backgrounds, but they were all there for one reason.

Delmann Heights, a low income community had a run down playground and few resources; however, this event gave the people of this community a chance to demonstrate the power of unity.  It also highlighted that Delmann Heights is not a forgotten community, that it is not a community that has lost hope.

5th Ward councilman Rikke Van Johnson cuts ribbon on new park.

It is important that the kids in the community have a safe place to play and grow.  The old playground was too dangerous for the children to play on but the new playground will be a safe place for the children to be active.  And more importantly, it is a place for the children to stay out of trouble.

KaBOOM! is a non-profit organization devoted to finding new and creative ways for youth to become active.  Their motto, "It starts with a playground," held true on July 30th.  The playground is the beginning of a new image for the community.

"It's not about building a playground; it's about changing a community," said Third Ward Councilman Tobin Brinker who came out on his birthday to show his support for this cause.

That is exactly what he and others, like Councilman, Rikke Van Johnson are trying to do.  They are building this community by repaving the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club Delmann Heights Community Center and planting about 20 trees in the park behind the center.

"Even though there is something positive here, there is still 20 acres that need attention," Van Johnson said.

He indicated, the football field and the baseball diamond are areas that still need work.  "But the construction of the new playground is a step in the right direction for the community," he said.

The new playground is also a chance for people all over the Inland Empire to encourage the community around the Delmann Heights center.

"When the kids see this many people come out to their community, it shows that people care about them," said A. Majadi, the Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino Chief Professional Officer.  "People care enough about them and their community to erect a $70,000 playground."

Just that morning Inland Communities Corp. brought a check to help fund the new playground.  Inland Empire Job Corps Center had brought a bus full of volunteers to shovel, rake and do what needed to be done.  Martha Martinez had come all the way from Cathedral City to help.  She heard about the building of the new playground from her local Albertson's and the Step Beyond Gold program.

The goal of the program is to raise up to a million dollars and support the athletes of today and tomorrow.  They are supporters of USA Women's National Water Polo, USA Softball Women's National Team, U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and USA Women's National Volleyball Team.  Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon, former Olympic volleyball player for the USA women's team, was more than happy to come and help at this event.

"It's always nice to give children a safe place to play," McCutcheon said.  "Every child should have that."

With her help and the help of hundreds of other volunteers, including  Mayor Pat Morris of San Bernardino, the children who live in the surrounding community now have a safe place in which to play.

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BVN National News Wire