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December 2020 Newsletter

Thank you for an impactful year!


From everyone at the Blum Center, we'd like to express gratitude for all the support and engagement we've received in 2020. Despite the changes and unforeseen circumstances, we successfully adapted to our situation by continuing to provide resources for students, staff, faculty, and community members! Thanks to you, we were able to achieve great things this year.

Shaping the Future of Service


Due to COVID-19, we made the decision to cancel the international service internships of our 2020 Global Service Scholars for the sake of health, allowing these previous scholars to apply to be a part of the 2021 cohort. We also opened the application to other UC campuses, continuing our cross-campus Global Service Scholars collaboration.

This year, our 46 scholars are completing foundational coursework and will complete intensive summer service projects with international or domestic partner sites.

Helping Whoever, Wherever


The Spring 2020 round of Small Change, Better World included 9 projects. These projects all had the underlying theme of assisting communities that were highly impacted by COVID-19. In total, we provided $23,500 for these initiatives and are extremely proud of these students and their impacts in 4 different countries!

Fall 2020 Small Change, Better World applications are being reviewed, with projects that fall under the themes COVID-19 recovery & relief and helping communities of color.
PSCI 192B
In the winter of 2020, we saw 344 students complete PSCI 192B: The Science & Practice of Compassion with Dr. Paul Piff. This fall quarter, we have 286 students enrolled, totaling to 630 students for 2020.
UC Big Ideas
This year, we received a record amount of Big Ideas applications from UCI student entrepreneurs! Out of all UC campuses, we had the 2nd largest amount of applicants. We hope to see some winning Anteaters!
UPPP 115
In the spring of 2020, we saw 194 registered UCI students and 43 cross-enrolled students complete UPPP 115: Global Poverty & Inequality in the 21st Century with Dr. Richard Matthew.

Campus Climate & Socio-Emotional Well-Being


Since 2018, we have been regularly surveying students about their experiences on campus. Our goal is to understand how campus activities influence the development of compassion, and how caring for others shapes happiness, achievement, and relationships during the undergraduate years.

This year the survey provided insights into the relationship between compassion and resilience in the face of challenges. Students who reported higher levels of compassion before the pandemic began were more likely to say that the pandemic gave them a greater appreciation for their own life, a greater sense of closeness with others, and awareness of their own strength. Our student programs give students opportunities to develop and exercise compassion, which can contribute to their own well-being in addition to helping the broader community.
A look at women's perspectives on human security

Around the world, women and girls face amplified and particular challenges related to violent conflict, climate change and poverty. The just published "Women's Perspectives on Human Security" brings together leading thinkers from around the world to explore the human security dimensions of violent conflict and environmental change as experienced and addressed by women today. The volume was compiled by UCI Blum Center Faculty Director Richard Matthew, Nora Davis,Tera Dornfeld, and Gunhild Hoogensen Gjorv.

Barriers & Opportunities for Beneficial Reuse of Sediment to Support Coastal Resilience

Sediment can benefit both natural habitats and development activities by raising the elevation of certain areas. Our SedRISE team helped identify regulatory, technical, psychological, financial, and interorganizational barriers to beneficial reuse of sediment to support coastal resilience. The study outlines those barriers and provides recommendations to make beneficial reuse a more feasible management approach. Solutions are being pursued that will continue to break aid sediment reuse in Southern California.
Read More 2020 Press Articles

Healing the divide


For the first Daybreak Dialogues webinar of 2020-21, Social Ecology Dean Nancy Guerra and Richard Matthew, associate dean and director of the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, spoke of the importance of compassion in healing the country’s political divide and outlined a roadmap with the tools needed to help us all. Watch on YouTube.
Additional News & Events:
  • UCI Student Social Survey through December 18 - Students who complete the MORE survey have the chance to win a gift card. Read the study details & participate HERE.
  • Want to help the community? Browse organizations in need of virtual volunteers HERE.
  • Interested in social enterprise? Find more resources to build your ideas HERE.
  • Join the Civic and Community Engagement Minor with the Poverty Track. More info HERE.

About the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation

The UCI Blum Center’s mission is to promote social change and inspire the next generation of leaders to action with research on poverty alleviation. The Center’s innovative education programs, basic and applied research, and work in community development and policy-making engage future leaders to reduce the risks of poverty for vulnerable populations and improve humanity and its institutions.
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Copyright © 2020 UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, All rights reserved.


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