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Posts Tagged: Ria Debiase

UC ANR Staff Assembly scholarships now available

The UC ANR Staff Assembly Council is pleased to announce the 2017-18 Scholarship program.

The UC ANR Staff Assembly has established a scholarship program that is available to all UC ANR staff employees and county-paid employees. The scholarship provides financial assistance to UC ANR staff to pursue career interests, develop new career paths, and address knowledge or skill gaps needed to reach professional development goals.

This year's award dates are for courses taken between May 1, 2017, and April 15, 2018. Deadline for applications is close of business April 15, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted. Courses taken after April 15, 2018, will be eligible for reimbursement on the next scholarship cycle of April 16, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2018.  

For complete details please go to the UC ANR Staff Assembly website:

Last year's scholarship recipients were Jerry Harris, office manager for UCCE San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and Ria Debiase, pest management guidelines coordinator for the UC IPM Program in Davis.  Here's what they have to say about their experience:  

1. Tell us about yourself – Where do you work, what do you do, are you a county-paid or UC-paid employee?

Jerry Harris
Jerry Harris: My name is Jerry Harris. I am a county-paid employee and work for San Luis Obispo County. My position is the administrative services officer II, which can be translated as office manager. I handle all the administrative functions of the office and many other tasks as needed.

Ria Debiase: I work for UC IPM in the ANR building on Second Street. I am the pest management guidelines coordinator.

2. How did you hear about the UC ANR Staff Assembly scholarship program?

Jerry Harris: One of the members of the Staff Assembly informed me of the program.

Ria Debiase: During an ANR Staff Meeting where Matt Baur presented.

3. What class did you take and how does it relate to your professional development goals?

Jerry Harris: I am taking several classes as I work towards earning my bachelor's degree in business with an emphasis on accounting. I earned my associates degree in accounting back in 2012.  The junior level classes that I have completed for this scholarship have been: public administration, team building and intro to organization behavior, which I passed with two Bs and one A. All three of those classes were taken at National University. These classes helped me in my progress in earning my degree and are all with the intent to work towards achieving advancement in my career.

Ria DeBiase
Ria Debiase: I took an intermediate stats class, which helped me gain a better understanding of the statistical soundness of papers I use as research for the guidelines. 

4. Was it difficult to apply for the scholarship funds?

Jerry Harris: No, it was pretty straightforward process.

Ria Debiase: The main challenge was some glitchiness in turning in copies of my receipts through File Vault. The completed course requirement was also a challenge, in that there are some courses I would only consider if the scholarship money was approved ahead of time. Otherwise the process was fairly straightforward.

Note from Staff Assembly: For future application submissions, Staff Assembly Council now requests copies of receipts via email instead of through the file transfer process. 

5. Will you apply for scholarship funds in the future?

Jerry Harris: Absolutely.

Ria Debiase: Yes, definitely. 

6. Would you recommend the scholarship program to other employees

Jerry Harris: Yes, this program really helps to offset the expensive costs of higher education.

Ria Debiase: Yes!

Posted on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 11:48 AM
  • Author: Erin Spaniel

AVP Powers announces 51 proposals invited for competitive and high-reward grants

AVP Wendy Powers announced the letters of intent (LOIs) for which principal investigators have been invited to submit full proposals to ANR's Competitive Grants Program and High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program. The list of 51 approved projects can be found at

This year ANR received a total of 108 letters of intent — 97 for the Competitive Grants Program and 11 for the High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program. Strategic Initiative leaders and their respective panels reviewed all letters of intent thoroughly to address the appropriateness of the proposals in addressing the goals and criteria outlined by each funding opportunity.

ANR Competitive Grants Program

The purpose of the ANR competitive grants program is to address high-priority issue areas identified by at least one of the strategic initiatives: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD), Healthy Families and Communities (HFC), Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), Sustainable Natural Ecosystems (SNE), and Water Quality, Quantity and Security (Water).

ANR Competitive Grants Program 2017 Cycle:

  • Full proposals due June 19
  • Technical peer review: mid-June – early September 2017
  • Strategic Initiative review and recommendations: end of September 2017
  • Program Council review and recommendations: October/November 2017
  • Announcement of funded grants: November/December 2017

High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program

Given the complexity of societal problems, high-risk research is necessary to achieve gains for real progress in addressing present and emerging challenges. This program will provide funds to initiate and complete research and proof-of-concept efforts that serve as the basis for larger funding opportunities. These projects must be of a high-risk/high-reward nature that are best conducted in a controlled, research setting and, if successful, lend themselves to subsequent larger funding opportunities and/or intellectual property development.

Proposed projects must be within the scope of the ANR Strategic Vision. All ANR academics with PI status are eligible to apply. Proposals will be accepted using the same timeline as outlined for the traditional competitive grants program, but reviewed separately due to the nature of the proposal.

For questions about ANR's competitive grants program or high-risk/high-reward grants program, please contact Melanie Caruso at

Nutrition Policy Institute launches Research to Action news brief

The Nutrition Policy Institute has launched a news brief called Research to Action. The publication will provide information on research, policy, news, announcements, events, articles and action items focused on nutrition and healthy communities. 

The first issue looks at the work of the National Drinking Water Alliance (NDWA). NPI is the “hub” for NDWA, which engages in and coordinates evidence-based efforts going on all over the country to improve tap water safety and access, especially for children, and to provide drinking water education and promotion. The NDWA website is a “go-to” resource for information on drinking water. 
Future editions of Research to Action will be sent several times per year. Please sign up for the Research to Action mailing list, and please share Research to Action with colleagues who would be interested in receiving it.

4-H calls alumni and friends to join its new network

If 4-H has touched your life, raise your hand. Visit to voice your support for the California 4-H youth development program, help it win a national competition and connect with a network of 4-H alumni and friends.

You are considered alumni if you were in a 4-H Club, took part in a 4-H after-school program, served as a volunteer leader or taught a project. Friends of 4-H are also invited to raise their hands.

“Having experienced our programs first-hand, our alumni know about the positive impact of 4-H,” said Glenda Humiston, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and a 4-H alumna.

As part of the new 4-H network being built in the 4-H Raise Your Hand campaign, members will get news about 4-H programs in California and stay in touch with a program that made a difference in their lives.

“I've raised my hand,” said Humiston, who credits 4-H with helping her become the first in her family to attend college. She later served in the Peace Corps, received a federal appointment from President Obama and now leads the statewide research and outreach arm of UC.

The National 4-H program, which currently empowers nearly 6 million youth across the country, aims to extend its reach to 10 million by 2025. It has launched a competition among states to see which ones can add the most alumni and friends to the network by June 30, 2017. A map showing the current front runners is on the registration page.

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM
  • Author: Jeannette Warnert

Educating policymakers about UC ANR

From left, Pia Van Benthem, outreach program coordinator for UC Davis Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) and the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, Congressman Ami Bera, Hogan and Susan Ustin, CSTARS director.

Hogan visits Capitol Hill

In early April, Sean Hogan, academic coordinator II for Informatics and Geographic Information Systems, presented at the AmericaView Winter Business Meeting, in Reston, Va., as representative of the CaliforniaView section of the consortium of remote sensing scientists. Hogan spoke about some of the ways that UC ANR is using drones to advance environmental and agricultural research. While he was near Washington D.C., Hogan went to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ami Bera, Congressman Paul Cook and staffers for Senator Diane Feinstein.

Read more in the IGIS blog //

Congressman Jim Costa blends a salad for students at La Vina Elementary School in Madera County as UCCE nutrition educator Angelica Perez observes.

Congressman Costa visits UC CalFresh class in Madera

When United States Congressman Jim Costa learned about the federally funded nutrition education programs being offered in his district, he made plans to visit.

He wanted a first-hand experience with UC CalFresh, in which UC Cooperative Extension educators visit classrooms to share new foods, teach healthy eating strategies and demonstrate physical activity to children and low-income families.

Read more in the Food blog

Posted on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 5:37 PM

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