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Events Help New Students Make Transition to Campus Life

August 20, 2012

This week, UC Merced welcomes more than 1,400 new first-year, transfer and graduate students to campus. Special programs are happening campuswide to provide information and ensure new students have a smooth transition.

“We’ve been looking forward to the arrival of our incoming class of Bobcats all summer,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jane Lawrence. “Groups across campus have worked diligently to coordinate events and activities geared toward providing them with the knowledge and resources they will need to flourish at UC Merced.”

This year, the campus has its largest group of graduate students. As a major research university, graduate students are integral to the UC’s mission of research, teaching and public service. All new graduate students are encouraged to attend Graduate Research Orientation Week (GROW) events taking place through Wednesday, to learn about key components of their graduate education experience, including department and program resources, the graduate groups and other campus resources. The GROW schedule also includes social events to help build friendships and a sense of community.

“The transition from undergraduate school to graduate school can be daunting, so we have organized a week-long orientation to provide students with information about the town, the campus, the schools and the graduate programs,” said Acting Dean of Graduate Studies Christopher Kello. “I look forward to working with the UC Merced community to create the best possible environment for our graduate students to develop as scholars, researchers and educators.”

For new freshman and transfer students, UC Merced is hosting its second ASCEND: New Student Success Conference on Tuesday. To launch this year’s conference, incoming students will gather in the North Bowl and walk across the Scholars Lane Bridge and through the Beginnings Sculpture — an annual tradition. Faculty, staff and continuing students are invited to assemble on the bridge at 9:30 a.m. to help welcome UC Merced’s newest Bobcats.

The ASCEND conference, held two days before the fall semester begins, offers incoming freshmen and new transfer students an opportunity to learn about essential academic skills, university expectations and campus resources. New students can connect with faculty, staff and continuing students by selecting from more than 60 conference sessions held throughout the day.

The conference will encompass four themes: academic excellence, student life and leadership, personal and academic responsibility, and wellness.

New freshmen and transfer students should plan to attend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about ASCEND, visit

Welcome Week, sponsored by the Office of Student Life, begins Aug. 22 and offers events and opportunities for all new and returning students to become familiar or reacquainted with the campus. Students will have fun, make friends and learn more about life at UC Merced. This year’s theme, “It takes a Campus to Educate a Bobcat,” embodies the commitment of staff, faculty and continuing students to support the success of each and every student. For more information, contact or 209-228-5433.

Brenda Ortiz

Senior Public Information Representative

Office: (209) 228-4203

Mobile: (209) 628-8263