Healthy Relationships with Professors and Peers

Entering into any grad program or Ph.D. program puts you in much closer contact and interaction with your peers and, more importantly your professors.

Here are some things to consider when interacting with your professors to make the most of your academic career at UCI:

1. Your professors have important connections, networks, and resources at their fingertips to help you negotiate your program. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember–they have many years of experience!!

2. Create an academic environment that will foster dialogue with your professors! If you’re having trouble figuring out what to talk about with your professors, research their interests, and get to know their classroom/communication styles. This allows you to find some common ground to initiate an informed discussion with them.

3. A good relationship with your professor can help boost your own self-esteem. Having a good rapport with your professor allows for open and honest conversation. Your professors are there to train and prepare you. But they are also there to encourage and push you. A good relationship with them will help you feel more confident and empowered to interact with them, and use their advice in the workforce.

4. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your professors, even after you’ve ended a class with them. Networking is an important part of any professional relationship. Your professors will always be a useful resource of guidance and experience. Just like any relationship, your academic relationship also requires fostering and nurturing. While they are your professors, they will also become your greatest allies entering into the working world. Keeping long-term contact with them will help you move forward a lot faster once you leave academia.

What about your peers? At the graduate and Ph.D. level, your peers are equally as important to making your educational experience a rewarding one.


1. Your peers are part of maintaining a healthy and balanced social life while pursuing your degree.

2. Each of your peers enters academia with differing experiences, backgrounds, and expertise. Keep yourself open to learning from one another, and be respectful of their areas of expertise. They may be able to teach you some tips and tricks of their own on how to handle and survive academia at the secondary level.

3. You’re here for academic study, but don’t forget that you are a part of Verano here with a community! Your peers are here to support you in your endeavors. Learn from each other, and push each other towards academic excellence.

For more tips on how to to navigate grad school as a Masters or Ph.D. student, check out

Maintenance Monday: How To Stay Cool Without AC

We are going to see very high temperatures this week, and that means very hot apartments. Here are a few ideas to keep cool during this hot streak:

  • Block the sun! When sunlight enters your apartment, it turns into heat. You’ll keep your home cooler if you reduce solar heat gain by keeping sunlight out.
  • Close the blinds! Also, if you have, or want to get, curtains, line them with light-colored fabric that reflects the sun, and close them during the hottest part of the day. Let them fall onto the floor to block air movement.
  • Open windows! Be sure to open windows when the outside temperature is lower than the inside. Cool air helps lower the temps of everything — walls, floors, furniture — that will absorb heat as temps rise, helping inside air say cooler longer. Additionally, to create cross-ventilation, open windows on opposite sides of the house.
  • Fire up your fans! At night, place fans in open windows to move cool air. In the day, put fans where you feel their cooling breezes (moving air evaporates perspiration and lowers your body temperature). To get extra cool, place glasses or bowls of ice water in front of fans, which will chill the moving air.

As always, remember that older individuals and children may be more sensitive to heat, so please pay close attention to their needs during this time. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, refrain from physically strenuous activity during the heat of the day and stop in the Cyber Café  to cool down.  Please familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in order to better assist your family, friends and community members. The Verano Place Cyber Café is air-conditioned and can provide relief from the high temperatures. The café is open M-F 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Providing CARE to the UCI Community

Recently a lot of attention has been given to sexual assaults on college campuses across the country and the way in which they are handled.  Are you familiar with one of UC Irvine’s on-campus resources?  UCI’s Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE) supports the goal of providing an educational environment free from violence and discrimination. Guided by the values of respect for diversity, human rights, and community responsibility, the CARE office provides comprehensive programs to serve those affected by sexual assault, relationship abuse and stalking.

CARE provides the following services, free of charge, to all currently enrolled students: *

  • Counseling for Individuals and Groups
  • Consultation
  • Advocacy Services
  • Referrals
  • Educational Programs
  • Trainings

Why should you call CARE?

  • You may have been sexually assaulted
  • You need help in supporting a survivor of sexual assault
  • You’re not sure if your relationship is healthy
  • Someone is making you feel uncomfortable and won’t leave you alone
  • You want to get involved in campuswide programming
  • You would like to request a workshop for your group
  • You want to become a leader and support others

If you have any concerns at all, you can call CARE at 949-824-7273. For 24-hour support call 949-831-9110. Visit care at or in person in the Student Center at G320. Always call 911 if there is a life safety issue.

*If you are not a currently enrolled student, CARE can provide off-campus resources and referrals to you.

Tip Tuesday: Bike Safety

Contributed by: Shaunie Cluff, Verano Housing Assistant

UC Irvine has earned the designation of being a bicycle friendly community. Many students and residents within the campus community use bikes as a mode of transportation. Bikes are a great way to get exercise and to get around campus quickly. With so many bikes around, it’s important for everyone to be familiar with the rules of the road and how to stay safe while riding. UC Irvine’s Transportation and Distribution Services has a webpage at that is a great resource on UC Irvine’s bike rules, safety, and security. Here are some important points to remember:

Equipment First

Make sure your bike is in good working order. Especially where the brakes are concerned.

Wear a helmet to protect your head against an accidental fall.

When riding at night, the law requires that a bike has a headlight and red tail light, along with reflectors on both pedals and the wheels. Wear light colored and reflective clothing.

Rules of the Road

Always be aware of your surroundings. It is illegal and dangerous to ride with both ears covered by earbuds or headphones.

Always ride with traffic. It is illegal to ride opposite of traffic.

Use a bike lane if there is one, and stay to the right as much as possible.

Never assume drivers can see you. Always make eye contact.

Obey all traffic lights and signs as if you were driving a car. This means yielding to pedestrians and obeying stop signs.

Don’t ride faster than conditions permit.

Stay in your lane, and ride a straight line. If a lane change is needed, use hand signals. Extend the left arm horizontally for a left turn, and right for a right turn. To let drivers or other cyclists know you are slowing down or stopping, extend your arm downward.

Common Sense for Bikes

Always keep at least one hand on the handlebars. Don’t carry a load in one hand and try to steer your bike with the other.

Don’t try to carry a load on your bike unless it is equipped to do so. There are various devices on the market to help groceries make it home without plastic bags breaking or the rider crashing.

Report road hazards within UCI, like potholes and road debris, by calling (949) 824-PARK.

UCI Police requires that all bikes on campus be registered with them.

Bike thieves do prowl UCI campus and Verano Place occasionally. Lock a bike up when it’s not in use.

If you don’t yet own a bike, but would like to, check out the website at More information on UCI’s monthly low-cost bike fair can be found there.

For a more extensive list of bike safety and Irvine city bike policies, please visit:

Maintenance Monday: Keep It Clean and Safe

We all want to cook our food and not have to worry about making greasy wall stains and cleaning up lots of mess. It may seem to make sense to line your stove-top with aluminum foil- but NEVER do this!

  • Covering your stove-top, cupboards or wall with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, newspapers, or any other material is a potential fire hazard.
  • Trapped grease can cause a fire and can also be a breeding ground for pests.
  • As a reminder, if you have a gas stove there is a constantly burning pilot light so the stove will always have warm spots.
  • Maintain your stove by wiping up spills as they occur and with complete periodic cleanings.
  • Every so often it is a good idea to remove the screen from the exhaust fan and soak it in hot sudsy water for several minutes, and scrub lightly with a brush to remove grease. Using your kitchen fan while cooking will help prevent grease build-up on walls and cupboards.

If you notice that your stove/oven or any other appliance requires maintenance, please call 949-824-5964 during regular business hours and 949-294-1812 after hours. You can also complete an online maintenance request form at

Emergency Planning- Are You Ready?

The new academic year is just around the corner, get ahead on individual and family emergency planning before school begins. Northern California was recently rocked by a large scale earthquake – when disaster strikes, will you be ready? Do you know what to do at work and at home? Do you have a family plan? It’s important for all of us to be prepared to take care of our families, our homes, our campus community and ourselves. In California, whether it’s wildfires, earthquakes or winter storms, it’s not a matter of “if” a disaster will strike, but “when”. We face our share of natural disasters and we’re not immune to human caused events. BE SMART. BE RESPONSIBLE. BE PREPARED. BE READY!

Here are Ten Ways You Can Be Disaster Prepared . This list is adapted from guidance developed by the California Office of Emergency Services and the UCI Police Department. Take action today – get prepared.

What are the hazards where you live? What hazards do we face on campus? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live or work in a flood plain, near a major earthquake fault or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike at any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?
Your family needs a plan that tells everyone:

Where to meet if you have to evacuate. Designate a meeting place outside your home where family members can go. Have a backup meeting pace in your neighborhood in case your first rendezvous point is inaccessible. Make sure your children’s schools and day-care providers or caregivers have a disaster plan and that they schedule annual “disaster drills” with parents to ensure your children’s safety.

Who you’ve identified as the out-of-state friend or family member to be your “family contact” for everyone to check-in with. It is often easier to call long-distance following a disaster.

After you have developed your plan, practice it! Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster, whether to stay put indoors or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routs as determined by your local city officials.

On campus, review your work area or department plan with your colleagues. Take an opportunity at an upcoming staff meeting to review emergency procedures. To coordinate a brief evacuation drill, contact your school’s facility manager or zone captain.

If you are stranded in your car or have to be self-sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you. Be prepared with a minimum of 3 days of supplies in case vital services are unavailable or utilities are shut off.


Parents, talk with your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Practice your family disaster plan every 6 months. Empower your children to help write the family plan, build the disaster supply kit, and lead the drills. Refresh the kit twice each year to insure age appropriate supplies for your children. The more informed and involved children are in disaster planning, the more prepared they will be.


Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten. Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medication, oxygen tank or other medical supplies that seniors or persons with disabilities may need. Be sure that your have enough special needs supplies for at least 3 days. If you have a family member in an assisted living facility, ask to review the facility’s disaster plan.


Take a basic first aid and CPR course from the American Red Cross. Make sure to take the periodic refresher courses to keep your training current. The training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.

On campus, the Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) offers low cost (or sometimes free) classes. Classes are scheduled conveniently during the workday and on weekends.

You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earthquake or an explosion. Strap down large electronics, secure cabinet doors, anchor tall furniture and secure overhead objects such as ceiling fans and pictures.

If you live in a high fire danger area, also take the necessary steps to protect your home against wildfires. For advice on making your home fire safe, contact your local fire department.

Disaster preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Be vigilant for suspicious packages, unusual activities or behaviors, and out-of-place, unattended backpacks or other materials. Take action to notify the police so that they can respond appropriately.


Take part in your community planning, preparedness and response teams. Join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the American Red Cross, and other community or faith-based organizations in your area.

On campus, keep emergency preparedness on your staff meeting agendas. Participate in Zone Crew activities. Attend training and become a Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) Team Member.

Helpful Links to Get You Ready!

Maintenance Monday: How To Prevent Clogged Sinks

Just be careful what you put down your sink to prevent a clog! Seems pretty simple, right?A clogged sink is a very common repair, but a little preventative maintenance can go a long way.  Here are a few good examples of common things that will clog your sink and some good tips to keep it clean.


Hair, Keep it Out of the Drain

One of the most common things responsible for a clogged sink in a bathroom is the accumulation of hair in the drain. Try brushing your hair away from the sink, and do not ever try washing the hair out of your hair brush into the sink. Though over time some hair will fall into the drain, frequent instances of larger amounts being washed down the drain are a good way to ensure that you will have a clogged drain.

Do Not Shave Over the Sink

The sink seems like a logical place to let all the little hairs fall or shave when you get a haircut, but this is one of the worst things you can do for your drain. Try shaving over a paper towel or washcloth so you can throw the hairs away in the trash can.


Never Put These Things Down Your Disposal or Drain:

  1. Fibrous foods like asparagus, corn husks, artichokes, carrot or potato peels or any other vegetables that have any kind of stringy qualities to them
  2.  Grease, oil, and fat
  3.  Pasta and rice, it expands when it contacts water and swells up
  4.  Eggshells, coffee grounds, pits and seeds
  5.  Bones of any kind

Regular cleaning is very important! Here are a few good tips to try:

  • Run hot water through the sink after each use. Hot water keeps oils in food products running down the drain, rather than building up on the interior surface of pipes, which can make drains sluggish and lead to clogs.
  • Throw a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow it with hot water. Baking soda is a terrific cleaning agent, and it’s also great for absorbing foul odors and leaving your drain pipes smelling better.
  • Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes; then chase it down with very hot water. Vinegar is a wonder cleaner. It contains acetic acid, which acts as an excellent organic solvent in removing organic buildup of crud in pipes.