NSCS Students Earn National Award

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars UCSB chapter received a Silver Star Status award at the NSCS 2011 Convention in June for the program’s commitment to the campus and community.

The NSCS is an honors organization with more than 300 student-run chapters on college campuses for freshmen and sophomores with a minimum 3.4 GPA who are ranked within the top 20 percent of their class. The organization awards its chapters with one of four Star status levels — bronze, silver, gold or platinum — determined by the chapter’s success, community service, member engagement and on-campus involvement.

According to NSCS Manager of Branding and Campus Communications Janine Deegan, the honor validates its members’ efforts in the program.

“For the NSCS chapter on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus, the reward of attaining Silver Star Status is second only to the impact it has had on the community and the bonds it has strengthened between members,” Deegan said in an e-mail.

The organization requires several prerequisites for Star Status including holding an induction ceremony for new members each term, creating an on-campus membership recruitment campaign and sending at least one member to the NSCS Convention. The award’s level is based on the quantity and quality of events the chapter held the previous year.

The chapter officers and members received the award and a $100 Chapter Scholarship toward the funding of chapter programs and events for 2011-2012 academic year. The UCSB branch — founded in 2000 — planned and improved long-standing NSCS programs last year such as Planning to Achieve

Collegiate Excellence for mentoring middle and high school students.


UCSB Climbs U.S. News & World Report Rankings


The magazine U.S. News & World Report placed UC Santa Barbara in the number 10 spot on its annual listing of the top public national universities and number 42 on its list of national university rankings, tied with the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Private universities topped the national rankings list, including Harvard and Princeton tied for number one and Yale ranked at number three. UC Berkeley is the highest-ranked public institution at number 21.

The UC system occupies five of the top 10 spots on the public national universities list with UC Berkeley ranked first, UCLA ranked second, UC San Diego ranked eighth, UC Davis ranked ninth and UCSB ranked 10th.

Additionally, UCSB’s College of Engineering undergraduate program is ranked 38th — tied with Yale University, Iowa State University and Washington University in St. Louis — on the magazine’s list of best undergraduate engineering programs offering up to a doctorate degree. Only 21 public universities with engineering schools are ranked higher than UCSB’s College of Engineering.


Material Lab Receives National Science Foundation Grant


The National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center granted nearly $20 million to the UCSB Materials Research Laboratory for several research and education programs over the next six years.

The foundation’s funding recognizes the laboratory’s impact on the community and assists UCSB’s research programs addressing societal needs in energy, environment and sustainability. The university’s MRL is the only facility on the West Coast supported by the MRSEC.

MRL director Craig Hawker said the grant validates the lab’s current research efforts.

“We are delighted with the renewal, which recognizes our achievements in research and education,” Hawker said in a press release. “This could not have come about without the dedicated participation of students, staff and faculty. Competition for these flagship Centers is fierce. What sets materials research at UCSB apart is the emphasis on a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research environment.”

The National Research Council ranked UCSB as the number one materials science graduate program in September 2010. According to reports from Thomson Reuters released this year, UCSB’s material research ranked second in the world in terms of published research citation impact. Five UCSB Materials Dept. professors recently made the list of top 100 most cited materials researchers in the world.