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Entries in UCLA (5)

Wednesday
Apr112012

UCLA Apologizes for Accidentally ‘Accepting’ Wait-Listed Students

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- UCLA apologized Wednesday for wrongly sending congratulatory admission letters to 894 high school students who were actually on the wait list. The letters for entry in fall 2012 went out along those for the thousands of admitted students. The students also received a financial aid notice, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Campus spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in a statement that was posted on the university’s website, “UCLA is aware that this is a particularly anxious time for students and their families and has apologized to students and parents who may have been led to believe they were admitted rather than still on the wait-list.”

UCLA officials said the mistake was due to a human error, and the financial aid office sent out messages Monday to retract the admission and apologize for the confusion.

While there is no doubt there are many high school seniors with deflated hopes at the moment, experts say this is a teachable moment on how to deal with disappointment and rejection in the future. By the time kids are at college-seeking age, they likely have experienced disappointments, and it is the job of parents and educators to help teens deal with setbacks, said John Walkup, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Weil Cornell Medical College.

“Hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” said Walkup. “If a child has historically had trouble with disappointments or abrupt reversals of fortune, then definite preventative mental health interventions are warranted to plan for managing strong adverse emotions.  Such reactions shouldn’t be a surprise if parents are paying attention to their kids’ histories of managing their expectations, dreams and disappointments.”

Talking about this and sharing feelings with a sympathetic listener, a parent, can be quite helpful, said Dr. Alan Hilfer, chief psychologist at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.

“Ultimately the repercussions for these students certainly might be to make them very cautious and hesitant about believing what they are told without extensive checking,” which, Hilfer said, is not always a bad thing.

“They certainly may be less trusting and perhaps so angry at UCLA that they won’t want to go there, even if taken from the waiting list,” said Hilfer. “I wish them well and hope they had good backup plans.”

The deluge of additional information we have in today’s world through the Internet and social networks might heighten anxiety for students at this time. While it is certainly a disheartening disappointment, Dr. Carol Bernstein, associate professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, said it’s also important for parents to remind their children that this is a “distressing, but not an earth-shattering mistake.”

“There are many different ways we define success and we have to remember that. Not every kid should go to Harvard,” she continued. “Ultimately, we should all want our children to live meaningful and happy lives in the way that is best suited for them.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep042011

UCLA Student Still With Libyan Rebels

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- UCLA student Chris Jeon is still in Libya, say two reporters keeping tabs on him in Libya.

The 21 year old has turned into an Internet sensation, after buying a one-way ticket to Libya to fight against Ghadafi loyalists before returning for his last year at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Bradley Hope of the National and Kristin Chick of the Christian Science Monitor came across Jeon in the rebel-held town of An Nawfiliyah in Libya, where they interviewed him on Thursday.

In a video captured by Hope, Jeon is surrounded by Libyan rebels, wearing an L.A. Lakers basketball jersey, a Kaffiyeh—a traditional Arab headdress, goggles, camouflage-printed pants, shoes that resemble Converse Chuck Taylors.

“I want to go to Sirte,” Jeon tells the rebels in English. It’s not clear that they understand him, or he understands them. In an interview with Hope, Jeon said, “It’s hard to communicate. I don’t really speak any Arabic.” According to Jeon’s Facebook page, he can only speak English, Spanish and Korean.

On Friday, Al Jazeera English’s Evan Hill tweeted that Jeon was headed home: “Our team in east #Libya said rebels fed up with Chris Jeon, US kid who tried to join, told him 2 go, last seen on pick-up going 2 Benghazi.”

However, according to recent tweets from Hope and Chick, Jeon is still in Libya.

“Last we heard, he was still a celebrated mascot of the rebels, going from brigade to brigade. But info is hard to get,” Hope tweeted Saturday. Later, he tweeted a picture of a couch at a rebel hospital in Ras Lanuf where Jeon spent Thursday night, according to doctors.

“He apparently slept in the hospital there, took a shower, got some sunscreen, then hitched a ride back to the front. Chris Jeon—still here,” Chick tweeted Saturday.

Ras Lanuf is roughly an hour east of An Nawfiliyah—and farther away from Sirte than where he was the day he was interviewed.

Jeon told the paper that he came to Libya because it was the end of his summer vacation, and he “thought it would be cool to join the rebels.”

“This is one of the only real revolutions [in the world],” he said.

Jeon told Hope that his family had no idea he was in Libya. Calls to numbers listed as his phone number, or his relatives’ on Friday and Saturday were not answered. Jeon has not responded to an email sent to his personal email account.

Far from the suggestion that Jeon was being sent home by the rebels, Hope tweeted that according to some rebel commanders, he has been wholly accepted.

“There was no sign of rebels being ‘fed up’ with him. We talked to about five diff commanders and soldiers,” he tweeted today. “And one guy, who had never met him, told us in all seriousness that Chris wasn’t American anymore. ‘He’s Libyan’.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May032011

Did a College Class Track Down Bin Laden in 2009?

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- It seems Osama bin Laden could have been found earlier if U.S. officials had taken seriously a project conducted by a group of UCLA geographers two years ago.

Using a probabilistic model they'd created to predict how animals distribute themselves, professors Thomas Gillespie and John Agnew, along with a class of undergraduates at the University of California, Los Angeles, set out in 2009 to predict bin Laden's location.

The result: an 88.9 percent probability that bin Laden was living in a city less than 300 kilometers (about 200 miles) from Tora Bora, his last known location in Afghanistan.

Within that area: Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was located and ultimately killed Sunday night.

Using what they called "life history characteristics," the professors and students predicted that he would be located in a large town, not a cave, and that the building would have high ceilings, more than three rooms, cover from trees, a fence and electricity.

Indeed, when Navy SEALs located bin Laden, the 9/11 mastermind was not hiding in a cave in Afghanistan. He was living in a huge compound in an upscale Pakistani suburb -- just 35 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and down the street from Pakistan's version of West Point.

"He was more or less living in plain sight [and] relatively high on the hog," a senior intelligence official told ABC News.

"Caves are cold," Gillespie told Science magazine. "You can't see people walking up to them." But he said bin Laden should have chosen a different home -- "An inconspicuous house would have suited him better."

The bin Laden tracking idea arose during conversations between Gillespie and Agnew in the UCLA geography department in 2009.

Combining satellite information, biogeographic theories and what they knew of bin Laden's travels since Tora Bora, students created a probabilistic model of where he likely was hiding. The group eventually put bin Laden in Parachinar, a Pakistani border town, and pinpointed three possible hideouts.

Gillespie eventually wrote the students' results in a paper and submitted it to the journal MIT International Review.

Despite requests for interviews from TV shows and newspapers, he said he did not hear from the U.S. intelligence community. He told Science magazine, though, that he was not in the practice of finding terrorists.

In 2009, former CIA officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant, said the paper was a "really interesting starting point." A CIA official who had not seen the report said only, "Take it with a huge grain of salt, huge."

So what's up next for Gillespie? "Right now I'm working on the dry forests of Hawaii," he said. "I'm far more interested in getting trees off the endangered species list."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar192011

Student Leaving UCLA, Apologizes to Asians for Racist Video Rant

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Alexandra Wallace, the UCLA student whose viral video rant about Asians sparked outrage and a nationwide debate about free speech, will face no disciplinary action by the university and reportedly plans to withdraw from school.

UCLA's Daily Bruin newspaper posted a letter online Friday in which the student newspaper said Wallace apologized for offending "the UCLA community and the entire Asian culture."

"I made a mistake. My mistake, however, has lead [sic] to the harassment of my family, the publishing of my personal information, death threats and being ostracized from an entire community," read the letter the Daily Bruin said was released through a spokesman for the Wallace family.

The school's administration considers the matter closed, UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton told ABC News.

A junior political science major, Wallace received death threats after her videotaped tirade, which was titled "Asians in the Library," was posted last Friday, the same day the earthquake and tsunami hit.

In the video, which went viral over the weekend, Wallace vented about "the hordes of Asian people" at UCLA and mocked them for talking on the phone in the library. "Ohhhh! Ching chong ling long ting tong!" she said, imitating an Asian student talking on the phone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar182011

UCLA Student Off Hook for Asian Video Rant

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- UCLA student Alexandra Wallace, whose viral video rant about Asians sparked outrage and a nationwide debate about whether her disparaging remarks were considered "free speech," will face no disciplinary action by the university.

"While some of the sentiments that were expressed in the video were hurtful, appalling and offensive, we have not uncovered any acts that violated the student code of conduct," university spokesman Phil Hampton told ABC News on Friday. "We have no intention of pursuing the matter further."

Hampton added that the university "zealously protects freedom of expression, however misguided or offensive to our core values that speech may be."

He also said the university was "disappointed with some of the threatening and vitriolic language that has been used by some in response to the video.

Wallace, a junior political science major, received death threats after her videotaped tirade, titled "Asians in the Library," was posted last Friday, the same day the earthquake and tsunami hit.

In the video, which went viral over the weekend, Wallace vented about "the hordes of Asian people" at UCLA and mocked them for talking on the phone in the library. "Ohhhh! Ching chong ling long ting tong!" she said, imitating an Asian student talking on the phone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio