UCSF University Relations Wins Two Western Regional Awards for Advancing Education

March 09, 2012

Committed to the City webpage

The news team at UCSF’s University Relations and Strategic Communications has won two awards for its communications from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), District VII.

CASE awarded University Relations a gold award for “UCSF: Committed to the City,” an interactive map featuring multimedia stories about the University’s many public outreach projects in San Francisco, and a silver in science writing for a group of five web stories.

CASE District VII, which includes Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah, recognized work completed in 2011.

All winners can be viewed here. [PDF]

The community mapping project — initiated by Barbara J. French, vice chancellor of University Relations and Strategic Communications, ­and implemented by a group of staff and two interns led by Kevin Eisenmann — was singled out by the judges for special praise. “We received a record number of entries this year,” the judges wrote, “and your excellent achievement stood out among the best. We appreciate you sharing your fine work with us.

Lisa Lam, a pharmacy student at UCSF, checks in with Maggie Wong before her exam

Lisa Lam, a pharmacy student at UCSF, checks in with Maggie Wong before her exam. See Students Vaccinate Against Hepatitis B in Chinatown.

“One of our objectives is to share best practices among our colleagues in an effort to help all improve their skills and increase their effectiveness. Your efforts will be recognized as an example for others to emulate. Thank you for producing the kind of work that brings respect to our profession.”

Committed to the City is an ongoing project that documents UCSF’s considerable community service projects in diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco. The regular feature is intended to showcase UCSF’s involvement in improving the health and education of the community and to create a broader awareness of its public service mission both on campus and among neighbors. Stories, told through video, audio and photo slideshows, range from UCSF’s work with San Francisco public school students and teachers to community health fairs, from medical outreach to underserved populations to providing health care to runners at the San Francisco marathon.

The science writing entry “Bench to Bedside” included five stories that collectively received recognition, illustrating the ways that scientific discoveries at UCSF aim to help patients and inform their care as well as offer insight about basic scientific research.

The vampire bat

The vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, must find a blood meal every 1 –2 days to survive. Razor sharp teeth and infrared-sensing ‘pit organs’ surrounding its nose help the bat achieve this goal.

The stories were:

  • Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida by Kate Vidinsky is a story about a clinical trial suspended early because its results were so promising. The story received widespread national media coverage, including a spot on NBC Nightly News.
  • What Steers Vampires to Blood by Jason Bardi is about basic research into pain that drew interest from media outlets ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to the New York Times.
  • Learning Lessons from and HIV Cure by Jason Bardi is part of a package of web stories to mark 30 years since AIDS first was discovered in San Francisco and New York, which drew seven times the normal web traffic for ucsf.edu stories. The story featured an interview with AIDS pioneer Jay Levy, MD, a professor in UCSF’s Department of Medicine who co-discovered HIV as the cause for AIDS in 1983.
  • Sperm Discoveries Shed Light on Infertility and Birth Control by Jeffrey Norris is a deeper science piece written for the website, that displayed UCSF’s leadership on fertility issues and featured a short video on swimming sperm.
  • Study Debunks Autism as Primarily Genetic Disorder by Kristen Bole is a story about a study questioning commonly held beliefs that nature plays a far larger role than nurture, which drew interest from advocacy and interest groups around the globe, as well as mainstream media.