Three Pillars, One University

The UCLA Volunteer Center is taking a novel approach in fulfilling the University’s three pillars: Education, Research, and Service. To expose students with special needs to cutting edge research, the Center created a quarterly event called Three Pillars, One University, which provides students with special needs (namely Autism, Down’s Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy) from the Pathway at UCLA Extension program the chance to attend a professor research symposium. Since 2012, this program has allowed students the opportunity to learn about some of the most acclaimed research taking place at UCLA in a variety of fields.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On April 13, as part of Volunteer Appreciation Week at UCLA, university community members gathered to celebrate the week and participate in an Arts and Humanities-themed Three Pillars, One University program. The event marked the twelfth in the series and was again hosted by the Volunteer Center Fellows. Images from the day may be viewed on the Center’s flickr page.

Several faculty members, alumni, and students presented in their respective research and performance areas:

  • Lily Chen-Hafteck, Professor of Music Education, Department of Music
  • Barbara Drucker, Associate Dean of Civic Engagement and Arts Education, Professor of Art
  • Sonali Gupta-Agarwal, Lecturer, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
  • William Hickman, Alumnus, School of Theater, Film, and Television
  • Antonio Lysy, Professor of Cello, Department of Music
  • Andrew Rosenstein, Undergraduate Student, Department of Film and Television
Monday, January 25, 2016

Members of the UCLA community joined together on January 25 to learn about the work of UCLA faculty members and students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. All were welcomed to attend presentations alongside students from Pathway at UCLA Extension.

For the Winter 2016 event, the following faculty members and student groups were present to share their expertise:

Monday, November 9, 2015

The tenth Three Pillars, One University event, and the first of the 2015-2016 academic year, featured presentations focused on Health and Athletics. Held at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, the event allowed all participants to learn about a variety of topics from acclaimed UCLA faculty members, student organizations, and student-athletes. Thank you to the following guest presenters:

Monday, May 4, 2015

The final Three Pillars, One University of the 2014-2015 academic year featured presentations focused on Health and Athletics. Held at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, the event allowed students from Pathway at UCLA Extension and athletes from Special Olympics to try out their skills in yoga, taekwondo, and gardening, in addition to learning about healthy habits, nutrition, and fitness from experts in the field. The following professors, student groups, and UCLA community members were present to lead the interactive workshops:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The winter quarter Three Pillars, One University event allowed students from Pathway at UCLA Extension, athletes from Special Olympics at UCLA, and community members to learn about the latest advancements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). UCLA faculty members from these fields presented interactive sessions in Covel Commons. Presenters included:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The seventh event in the series focused on Arts and Humanities at UCLA. Five professors and an innovative student group presented interactive sessions on art, music, performance, writing, history, and more to participants from Pathway at UCLA Extension and Special Olympics at UCLA. Thank you to the following people for sharing your passions:

  • Travis J. Cross: Associate Professor of Music & Vice Chair of the Department of Music
  • Meryl Friedman: Director of Education & Community Programs at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA
  • Tara Prescott: Lecturer with UCLA Writing Programs & Faculty-In-Residence
  • Teofilo Ruiz: Distinguished Professor of History
  • Dave Wilson: Ph.D. student in Ethnomusicology at the Department of Music
  • SLAM!: Student Leader Advocates of Music, a student music group
Monday, March 3, 2014

The sixth Three Pillars event focused on the outstanding work of our faculty researchers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Students heard from a variety of faculty in these fields during special cutting-edge research sessions in the Covel Commons. Thank you to the following faculty and student groups for sharing your research:

  • Katsushi Arisaka, Professor of Physics & Astronomy – High Energy, Astroparticle, Neurophysics
  • Dennis Montoya, Post Doc in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics & Chair of STEMPLEDGE
  • Kimberly Thill, Research Assistant in the Department of Neurosurgery
  • Paul Weiss, Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) & Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Materials Science & Engineering
  • Isaac Yang, Professor of Neurosurgery
  • BEAM: Building Engineers And Mentors
Monday, November 4, 2013

The 2013-2014 academic year kicked off with a sports and health-themed event featuring the UCLA 8-Clap Heard Around the World, Joe & Josie Bruin, and the UCLA Spirit Squad. This program covered a tour of the UCLA community garden at Sunset Recreation, a tutorial on strength and conditioning, soccer lessons, and a special “Ask Dolores” session with ORL’s favorite resident nutritionist. Thank you to the following groups for sending volunteers to lead the sessions:

Monday, April 22, 2013

The fourth Three Pillars, One University event blended music, art, dance, math, and science to allow students to enjoy a wide variety of subjects and topics. This event included hands-on, sensory experiences at the UCLA Herb Albert School of Music’s Schoenberg Hall, featuring the following distinguished faculty members, musicians, and a student organization:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The third Three Pillars, One University event took place in the  Charles E. Young Research Library. With an opening presentation by Three Pillars’ new Faculty Chair, Dr. Isaac Yang M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, this event was the third in the series, further opening the gates of the university’s research community to students with developmental disabilities. This quarter’s theme was “All Hands on Deck” and featured fifteen-minute hands-on research presentations by distinguished members of UCLA’s Faculty:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The second event in the Three Pillars, One University series presented the opportunity for students with special needs from the Pathway at UCLA Extension program to engage with coaches and student athletes from UCLA Athletics in golf, volleyball, and basketball. Students also learned about nutrition and injury prevention from medical students and faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Professor Tanya Paparella has high praise for the November 2012 Three Pillars, One University event: “Three Pillars provides a unique opportunity for Pathway Extension students with intellectual disabilities to meet directly with coaches, athletes, professors and students. The event is specifically designed to maximize the learning and experience of students with special needs – small groups, opportunities for individual interaction, short informational sessions and a low key, fun social experience with volunteer peer support. Three Pillars is cleverly structured to ensure maximum success and enjoyment for the Pathway students. There is no doubt that the Pathway students left inspired and motivated to achieve their goals and dreams.” Paparella should know. She is a specialist in education for individuals with disabilities, director of a UCLA treatment program for children on the autism spectrum and author of a new book “More Than Hope for Young Children on the Autism Spectrum” that describes powerful intervention strategies to change areas of early child development most impacted by autism.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Beyond science and humanities, beyond volunteerism, beyond college. Imagine a neurosurgeon and transplant surgeon operating on student’s dreams, a Fulbright coordinator and Fulbright scholars teaching the art of diplomacy to students once relegated to special education classrooms. Imagine learning quantum theory, and novel approaches to apocalyptic narrative, and hearing stories from a member of CERN having never before had the chance to attend office hours. Taking place in the Charles E. Young Research Library, the interactions between students and professors will be facilitated by volunteers from the UCLA Circle of Friends chapter, an organization which forms friendships between undergraduates and students with special needs.

Unique in both effort and purpose, the event had students rotate in groups of 6 from small research room to small research room. Spending only 10-15 minutes with each professor, similar to both the opening fair at a major research conference and undergraduate office hours, the students learned the latest research on general surgery from an Executive Director of Surgery at one of the largest health systems in the world, about being on the footsteps of curing brain cancer from a neurosurgeon, the latest physics on particles, whether quantum theory yields hints to our ability to age, and whether our world is nearing an apocalypse. It mirrored the rapid-fire format, diversity, and prestige of the kind of conference University Presidents and world leaders attend, yet forged a new path on collaboration, research accessibility, and special education – a new form of volunteerism at the University of California.

On February 27th, 2012, the UCLA Volunteer Center hosted its first Three Pillars, One University event with the following faculty members:

Related Media
Event Pictures
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November 4, 2013 Registration
Monday, November 4, 2013 The 2013-2014 academic year will kick-off with a sports-themed event involving coaches and athletes from UCLA Athletics and the UCLA Club Sports Program. Additional information will be posted soon on volunteers needed, teams participating, and more! If you would like to volunteer for this event, please –› read more
Posted on October 24, 2013  |   Source: UCLA Volunteer Center
Student Spotlight: Sean Cantwell on Circle of Friends, Three Pillars One University
On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, world-class faculty, leading surgeons, undergraduates, and students with special needs from the Pathway at UCLA Extension program gathered together in the Charles E. Young Research Library as part of the Three Pillars, One University series. –› read more
Posted on March 12, 2013  |   Source: UCLA Volunteer Center
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