Friday, December 4, 2015

Email: Honoring the Victims of the San Bernardino Tragedy

Dear Highlanders,

Our thoughts and condolences are with all those affected by the shooting in San Bernardino this week. We grieve for all the victims, but this tragedy is especially poignant at UCR because four of the victims were members of the UCR family.  Two of those killed and two who were injured are graduates of our university.  I’ve included brief information about each below:

Sierra Clayborn grew up in Moreno Valley and graduated from UCR in 2010 with a degree in biochemistry.  Only 27 years old, Sierra was dedicated to her job as an environmental health specialist for San Bernardino County and is remembered as someone who was always smiling and always willing to lend a hand.  Sierra was among the 14 people killed on Wednesday.

Damian Meins graduated from UCR in 1978 with a degree in economics.  Damian spent nearly three decades working in public service for both Riverside County and San Bernardino County.  He also taught at St. Catherine of Alexandria school in Riverside and each year dressed as Santa for school pictures. Both of his daughters are graduates of UCR as well. Damian was among the 14 killed on Wednesday.

Denise Peraza is an environmental health specialist for San Bernardino County and received her master’s degree in environmental science from UCR in 2013.  She also teaches a course in earth science at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.  Denise was among those wounded and is expected to recover.

Jennifer Stevens grew up in Redondo Beach and graduated just this past June from UCR with a degree in environmental science.  During her time at UCR, she volunteered with Sustainable UCR and had also been a member of our women’s soccer team.  Jennifer was among those wounded and is expected to recover.

I also take this opportunity to remind you about our campuswide candlelight vigil today at 5:00 p.m. on the plaza of the Highlander Union Building honoring the victims of the shooting.  I hope you will join us in person and in thought as we mourn this tragedy.


Kim A. Wilcox

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