Friday, December 6, 2019

UCLA Strives to Make Textbooks More Affordable

A medical student at California’s Western University of Health Sciences who is currently studying osteopathy, Ruhi Patil previously held several leadership positions at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Ruhi Patil assisted students who could not afford to buy all their textbooks. As the financial support commissioner of the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC), she informed professors of incentive programs that awarded them $1,000 or $2,500 if they assigned cheaper, open-source textbooks.

The average UCLA student spends $2,400 over 4 years to purchase conventional textbooks, reflecting a national trend. From 1977 to 2015, textbook prices have risen over 1,000 percent, which is three times the inflation rate.

Students were divided on the subject. One biology major expressed concerns that open-source textbooks were less rigorous than those from traditional publishers, while a mathematics major said the quality of information was comparable between the two kinds.

One provider of open-source textbooks stated their products have undergone faculty review at several colleges and universities, as well as scholarly and professional organizations. Hundreds of books are available for free download or inexpensive printing in disciplines such as business, the law, the humanities, natural sciences, and medicine.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The UCLA Chancellor's Service Award

A doctor of osteopathic medicine candidate at the Western University of Health Sciences, Ruhi Patil builds upon an academic career that includes a master of science in global medicine/management from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of science in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While enrolled as UCLA, Ruhi Patil received a Chancellor's Service Award.

Bestowed on an annual basis, the UCLA Chancellor's Service Award honors graduating UCLA undergraduates who have made outstanding contributions to the University and/or the greater Los Angeles area through conscientious community service. This award is open to any final-year undergraduate student with a strong and sustained record of volunteerism and/or leadership. 

Chosen by a panel of UCLA staff members, Chancellor's Service Award winners wear a special blue and gold fourragere during the UCLA commencement ceremony. Their names also appear in a special section of the official commencement program, and they receive other exclusive opportunities that vary from year to year.