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UCLA Campus Report: UCLA Receives $10M Pledge to Study Youth Concussions, More

N.Y. Giants Owner Pledges $10M to study concussions, law students try to stop violence in county jail and a new recording by UCLA's top orchestra.


An occasional report from around campus that recognizes that UCLA is a school with a world-class reputation for research and innovation and whose people make real impact on the real world:

This week’s news includes news of a $10M pledge to study youth sports concussions, how UCLA law students are attempting to halt violence in L.A.’s county jail and a new recording by UCLA’s top orchestra.

UCLA Headlines

N.Y. Giants Co-Owner Steve Tisch Pledges $10M to UCLA to Study Youth Concussions

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that Steve Tisch, a Hollywood mogul and co-owner of the N.Y. Giants football team pledged $10 million to UCLA to study concussions in young people.

"Hopefully, 20 years from today, athletes won't be discovering the head injuries that football players now are discovering they may have gotten when they were playing in high school and college," said Tisch, whose son plays high school football and whose daughter plays lacrosse. "This is kind of a new frontier."

Tisch's donation will sustain and expand a university program that since 2012 has treated 600 young patients with brain injuries and studied the after-effects of concussions in middle school, high school and college athletes.

"This commitment will launch our program to the next level," said Dr. Christopher Giza, a pediatric neurologist and director of the newly named UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSport Program. In the coming years, Giza said, the program hopes to broaden its reach into schools and youth sports leagues across the region; fuel advances in diagnosis, care and recovery; and clarify the longer-term effects of concussion on the still-developing brain.

The gift is part of $65 million dollars pledged from private donors as part of a White House initiative focusing on youth sports and brain safety.

Law students assist community coalition trying to halt jail violence in L.A.

A report by UCLA law students recommends a civilian panel with the power to hire, fire and oversee an independent inspector general

A small group of law students from UCLA has helped community advocates add their voice to the debate in the current controversy over who should oversee the investigation of reports of inmate abuse and monitor what goes on in L.A. county jails.

Four students in UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic recently represented a community-based coalition of citizen advocates seeking reform of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and its handling of complaints of misconduct by deputies in the county jails. A federal investigation into civil rights abuses and corruption is underway and has already resulted in numerous arrests. After probing deputy corruption and the use of excessive force for several years, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed former prosecutor Max Huntsman last December to a newly created Office of Inspector General (OIG) to provide new oversight of the problem. In January, Sheriff Lee Baca resigned.

The current debate about what role citizen advocates should have in the review process and what powers they should be given was recently ratcheted up by a report researched and written by the law students, who represented the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A Jails, a nonprofit started a year and a half ago by Patrisse Cullors, who says her brother was the target of abuse in the county jail 14 years ago.

"Their assistance was invaluable," Cullors said of the students. "We came to them with a lot of ideas. For the last 18 months, we had hosted 50-75 public workshops across Los Angeles County specifically around civilian oversight. We looked at different forms of civilian oversight and asked people about the pros and cons of what it should look like. The students had to filter through all these ideas."

UCLA Philharmonia releases world-premiere recordings on new CD

'Poems and Prayers' features the works of composer Mohammed Fairouz and was recorded at UCLA's iconic Royce Hall

Last fall, the university’s top orchestra, released its first CD — a Yarlung Records disc of first-ever orchestral recordings by Eric Zeisl — to critical acclaim. Then in December, Philharmonia spearheaded a groundbreaking festival on campus called "Listening to the Other: Mideast Musical Dialogues."

This week, the Sono Luminus label released Philharmonia’s second CD of the school year, titled"Poems and Prayers" and showcasing performances by approximately 250 student musicians from Philharmonia, University Chorale and UCLA University Chorus, joined by acclaimed soloists Sasha Cooke, David Krakauer and David Kravitz, all conducted by UCLA Professor Neal Stulberg.

The CD features world-premiere recordings of two works by composer Mohammed Fairouz, which were performed at UCLA Philharmonia’s December festival: Symphony No. 3 ("Poems and Prayers") and "Tahrir," a clarinet concerto written for 2013-14 UCLA Regents’ Lecturer David Krakauer. Both works were recorded in Royce Hall, and express the power of music to serve as a peace-building force in the Middle East.