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Daily Business Report-Jan. 12, 2016

Daily Business Report-Jan. 12, 2016

The campus of the University of San Diego

Higgs Fletcher & Mack Awards its

5th $10,000 Diversity Scholarship

Norma Lujan

Norma Lujan

Higgs Fletcher & Mack, San Diego’s oldest locally owned law firm, has awarded its fifth $10,000 University of San Diego School of Law diversity scholarship to Juris Doctor candidate Norma Lujan.

Lujan was selected for demonstrating ethical and civic leadership and for providing services to underrepresented groups in the community.

Lujan received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and International Peace Studies from the  University of Notre Dame. She obtained professional and leadership experience through various opportunities, including law clerk for the Law Office of Sergio Feria, lead academic success fellow for the USD School of Law, summer associate for ScottHulse PC, judicial clerk for the Honorable Maria Salas-Mendoza in El Paso, student intern at the Law Office of Michael E. Durham and student paralegal aid at Mark Salloum Law Firm. Aside from being fluent in Spanish, French and conversational in Italian, Lujan won the 2014 CALI Award (highest grade) in Constitutional Law and received the top grade for Oral Argument, Legal Writing and Research at USD.

“We were thoroughly impressed with Norma’s background and personal statement. She’s a dedicated Academic Success Fellow at USD who goes above and beyond the requirements to help low-performing students succeed,” said Steven Cologne, partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack and co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack has been contributing to USD School of Law since 2004 and created the Diversity Scholarship in 2010 to help lessen the financial burden of law students in need.

The Higgs Fletcher & Mack attorneys that participated in funding this year’s USD School of Law scholarship include: Roland Achtel, Edwin Boniske, Sandra J. Brower, Steven Cologne, Vernon Evans, Robert Fitzpatrick, Loren Freestone, Victoria Fuller, Michael Gibson, Jonathan Grissom, Alexis Gutierrez, Susan Hack, James Harrigan, Daniel C. Herbert, Craig Higgs, Joshua Katz,  William M. Low, Susan Mercure, William Miller, John Morrell, Catherine Morrison, Julian Myers, Bruce O’Brien, Jason Ross, Phillip Samouris, Richard A. Shaw, Rahil K. Swigart, and Mark Stender.


Illumina Unveils 2 Next-Generation

Sequencing Platforms at Conference


San Diego-based Illumina on Monday announced two new next-generation sequencing platforms, a targeted sequencing system called MiniSeq and a semiconductor sequencer that is still under development.

 Illumina's MiniSeq system

Illumina’s MiniSeq system

Illumina disclosed the initiatives during a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference held in San Francisco. During the presentation, Illumina CEO Jay Flatley also announced a new genotyping array called Infinium XT; a partnership with Bio-Rad to develop a single-cell sequencing workflow; preliminary estimates of its fourth-quarter 2015 revenues; and an update on existing products. The presentation followed the company’s announcement on Sunday that it has launched a new company called Grail to develop a next-generation sequencing test for early cancer detection from patient blood samples.

The MiniSeq system, which is based on Illumina’s current sequencing technology, will begin shipping early this quarter and has a list price of $49,500. It can perform a variety of targeted DNA and RNA applications, from single-gene to pathway sequencing, and promises “all-in” prices, including library prep and sequencing, of $200 to $300 per run, Flatley said during the JP Morgan presentation.

Illumina is commercializing the system as part of a complete workflow, from library preparation to onboard data analysis, and the platform can stream data to Illumina’s BaseSpace environment.

Flatley said that MiniSeq is 44 percent smaller than the MiSeq instrument and combines the “best of engineering” components from MiSeq and the NextSeq instruments. MiniSeq will have one optical module and one pumping system, and will incorporate the two-channel chemistry of the NextSeq, but on a flow cell and with a load mechanism that is more similar to the MiSeq. The instrument will have an output of 7.5 gigabases for paired-end 2×150 base reads and can generate up to 50 million reads for counting applications, Flatley said.

Under an initiative called Project Firefly, Illumina is developing a semiconductor sequencing system with two modules that will couple its sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry with a semiconductor chip.

The technology will be based off of CMOS sensor technology that Illumina acquired when it Bought Avantome in 2008.

Read more…


UC San Diego Receives Record 102,678

Freshman and Transfer Applications

The University of California, San Diego has received a record total of 102,678 freshman and transfer applications for fall 2016. The university had the second highest number of applicants among the University of California campuses.

UC San Diego received 84,198 freshman applications for fall 2016, up 7.9 percent from last year. The deadline for students to file applications to transfer for fall 2016 was extended this year from Nov. 30, 2015, to Jan. 4, 2016, widening the application window for qualified students preparing to transfer to the university. At UC San Diego, transfer student applications increased by 14.5 percent from 2015, with a total of 18,480 transfer students applying for admission.

The mean high school grade point average (GPA) for freshmen is 3.81; the average SAT Reasoning scores are 597, 648 and 611 respectively for Critical Reading, Math and Writing. The average GPA among transfer applicants was 3.36.

UC San Diego continued to see an increase in diversity among student applicants. At the freshman level, the campus had a 9.6 percent rise of historically underrepresented students for fall 2016, with the largest increase coming from Latino and Mexican-American applicants (10.1 percent) followed by African-American high school seniors (up 9.2 percent, compared to last year).

At the transfer student level, the number of historically underrepresented student applicants jumped 24.6 percent with the largest increase coming from African-American students (33.1 percent), followed by Native-American (23.5 percent) and Latino and Mexican-American (22.7 percent) applicants.

More than 85 percent of transfer applicants are from California Community Colleges.


NFL Owners Mull Chargers

and Rams in Inglewood

National Football League owners are reportedly considering a plan to move both the San Diego Chargers and the St. Louis Rams into a new stadium in Inglewood, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The Times report cited “league insiders” who did not wish to be named in its report.

Owners will vote during a special meeting in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide which, if any, teams can move to Los Angeles.

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have proposed a joint stadium in Carson, while St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is proposing a stadium for his team at the former Hollywood Park racetrack location in Inglewood.

Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest market, has been without its own professional football team for two decades.

— Times of San Diego


USD’s Online Master’s in Education

Program Leaps 13 Spots from 2015

The University of San Diego’s online Master of Education degree is now ranked 62nd in the nation among online graduate education programs, increasing 13 spots from a year ago, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest ranking. The ranking puts the USD program as 2nd in California. More than 250 schools are listed in the ranking which is based on student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology.

Separately, U.S. News & World Report also released its 2016 best online graduate business rankings and the supply chain management program offered by the University of San Diego School of Business is once again ranked 9th in the nation. The supply chain management program was also ranked 9th in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

First offered in fall 2013, the online Master of Education program achieved national prominence by making U.S. News’ list of top 100 programs in 2015 just 16 months after its launch. The program provides K-12 teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in today’s classroom while allowing them to continue to work full time.

“We have built the online program by using cutting-edge technologies and are unencumbered by traditional and out-of-date ways of thinking about education,” said Nicholas Ladany, dean of the University of San Diego School of Education and Leadership Sciences. “Students are reporting that  faculty-student engagement is top notch and unparalleled. When combined with high-level learning, the result is a great program.”

The first 40 students graduated in 2015 and the program currently has more than 175 students.


Personnel Announcements

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Names

Sales and Marketing Director 

George Garnitschnig

George Garnitschnig

George Garnitschnig has been appointed director of sales and marketing for the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

A 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Garnitschnig rejoins Fairmont Hotels & Resorts after a two-year departure during which he founded Hotel Sales Solutions, a South Florida-based sales and marketing company specializing in luxury hotels and resorts. He previously served as Fairmont’s regional director of sales and marketing in the Southeast U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

During that tenure, he also oversaw Fairmont properties in the Canadian Northwest and Europe. Prior to that role, he served as director of sales and marketing at Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in South Florida.

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