Skip Navigation

UCI Extension Program First Recipient of UCI Engagement Award in ‘Campus Community Partnership’

OCTANe@UCI Wins Accolades for Connecting Students with the Orange County Business Community

IRVINE, Calif. – June 1, 2010 – University of California, Irvine Extension’s OCTANe@UCI program has won the University of California, Irvine Engagement Award in the category of ‘Campus Community Partnership.’ Offered for the first time this year, the honor is given to a UC Irvine program which provided a measurable service to the community while enriching the lives of student participants. Fitting that bill, OCTANe@UCI, the UC Irvine arm of (OCTANe), created a network where students learn from experts in the Orange County business community, and also provided a forum where technologies developed at UC Irvine can be transferred to the marketplace—creating innovation and economic opportunity.

“It is a great honor to receive this prestigious award,” said Tanya Zabelegui, program director of OCTANe@UCI. “Networking aspiring entrepreneurial students with established businesses has created many opportunities for growth and innovation in our community. Since UC Irvine is at the forefront of developing technologies, it’s vital to connect the researchers with the businesses that would bring those technologies to the marketplace. We are thankful to work with OCTANe as Matthew Jenusaitis, president and CEO of OCTANe, has been a great leader and partner to OCTANe@UCI. ”

Nominated by OCTANe@UCI member Kristin Kerrigan, the program sponsors events on campus where students learn myriad startup lessons—from business plans and patent processing to finding capital and pitching investors. OCTANe, along with OCTANe@UCI, fosters the sharing of educational and business knowledge.

“We’re proud of the multitude of success we’ve seen with the partnership between OCTANe@UCI and OCTANe,” says Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D, dean of continuing education at the University of California, Irvine. “Winning the UCI Engagement Award affirms that OCTANe@UCI is going in the right direction. We look forward to a future with even more entrepreneurial achievement and technological innovation.”

Each arm of OCTANe@UCI has played a significant role in helping the organization achieve its success. OCTANe NEXT gives free membership to students and recent graduates between the ages of 18 and 29 to attend community events for free or at a greatly reduced cost. OCTANe LaunchPad is a free service that provides networking and experience connections to help new and emerging biomedical and IT startup companies. With involvement from the local business and nonprofit communities, staff, faculty, entrepreneurs and students have helped to make OCTANe and OCTANe@UCI an indispensible tool of the UC Irvine Extension program.

About UCI Division of Continuing Education

The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) provides lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of students worldwide each year – fulfilling the school’s 60-year curriculum platform to connect degree programs to the world of work and achievement after graduation. The Division offers a broad range of certificate programs, specialized studies, and sequential courses to local, regional and global markets through online, on-campus and on-site delivery. A leader in the open education movement, the Division offers free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and content through the UCI Open initiative. For more information about UCI Division of Continuing Education, visit

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit