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UCI Social Sciences E-News

Welcome to the July issue of the Social Sciences E-News

Social Sciences
in the Media

To gauge oil savings, economists road test the ‘rebound effect’

Most Latino kids in U.S. are second-generation, data say

Student travels from abandonment to Harvard

Two mayors make Jerry Brown look traditional

20 years ago: University student feared arrest

Dating Lu Parker won’t impact possible run for governor, Villaraigosa says

Delay the minimum-wage hike

Is this the next Great Depression?

Professor talks transportation

Minimum wage increase bad for the economy? Neumark debates issue on Fox News

PPIC gets $1 Million gift

Iranian/American reaction: Varzi discusses dynamics of protesters in Iran

National attention on Castro

In Iran, both sides seek to carry Islam’s banner

Are politicians any worse than regular people when it comes to cheating?

How to eat ‘green’

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School of Social Sciences class of 2009

Photos, awards and student features from commencement and Order of Merit ceremonies

The UCI Bren Center was overflowing on June 12 with family, friends, faculty and staff who turned out to show support and bid farewell to the School of Social Sciences class of 2009. In total, 2,255 social sciences undergraduate and graduate students received diplomas, many of whom donned caps, gowns, honors cords, Hawaiian leis and other colorful regalia to participate in the ceremonies. Read on for photos, a listing of award winners and features on several outstanding Order of Merit scholars.

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Goodbye, UCI: Graduates from the class of ‘09 talk about their campus experience

Graduates from the class of 2009 take a final pop quiz about their campus experience

Prior to commencement ceremonies, half a dozen graduates from the class of 2009 paused to reflect on their time here - what they enjoyed, how they grew, and lessons they learned inside and outside the classroom. Hear what they had to say online.

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Paper prize in memory of Charles Lave rewards creative thinking

Laura Bonja, economics undergraduate, is inaugural recipient

Social scientists like asking questions. Rather than accept general assumptions as fact, they investigate them using models and data to back up their findings. In this environment, economics professor emeritus Charlie Lave, deceased, was a pro. When he passed away last year, Lave’s family, friends and colleagues wanted his memory and passion for creative, outside-the-box thinking to live on. The Charles A. Lave Paper Prize for the Most Creative Modeling in Social Sciences was established in his honor. The endowment provides a $1250 award each year to an undergraduate or graduate student whose research displays creative use of clear models and data through which the models may be evaluated. Laura Bonja, a UC Regents Scholar and senior economics and math double major, is the inaugural recipient. In her winning paper, she applied economic modeling to study how shipping costs impact final auction prices for items listed on eBay.

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HIV/AIDS in China

UCI grad student studies politics behind HIV/AIDS in China

Around the world, hundreds of organizations are involved each day in on-going efforts to treat, prevent and ultimately eradicate HIV/AIDS. Elsa Fan, UCI anthropology graduate student and former United Nations Development Program (UNDP) worker, says that amidst these efforts, there may be conditions undermining crucial global health efforts. “In China, HIV/AIDS has become, for many groups, a mode of survival,” she says. “For those infected, for example, access to antiretroviral medication also grants access to additional social welfare benefits such as subsidized healthcare and living stipends.” With a newly awarded $3,000 UC Pacific Rim mini-grant fellowship, she will travel to China to study how such factors may be affecting prevention efforts and what different groups are doing to stem the spread of the epidemic.

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A nearly perfect match

UCI professor creates new mathematical model to explain how the human eye sees color; findings may help bridge gap between colors seen in real-life and those reproduced on televisions, computer monitors and digital cameras

Variations in colors that we see in person and how those colors appear on TV, computers and in other media formats is an on-going battle for printers, web designers and others trying to reproduce perfect life-like colors. One of the reasons for the difficulty, says UCI social sciences research professor A. Kimball Romney, is the absence of a precise mathematical model with the ability to capture how the human eye perceives color, allowing for what we see in person to be reproduced in other formats as an exact match. In a study published in the June 1 Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he presents a model to bridge this gap. Using the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) as the standard for what a specific color should look like, his model for how the eye perceives color results in a 99.4 percent match.

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Rosas receives Ford Fellowship for study on immigrant family relationships

Findings will help fill missing history on twentieth century cross-border families

Ana Rosas, Chicano/Latino studies and history assistant professor, has received a $40,000 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in support of her research on cross-border family relationships of Mexican immigrants. Looking specifically at the 1940s to 1960s, she aims to fill what she calls a gap in the history books on the struggles and sacrifices made by immigrant families.

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Minimum wage increase bad for the economy? Neumark debates issue on Fox News

Watch debate with Fox Business News senior economist Mark Lieberman online

Included among Obama’s plans for strengthening the economy is an increase to the federal minimum wage, a move UC Irvine economist David Neumark warns against in his book, Minimum Wages. Drawing upon his and co-author William L. Wascher’s more than fifteen years of expertise on the topic, the book gives a comprehensive overview of the policy’s distributive effects across different population groups. Their findings ultimately lead them to conclude that an increase yields no long term net positive returns. He recently debated the issue with Fox Business News senior economist Mark Lieberman. Watch their discussion online.

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Iranian/American reaction: Varzi discusses dynamics of protesters in Iran

Listen to interview with New America Media online

Tensions in Iran continue to rise in the wake of the country’s highly disputed presidential election. Roxanne Varzi, UCI anthropology associate professor, is an expert on post-revolution Iran, youth culture and media. In 2000, she was awarded the first Fulbright scholarship for research in Iran since the Iranian Revolution. She is the author of Warring Souls: Youth, Media, and Martyrdom in Post-Revolution Iran in which she provides an account of the beliefs and experiences of young, middle-class, urban Iranians, based on ethnographic research she conducted in Tehran between 1991 and 2000. She recently spoke with New America Media on the dynamics of those protesting the country’s election. Listen to the interview online.

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Snow is elected vice president-elect of American Sociological Association

Term will begin in August following association's annual meeting

David Snow, Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology, has been elected vice president-elect of the American Sociological Association, the discipline’s premier organization which lists more than 14,000 members. Snow will assume the full office of vice president in 2010 following one year of service as vice president-elect which will begin August 8 at the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

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Solingen is named UCI Chancellor’s Professor

Distinction recognizes her scholarly contributions in the areas of international politics, economics and security

Etel Solingen, political science professor, has been named a UCI Chancellor’s Professor. Granted for a five-year renewable term, the title recognizes scholars who demonstrate unusual academic merit and exceptional achievement. “Etel’s research on international security combines a deep understanding of regional issues and insightful analysis to generate ideas about political solutions with powerful direct relevance in governmental policy discussions,” says Barbara Dosher, School of Social Sciences dean. “The Chancellor’s Professorship is a well-deserved recognition.”

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Staff honored for university service

14 from School of Social Sciences recognized

While the hustle and bustle of student and graduation activities has slowed across campus, the celebratory spirit continued as Chancellor Drake recognized 594 staff members in June for their years of service within the University of California system. The event, sponsored by Staff Assembly and Human Resources, is held annually to honor staff with five to 40 years of service at UCI or in the UC system. Among those recognized were 14 social sciences staff members whose combined years of UC service total more than 245 years.

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School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-5100