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UCI Social Sciences E-News

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

Upcoming Events

Olive Tree Initiative Bon Voyage Party & Silent Auction Fundraiser

Fall 2009 Courses Begin

See more events

Social Sciences
in the Media

Health debate produces angry protests, retorts

What businesses need to do to meet rising employee costs

The mirage of minimum wage

Senate bid dogged by Fiorina’s failure to vote

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Making connections

UCI’s Global Connect meets with Loretta Sanchez congressional aide to discuss program’s federal expansion, funding

Budget cuts to the UC system have forced many university programs to either get creative in finding funds to stay afloat or risk losing value-added programs, many of which provide a variety of services to the local community. Global Connect, an educational partnership program under the School of Social Sciences that seeks to address short-comings in grades 8-12 international studies education, is one such program that relies on partial UC funding for operating expenses. Through a pending federal bill, the group may have found an opportunity to bring in new money and expand their program across the country in the process.

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In pursuit of new perspectives

Second group of students from UCI’s Olive Tree Initiative get ready for trip to Middle East, silent auction fundraiser and reception to be held Sunday, August 30, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Taleo Grill in Irvine

In 2007, when UCI students from Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Druze backgrounds began discussing the idea of traveling together to Israel and Palestine, they raised nearly as many eyebrows as they eventually did dollars to fund the trip. As leaders of Anteaters for Israel, Muslim Student Union, Hillel, Society of Arab Students, Middle East Studies Initiative and Model United Nations, they had often found themselves at opposite corners from one another due to their varying religious, political and cultural differences. They recognized a need for change. They wanted to create a forum where they and others could openly discuss and learn about different perspectives on the situation in Israel and Palestine. And thus, the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) was born.

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UCI meets D.C.

Students in internship program explore career paths in Washington

Chatting up former presidents. Lunching with ambassadors. Touring the Pentagon. All in a day’s work for 46 UC Irvine students in the UCDC Internship Program, in which undergraduate and graduate students explore career options in Washington government offices, nonprofit organizations and special-interest groups. Here, a few of them discuss life in the nation’s capital.

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UCI Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion funds inaugural grants

Awards totaling $230,000 will fund 17 projects investigating financial habits of world’s poorest people

UC Irvine’s newly established Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) has awarded its first group of annual grants totaling $230,000 for research projects aimed at understanding how the world’s poorest people spend, store and save money. Findings from the studies, says Bill Maurer, anthropology department chair and director of the institute, will be of significant importance to countries where low-income populations have limited or no means for securing loans and banking services, including impoverished populations here in the United States.

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Gone Hollywood

Sheena Nahm, 󈧍 anthropology Ph.D. alumnus

As a research specialist for Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the University of Southern California Annenberg Norman Lear Center, Sheena Nahm helps Hollywood writers and producers keep health-related storylines accurate.  

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California dream deferred

Political scientist Carole Uhlaner discusses how the two-thirds vote requirement, term limits and ballot propositions have made the state difficult to govern

California lawmakers approved a budget plan after weeks of debate over how to close a staggering $26 billion deficit. Under the deal, schools and healthcare programs will take big hits, but these short-term cuts are expected to leave the state vulnerable to future budget woes. The fiscal crisis and a fractious Legislature have led many to ask: What’s wrong with California? Why was it so difficult for this state to hammer out a workable budget? According to UC Irvine’s Carole Uhlaner, political science associate professor, challenges include legislative term limits and the two-thirds vote requirement for taxing and spending.

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Storytelling in Tehran

Anthropology and film & media studies associate professor Roxanne Varzi makes a film about Iranian American identity and the aftermath of war

Growing up in suburban Michigan in the 1980s wasn’t easy for Iranian-born Roxanne Varzi, anthropology and film & media studies associate professor. The revolution in Iran and subsequent taking of American hostages in Tehran had strained relations between the U.S. and Varzi’s homeland. Television reports depicted Iran as brutal and repressive; classmates looked at her with suspicion. Varzi - whose Iranian father and American mother left Iran in 1979 when she was 8 years old - felt caught in the middle. “So much animosity, anger and propaganda were coming from the U.S. news media during that time,” she says. “I understood the power of the media very early in life.” She found refuge in the arts and developed a passion for writing, photography and film. Her first documentary, shot entirely in Iran, screened at the Boston Film Festival last fall and was picked up for distribution by Documentary Educational Resources.

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Out with the old, in with the new

Social Sciences Undergraduate Counseling Office moves into new Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway, departments and dean’s office to follow

It’s moving day for the School of Social Sciences Undergraduate Counseling Office! On August 25, the undergraduate advising crew became the first social sciences office to officially take up residence in the new Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway. Construction of the five story, 83,000 assignable square foot building began in August 2007 and will wrap up this month. The shared building space will continue to fill up through the end of September as departments and programs from the schools of social ecology and social sciences get settled in, just in time for the start of the fall 2009 quarter.

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Top-notch education

U.S. News & World Report again ranks UCI among top 50 universities nationwide

UC Irvine maintained its status among the nation’s top 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking released Thursday, Aug. 20. The annual report rates 262 public and private universities based on 15 academic and financial criteria. UCI ranked 46th among all universities and 14th among public universities. Undergraduate research opportunities at UCI were lauded as worth watching, and the campus was cited in the best-values section.

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