Having trouble reading this newsletter? Visit http://www.socsci.uci.edu/events/ssnews/2009/ne_1209.htm to see it in your browser.
UCI Social Sciences E-News

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

Upcoming Events

Some New Evidence on Gender and Management

Stand Together for Human Rights: The Week of the African Child

Fall 2009 Film Screenings

Transnational Organizations and Security in Threatening Environments

Brain-Based Values

Fall Quarter Ends

Campus Closed

Winter Quarter Begins

See more events

Social Sciences
in the Media

Jerry Brown visits UCI

A ‘rat-brained’ scheme for decisions

Imagine: L.A. bicyclists in the driver’s seat, one day a week

Korean-American elected to Virgina House of Delegates

Michael Moore ignores capitalism’s blessings

UCI robot being given ability to ‘think’

Debate over illegal immigration is still raging

Obama pushes rights with Chinese students

Decreasing the minimum wage

Dust of Life: A moving portrait of multifaceted Asian American experience

Dalai Lama recognizes student’s kindness

UCI students get first hand look at Israeli-Palestinian conflict

UCI student gets $10,000 for kindness

Pass it on

Know anyone who might be interested in our newsletter? Email us to subscribe.

Freemasonry: fact vs. fiction

UCI’s Lilith Mahmud discusses the society’s portrayal in a hit novel and reveals its ‘best-kept secret’

Dan Brown’s latest best-seller, The Lost Symbol, has stirred public interest in the Freemasons, a society for upper-class men that began during the Enlightenment. In the book, fictional Harvard University professor Robert Langdon must decipher Masonic symbols and codes to find a missing Freemason. UC Irvine’s Lilith Mahmud studies "secret" groups like the Freemasons. Her research has taken her to Italy, where she lived among Freemasons for 18 months. Here, the assistant professor of women’s studies, anthropology, and culture & theory discusses the appeal of secret societies and the accuracy of Brown’s depiction of the Freemasons.

Read On...

A veteran’s message

David Curry, sociology and economics undergrad and vice president of UCI’s Veterans Student Union

David Curry, a U.S. Marine with two tours of duty in Iraq behind him, knows what it’s like to be recruited to a cause and see it through with pride. Now the 28-year-old UC Irvine sociology/economics major has turned recruiter – not for the military but for veterans’ education. With impetus from the Post-9/11 GI Bill that took effect in August and outreach efforts by UCI’s Veterans Student Union, Curry expects the campus’s student-veteran population to mushroom to 400 from the current 60 by fall 2014. Already, UCI is beating projections with a 33 percent increase in student veterans this fall over 2008.

Read On...

Leading by example

Sarah Bana, economics undergrad and this year’s executive vice president of Associated Students of UCI, serves her campus and community with a singular purpose: making the world a better place

Sarah Bana always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: an FBI agent. "I’d read a lot of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, and I wanted to save the world," she says. She still does, although she’s going about it in a different way. A fourth-year quantitative economics major at UC Irvine, Bana hopes to become an economist — "maybe even chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Reserve," she says. And the case she hopes to take on: improving people’s lives by influencing financial policy.

Read On...

From the field to cyberspace

UCI professors bring the traditional study of anthropology into the 21st century with research on new media, technology and ‘cloud computing’

If “bones and stones” is the catchphrase that comes to mind when thinking about anthropology, it’s time to get with the times, says Bill Maurer, UCI anthropology professor and department chair. He and fellow UCI anthropologists are traveling to Philadelphia this month for the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting where they will present new research on the changing role of anthropology in today’s technology driven society.

Read On...

Anthropologist Leo Chavez receives dual honors from field’s top association

2009 Book Prize and Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America recognize more than 25 years of immigration research contributions

Leo Chavez, anthropology professor, has been named the 2009 recipient of two awards from the American Anthropological Association (AAA).  The Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America, awarded by AAA’s Society for the Anthropology of North America, recognizes his career-long research contributions to the study of immigration and Latin American health issues.  The former served as the topic of his most recent book, The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens and the Nation, in which he details the ways immigrants are represented in U.S. media and general public discussion.  The book earned him AAA’s Association for Latina and Latino Anthropologists’ 2009 Book Prize.  Chavez will be recognized with both awards at AAA’s annual meeting in Philadelphia December 2-6. 

Read On...

Iverson receives Society for Mathematical Psychology Best Paper Award

Honor recognizes work in theoretical psychophysics

Geoffrey Iverson, cognitive sciences professor, is the recipient of the Society for Mathematical Psychology’s (SMP) 2009 Best Paper Award for work published between 2005 and 2008. The honor recognizes his research in theoretical psychophysics, the study of how sensory stimuli - such as sound and sight - are described in physical terms. The SMP award specifically highlights an article he wrote in 2006 on how loudness is perceived. It appeared in the June issue of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology and was written as a birthday tribute to his former graduate advisor, Jean-Claude Falmagne, a UCI cognitive sciences professor widely known for his research in psychophysical theory. Iverson received the award at SMP’s annual meeting in Amsterdam in August.

Read On...

Michael Moore ignores capitalism’s blessings

An op-ed by Gregory Ferenstein, political science graduate student and CSD Peltason Fellow, is featured in the Christian Science Monitor

"Capitalism: A Love Story" seems more like a documentary of capitalism’s authoritarian losers, rather than its democratic winners, writes political science graduate student Gregory Ferenstein in a recently featured Christian Science Monitor op-ed. "Though Michael Moore seems to have missed it, in the past 10 years corporations have made enormous strides in promoting workplace democracy, patent-free innovation, and the financial independence of women in developing nations."

Read On...

Kathy Rim is named 2009-10 Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow

Award recognizes academic excellence and carries $20,100 prize

Kathy Rim, political science graduate student and 2009 recipient of the Lauds & Laurels Outstanding Graduate Student Award, has been selected as the 2009-10 UCI Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow. The honor recognizes Rim for her “past accomplishments, enthusiasm for excellence, vitality, ingenuity, and leadership potential consistent with that exhibited in life by Fletcher Jones.”  The accompanying $20,100 prize will support her research on the political behavior and participation of Asian Americans, a topic she has been studying since her days as an undergraduate at UCI.  Rim is the fifth UCI graduate student to receive the annual fellowship since it’s founding in 2005.

Read On...

Ana Pesic receives 2009 Sheen T. Kassouf Fellowship

$10,000 award named in honor of pioneering economics professor and academician

For UCI economics graduate student Ana Pesic, growing up in Serbia during the 90s - a time of considerable political, social and economic change in the country’s history - played a major role in her decision to study economics. “I was really frustrated with how inefficiently the economy was functioning,” she says, explaining that hyperinflation and constant power outages made life in the struggling region difficult.

Read On...

Dalai Lama scholarship goes to business econ student promoting kindness at UCI

Recipient inspired by previous winner’s Peace Flag Project

Jasmine Fang, a senior business economics major, has been awarded the 2009-10 XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship, established in 2004 to recognize UC Irvine students with a record of honesty, integrity, fairness and service to others. Fang will receive a $7,500 scholarship plus $2,500 to support Kindness Month at UCI, which she has proposed for May. Involving dozens of student and community groups, it will feature activities demonstrating kindness, including American Sign Language classes, designing cards for incarcerated mothers, and instruction in making pressed-flower bookmarks.

Read On...

Q&A with Sarah Barber, ’09 recipient of the Bailey Undergraduate Award for Excellence

$1,000 scholarship recognizes the sociology undergraduate for academic excellence

Hometown: San Diego, CA
Future aspirations: business or graduate school

Why did you decide to major in sociology?
My answer honestly comes down to this: I love people!  I find interactions between individuals and groups so intriguing, and though I love learning about all the different social hypotheses that have been proposed, I enjoy how people still surprise you.  I love that it’s not a stagnant subject – it’s always engaging and always applicable!

Read On...

Q&A with Elizabeth McDowell, recipient of the ’09 Zarif and Paniego Undergraduate Award for Excellence

$1,000 scholarship recognizes the anthropology and international studies undergraduate for academic excellence

Hometown: San Diego, CA
Future aspirations: teaching English abroad and graduate school

With interests in international studies and anthropology, have you had the opportunity to get out, travel and explore?
This year, I’ll be studying for a semester in Australia where I’ll be able to focus primarily on anthropology and archaeology; in fact most of my classes will be centered on the archaeology of the Pacific Rim. My previous travels in the U.S. and Europe really gave me a thirst for new places as well as their history. As a UCI student, there are countless opportunities for growth both on and off campus.  Studying abroad in Australia is something that I would have never dreamed of doing had I not investigated all that UCI has to offer.

Read On...

See past issues of the Social Sciences Monthly eNews
School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-5100