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UCI Social Sciences E-News

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

Upcoming Events

20th Annual Staff Appreciation Picnic: Surf's Up UCI!

Ghana Project 2010 Dance Performance and Reception

Olive Tree Initiative Bon Voyage Party

See more events

Social Sciences
in the Media

Arizona Gov. Brewer says 'majority' of illegal's are 'drug mules'

Nixon library to release thousands of documents

Little games are big business at armor games

High-speed rail ridership projections may be faulty

High-speed rail board takes no action on ridership issue

Immigration bill could aid 500,000 in state

California state panel defends ridership and revenue estimates for high-speed ra

Commission examines wartime contracting and inherently governmental functions

Dion's short, tragic life

Jobless Michigan teens can thank the minimum wage hike

"Radicalized" in Phila

Armed with an education

Pass it on

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UC study finds California high-speed rail ridership forecasts unreliable

Findings presented to California State Senate June 30

According to a new UC study, the California High-Speed Rail Authority's forecasts of demand and ridership for a new San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed train are not reliable because they are based on an inconsistent model.

“We found that the model that the rail authority relied upon to create average ridership projections was flawed at key decision-making junctures,” says study principal investigator Samer Madanat, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley and professor of civil and environmental engineering. Co-authors included Mark Hansen, UC Berkeley civil and environmental engineering professor, and David Brownstone, UCI economics professor.

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Use of private security contractors overseas poses threat to U.S. democracy, UCI study says

Findings published in Security Studies online

As the U.S. military continues its troop strength draw down in Iraq to 50,000 this month, private security forces in the region - also undergoing a planned reduction - will outnumber troops by more than 50 percent, according to a recent article by the Associated Press. Since 2007, private security contractors have consistently exceeded the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, and according to UCI political science and international studies professor Deborah Avant, their disproportionate presence has important foreign policy implications for the U.S. In a new study published in the journal Security Studies, she argues that the limited transparency of contractor operations compromises the democratic quality of U.S. foreign policy.

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Collaborative conversations

Interdisciplinary UCI faculty and student group use dance as a gateway for exploring African culture and educational partnerships

To a casual observer, a dancer's movements may appear to be guided wholly by the melodic tones and rhythmic beat of the accompanying score. Gesture, however, is only a small piece of the story, explains Sheron Wray, UCI assistant professor of dance.

“Dance is an interpretation of culture, a portrayal of history and a barometer of local sensibilities,” she says. “Dancers carry words with their movements, and in order to convey a story, they must first know and understand its nuances.” For the past year, she has been working with an interdisciplinary group of UCI scholars interested in the story of Ghana, West Africa, from its history, language and cultural connections to the U.S. to its present day attention as the focus of celebrity humanitarian interest. The group includes undergraduates and graduate students as well as recent alumni and faculty from the arts, computer sciences, humanities, public health and social sciences. Together, they will be heading to the University of Ghana August 14 to September 5 where they will use dance as their gateway for studying and experiencing the country first hand.

Come see the dance group in a live performance August 13 before they leave for Africa (RSVPs required due to limited space).

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Immigration's racial complexity

New book by UCI sociologists Jennifer Lee and Frank D. Bean explores diversity in the U.S.

Will today's Latino and Asian immigrants become incorporated into American society like their European predecessors? Or will race remain a stumbling block to full assimilation? Jennifer Lee and Frank Bean explore these questions in their new book The Diversity Paradox: Immigration and the Color Line in Twenty-First Century America, recently released by the Russell Sage Foundation. What they discover is that second-generation Asians and Latinos are not as constrained by racial categories as are African-Americans. A key to the question may lie in the state of intermarriage.

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Forging a faster path from lab to clinic

With a prestigious $20 million federal grant, translational research at UCI shifts into high gear

A Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist works with pediatricians on ways to diagnose diseases like diabetes through exhaled breath. An orthopedics researcher uses a novel computer program to determine how zero gravity accelerates bone loss in astronauts. An anthropology and Chicano/Latino studies professor leads a Community Knowledge Project combining research with community action to address childhood obesity, diabetes, stress and overall health in Orange County's poorest neighborhoods.

These studies - and hundreds of others like them - are conducted daily through UC Irvine's Institute for Clinical & Translational Science, where multidisciplinary researchers aim to use scientific discovery to improve human health. And this collective enterprise has just gotten a significant boost in the form of a competitive Clinical & Translational Science Award.

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David Smith is named co-editor of International Journal of Comparative Sociology

First co-edited issue due out in August

David Smith, sociology professor, has been named co-editor of the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Established in 1960, the bi-monthly publication features interdisciplinary research findings in sociology as well as political science, geography, economics, anthropology, and business sciences. Smith will be working with current editor Jeffrey D. Kentor, sociology professor and department chair at the University of Utah, beginning July 1 until January 2011 when Smith will take the reigns as full editor.

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Vogel receives Fulbright to study Peruvian migrant religious practices in Korea

Funding includes in-country research and will run through December 2011

Erica Vogel, anthropology graduate student, has received a $20,500 U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research award to study how Peruvian migrants to Korea have changed course from working in Korean factories to training as missionaries and evangelists. Her findings will provide insight on the different tracks migrant workers take in order to join and gain potential acceptance into new societies while also shedding light on the interplay between churches and migrant workers in uncertain legal environments.

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UCI baseball's Daniel Bibona wins Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Award recognizes Bibona, '10 sociology alumnus, for excellence in community service, classroom and outstanding character and competition on the field

The votes have been counted, and five-time All-American and Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year Daniel Bibona has been selected as the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner for baseball. Determined by a nationwide vote of Division I baseball coaches, members of the media and fans, the annual award goes to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I baseball. Criteria include community service, academic excellence, character and athletic ability. In addition to his on-the-field achievements, Bibona recently graduated with a degree in sociology and a 3.25 grade point average. He's a regular visitor at CHOC Children's Hospital and a member of American Home Dream, a nonprofit organization that assists children with terminal illnesses.

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Honoring her heritage

First-generation college student Cheyenne Reynoso is intent on giving back to her Native American community

A split-second decision can change the course of your life. Cheyenne Reynoso, third-year sociology major at UC Irvine, knows this firsthand. As a junior at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, Reynoso was working in the counseling center one day when a secretary asked if she wanted to apply for a college program for Native Americans. One catch: The deadline was the next day. Reynoso jumped at the chance, hurriedly applied and was accepted into UCI's American Indian Summer Institute in Computer Sciences, which introduces high school students to campus life. The program - led by Nikishna Polequaptewa, American Indian Resource Program director, and Yolanda Leon, AIRP coordinator and AISICS director - proved invaluable.

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SPOTLIGHT EVENT - Olive Tree Initiative Bon Voyage Party

Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Social and Behavioral Science Gateway, Room 1517

The Olive Tree Initiative is embarking on its third journey to the Middle East where students will directly engage with and hear perspectives from Israeli and Palestinian academics, civilians, community leaders and other figures with first-hand knowledge of the conflict. Come meet and greet the students hours before they leave for the Middle East.

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