Social sciences undergraduate and graduate students celebrate degree accomplishments with flair
Lavish Hawaiian leis, creatively hand-crafted caps and zealous "zot, zot, zot"s have become part of the UCI graduation tradition, and this year's social sciences celebrations did not disappoint. In two ceremonies on June 12, the School of Social Sciences conferred 2,389 undergraduate degrees and 59 master's degrees - 14 of which went to students completing the Demographic and Social Analysis (DASA) program while the remaining 45 were awarded to students in pursuit of doctorates in various social sciences disciplines. Doctoral students were honored the week prior at a June 4 ceremony during which 42 students received Ph.D.s. Keeping with tradition, the school also hosted its annual Order of Merit and Scholars of Distinction ceremonies to honor the very top students in social sciences.
Read on for photos and award recipients...
Where are they now?
Past UCI grads have found niches in nonprofit work, pro sports, Hollywood, law, TV and business
All those congratulatory cards arriving in UC Irvine graduates' mailboxes last month make the future sound so rosy - follow your dreams, reach for the stars, change the world and (yikes!) get a job.
If those sentiments aren't quite as inspiring as Hallmark hoped, consider this from the National Association of Colleges & Employers: "The job market for the college class of 2011 looks positive in all regions. Overall, employers taking part in NACE's Job Outlook 2011 Fall Preview survey expect to hire 13.5 percent more new grads from the class of 2011 than they hired from the class of 2010. By region, employers in the West project the biggest increase compared with last year."
More good news comes from Anteater alumni who - even amid slow job growth and the economic downturn - have found innovative ways to make their marks on the world.
Read on for their stories...
Sereseres is UCI's 2011 Professor of the Year
Cognitive scientist Lisa Pearl also recognized for excellence in undergraduate teaching at annual Celebration of Teaching awards ceremony
Ask any UCI social sciences alumnus to list his or her most influential professors, and odds are that Caesar Sereseres' name will be near the top. A political science professor at UCI since 1972, Sereseres has served for the past 21 years as associate dean of undergraduate studies in the School of Social Sciences. He's credited with championing the highly effective five-week residential Summer Academic Enrichment Program which helps increase graduation rates among first-generation college students; the widely acclaimed Global Connect educational partnership program that provides secondary students a much needed yearlong course on global issues in the 21st century; and numerous study abroad, internship, research and mentoring opportunities through which Sereseres offers up his time, extensive expertise, unending energy and real-world applied knowledge to the many students he serves. An advocate for diversity and support for first-generation and low-income students, Sereseres was honored at UCI's annual Celebration of Teaching awards ceremony in May as the 2011 Professor of the Year.
Read on for a full list of award winners...
Creating informed, global citizens
UCI's Global Connect has taught international studies to nearly 8,000 high school students
When uprisings broke out across Egypt in January, students at Laguna Hills High School were among the millions around the world tracking developments via the Web and mobile devices. What turned into a full-blown revolution resulting in the successful overthrow of a 30-year presidency became one of the students' key lessons on globalized technology in "International Relations," a high school course designed and taught through UC Irvine's Global Connect program. UCI faculty and students involved in Global Connect develop issue - focused lesson plans that they team-teach alongside high school educators in the Newport-Mesa and Saddleback Valley school districts. Topics include climate change, terrorism, mass media, and technology in a global society - areas not covered under current state education standards but in which UCI researchers excel. Launched in 2001 through the School of Social Sciences as weekly, UCI-led presentations in local high schools, Global Connect has morphed into a yearlong, structured global studies course. In March, the 36-week curriculum was approved by the University of California regents as an "a-g" elective, meaning that credit from the course may be applied to the one-year college preparatory elective requirement that high school students must meet to be admitted to any of the UC campuses.
Social sciences assistant dean Dave Leinen receives 2011 Excellence in Leadership Award, staff honored for years of service
Dave Leinen, social sciences assistant dean, has been named a 2011 recipient of the UCI Excellence in Leadership Award. Awarded annually by the UCI Staff Assembly, the honor recognizes staff supervisors on campus and at the medical center who - through outstanding leadership - enhance staff morale, build an enriching work environment, serve as a mentor and support the career development of their staff, and benefit their unit and individual employees. Nominated by the social sciences staff, Leinen received his award June 2 at the annual Staff Service Awards Ceremony during which a number of social sciences staff also received recognition for their years of service.
Read on for a full listing of social sciences recipients...
Talking Trump, the tea party and 2012
Russell Dalton, political science professor, weighs in on the early presidential race
The 2012 presidential election is off to an early start, with several candidates throwing their hats into the ring and others famously removing themselves from contention. (We're looking at you, Mr. Trump.) The hopefuls - ranging from veteran politicians to self-proclaimed Washington outsiders - all seem to make the same promises: resurrect the economy, create jobs and cut the federal deficit. But few offer specifics on how they plan to achieve these goals. To make some sense of it all, we spoke to Russell Dalton, UC Irvine professor of political science. He studies political participation among youths and the rising number of independents. According to Dalton, these nonpartisan voters make election outcomes increasingly difficult to predict. Here, he discusses the candidate pool, President Obama's reelection prospects, and why the youth vote matters.
Sociologist Jennifer Lee takes part in D.C. discussion on immigration, intermarriage and multiracial identification
Watch video highlights, courtesy of C-SPAN
On June 13, authors, political scientists and sociologists - including UCI's Jennifer Lee - gathered for a conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues that divide and unite Americans. Hosted by the Center for Social Cohesion, the topics debated included immigration, poverty and race. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor made opening remarks. Check out video and a full length transcript of the discussion, courtesy of C-SPAN.
Read on for video...
Economics alumnus Boris Wong is a 2011 Fulbright International winner
Recent grad is opting to stay in-state to attend UCSD's economics Ph.D. program
Boris Wong, '11, quantitative economics and mathematics, has been named a 2011 Fulbright grant winner. Sponsored by the State Department, Fulbright is the largest international exchange program in the U.S. It funds one year of graduate study, research or teaching in more than 155 countries. Wong won one of 70 grants (out of 227 university-endorsed applications) for research/study in China but has opted instead to attend graduate school. In the fall, he will enter UC San Diego's doctoral program in economics. His goal is to become a professor at a major research university.
Two social sciences graduate students receive Phi Beta Kappa Alumni
Honor includes $1500 for final year of study
Two social sciences graduate students have been named 2011 Phi Beta Kappa Alumni International Scholars:
Harry (Hyung Ju) Hong, economics graduate student from the Republic of Korea,
and Shunan Zhang, psychology (cognitive sciences) graduate student from the People's Republic of China.
The honor, awarded to graduate students engaged in their final year of study, includes a $1,500 scholarship.
Garcia, '11, Chicano/Latino studies, is UROP's July Researcher of the Month
Recent grad pursues research on AB 540 student support on California campuses
For Vilma Garcia, '11, Chicano/Latino studies, academic research has provided an opportunity to question social issues affecting underserved communities. As an undergrad, she assessed levels of campus and faculty support at UC and Cal State campuses statewide for AB 540 students (unauthorized immigrant students) as well as the organizational vitality of these groups and the strategies they use to advocate on behalf of AB 540 students. Seeing the enthusiasm and optimism shared by student leaders of these organizations has fueled her passion for further graduate work in this area. She received the 2011 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research from the School of Social Sciences in recognition of her dedication to research, and is the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program's July Researcher of the Month. Read on as Garcia discusses her work and offers advice to undergrads interesting in pursuing research.
Political science undergrads receive prestigious campus awards
Abolian and Aragon are the 2011 Aldrich and Aeberhard award winners
Dalar Abolian and Ivette Aragon, political science undergraduates, have been named recipients of two of UCI's top undergraduate scholarships. Abolian (pictured), now a senior at UCI, is the 2011 Dan and Jean Aldrich award winner, named in honor of UCI's founding chancellor. Aragon, a freshman going into her sophomore year, is the recipient of the 2011 Nicholas Aeberhard Award, an honor which recognizes the top freshman at UCI and which Abolian was awarded in 2009. Both awards carry a $1,500 prize.