Political science professor Wayne Sandholtz receives grant to study how laws are going global
As the trial of Amanda Knox unfolded, cameras inside the Italian courtroom captured what was, for many Americans, their first look at proceedings in a foreign court. Though the countries' legal systems differ in some respects, there are also important similarities – like due process in criminal trials, says UCI political science professor Wayne Sandholtz. "Legal ideas and principles are migrating across borders, thanks in part to the growth of digital media," he says, explaining a phenomenon known as the globalization of law. "It is easier now for attorneys and judges to acquire and use legal materials from virtually anywhere in the world."
With newly received funding from the National Science Foundation, Sandholtz and collaborator Alec Stone Sweet, Yale Law School professor, are leading a study that will measure and map how high courts around the world cite foreign and international legal materials.
Highlighting hidden agendas
Sociologist Francesca Polletta receives NSF funding to study frames underpinning political debates
Sociology professor Francesca Polletta is working on a new study aimed at highlighting the assumptions that are often hidden in competing positions on controversial political issues. Working with a team of computational linguists at Cornell University, she has developed a software program that graphically represents the linguistic patterns underpinning writers' positions on controversial issues in blog posts, position papers and newspaper editorials. The researchers plan to have people use the software in lab experiments and real-world public forums in order to gauge the degree to which readers' opinions may shift when they can visualize the frames that underlie opposing arguments. By drawing attention to a practice popular among political strategists attempting to sway public opinion, Polletta hopes the study may promote more effective and informed deliberations over controversial issues like campaign finance reform, environmental regulation and healthcare.
How good are your weekly picks?
UCI cognitive scientist Michael Lee studies science behind sports predictions
For those who follow football (as if there was anything else on TV through fall), late October upsets for Oklahoma and Wisconsin meant a mid-season shake up in the college BCS rankings, and some presumably upset Vegas odds-makers. Following the action both on the field and in the over/unders (both by observation only) has been UCI cognitive sciences professor Michael Lee, one of football's newer fans. The Aussie native traded in his love for Australian Rules with the closely matched American game in 2006 when he joined the UCI faculty. In five short years, he's become somewhat of a regular at Bruins games, and for his professional picks, he's earned several Fantasy Football trophies that can be seen proudly on display in his department chair office. Yet for Lee, who is, after all, a scientist and information junky, the most intriguing part of the game lies not in the on-field action, but in the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making accurate weekly picks.
McBride receives grants to outfit new experimental lab, launch initial studies
Funding provided by Army and Navy research offices
Michael McBride, economics associate professor, has received $489,000 in grant funding to outfit his newly launched Experimental Social Sciences Laboratory with state-of-the-art computer equipment and for initial experimental behavioral studies. The Army Research Office has supplied a one-time, $149,000 award for equipment while the Office of Navy Research is supplying the remaining $340,000 for experimental studies through a subcontract with the University of Southern California. Experiments currently underway in the facility include research on how terrorist networks may form and why peace negotiations sometimes fail. "Experimental methods are increasingly important in the social and behavioral sciences, in part because they help to unify research across many disciplines," says McBride. "Our faculty researchers come from economics, logic and philosophy of science, political science and sociology, so we are really building on UCI's interdisciplinary tradition."
Garfias recognized for contributions to ethnomusicology
Book published in the anthropologist's honor is released at Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting
Robert Garfias, anthropology professor and world renowned ethnomusicologist, has been recognized for his lifelong contributions to the study of musicians and their musical traditions. Ethnomusicological Encounters with Music and Musicians, a book of essays compiled in Garfias' honor, was officially launched at a special book-signing event at the Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting November 17-20 in Philadelphia. Garfias has conducted field research in more than a dozen areas of the world. In 1986, he was appointed by then President Ronald Reagan to the National Council on the Arts. For ten years, he served as an advisor to presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton while advising policy for the National Endowment for the Arts. Also credited to his name are former positions as past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology, vice provost of the University of Washington, and dean of the School of the Arts at UC Irvine. In 2005, he was presented with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon distinction, Japan's highest government honor bestowed upon a non-Japanese citizen.
Staying true to her corps values
Three decades after volunteer stint with Peace Corps, anthro alumnus returns as country director in Tanzania
Global peace is more than an abstract concept to Elizabeth O'Malley '78. Since graduating from UC Irvine with an anthropology degree, she has been fascinated by issues of cultural diversity, social change and how people of different backgrounds can work and thrive together. O'Malley began her career in Sierra Leone as an agriculture volunteer with the Peace Corps, then headed to Uganda, where – again with the Peace Corps – she developed teacher training programs and healthcare classes for families affected by HIV/AIDS. Most recently, she worked in Austria, coaching organizations on how to leverage Vienna's multicultural environment and encourage acceptance of diversity in the schools. Between posts, O'Malley earned a master's in international public administration and a doctorate in environmental anthropology. Now she has taken all she's learned to a new level as the Peace Corps' country director in Tanzania. Here are her thoughts on volunteerism, public service and her experience at UCI.
How they discovered their dream careers
Julie Schlosser, political science '97, is featured in O Magazine
After a decade of bonding over deadlines, Lee Clifford and Julie Schlosser linked up to create a charming new form of philanthropy. As editors at Fortune magazine, they covered everything from the rise and fall of corporate titans to whether office parties are a faux pas during an economic slump. While brainstorming topics for the column they coedited by "shouting across the hall," Clifford says, they became friends. Less publicly, the colleagues talked about taking a cue from the inspiring entrepreneurs they profiled. Since both women were involved in nonprofit work in their downtime, they imagined a business with a philanthropic angle. Schlosser - who'd always admired her mother's (Ellen Schlosser) charm bracelet - envisioned a jewelry line in which different charms would benefit different charities.
Holloway receives 2011 Reza Zarif and Rufina Paniego Undergraduate Award for Excellence
Senior anthropology major Julianne Holloway is this year's recipient of the Reza Zarif and Rufina Paniego Undergraduate Award for Excellence, an honor which recognizes her efforts in both the classroom and in the community. Holloway is an active member of two honors societies: Tau Sigma, an organization for transfer students who excel academically, and the National Society of Leadership and Success, both of which require community service hours and participation in societal events.
She is currently working on her senior thesis with Michael Montoya, anthropology associate professor, and Christopher Drover, anthropology lecturer, through which she's conducting a full examination of older skeletal remains and analyzing the cultural background and geographical context of the find.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: A Social Science Winter Wonderland
November 30, 12:00-2:00 p.m., Social Science Plaza
The holidays are approaching and what better way to celebrate than with free food, hot chocolate, baked goods and fun activities, courtesy of the School of Social Sciences Dean's Ambassadors Council? Social sciences students, staff, faculty and friends are invited to come for fun, food and friendly competition as the school's departments vie for top honors in this year's gingerbread house decorating competition.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Understanding and Resolving the U.S. Fiscal Problem
November 30, 7:00-8:00 p.m., UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom C
decisions have contributed to the U.S.'s budget woes? In light of the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, do any realistic, viable resolutions exist?
In his upcoming talk, Alan Auerbach, director of the UC Berkeley Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance and former Deputy Chief of Staff of
the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation, will discuss potential solutions in the form of tax and entitlement program reforms. The event is the inaugural
lecture of the UCI Center for Economics & Public Policy, directed by economist David Neumark.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: IMTFI Annual Conference for Funded Researchers
December 6-7, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., UCI Student Center, Doheny Beach Rooms
The third annual Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion conference brings to campus third-year award recipients who will present their preliminary findings. As more and more philanthropic, industry and development actors ask whether mobile technology can help provide access to needed financial services like savings and money transfer, these projects look to the experience on the ground of existing, traditional money systems and financial practices, as well as the potential and real impact of new technology in providing access to finance for the world's poor.