Bill Maurer is named dean of School of Social Sciences
Cultural anthropologist will head UCI's largest academic unit
After a nationwide search, UC Irvine anthropology professor Bill Maurer has been named dean of the campus's largest academic unit, the School of Social Sciences.
"It's gratifying when we find that the very best person for the position in the country is already right here," said Chancellor Michael Drake. "I'm delighted that my distinguished
faculty colleague, Bill Maurer, has agreed to assume this important role in the life of our university."
Maurer is known widely for his research in the anthropology of law, money and finance. He has served in a number of administrative roles at UC Irvine while founding two major
research centers and collaborating across campus, with the business community and with the nonprofit sector.
Saturday, June 8, 2012, 3:30 p.m. @ UCI Bren Events Center
Saturday, June 15, 2012, 1:00 and 4:30 p.m. @ UCI Bren Events Center
The UCI Graduate Hooding Ceremony for Ph.D., Ed.D, and M.F.A. students will be held Saturday, June 8 at 3:30 p.m. in the UCI Bren Events Center. Commencement ceremonies for social sciences undergrads and master's students will take place Saturday, June 15 at 1:00 and 4:30 p.m. in the UCI Bren Events Center. Felipe Hernandez, political science and music performance undergraduate major, will be the featured speaker at 1:00 p.m. and Mazamir Yousefi, international studies and political science major,
will speak at the 4:30 p.m. ceremony.
Read on to learn more about their and other outstanding students' accomplishments. Commencement ceremonies will be streamed live at http://commencement.uci.edu/webstream.php.
An accomplished anteater
Truman and Fulbright scholar Felipe Hernandez will be one of two featured speakers at social sciences' commencement ceremonies
Music was Felipe Hernandez's ticket to a better life. Growing up in a low-income family east of Compton, drug addiction, gang violence and poverty were stories of everyday life.
"I have a few childhood friends who made it out and are currently in college, but most stayed behind, trapped," says the UCI senior. "Several friends that I grew up with are in
prison, on the run or dead."
At several pivotal points in his childhood, he considered decisions that would have led him down the same path. That all changed when, at twelve years old, his father, a musician
and composer, put a guitar in his hands. Soon, time previously spent on the street was filled with musical chords and melodies. He learned how to play other instruments, too - the
timbales, congas, bongos, bass and piano - while his mother, a singer, gave the young Hernandez vocal lessons. Soon, the budding musician was accompanying his parents on stage as
they traveled the west playing gigs and recording new tracks.
Delivering her closing argument
Mock Trial standout Mazamir Yousefi will be one of two featured speakers at social sciences' commencement ceremonies
Mazamir Yousefi has wanted to be a lawyer since she was a sophomore at Mission San Jose High School in Northern California.
"I had the opportunity to meet California Senator Ellen Corbett and after talking with her about the gang-ridden area I grew up in and how I had seen my own classmates receive
harsh sentences for minor crimes, she helped me see that I could make a difference and defend kids just like my classmates in the future," she says. "I've also always been involved
in performing and acting, so being a trial attorney gives me the perfect opportunity to do both."
When it came time to pick a college, UCI was at the top of her list.
"The atmosphere of the campus was incredibly inviting and I felt a sense of community as I walked around Aldrich Park," she says. "I also love how close UCI is to the beach, which
is where I spend most of my free time."
13 social sciences undergrads receive Chancellor's Award of Distinction
Honor recognizes UCI's most outstanding graduating seniors
The Chancellor's Award of Distinction acknowledges the University of California, Irvine's most outstanding graduating seniors. Awarded by the UC Irvine Alumni Association, these
students represent exceptional academic achievement and a commitment to cutting-edge research, leadership and service to UCI. Selected by a committee of alumni, recipients can be
identified by the blue and gold shoulder cord worn with their commencement regalia.
The School of Social Sciences is happy to have among its outstanding class of graduates 13 of the campus's 35 award recipients in 2013.
Social sciences names 2013 Order of Merit recipients
Honor recognizes top 2% of undergrads for academics, leadership and service
Since 1983, the Order of Merit recognition has been given to the top 2% of social sciences undergraduates who best exemplify a commitment to academic distinction, leadership and
service to the school, campus and community. On June 15, the School of Social Sciences will host its annual ceremony to honor 26 outstanding students.
Wang receives Excellent Academic Writing in Social Sciences award
Senior honored at UCI Upper-Division Writing Awards Ceremony
On May 9, Kevin Wang, economics and political science undergrad, was honored at the UCI Upper-Division Writing Awards Ceremony as the Excellent Academic Writing in Social Sciences
award recipient. The honor recognizes him for research which calls into question Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's application of textualism in administering judicial
Wang is a senior at UCI. He is an active member of Mock Trial and plans to attend law school after completing his bachelor's degree.
Sabherwal receives Schonfeld and Rosten scholarships
Honors recognize scholarship, service and leadership
Sasha Sabherwal counts completion of the School of Social Sciences' Summer Academic Enrichment Program among her biggest accomplishments at UCI. Coming from a low-income immigrant family, the international and women's studies double major found it difficult to navigate the university system. "SAEP helped bridge the gaps in my understanding of a university education, showing me the importance of research, studying abroad, community service and leadership," she says. It's also where she got the opportunity to work with her mentor, political science associate professor Caesar Sereseres.
Naviaux is social sciences' third 2013 Fulbright winner
'12 economics and earth and environmental sciences alumnus will study impact of atmospheric mercury on Arctic ecosystem
John Naviaux, '12, has been awarded a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship to study the impact of atmospheric mercury on the Arctic aquatic ecosystem in Norway. The economics and earth and
environmental sciences alumnus was the 2012 recipient of the UCI George R. and Cathleen Hill Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Economics and he received the Chancellor's Award
of Distinction as a senior at UCI. He will attend Caltech in fall 2014 after completing his fellowship.
Naviaux is UCI's fifth Fulbright Scholar named this year and the third from the School of Social Sciences.
UCI cognitive scientist uses crowdsourcing to predict celebrity deaths
Algorithms by Michael Lee show Ranker users' predictions to be surprisingly accurate
Participating in a celebrity death pool is a pretty macabre way to pass the time, but when multitudes of people do it the results can be fairly prescient.
UC Irvine professor of cognitive sciences Michael Lee (pictured) and colleagues found that the collective opinions of users of Ranker - a website that solicits crowd opinions on a variety of topics - predicted recent celebrity deaths better than individual users, chance or age. Lee used algorithms developed by his research team to analyze lists provided by 27 users. Lee found that 99 celebrities were included in at least one list, and at the time of analysis, six of the 99 celebrities had passed away. Lee's modeling included a list of all 99 celebrities in an order that combined user rankings. The top 5 in this aggregated list were Hugo Chavez (already a correct prediction) Fidel Castro, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Abe Vigoda and Kirk Douglas.
VIDEO: Expert on stereotype promise
UCI sociologist Jennifer Lee explores the consequences of positive stereotyping
Hardworking. Disciplined. Successful. Positive stereotypes commonly associated with Asian American students can serve as performance boosters and result in a self-fulfilling
prophecy, says UCI sociologist Jennifer Lee, but they can also lead to a host of unintended consequences. "Not only do positive stereotypes place extraordinary pressure on Asian
American students to excel, but they can make students feel like abject failures when they don't stand out and place them at a disadvantage in competing for spots at top
universities," she says.
In the school's latest "Expert On" series, Lee talks about the positives and potential pitfalls of stereotype promise.
Mexican American mothers' immigration status affects children, grandchildren
UCI-led study finds two-year difference in educational attainment of next generation
Mexican American mothers' formal immigration status influences the educational achievement of their children and even their grandchildren, according to a new study led by a UC Irvine sociologist.
Researchers found - based on a large‐scale survey of young, second‐generation Mexican American adults in Los Angeles - that those whose mothers were authorized immigrants or U.S. citizens had, on average, two more years of schooling than those whose mothers had entered the country illegally. The researchers estimate that at least a third of the education gap between third‐generation Mexican Americans and native whites is attributable to the legacy effects of grandparents' unauthorized status.
"The implication of our findings is that clear pathways to legalization can boost Mexican American educational attainment even as late as the third generation," said lead author Frank Bean, Chancellor's Professor of sociology at UC Irvine. "Legislation providing the possibility of entry into full societal membership helps not only the immigrants themselves but also their children and their children's children."
Taagepera receives UCI Outstanding Emeritus Award
Honor recognizes retired political scientist for continued commitment to university mission
Rein Taagepera, political science professor emeritus, is the recipient of the 2013 UC Irvine Outstanding Emeritus Award from the UCI Emeriti Association. The honor annually
recognizes an outstanding emeritus professor on campus for exceptional contributions in research, teaching, and service.
A native of Estonia, Taagepera joined the UC Irvine faculty in 1970. He is the author of more than 100 research articles ranging in topic from nuclear physics, arms races and
corruption, to population growth and linguistic studies. He is the founding dean of the School of Social Sciences at Tartu University in Estonia and served for two years as
president of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.
In 2008, he was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize for his analysis of the function of
electoral systems in representative democracy.
Bogart receives grant from NSF to study transportation improvements
Research ties technology innovations to lower costs
Dan Bogart, economics associate professor, has received a $295,829 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the relationship between transportation improvements and the
Industrial Revolution. This project makes use of Geographical Information Systems mapping technology to precisely model the transport cost and travel times between British cities
from 1700-1870. The project will also estimate each city's cost of accessing markets and the effect on its wages and adoption of technologies, like the steam engine. Findings will
shed light on savings made possible by new technology innovations in the transportation industry during this time frame.
Funding for this project began in March and will run through February 2016.
Lee receives grant from NSF to develop cognitive models for categorization
Funding period runs from March 2013-February 2016
Michael Lee, cognitive sciences professor, has received a $182,362 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop cognitive models that will help scientists understand the
processes involved in how people learn categories. In the last 10 years, new behavioral and brain imaging data has led to a diversification in theories of category learning, and
the idea that people have multiple learning systems has become prominent. Lee's work aims to try and rein in this diversity, using statistical methods to identify how many
category learning processes are fundamentally important, and then developing cognitive models that include these processes. Working with him will be a cognitive sciences graduate
student who specializes in cognitive modeling.
The grant is a subcontract to a larger study in progress at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lee's portion is funded from March 2013-February 2016.
Mireshghi receives Woodrow Wilson fellowship for research on kidney transplants in Iran
$25,000 award will support her dissertation write-up
Iran is the only country with a bureaucratically organized and religiously sanctioned policy for kidney sales. Though most fatwas by Iranian Shi'a jurists permit kidney sales, and
the majority of transplants originate from paid donors, the development and implementation of the policy has been mired with uncertainty since its inception.
Elham Mireshghi, UCI anthropology graduate student, studies the relationship between medical policy, Islamic law and activism surrounding the practice. Funded by both the National
Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, her research examines how the volatile moral alignments necessary for the implementation of the policy emerged, and the
consequences that it entailed.
In April, she was one of only 22 recipients to be selected from 600 applicants for a competitive Woodrow Wilson Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Writing fellowship.
Norman wins State Department scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco
Political science graduate student one of 610 American students to receive award
Kelsey Norman, a UC Irvine Ph.D. student in political science, has received a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco. Norman (pictured, in
Egypt) will live with a host family in the historic city of Meknes while attending classes this summer. She is one of about 610 American undergraduate and graduate students in the
scholarship program who will spend seven to 10 weeks at intensive language institutes in 13 countries learning Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian,
Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu. "I'm thrilled about the opportunity to continue building my language skills in a new Arabic-speaking country and
familiarizing myself with Morocco's sociopolitical and cultural context as part of my pre-dissertation research," Norman said. The program is part of a U.S. government effort to
increase the number of Americans who know critical foreign languages. Norman studies citizenship and global migration with a focus on the Middle East.