June 15, 2014 | 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. | UCI Bren Events Center
Commencement ceremonies for social sciences undergrads and master's students will take place Sunday, June 15 at 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. in the UCI Bren Events Center. Sasha Sabherwal, international studies, political science and Women's studies undergraduate major, will be the featured speaker at 12:00 p.m. and Kevin Wang, economics and political science, will speak at the 3:00 p.m. ceremony.
Read on to learn more about their and other outstanding students' accomplishments.
Sasha Sabherwal, international studies, political science and Women's studies, commencement speaker
Sasha Sabherwal graduated from Fullerton High School in Orange County and came to UCI in the fall of 2009. She started UCI as an international studies major, and as her interests developed, she added a major in political science and then in Women's studies. She is graduating this summer as a triple major, having completed two honors theses, one in Women's studies on gender relations and one in international studies on the media coverage of women in India.
Kevin Wang, economics and political science, commencement speaker
Kevin Wang graduated from Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, California and started UCI in the fall of 2010. A double major in political science and economics, he completed an honors thesis this year in political science on voting behavior. He has also served as a research assistant investigating labor discrimination in U.S. job markets. Outside of the classroom, Wang is a "mocker" - a member of UCI's nationally ranked Mock Trial Team. He has been team captain, assistant coach, and student tournament coordinator for the team as well as serving as a mock trial high school coach.
8 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 8 of the campus's 34 award recipients in 2014
Social sciences names 2014 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.
2014 Living Our Values award recipients
Two from social sciences honored
Recipients of the 2014 Living Our Values Awards were honored Wednesday, May 28, at a luncheon hosted by Howard Gillman, Ph.D., UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. The awards honor UCI faculty, staff and students whose actions best embody the university's values of respect, intellectual curiosity, integrity, commitment, empathy, appreciation and fun. Among the 11 individuals selected were two from social sciences - Jeanett Castellanos, lecturer, and Dominique Doan, senior in economics.
Sereseres and Cyronek receive UROP Chancellor's Excellence Awards
Cyronek also recognized with Lave Paper Prize
Caesar Sereseres, political science associate professor, and Travis Cyronek (pictured), economics major, are the School of Social Sciences recipients of the 2014 Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program's 18th annual symposium, the awards recognize Sereseres's efforts to foster research among undergraduates, and Cyronek's excellence in undergraduate research. The May 17 symposium featured research presentations from students around campus, including more than 80 social sciences undergraduates.
Azatyan receives Rosten and Outstanding Transfer scholarships
Awards will fund research on Armenian conflict and migration to U.S.
For Hakop "Jack" Azatyan, the Social Sciences Summer Academic Enrichment Program was a gateway to leadership and research opportunities that have pushed the sociology major beyond his comfort zone. "SAEP taught me how to work closely and cohesively with a small group of students – something I hadn't done before," he said. "It also opened my eyes to the many opportunities available to students at UCI who choose to get involved." A transfer student, Azatyan credits the program with helping to get him involved in the school Dean's Ambassadors Council for which he has served for the past year as executive chair. He also got some of his sociology colleagues together to form the Sociology Club to promote awareness of the major. The intensive research focus of SAEP helped him discover a passion for learning more about his Armenian community, a topic he is now exploring in depth through the sociology honors program.
Patton wins Macy Award for outstanding undergrad research
Honor recognizes her for best non-thesis paper submitted in social sciences for original research
Growing up in Tustin - less than 10 miles from campus - Hillary Patton never saw UC Irvine as "just the school down the road." "I knew when I graduated that I wanted to attend a UC and UCI is one of the best," she says. She majored in psychology out of an interest in the ways people think and process the world around them, picking up a double major in criminology, law & society because the two fields often intersect, she says. "The application of psychology in the criminal justice system is what I am most interested in," she says. Her research, funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, has focused on two topics - false memory, which she pursued under the direction of Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of social ecology and professor of law and cognitive science, and neurocognition in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which she studied with Julie Patterson, psychiatry & human behavior specialist at the UCI Medical Center in Orange.
Collison receives Fulbright to study in Nicaragua
Funding will support research on electoral involvement of young adults
In a country where 16-year-olds are allowed to vote and the median age of the entire population is just 23.4 years, Nicaragua's future is heavily shaped by young adults, says Eliza Collison, UCI international studies major. She's interested in learning just how involved they are in elections, a topic she will be studying in depth in the Central American country, thanks to funding from a newly awarded Fulbright grant.
Reiling receives Fulbright to study abroad in the Ivory Coast
Competitive national grant will fund research on NGOs and women's security
Carrie Reiling, political science graduate student, has been awarded a competitive Fulbright grant to study abroad in the Ivory Coast next year. The award will support her research on how non-governmental organizations work to assure security for women in the West African country while navigating the region's tumultuous political landscape and priorities.
Reiling received her bachelor's in peace studies and English from Gustavus Adolphus College and her master's in gender and international relations from the University of Bristol. She has conducted field work in Senegal and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and her research has been supported by the UC Irvine Department of Political Science, Center for Global Peace & Conflict Studies, Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, and Center for Law, Society and Culture.
Salas, '13 Ph.D., receives Thomas award
Honor recognizes his research on family planning programs in the Philippines
J. M. Ian Salas, economics Ph.D. '13, has received the 2014 Dorothy S. Thomas Award from the Population Association of America. The honor recognizes his research on consequences of funding disruptions on family planning programs in the Philippines – work he pursued and published as a doctoral student at UCI – as the outstanding graduate student paper on interrelationships among social, economic and demographic variables. His research found that birth rates responded significantly to swings in public contraceptive supply, and that subsidized contraception helped poor and low-educated women manage their fertility. Salas completed his Ph.D. in fall 2013 and is currently the David E. Bell Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population & Development Studies. He received the Thomas award at the Population Association of America annual meeting in May.
Monroe is UCI's Outstanding Mentor
Honor recognizes political scientist for mentoring efforts above and beyond her regular faculty responsibilities
Kristen Monroe, political science Chancellor's Professor and UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality director, is UCI's 2014 Outstanding Mentor. The honor, awarded by the UCI Emeriti Association, recognizes the political scientist for mentoring efforts above and beyond her regular faculty responsibilities. Letters written in her support came from colleagues and former mentees around the world, says Mark Petracca, political science associate professor and social sciences undergraduate associate dean. A common theme among them highlighted her skills not only as a reliable and trustworthy advisor, but also as a compelling advocate for their success, he says.
Myth of Mirror Neurons receives positive review
Publishers Weekly calls Hickok's new book an impressive handling of basic neuroscience
A new book on so-called mirror neurons and their role in human cognition by Gregory Hickok, UCI cognitive sciences professor, has received a positive review in the May 5 issue of Publishers Weekly. The news magazine called the work "an impressive handling of basic neuroscience that makes a complex topic understandable to the general reader as he delves into cutting-edge science." The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition uses scientific data and literature review to refute claims made about these brain cells' roles in everything from language and empathy to autism and schizophrenia.
Maddy named Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professor
Honor recognizes the philosopher for contributions to the field
What is it that makes 2 plus 2 equal 4? If a coin flip comes up either heads or tails, and it doesn't come up heads, why must it come up tails? For the most part, these types of questions go widely unasked – generally because we just accept their outcomes as fact. But not philosophers. Philosophers are interested in studying why and how we know these things. And to those within this puzzling field of research, UCI logic & philosophy of science Distinguished Professor Penelope Maddy is one of the best in the world. "Pen's research is characterized by attention to historical sources, subtle and strikingly original philosophical argument, and painstaking attention to detail," says Jeff Barrett, logic & philosophy of science professor. "UC Irvine is extraordinarily fortunate to have her." Maddy was recently named the 2013-14 Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professor, an honor bestowed by the nation's oldest academic honor society. It recognizes the top philosopher for her distinguished academic achievements as well as her contributions to our public understanding of philosophy.
UCI again ranks first among U.S. universities younger than 50
Times Higher Education evaluations are based on research and teaching excellence
UC Irvine ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old – and seventh worldwide – in a report released April 30 by Times Higher Education. UC Irvine has been the top U.S. university and in the top 10 worldwide each year since the THE's "100 Under 50" rankings were introduced three years ago. UC Irvine will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015 and is the youngest institution in the prestigious Association of American Universities.