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All in a day's work

From running a tech company and building a robot for NASA to challenging stereotypes about Muslim women in a viral video, there's never a dull moment with social sciences alumna Layla Shaikley

As a Southern California native, Layla Shaikley ‘07 has never been one to waste free time. While an undergrad at UCI, the political science major could be found anywhere from the slopes to the surf, soaking in the outdoors when she wasn’t busy with the Associated Students or coming up with new creations for her digital arts minor. Now, nearly a decade after finishing her degree, she admits that free time is harder to come by - but that’s just fine with her.

The active Anteater has earned two graduate degrees in architecture - one from California Polytechnic University and one from MIT - in addition to completing various internships for organizations such as NASA. She’s worked as a research affiliate at MIT, co-founded TEDxBaghdad, and held a post with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. She’s also co-founded Wise Systems - a company that helps businesses make more streamlined and efficient delivery decisions. But one of her most widely publicized ventures has been “Somewhere in America” - a video she produced and styled with the group Mipsterz, an online community of self-proclaimed Muslim ‘hipsters’ who hope to change the perception of Muslims in America.

The video, set to Jay-Z’s “Somewhere in America,” depicts stylish young Muslim women, donning hijabs while participating in various “hip” activities - skateboarding, hanging out with friends, posing for selfies, etc. Seemingly overnight it garnered international attention, inspiring media from CNN, Huffington Post, Jezebel, NPR, and others to participate in the discussion about what it means to be Muslim in the U.S. The original posting has been deleted and re-uploaded numerous times so the total view count has been lost, but to date more than 1,600 articles have been written globally to address the video. While the attention was uncomfortable at first, Shaikley is thrilled about the conversation it’s sparked.

We sat down with the multi-talented mogul to find out exactly what motivates her - and how she hopes Mipsterz will change the world. More...


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Pulitzer Prize Winning Author on Life, Death and Hope Among the Urban Poor in India

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Lunar New Year Festival
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Pulitzer Prize Winning Author on Life, Death and Hope Among the Urban Poor in India
February 4

Causal Complexity, Causal Selection, and Disease Explanation
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12th Irvine-Japan Conference on Public Policy
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Revealing Audiences and Rhetoric
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Have Wars and the Role of Military Power Declined through the History of Human Societies?
February 11

Generative Imaginaries
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Non-Empirical Confirmation
February 16,

Graduating with a Plan
February 17

Film Workshop: Coming of Age on the Silver Screen
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Democracy, Race and Political Inequality: Lessons from Ancient Athens
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Coalitional Stability: Apportioning the Legislature at the U.S. Constitutional Convention
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How Did Societies with Effective Modern States Get Them?
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Group Knowledge, Signals and Behavior
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in the media

LISTEN: And now there are 7: Analyzing the main stage GOP presidential debate

DeSipio, Southern California Public Radio

READ: Parents of daughters support Hillary Clinton more than parents of sons

Michael Tesler, political science assistant professor, explains in Washington Post op-ed

WATCH: Women over 50? Help not wanted

David Neumark, economics Chancellor's Professor, explains on PBS Newshour the challenges women over 50 face in the job market

READ: Persia is my heart

An essay by Roxanne Varzi, anthropology associate professor, is featured by Books Combined

READ: Keep your stash: Paper cash is here to stay

Soc sci dean and cultural anthropologist Bill Maurer explains in OC Register feature

READ: Climate change may spell more traffic fatalities

Study by UCI economist Kevin Roth featured by Inside Science and the SF Gate

The massive gap between whites and Latinos in how they perceive Donald Trump
Op-ed by poli sci prof Michael Tesler explains, courtesy of The Washington Post

How Sarah Palin could help Donald Trump with Ted Cruz supporters
Poli sci assistant prof Michael Tesler explains in Washington Post op-ed

Airport workers around the country rally for better wages (Audio)
Neumark, NPR and KPBS Jan. 18, 2016

An announcement is expected this year on who will be featured on the historic redesign of the $10 bill
Maurer, KSBR

Judges impose new Virginia congressional map
Grofman, The Daily Progress

How to crack the mobile payments market
Maurer, AlleyWatch and CNBC

Two from O.C. among Congress' 'most effective'
Campbell, Orange County Register

Opinion: Minimum wage alternative proposed by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce (Opinion)
Neumark, Pasadena Now

A newly released poll shows the populist power of Donald Trump (op-ed)
Tesler, Washington Post:

Money vs. time

Irvine business forum sees demographics and improved growth as economic keys
Maurer, Daily Pilot

Saving a language, one lesson at a time
Leonard, Los Angeles Times

10 Chicago books to look forward to in 2016
Tesler, Chicago Magazine

Study: Age discrimination worse for women
Neumark, Philadelphia Magazine

For Asian Americans, racial mobility has not meant full incorporation or equal status in US society
Lee, London School of Economics

Survey shows that voters see little difference between candidates on ideology

Studies find immigrants are more law-abiding than U.S. natives
Rumbaut, StarTribune

Research doesn't back a link between migrants and crime in U.S.
Rumbaut, The New York Times

Editorial: Raising minimum wage wrong solution for income inequality
Neumark, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Historian group rejects a resolution condemning Israel
Ruiz, The New York Times

See past issues of the social sciences monthly enews.

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