View in browser:

bill maurer in cap and gown with peter the anteater
message from the

With commencement just days away, we're excited to bring you this special issue of our UCI soc sci enews. Featured within are the stories of some of our outstanding student change makers, their plans for making their mark and creating a better world.
I wish we were able to celebrate in person this year, as none of us expected commencement would look quite like this...again. But, for many of us, the road has never been straightforward, easy or clear. That's been the case for more than half of our graduating class, who, with the turn of their tassels, represent the first person in their families to graduate from college.

To our graduates of the class of 2021 - and a huge shout-out to our soc sci bachelor's recipients who make up more than a quarter of UCI's total undergrad degree recipients: You've shown us the true resilience of the soc sci Anteater spirit - particularly this past year as you turned kitchen counters into computer space and couches into classrooms, all the while creating stronger connections and communities that withstood the physical distance dictated by the pandemic. And I am so incredibly proud to now welcome each of you to the UCI social sciences alumni family, a collective that's more than 50,000 Anteaters strong. As a member of this elite network, I challenge each of you to continue pursuing a future that makes the world a better place than you’ve found it. Be bold, always break the mold, and be boundaryless in your pursuit.

Congratulations, social sciences graduates of the class of 2021 - zot, zot, zot!

Bill Maurer, Dean

featured above: our inaugural Commencement Cap Design Contest winning creations, from left to right: 3rd place, Pierre Crouzet; 1st place, Brighid Mallon; 2nd place, Catherine Lacsamana

bethany urbano
commencement speaker:
Blazing a new path
First generation scholar and undergrad commencement speaker Bethany Urbano '21 is committed to making education accessible to all
shelby smith
commencement speaker:
Beyond the classroom
Shelby Smith, '21 social policy and public service and undergrad commencement speaker, is a testament to the school's boundaryless spirit
Katia Necoechea Madriz
Fulbright scholar
Katia Necoechea Madriz, '21 psychology and education science, will be taking her teaching talents across the globe this summer as one of UCI’s newest Fulbright Scholars
brad greene
Manahuu (Hello) to a bright future
UCI men's basketball standout Brad Greene '21 greets opportunity with optimism, perseverance and a nod to his Native American heritage
Ta'Myrah Hudson
Finding her fit
Ta'Myrah Hudson, '21 first-generation Anteater, shares the importance of creating community and campus involvement opportunities in order to help Black students thrive at UCI
sirui hu
A bold decision to study abroad in high school led Sirui Hu to UCI and beyond
Now the '21 quantitative economics and data science major is heading to Harvard for her graduate studies
Emily Ha
The American Dream in Irvine
How Emily Ha, '21 business economics and public health policy, is crafting her own version
David Sanusi
Adding a little spice - literally - to life
Social sciences undergrads David Sanusi and Yohan Ranaivo '21 launch company that imports vanilla, cinnamon and a type of cocoa bean prized by European chocolatiers
Ta'Myrah Hudson
The unstoppable Venus
Venus Kailan Zhao, psychology '21, proves that sometimes a difficult past can help forge a better path forward

soc sci end of year
honors & awards
vanessa torres
Torres receives the Caesar D. Sereseres Outstanding Service award
Honor recognizes the '21 Chicano/Latino studies major for campus and community leadership and service
yara bojorquez
Bojorquez receives Outstanding Community College Transfer Student award
Honor recognizes the '21 poli sci and international studies undergrad for excellence
francesca sassoon
Sassoon receives Outstanding Community College Transfer Student award
Honor recognizes the psychology undergrad for excellence
green campus
Quang Binh Duong receives Macy Award for undergraduate paper
Honor recognizes '21 political science and economics undergrad for demonstrating original research
camille edwards
Edwards receives Black Lives Matter social sciences research scholarship
Sociology and political science double major is one of two inaugural award winners
Wei receives Black Lives Matter social sciences research scholarship
SPPS and education science double major is one of two inaugural award winners
mackenzie kephart
Kephart receives Social Sciences Outstanding Honors Thesis Award
Honor recognizes the '21 cognitive sciences undergrad for research excellence
melissa jimenez
Jimenez receives Social Sciences Alumni Excellence Scholarship
Honor recognizes the sociology undergrad for outstanding academic performance and service to UCI soc sci and the wider community
joshua swank
Swank named 2021 Schonfeld Award winner
Honor recognizes political science undergraduate for scholarship, university involvement and achievement
alicia drevdahl
Drevdahl named Rosten Scholar
Honor recognizes students who are planning a career in international affairs and/or public/community service
Order of Merit honors outstanding students, graduates
43 undergrads from social sciences receive OM distinction, 19 undergrads and grads recognized with individual scholarships and honors
Fourteen from social sciences honored with Chancellor’s Award of Distinction
Campus-level award recognizes UCI’s most outstanding graduating seniors

uci soc sci Ph.D.

stephanie pulles
Overcoming obstacles
Stephanie A. Pulles, '21 sociology Ph.D., overcame multiple barriers to earn her education and is now a statistician with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
solene mednicoff
Music with a scientific twist
Solena Mednicoff, '21 cognitive sciences Ph.D., combined her passions to study how music affects the brain
daniel firoozi
Economic distress and electoral consequences
Daniel Firoozi, economics Ph.D. student, earns Romney Award for outstanding graduate paper
katelyn malae
Affirmative consent
Katelyn Malae, sociology Ph.D. student, earns Romney Award for outstanding graduate paper
kirbi joe
Using math to understand human behavior
Kirbi Joe, '21 IMBS Ph.D., will be using her applied mathematical training to begin her career as a data scientist
Neak Loucks
Loucks earns UCI soc sci's Outstanding Service Award
Honor recognizes the anthropology grad student for exceptional contributions to the school community, including the intellectual growth of others
CJ Lee
Soc sci shout-out: Chungjae Lee
Political science Ph.D. '21 is currently working as an assistant professor of military/political studies at the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy.
fabio lampert
From jazz to logic
Fabio Lampert, UCI logic and philosophy of science Ph.D. '21, transitioned from a career as a professional musician to earning a doctorate in philosophy of science at UCI, one of the top programs in the world
mark hup
Hup receives Lave Paper Prize
Honor recognizes the '21 economics graduate student for work displaying clear creative models and theories
Pin-Chun Chen
Pin-Chun Chen named one of two Outstanding Scholar award recipients in social sciences
Honor recognizes the cog sci grad student and sleep scholar for impressive research work
Aydin Mohseni
Mohseni named one of two Outstanding Scholar award recipients in social sciences
Honor recognizes logic and philosophy of science grad student for impressive research work
Karen Arcos
Soc sci shout-out: Karen Arcos
'21 UCI cog sci Ph.D. recipient is now a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Cruz studying the role of uncertainty in memory
nathan chan
Chan receives social sciences Alberti Prize
Honor recognizes the political science grad student for outstanding promise as a future professor
aaron tester
Tester wins Etel Solingen Award for Outstanding Paper in International Relations
Honor recognizes the sociology grad student for work on government decentralization
All Campus Virtual Commencement Ceremony
9:00-9:30 a.m. | Online
Ph.D. Hooding
9:30 a.m. | Online

Scroll to and click on "Grad Hooding" following the all campus ceremony
Social Sciences Undergraduate Ceremony 1: Last Names A-L; Includes Social Sciences Master's Recipients
9:30 a.m. | Online

Scroll to and click on "School of Social Sciences - Ceremony 1" following the all campus ceremony
Social Sciences Undergraduate Ceremony 2: Last Names M-Z
9:30 a.m. | Online

Scroll to and click on "School of Social Sciences - Ceremony 2" following the all campus ceremony
UCI Graduate Stage Moments
pre-scheduled times | UCI Bren Center

Additional information
uci soc sci
We are not your standard school. Like Peter, our beloved Anteater mascot, we're quirky and different. We're on a mission to create positive change in society, economies and human well-being by breaking down traditional barriers and pushing the limits in teaching, research and service. Doing so requires a different attitude, aim and set of actions.
Learn more about ours...