I’m so proud to bring you this fully digital issue of Be Bold featuring the stories of our boundaryless students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community friends who are breaking barriers to create spaces where our people, programs and passionate research pursuits can thrive.
In this issue, you’ll get to know our students, like Nyah Beck, ’23 anthropology, who founded the Black Gxming Society to open access to gaming and esports for more students at UCI, and Davis Lau, ’23 economics and libero on the men’s volleyball team, who found the aloha spirit as an Anteater away from home, and ethics expert Jessica Gonzalez, ’23 UCI logic & philosophy of science Ph.D., who, with completion of her degree program in June, is carrying on her family’s UCI legacy. And Faith Couts '23 and son Hunter Wetzel '23—featured on our cover—who are celebrating educational milestones together this year as they both earn their bachelor’s degrees from UCI social sciences. And so many more inspiring Anteaters who embody our school’s bold spirit.
You’ll read about innovative programs, including the Veterans Studies Certificate that’s giving voice to the unique experience of our nation's veterans - several of whom are featured in this issue, the California Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Social Science Advancement (CAHSSA) that’s removing barriers and building research success among faculty at minority-serving institutions, UC PRIME Pre-Health Pathways, a multipronged training program for undergraduates from underserved communities who are interested in pursuing careers in healthcare, Neuromatch Academy, a multinational, multifaceted networking, mentoring and education program that's training our next generation of neuroscientists, and more.
You’ll meet some of our incredible alumni and community friends, like soccer superstar Destinee Manzo, ’22 sociology, who, after helping lead UCI Women’s Soccer to new heights, winning both the Big West Conference and Big West Tournament, is pursuing opportunities for professional play in her family's home country of Mexico. And insurance maven and founding member of the Women of the Dean’s Leadership Society Lupe Erwin who’s helping establish a mentorship program to show more women how they, too, can boldly break barriers in their careers. And Sharlene and Neel Grover ’92 whose outreach is helping grow the profile of the WDLS. You’ll also read about Roger Whitenhill ’03, Andre Ramirez ’07, and Steve Platt ’03 whose innovative efforts in both business and philanthropy are helping UCI social sciences and the Dean’s Leadership Society expand its reach. And you’ll meet tech entrepreneur and thought leader Peter Trepp ’88, ’98 MBA who’s taken the reins as chair of the UCI School of Social Sciences Board of Councilors.
And you’ll learn about cutting-edge work and mentorship activities happening within our top-ranked departments where researchers are putting the spotlight on ageism and gendered pay in the work force, ways to reduce racial apathy among teenagers, critical population shifts in China, challenges and opportunities facing global democracies, the evolution of human language, ways to improve the first-gen student experience, and so much more as we continue to push the boundaries of social sciences research.
I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoy sharing their work with you. As I embark on my next five years as dean and look ahead to what’s next on our continuing mission to create positive change and improve the human condition, I'm so thankful to be surrounded by such an incredible community of changemakers who inspire and uplift our entire social sciences collective.
Zot, zot, zot!