The School of Social Sciences is happy to welcome a new provost and professor, five new assistant professors and one lecturer with potential security of employment to its fall 2013 faculty lineup. With research interests ranging from educational attainment influences to migration of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the U.S., their scholarly contributions will further expand the diversity and interdisciplinary research strengths for which the School of Social Sciences is known.

Learn more about the school’s new faculty below and come welcome them in person at the annual Social Sciences Welcome Reception on Wednesday, October 2 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517.


Angela Jenks, Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment

Angela Jenks received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, in 2009. Her research examines the development of cultural competence efforts in U.S. biomedicine and explores the way notions of culture, race, and difference are deployed in health disparities research, medical education, managed care, and clinical settings. She comes to UCI from Los Angeles Southwest College where she served as a tenure-track faculty member from 2009-13. In addition to expanding undergraduate course offerings in anthropology, Jenks will be directing the department’s new master of arts in social sciences (concentration in medicine, science, and technology studies) program.

Chicano/Latino Studies

Anita Casavantes Bradford, Assistant Professor

Anita Casavantes Bradford is originally from Vancouver, Canada, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in history and English literature at Simon Fraser University. She holds a master's degree in history and politics from Texas A&M University in Kingsville and a Ph.D. in U.S. and Latino/Latin American history from the University of California, San Diego. She was a 2012-13 UC Presidents' Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies at UCI. Her research interests include comparative and transnational Latina/o history, the history of immigration, race and ethnicity, and childhood, family and education. Her first book, The Revolution is For the Children: The Politics of Childhood in Havana and Miami, 1959-1962, will be released by University of North Carolina Press in spring 2014. She is currently at work on a second project on the migration of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the United States.

Cognitive Sciences

Mimi Liljeholm, Assistant Professor

Mimi Liljeholm’s research addresses how humans discover and represent the predictive structure of their environment, and how such knowledge shapes cognition, perception and action.  Her approach is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on a wide range of methods from psychology, neuroscience, economics and machine learning.  In particular, she uses computational fMRI – a technique that correlates putative quantitative variables with neuroimaging data – to evaluate and develop formal accounts of psychological phenomena.  Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Health and has been published in numerous scientific journals, including Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Journal of Neuroscience and Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Prior to joining the faculty at UCI, she was a postdoctoral scholar in neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at UCLA in 2006.


Kevin Roth, Assistant Professor

Kevin Roth holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University. He specializes in environmental economics research, particularly in transportation issues related to environmental regulation. He hopes to provide policy makers with guidance on the structure of regulation targeting environmental issues. He is also interested in consumers' choices of transportation mode and fuel economy, and the ability of policy to influence those decisions. His research seeks to better understand how these types of regulations interact with a broader set of issues including congestion, city structure, and automobile safety.


Damon Clark, Assistant Professor

Damon Clark comes to UCI from Cornell University where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. His research focuses on education economics, labor economics and public economics. He is currently engaged in several projects designed to understand the factors that influence educational attainment and the policies that might improve it. He is also working on research designed to understand the longer-term impacts of educational success. His findings have been published in the American Economic Review and Journal of Political Economy. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Oxford.

Logic & Philosophy of Science

Cailin O’Connor, Assistant Professor

Cailin O’Connor received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, and is a recent graduate of UCI’s logic & philosophy of science Ph.D. program where she received both the Justine Lambert and the A. Kimball Romney awards for outstanding papers.  Her research is focused in the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of biology and evolutionary game theory. She also has substantial interests in decision theory and rational choice, the philosophy of economics, and the philosophy of perception – especially color. Her work has appeared in Philosophy of Science, Erkenntnis and other leading journals. She has served as the managing editor for the journal Philosophy of Science, and she is the founder of the Hypatia Society for Graduate Women in Philosophy.

Political Science

Howard Gillman, Professor

A native of Southern California, Gillman grew up in North Hollywood and was a first-generation college student. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at UCLA.  Prior to his appointment at UC Irvine, Gillman was a professor of political science, history and law at the University of Southern California. From 2007-12, he was dean of the USC David & Dana Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. He previously held positions as USC’s associate vice provost for research advancement and chair of its Department of Political Science. He is a nationally recognized expert in American constitutionalism and judicial politics. He has received a number of awards for his scholarly contributions, including the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in the field of public law and the American Judicature Society Award for best paper presented at a regional or national conference. Recognition of Gillman’s dedication to students and teaching has included USC Dornsife’s General Education Teaching Award and the Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2001, he was made a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching.

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