First-generation flag bearer

November 2016

Social Ecology alumnus Eloy Oakley is first Latino to lead state’s community colleges

Being first is nothing new for Eloy Oakley ’96, MBA ’99. He’s the firstborn of three children, the first in his family to have graduated from college, the first Latino and only University of California regent to have headed a community college, and the first Latino to be named chancellor of California Community Colleges. He has been president of Long Beach City College since 2007 and will take the helm of the state’s 113-school community college system – comprising more than 2.1 million students – in December.

Wish you were here

November 2016

Nancy Guerra, Dean of School of Social Ecology and Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in Coast Magazine for her experiences conducting behavioral research all over the world. 

From Coast Magazine

Guerra, the new dean of the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine, has traveled widely throughout the world doing behavioral research and loves to “visit new places, try new food, learn about the local culture, make new friends, and gain a window into people’s lives.” That window tells a lot, she says. “I am always amazed how much we have in common – we all want safe and secure communities, good food, health, friends and families, community support, and purpose and meaning in our lives.”

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Trump's immigration plan could vastly expand CA's private detention

November 2016

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is interviewed by Take Two, 89.3 KPCC, giving insight as to the ramifications of the president-elect's immigration plan on privatized immigration detention centers.

From Take Two, 89.3 KPCC:

"There's no way the existing structures would be able to handle that volume [of detainees]," said Kubrin. The logical next step would be to build more detention centers or find other ways to monitor immigrants facing deportation.

Photo Credit: 89.3 KPCC

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Santa Fe mayor defends sanctuary cities, says studies don't show increase in crime

November 2016

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in Politifact over her research on crime reporting in communities with a significant immigrant population. She explains that crime reporting in those communities is impacted when immigration enforcement practices are being enforced.

From Politifact:

Research also suggests that crime reporting − especially in communities with a high proportion of immigrants − is very likely negatively impacted when immigration enforcement practices are carried out by local officials, said Charis E. Kubrin, a criminology professor at University of California, Irvine.

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Debate rages over quality of science in crime labs

November 2016

William Thompson, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in The Columbus Dispatch over the arising issues with crime labs, and their inability to provide accurate, unbiased evidence. He believes that states should play a role in helping crime labs and forensic scientists avoid potential bias.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

“In the environment where a state crime lab is part of law enforcement there can be pressures to help the team,” said William Thompson, a criminology and law professor at UC Irvine. “And there have been cases around the country where a scientist views themselves as part of the prosecutor's team. That’s why it’s so important to implement procedures to prevent bias.”

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Preventing mental illness with a stress vaccine

November 2016

Sarah Pressman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in The Atlantic over the purpose of stress, noting why experiencing stress was intended to protect humans from danger.

From The Atlantic:

For all its potential harm, stress is not all bad. “Stress as stress is functional,” says Sarah Pressman, an associate professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine. “You don’t want to feel calm and happy when a tiger jumps at you. You have to activate the right systems to make you run away [from danger].”

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Counties need to help parolees access health care

November 2016

Susan Turner, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, wrote a feature with her colleague Lois Davis, in the San Francisco Chronicle. When studying the effects of California's Public Safety Realignment Act (AB109) on inmates, their research has identified that offenders released from prison or jail – even low-level offenders – "have high mental health and drug treatment needs." They go into detail as to what steps California can take to address this situation.

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Science says these 7 tactics will help you win any argument

November 2016

Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in both the Nordic Business Insider and New York magazine. In light of the recent elections, he, along with other experts, identify what tactics must be used in order to convey your opinions during a political argument in a courteous and educated way.

From both New York and Nordic Business Insider:

"When people have their self-worth validated in some way, they tend to be more receptive to information that challenges their beliefs," political psychologist Peter Ditto from the University of California at Irvine tells New York Magazine.

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Declaring addiction a health crisis could change criminal justice

November 2016

Mona Lynch, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in The Atlantic, using her research to illustrate why drug addicts are not going to recover adequately while in the criminal justice system. She elaborates over the need to have a true investment in public health and treatment programs to genuinely address addiction, instead of simply using the criminal justice system to reform addicts.

From The Atlantic:

“We need to have the investment in public health and treatment programs,” said Lynch, who wrote a book on how federal drug laws are used, among other things, to coerce guilty pleas and secure long sentences. “The criminal-justice system is, of course, a really expensive way to deliver health care. The punitive side of it can be counterproductive, particularly for addicts.”

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