Kubrin quoted in New York Times article on Sandra Bland

July 2015

Sandra Bland was stopped by Texas state trooper, Brian T. Encina for changing lanes without signaling. This encounter escalated into an altercation, over Bland's refusal to extinguish a cigarette, and Encina's forceful response to her refusal. Bland was arrested and taken to jail, where she took her own life. Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, called Encina's actions "out of step and disproportionate" to Bland's irritation and to the seriousness of her traffic infraction. And Bland, she said, had both a reason and the right to question being stopped for a violation that most officers routinely ignore. "At every step," states Kubrin, "he is participating in this escalation."

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Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science

July 2015

Dan Stokols, Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of Planning, Policy, and Design and Psychology and Social Behavior, participated as a member of the Science of Team Science Committee appointed by the National Research Council. As a member of the committee, Professor Stokols co-wrote Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science, a groundbreaking new report just published by the National Academy of Sciences on the team-based approach to research. The past half-century has witnessed a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of scientific research. The growing scale of science has been accompanied by a shift toward transdisciplinary collaborative research, referred to as "team science.” This shift toward team science has many benefits, but also unique challenges. The report provides guidance on assembling scientific teams, examines organizational structures that supports teams, and offers major recommendations to policymakers.

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Live close to a train and you might drive less

July 2015

A recently released study by Douglas Houston, Associate Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design, and Marlon Boarnet, Professor of Public Policy at USC, provides the first evaluation of the impacts of a new light rail service in California on travel patterns and indicates rail transit can encourage nearby residents to drive less and help reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.  The people that responded to the study's survey who lived within walking distance (1 km) of the Los Angeles Expo light-rail drove approximately 10 fewer miles per day than those that lived farther away. People that lived close to rail stations also took approximately triple the number of rail trips. Their findings suggest that household travel behavior responds to transit service enhancements and inform planning efforts to provide more sustainable travel options in southern California.

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Associate dean of academic programs announced

July 2015

The School of Social Ecology is pleased to announce that Professor Wendy Goldberg, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, has agreed to serve as associate dean of academic programs in the School of Social Ecology for the academic year 2015-2016.

After earning her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Child Health Policy at Northwestern, Goldberg joined the faculty at UCI in 1983. Her research is wide ranging, including important studies on work and family, transition to adulthood, and autism. Most recently, Goldberg is the author of the book, Father Time: The Social Clock and The Timing of Fatherhood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Why Bill Clinton admitted being wrong on crime

July 2015

Bryan Sykes, Assistant Professor in Criminology, Law and Society, participated in a discussion on HuffPost with host Marc Lamont Hill. Former President Bill Clinton has admitted that his 1994 tough-on-crime bill went too far and worsened the nation's criminal justice system by sending criminals, for even minor crimes, to prison for too long. Sykes and others discussed America's current approach to crime and how Clinton's comments could have an impact on Hillary's Presidental Campaign.

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After years of declining crime, a spike in city violence

July 2015

After years of declining crime rates across the country, there has been a recent increase in city violence. Houston, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Baltimore have had significant increases in the number of homicides this year and numbers are up in other cities too, including New York and Chicago. It is too early to tell if the increase is the start of a trend but there is growing concern that the spike in crime could be caused by the convergence of recent shifts including, among other things, deepening distrust of police that leads people to settle disputes themselves. "A lot of retaliatory violence occurs because people don't trust police. They don't want to go to police because they don't see police as helping them," states Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society.  "Crimes will occur, like a shooting, and no one will speak to police about it. And it just breaks down from there," creating a cycle of violence.

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Pipkin selected as a Hellman Fellow

July 2015

Seth Pipkin, Assistant Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design, has been selected as a 2015-2016 Hellman Fellow for his research, "Transnational Migration and Citizen Journalism on the US-Mexico Border." This project investigates how violence and instability is affecting the economic and institutional landscape of the US-Mexico border and what potential lies in local responses to help this and possibly other regions with similar challenges to adapt, heal and move forward. “I am thankful that the Hellman Foundation is supporting this research, which is intended to help us explore and understand the challenges of as well as the adaptations in response to the current economic, social, and institutional instability on the US-Mexico border. This is an important example of worldwide tensions between state power, social marginalization, and economic change," states Pipkin.

New Chair of Psychology and Social Behavior

July 2015

Karen Rook is the new Chair of the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior.

Rook is internationally known for her work on human health and gerontology. Over the course of her career, she has produced an extremely impressive body of research that has had a tremendous impact on how we understand aging, including the important role that social relationships play in emotional adjustment and physical health outcomes later in life. More locally—here at UCI—she is well-known as a committed teacher and experienced administrator. With regard to the latter, she has served her department and the campus in a variety of visible and not-so-visible ways, including as PSB Department Chair, SE Equity Advisor, and SE Associate Dean for Research. As a seasoned administrator, she has demonstrated an abiding commitment to collaboration, shared governance, fairness, collegiality, and excellence. As a senior member of the faculty, she is easily identifiable as a colleague who appreciates the blend of scholarship, teaching, and service that is highly valued in the School and at UCI.

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Paul and Frances Dickman Graduate Research Award

July 2015

Jeremy Braithwaite, Ph.D candidate in Criminology, Law and Society, and Connor Harron, Ph.D. candidate in Social Ecology, are the 2015 recipients of the Paul and Frances Baker Dickman Graduate research award. Braithwaite studies sexual violence, sex offenders, and rural sociology. His dissertation explores the sexual violence crisis in the state of Alaska, with a specific focus on social, economic, historical, and cultural factors associated with sexual victimization of women (particularly Alaska Native women) in both urban communities and rural villages. Harron's primary research interests are in aligning efforts to address environmental and human security needs in vulnerable communities around the world. Currently, he is developing a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) strategy for implementing a garden based, nutrition education program in rural Swaziland.




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