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Fall 2015
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Discover · Engage · Transform

In this Issue

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Welcome
  • Accolades
  • Recent Events
  • New on the Bookshelf

Connect with Us


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Developing Ain’t Easy – Advanced Field Study

Kamille Parks learned first-hand how “Developing Ain’t Easy" through her Advanced Field Study placement at Innovative Housing Opportunities, an affordable housing non-profit. Through her research project, Kamille helped identify common development obstacles and helped the organization articulate this to policy makers. View Video...

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The Rap Bias

Is it really justice for all? Given the current national debate on race relations, Orange Coast magazine interviewed Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, on the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. Kubrin shared her studies on race, crime, neighborhood dynamics and the media. Read Interview...

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Grant to study link between social interaction, health in seniors

Susan Charles, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is part of a team of researchers recently awarded $2.4 million from the National Institute on Aging to study how social interaction improves the health of older adults. Charles and her colleagues are seeking to learn why social engagement mitigates potential cognitive and physical declines in late life and improves well-being. Learn More...

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Grant supporting adolescent development and juvenile justice research

Elizabeth Cauffman, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, was awarded $1 million from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her national study "Crossroads: The Impact of Formal vs. Informal Justice System Processing on Juveniles' Desistance from Crime." This additional funding will allow further follow-up of over 1,000 first-time juvenile offenders as they make their transition to adulthood. The goal of the research is to create an empirical foundation for developing decision-making guidelines for juvenile justice professionals that serve the best interest of the community, the taxpayers, and the youths themselves. Learn More...

Upcoming Events

November 4: Global Food Summit

November 4: California Drought Response

November 5: When Good Expectations Turn Bad

November 17: Food Justice

December 2: How Will California Enforce its New Drought Measures?

December 9: What is Social about Social Class?

January 21: Fusing Palates and Difference

January 30: Homecoming

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New Department of Psychology and Social Behavior Chair

Karen Rook is the new Chair of the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior. Internationally known for her work on human health and gerontology, Rook has produced an extremely impressive body of research that has had a tremendous impact on how we understand aging. 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. Learn More...

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Planning, Policy, and Design Distinguished Fellows

The Department of Planning, Policy, and Design is pleased to welcome the third class of Distinguished Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic year. The program was established to connect senior planning and policy leaders to graduate students and alumni in urban planning.

The Fellows include:

  • America Bracho - President and CEO, Latino Health Access
  • Bill Fulton - Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University
  • Susan Hori - Partner, Real Estate and Land Use, Mannatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
  • Felicia Marcus - Chair, California State Water Resources Control Board
  • Timothy Psomas - Chairman Emeritus, Psomas; and Founding Chair, Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Tony Salazar - President, West Coast Operations, McCormack Baron Salazar
Learn More...


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UCI is nationally ranked

U.S. News & World Report ranked UCI ninth among public universities nationwide in its 2016 Best Colleges report, derived from 16 measures of academic excellence, weighted by relevance to high-quality education. The New York Times named UCI No. 1 in ranking the most economically diverse universities. "The big challenge for American higher education," states Chancellor Howard Gillman, “is that it has to be a gateway through which talented young people can thrive, regardless of their background."

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Loftus receives honorary degree

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology, received an honorary degree from Goldsmiths, University of London. “Professor Loftus has arguably made the greatest contribution to our understanding of human memory in a forensic context of any psychologist, living or dead," says Professor Chris French, of Goldsmiths’ Department of Psychology. Learn More...

Recent Events

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Festival of Discovery

On Saturday, October 3, 2015, an estimated 10,000 people attended the Festival of Discovery, to celebrate UCI's 50th anniversary. The daylong celebration in Aldrich Park started with a 5K run and continued with exhibits and activities showcasing UCI’s impact on art, health and innovation. The School of Social Ecology spotlighted several interesting exhibits including The Psychology "Ice Bucket Challenge," Water UCI, Field Study and the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. View Video...

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Transforming Migrations: Beyond the 1965 Act

On October 8-9, 2015, the Transforming Migrations: Beyond the 1965 Act conference marked two golden anniversaries of events which occurred within a day of each other half a century ago – the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act) and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the University of California, Irvine. Distinguished scholars, journalists, historians, lawyers and community members came together to discuss the past, present and future of immigration policy, examining the shift from the inclusionary vision of the 1965 Act to the enforcement patterns we see today. Learn More...

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UCI Medal

This year's event, held on October 10, 2015, honored all past UCI Medal recipients and celebrated the successful completion of UCI’s $1 billion Shaping the Future campaign. More than 113,000 donors have helped fund scholarships, academic chairs, high-impact research and projects that make a difference. Learn More...

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Provost Welcome

On October 13, 2015, Social Ecology faculty, staff, alumni and supporters welcomed recently named Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Enrique J. Lavernia to the UCI family with a reception. Lavernia is UCI’s chief academic and operating officer, assuming primary responsibility for academic and organizational functions, as well as for advancing the university’s excellence in education, research and public service. Learn More...

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Human Security Award

On October 14, 2015, Dr. James Orbinski, globally recognized as a humanitarian and public health advocate, received the 2015 Human Security Award from the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs and Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation. This was the 11th Annual Human Security Award, which honors an individual or group whose actions have made a dramatic difference in helping protect and empower the world's most vulnerable groups and communities.

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Inaugural UC Conference on Social Science and Law

Researchers from across the University of California system gathered near the UCI campus from October 23-25, 2015, for a multidisciplinary convergence on important issues in law and social science research, including: accuracy and bias in legal institutions, procedural justice, evidence, legal decision-making, immigration, race and diversity, and juvenile justice. Learn More...

New on the Bookshelf

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The Twilight of Social Conservatism

Professor John Dombrink, recently published The Twilight of Social Conservatism: American Culture Wars in the Obama Era. Drawing on demographic research, political polls, contemporary media, and internet commentary, Dombrink analyzes the liberalizing trends that created the social and political culture America has today and that portend to the culture America will have in years to come. Learn More...

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Extreme Punishment

Keramet Reiter, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is the co-editor of Extreme Punishment: Comparative Studies in Detention. Published in August 2015, this collection of empirical studies examines the erosion of the legal boundaries that traditionally divide civil detention from criminal punishment. Using the world’s oldest democracies (Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the book explores how punishers exert power and how the punished experience that power. Learn More...