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UC Irvine School of Social Ecology Logo
Spring 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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Featured Video: Understanding Neighborhoods

How do our neighborhoods interact and impact each other—and with what consequences? Professor John Hipp, Department of Criminology, Law and Society; and Department of Planning, Policy, and Design, takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the structure of neighborhoods and how they evolve over time. By advancing sophisticated models that capture the nuances of our communities, he helps us better understand the connections between factors that predict crime and his work informs policy makers. View Video...

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Climate change at the front door

UCI professors and students from many disciplines, including the School of Social Ecology, are stepping up to help residents from Tijuana and Newport Beach cope with rising waters via the FloodRISE project. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the initiative uses advanced computer models to map flooding hazards and make flood risk information accessible to the community. Learn More...

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Study reveals neural science behind great leaders

Great leaders are often great communicators. However, little is known about the neural basis of leader-follower communication. Chuansheng Chen, Chancellor’s Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is co-author of a new study exploring interpersonal neural synchronization between leaders and followers during social interactions. Learn More...

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Happiness gap may favor liberals

Are political conservatives or political liberals happier? Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, along with his graduate students, recently found that although conservatives may report greater happiness than liberals, they are no more likely to act in ways that indicate that they are indeed happier. Learn More...

Upcoming Events

May 6: Expert Witness Testimony: Experiences from Two Sides of the Courtroom

May 7: Engage UCI

May 8: Building Partnerships for Ocean Health in Southern California

May 8: TEDxUCIrvine: Limitless - 50 Years of Vitality

May 11: A Conversation with Magic Johnson

May 14: Lauds and Laurels

May 14: Questioning Alleged Child Victims

June 14: Social Ecology Commencement Ceremony

July 6-7: Dalai Lama 80th Birthday Global Compassion Summit


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New Field Study Advisory Board Members

The School of Social Ecology welcomes two new members to the Field Study Advisory Board: Vivian Clecak, CEO of Human Options, and Jennifer Friend ’95, CEO of Project Hope Alliance. The Board is composed of Social Ecology faculty, staff, community partners, alumni and students. Board members are involved in the strategic planning efforts to continue the excellence of the program.


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Kalven Award at the Law and Society Association

Kitty Calavita, Professor Emerita of Criminology, Law and Society, will be presented with the 2015 Kalven Award at the Law and Society Association’s annual meeting in Seattle, Washington in May. The award recognizes a body of "empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society."

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Lauds and Laurels Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Honorable Roy Delgado ’84, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, will receive the 2015 School of Social Ecology's Lauds and Laurels Distinguished Alumnus Award. Delgado will be honored at the 2015 UCI Alumni Association Lauds and Laurels Ceremony on Thursday, May 14 at the UCI Gateway Plaza. Learn More...

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Award for Lifetime Contributions

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology, received Cornell University's 2015 Award for Lifetime Contributions in Law, Psychology, and Human Development. Loftus was honored to accept the award on April 10, 2015 at Cornell University.

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Herbert E. Weiner Early Career Award

Sarah Pressman, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, received the 2015 Herbert E. Weiner Early Career Award in Psychosomatic Medicine at the American Psychosomatic Society's annual meeting in March. The award recognizes Pressman’s significant contributions to the field of psychosomatic medicine and her substantial promise of continued academic accomplishments.

Recent Events

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Criminology, Law and Society Career Panel

The Criminology, Law and Society Career Panel, held on February 17, 2015, featured four alumni panelists working in criminology and law related careers. They shared their experiences, educational background, and advice with the students. Interested in volunteering to be on the next alumni career panel? Please email Social Ecology External Relations at
Pictured: J. Turner, A. Sattar, V. von Szeliski

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The Better Angels of Our Nature

On March 30, 2015, Professor Steven Pinker, Harvard University, was the featured speaker at the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior Colloquium in honor of UCI’s 50th Anniversary. Pinker presented his interesting insights from his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence.
Pictured: J. Chen, N. Scurich, J. Cheng, S. Pinker

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PPD Distinguished Fellows Dinner

Community members, faculty and students gathered at the UCI University Club on April 29, 2015 for "UCI at 50: How a University Influenced Community Growth and Development for the Region" featuring the Department of Planning, Policy, and Design's Distinguished Fellows. Proceeds from the event support the Department of Planning, Policy, and Design's Ray Watson Fellowship Fund. Learn More...
Pictured: C. Cantú, S. Sadeghi, M. Bergeson, A. Baldwin

New on the Bookshelf

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Letters of the Law

Sora Han, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, recently published Letters of the Law: Race and the Fantasy of Colorblindness in American Law. Han argues that colorblindness is a foundational fantasy of law in a post-civil rights United States. She provides highly original readings of iconic Supreme Court cases on racial inequality and new perspectives on many urgent social issues of our time, including mass incarceration, educational segregation, state intrusions on privacy, and neoliberal investments in citizenship. Learn More...