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Summer 2015
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Discover · Engage · Transform

In this Issue

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Accolades
  • Recent Events
  • Giving Spotlight
  • Get Involved

Connect with Us


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Social Ecology Commencement

The Honorable Maria D. Hernandez ‘86, Juvenile Court Presiding Judge for the Superior Court of Orange County, delivered the keynote address at the School of Social Ecology's commencement ceremony on June 14, 2015. The Bren Events Center was filled with thousands of family members and friends who celebrated over 1,100 undergraduate students and 85 master’s students as they received their diplomas. Hernandez’s inspiring speech discussed her memories of being a Social Ecology student, her current research collaborations with Social Ecology professors and encouraged students to follow their passions in life. View Photos...

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Featured Video: Why doctors should care about happiness

At your last check-up, did your doctor ask you how happy you were? At TEDxUCIrvine on May 8, 2015, Assistant Professor Sarah Pressman made the argument that doctors should be asking their patients about their happiness level. Pressman shared her research on happiness and explained how positive emotions are beneficial for objective physical health and longevity. View Video...

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Social Ecology part of a new Forensic Science Center

UCI faculty, including Social Ecology professors Simon Cole, Elizabeth Loftus and William Thompson, will help lead a new national Forensic Science Center of Excellence. Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the center will incorporate both a research agenda – developing new probabilistic methods and statistical tools – and education to ensure that judges, lawyers and investigators can effectively utilize the results of forensic analyses. Learn More...

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Water-energy interdependence by getting decision-makers to talk

Throughout the western United States, water and power are interconnected. Despite this interdependence, these resources are regulated by separate agencies, delivered by separate utilities and studied independently. Under the direction of Professor David Feldman, Water UCI co-hosted a first-of-its-kind workshop with utilities, regulators and researchers from throughout the West to discuss new ways of working together. Learn More...

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How the law works for law breakers

Chancellor's Professor Emerita Kitty Calavita and Dean and Professor Valerie Jenness, co-wrote Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic, which sheds light on the inmate grievance process in California. Through interviews with prisoners, prison staff and official records, the book takes us through the byzantine grievance process and explores the fine line between punishing prisoners and violating their rights. Learn More...

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UCI Immersive Field Study

Since 1970, Field Study has been a requirement for students seeking a baccalaureate degree from Social Ecology and is an element of the school’s commitment to training future leaders. In spring 2015 the school, in collaboration with the UCI Blum Center, launched a pilot program in Immersive Field Study. Four students had a unique opportunity to do fieldwork across the nation for 10 weeks on a full-time basis for organizations that concentrate on poverty alleviation and social injustice. Learn More...

Upcoming Events

October 3: Anteater 5K and Family Fun Run

October 3: Festival of Discovery

October 14: Human Security Award

November 3-4: Promoting Sustainable Food Security


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Hellman Fellowship

Seth Pipkin, Assistant Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design, was named a 2015-2016 UCI Hellman Fellow for his research on economic development processes on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Hellman Fellows Program was established to support and encourage the research of promising assistant faculty who show capacity for great distinction in their research.

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Fudge Family Scholars

Kaitlin Kalisvaart and Candice Sandoval, both Criminology, Law and Society majors, are the Fudge Family Scholarship recipients for 2015. These self-supporting students were chosen for their display of a strong work ethic and their motivation to succeed academically despite the challenges they have faced. Learn More...

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Dean’s Award for Community Engagement

The Dean's Award for Community Engagement recognizes students who exemplify a commitment to rigorous academics and sustained community impact. This year the following students were honored: Santina Contreras, Sheila Espinosa, Sally Geislar, Long Hai Hoang, Kristin Kaczmarek, Hye Jung Park, Marta Ramos and Chris Teng. Learn More...

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The Paul and Frances Baker Dickman Graduate Award

The recipients of the Paul and Frances Baker Dickman Graduate Award for Community Engagement are Jeremy Braithwaite, doctoral student in Criminology, Law and Society, and Connor Harron, doctoral student in Social Ecology. Learn More...

Recent Events

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Ocean Health in Southern California

On May 8, 2015, the School of Social Ecology partnered with campus affiliates to host a day-long symposium that brought together community leaders and research experts in law, science and public policy to discuss building research partnerships for Southern California ocean health. This was the sixteenth conference in the Toward a Sustainable 21st Century series.

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Dean Jenness Celebration

On May 11, 2015, the School of Social Ecology celebrated the achievements of Valerie Jenness, who will conclude her 6 years of service as dean at the end of the summer. Dean Jenness' inspirational leadership and abiding commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, coupled with her deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, have contributed significantly to the success of not only the School of Social Ecology, but also the entire campus. Learn More...

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Designing Solutions for Poverty Competition

The Blum Center for Global Engagement, under the direction of Professor Richard Matthew, organized the inaugural Designing Solutions for Poverty Competition on June 6, 2015. The Center received over thirty-five project proposals with creative ideas to help alleviate people living in poverty. Five finalists were chosen to present their proposals in front of an audience of potential investors, who voted for the most promising project. Learn More...

Giving Spotlight

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Gifts to Affordable Housing Project

Under the direction of Victoria Basolo, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design, the Transit Oriented Development and Environment-Friendly Design on Affordable Housing Project has been initiated by a consortium of funders including Wells Fargo, SVA-Architects and Susan Hori, Esq. This project will use data to provide new knowledge about trends in low-income housing development and the consequences, if any, of seeking multiple social goals in producing this housing. Learn More...
Photo Credit: For Jamboree by

New on the Bookshelf

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Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science

As a member of the Science of Team Science Committee appointed by the National Research Council, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus Daniel Stokols co-wrote Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. Published by the National Academy of Sciences, this groundbreaking report explains the benefits and challenges of the team-based approach to research. It provides guidance on assembling scientific teams, examines organizational structures that supports teams, and offers major recommendations to policymakers. Learn More...