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Winter 2016
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Discover · Engage · Transform

In this Issue

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Accolades
  • Recent Events
  • Alumni Spotlights

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Kubrin and others enlist rappers for U.S. Supreme Court Brief

In what may be the first amicus brief signed by prominent rap artists, Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, and two hip-hop scholars have enlisted Killer Mike, T.I. and Big Boi, among others, in a request to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear a First Amendment case involving violent lyrics penned by a high school student in Mississippi. “No other form of artistic expression has been treated by the courts like rap music,” said Kubrin, who has written extensively and testified in criminal cases about stereotypes associated with hip-hop lyrics. Learn More...

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Can 1 million women be wrong about happiness and health?

Sarah Pressman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and her colleagues, Ed Diener and Sonja Lymbomirsky, respond with an op-ed article in the LA Times to a recent study in the British medical journal Lancet that recently made headlines analyzing data from the Million Women Study, claiming the answer to the question "Do happier people live longer?" is no. Learn More...

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Study assesses outcomes of community benefits agreements for low-income neighborhoods

Can low-income neighborhoods share in the profits of a big development project by signing a private contract with the developer? Some urban planners say yes, but Nicholas Marantz, an Assistant Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design, challenges that notion in a study of the project surrounding the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Learn More...

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Nancy Guerra named School of Social Ecology's new dean

Nancy Guerra, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware, will become dean of the School of Social Ecology, effective June 1, 2016. “I look forward to welcoming Nancy Guerra to the Anteater family,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Her passion for academic inquiry, teaching and community involvement provides the foundation for the kind of inspiring leadership we look for from our deans at UCI.” Learn More...

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Showing the spirt of Social Ecology

As an undergraduate student, David Yang, made an impact on at-risk youth through his Field Study project for the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Gang Diversion Program. With the support of his faculty advisor, Professor Elliott Currie, Yang recognized a community need and took the initiative to make a difference. Watch this video to learn more about his project and how it continues today. View Video...

Upcoming Events

January 30: UCI Homecoming

February 1: Putting Personality in its Place

February 3: Reporting the Global Poor: Practical and Ethical Challenges

February 4: La Otra Frontera: Farmworker Food Security Within the Northern Borderlands

February 8: The Actor and the Merry-Go-Round

February 10: Making Sense of Crime Fluctuation Levels

February 16: The Immigration-Crime Myth

February 22: Memory for What Matters

February 29: PSB Colloquium Series featuring Nathan Consendine

March 1: Views by Two

March 14: Diversity and Justice Speaker Series

April 18: Diversity and Justice Speaker Series

May 5-6: Global Food Summit


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Watson Fellowship awarded

Deidre Carr is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Watson Fellowship in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program. Carr looks forward to gaining the experience and skills necessary to forge an impactful career in the fields of affordable housing development and planning, homelessness policy, and social services to support the re-integration of ex-offenders. Since 2006, the Watson Fellowship Fund has been used to attract the best students, and those committed to fostering strong and vibrant communities. Learn More...

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Public Impact Fellows

The Public Impact Fellowships support academically excellent students whose research demonstrates the potential to significantly improve or enrich the lives of people in California and beyond. This year, Rupa Jose, graduate student in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, is the recipient from the School of Social Ecology. Jose received the award to support her dissertation research entitled "Community organizations and individual mental health in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings."

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Rising Star

Paul Piff, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, was selected as a 2015 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. This honor recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for continued contributions.

Recent Events

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PPD Distinguished Fellows Mixer

Students, faculty, and Advisory Board members from the Department of Planning, Policy, and Design gathered on November 14, 2015 to welcome the 2015-2016 class of PPD Distinguished Fellows. The Distinguished Fellows Program connects senior community leaders to students and allows two-way interaction and learning to occur. The 2015-2016 Fellows include:

  • America Bracho, President and CEO, Latino Health Access
  • Bill Fulton, Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research at 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
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Global Food Summit: Towards Regional Resilience

Part one of a two part conference series hosted by The Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, The Global Food Summit: Towards Regional Resilience, brought together UC faculty and affiliates with innovative community leaders in Orange County around issues of food system sustainability for a focused discussion on local and regional food security resilience. The conference took place on November 4, 2015 at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center. Learn More...

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Career Week

The Social Ecology Career Week was held January 19-21, 2016. The week featured multiple career workshops to teach students various skills, including business etiquette, resume writing, and interviewing techniques. Each evening featured alumni career panels in various career fields. Alumni shared their career experiences and tips for success. Interested in volunteering to be on the next alumni career panel? Please email Social Ecology External Relations for more information at

Alumni Spotlights

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New Irvine Police Chief

The City of Irvine's new Chief of Police Mike Hamel is an alumnus of the School of Social Ecology, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Criminology, Law and Society. Hamel is the department's fifth chief and the first Irvine police chief to have started at the department as an officer. Learn More...

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Justice for Kids

Superior Court Judge Maria D. Hernandez '86 presides over efforts to keep troubled juveniles from succumbing to lives of crime. "The exposure I had at UCI opened my views, my perspectives, on the world," she says. Learn More...