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The people of the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences make news

Gabe SchneiderCelebrating the Successes of UC San Diego’s Most Dynamic Grads
Hundreds of amazing students are graduating from Social Sciences this year. This story profiles just two of them: Political Science and Urban Studies and Planning major Gabe Schneider, who co-founded independent student newspaper The Triton to give students more voice, especially underrepresented students, and Cognitive Science major Leon Sanchez Reyes, who not only persisted in earning his degree but also took care of his siblings after the deportation of their parents four years ago.


Lucero Camarena - photo by Erik JepsenSpeak Your Truth
Transgender advocate and Global Health major Lucero Camarena calls on graduates to embrace their authenticity as 2018 All Campus Commencement student speaker.


A Ladder Up
UC San Diego leads the way in helping students on the path to upward social mobility. New research shows that UC San Diego continues to perform significantly better than other four-year colleges and universities in the country when it comes to enrolling low-income students and seeing them across the graduation finish line. “Low-income youth bring crucial talent, experience and drive to universities,” says Mica Pollock of Education Studies and CREATE. “Doing the work to support low-income young people to thrive in college alongside their higher-income peers is an essential part of investing in the future of the region, state and nation. I’m proud to work at a university that prioritizes investment in the full talent pool!”


Designer DNA
Associate Dean John Evans of Sociology discusses genetic editing on Vox’s new Netflix series “Explained” – check it out. The Vox story about the show is at the link above. You can also view the episode directly on Netflix.


UC San Diego Tops List of World’s ‘Golden Age’ Universities
For the second year in a row, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked UC San Diego the world’s number one research university founded during the “golden age” of higher education development, in the two decades between 1945 and 1967.


UC San Diego gradsMore Rockin’ Rankings
UC San Diego ranked third among public research universities in the United States in this year’s annual ranking of high-quality scientific research papers by the journal Nature. In the Nature Index 2018 Annual Tables, the La Jolla campus ranked 12th in the world out of 500 institutions and 6th among U.S. universities in the research results its faculty, students and staff others published in 82 high-quality journals in 2017.


A Launch Pad to a Better Life
Economics alumnus Kenny Hill renovated a dozen town homes in a struggling Atlanta neighborhood and then had an idea: What if he could help renovate people’s lives, too? That led him to co-found The Launch Pad, a non-profit that provides five homeless families with free housing for a year along with mentoring and life-skills coaching. YouTube promo video is at link above; here’s the Crazy Good Turns podcast in its entirety.


People vote in California primaryCalifornia’s Jungle Primary Sets Up Polarized Governor’s Race for November
Election reformers hoped the top-two primary system would draw out more centrist voters and more centrist candidates, writes Thad Kousser of Political Science in The Conversation. So much for hopes…?  After the election, Kousser also spoke at length with NPR-affiliate KPCC on what voters can expect in November, as well as with KPBS. He also lent his expertise to the Washington Post, saying that across the country recently “red states have gotten redder and blue states have gotten bluer and the fights have been within, rather than between, the parties.”


Isaac Martin - photo by Megan BurksForty Years Later, Proposition 13 Is Proof Your Vote Matters
Prop.13 is “almost like a meteor that landed in California,” said Isaac Martin of Sociology in this extended Q&A with KPBS on the legacy of the “People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation.” It had, he says, “all kinds of powerful ripple effects, some far beyond the state of California. I think it reshaped American politics in ways that are quite dramatic.”


The Case for Renaming Women’s Body Parts
From fallopian tubes to the G-spot, women’s body parts have been named by – and after – men, the BBC reports. Lera Boroditsky of Cognitive Science argues for a system “that is not centered around the historical victories of men ‘discovering’ body parts.” Instead, she says, these terms should be replaced by descriptors that are useful and educational to the body’s owner.


Does the Lowest U.S. Birth Rate in Three Decades Pose a Risk to the Economy?
Answer by James Hamilton of Economics: Yes. “An aging population brings huge fiscal challenges. The current designs for Social Security, Medicare, and many public and private pensions just aren’t workable if the ratio of retirees receiving benefits to working people paying in continues to grow. The experience of Japan and Europe also tell us that it can be very hard to sustain economic growth if the workforce is no longer growing.”


The Trump Administration Is Driving Away Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Foreign-born founders start a huge number of the U.S.’s most lucrative businesses, writes the Atlantic, but new government policies are making it harder for them to stay.  Sociology graduate student Natalie Novick spoke with the Atlantic on her area of expertise: global start-up ecosystems.


Geisel photo by VOAGetting the Most From Every Moment at the University of California San Diego
Voice of America, in one of its Learning English stories, profiles Cognitive Science undergraduate student Luyanda Mdanda. The 19-year-old South African led a very active life long before becoming an international student in the United States. He likes to keep busy. But he never thought his life could be as busy as it has been since coming to UC San Diego in 2016.


Congrats to Gabriela Caballero 
Gabriela Caballero
of Linguistics has been recognized with a UC San Diego Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Distinguished Teaching Award for 2017-18.


Congrats to Ed Vul
Ed Vul of Psychology has won the Psychonomic Society’s Steven Yantis Early Career Award, which recognizes “a young scientist who has made significant contributions to scientific psychology in the areas of perception and attention early in their careers.”


The Right-Wing Millennial Machine
Conservatives are building an army of fired-up young people. How? By offering them salaries.  “What the right is doing is creating a cadre of potential leaders,” Amy Binder of Sociology said to the Huffington Post. “When they’re on campus they aren’t necessarily doing the bidding of donors, but they’re getting to know each other. They’re professionalizing and socializing students. I don’t see that happening on the left in the same way.”


With the World Watching, US Architects Rebuke Trumpism
CNN story on the Venice Biennale features prominently the presentation by Teddy Cruz of Visual Arts and Fonna Forman of Political Science, “MEXUS: A Geography of Interdependence.” MEXUS reimagines “the border zone not as a line, not as a jurisdictional boundary, but as a region that shares many ecologies and lots of movement back and forth on both sides – people, environmental flows, economic flows, emotional and ethnic flows,” Forman said.


County Jails Released 349 People Wanted by ICE Since ‘Sanctuary Law’ Started
The San Diego Union-Tribune takes a look at the California Values Act, or SB 54, four months after it became law. David FitzGerald of Sociology and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies said the evidence “is consistent with the idea that the authorities in California are continuing to cooperate with ICE when it comes to unauthorized immigrants who have committed serious crimes inside the United States. SB 54 just made sure that the cooperation would only turn over serious offenders.”


The Role of Hunting in Anthropogeny
Hunting is considered a key human adaptation, one that influenced our anatomy, physiology and behavior over time. This CARTA symposium explores the evidence on the origins of hominin hunting. If you weren’t able to attend, you can now watch the UCSD-TV program about it online. 


Brain Scientists and Teachers Break the Mold of Traditional Education
Matt Doyle, assistant superintendent of Vista Unified, and Gerri Burton, CEO of New Learning Ventures, blog in Education Week about Edneuro, a multidisciplinary partnership with UC San Diego which includes Shana Cohen and Amanda Datnow of Education Studies and Terry Jernigan of Cognitive Science.


Supporting College-Level Writing Prep
UC San Diego partners are joining forces to help create a strategy for preparing high school juniors across our region for college-level writing.  The partnership is between the San Diego Area Writing Project in CREATE, the Analytical Writing Program, and the Teaching + Learning Commons. The team is piloting the program at Gompers Preparatory Academy, a UC San Diego partnership school, to learn how to expand the program more broadly.


Alumnus Alan BrayninAlumnus Gives Back to Help Future Leaders
“Finances shouldn’t be a hindrance to going to UC San Diego,” said Political Science alumnus Alan Braynin, founder and CEO of Aya Healthcare. He feels so strongly about giving back and helping students at his alma mater that his company has pledged $200,000 to establish ten $5,000 UC San Diego scholarships per year over the next four years. Braynin credits his education at UC San Diego and the UC system as a whole for inspiring him to start his company, the largest privately held travel clinician staffing firm in the country. The firm currently employs over 450 people in its San Diego office alone, including dozens of UC graduates


June 25-29: San Diego Startup Week
The entrepreneurs, developers, designers, investors and  community leaders featured at San Diego Startup Week will include a number of Social Sciences alumni, among them Ken Davenport of Political Science and Matt Ellis of Economics. Ellis was recently selected as a 40 Under 40 honoree. See “Triton Stories” below for more.


Live, Learn, Play: Vibrant New Neighborhood on Campus
The North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood is a neighborhood like no other at UC San Diego – and Social Sciences’ Public Engagement Building is part of the exciting mix.


Archaeologist Tom Levy in SunCAVETriton Stories
The Spring 2018 issue of the Triton alumni magazine is chockablock with stories from the Social Sciences. Here they are: 40 Under 40, a feature celebrating alumni change-makers that includes nine from our division.  Rescuers of the Lost Artifacts, a feature on Tom Levy of Anthropology who uses cutting-edge immersive imaging to explore archaeological sites, from the mines of King Solomon to ancient ruins lost undersea. I’m Not Distractible… I’m Curious and Creative, wherein Don Norman of Cognitive Science and the Design Lab rethinks out relationship with technology. Chime In, with Linguistics alumnus Scott Paulson giving us a tour of the carillon atop Geisel Library. Crafting Community, on how Political Science alumnus Arsalun Tafazoli has helped disrupt the San Diego dining scene.  And Wave After Wave, with Economics alumnus and UC San Diego Alumni Board President Robert Brownlie sharing his experience with the university’s ever-evolving landscape.


 

Previous News Highlights

Teaching Impacts of Technology
Much needed! Beth Simon of Education Studies has launched a Coursera specialization for K-12 teachers: “Teaching Impacts of Technology.” The specialization helps support the requirements of the California supplementary authorization to teach computer science.


The performer Wink educates and advocates in his one-man show, "Gifts From My Deaf Father"Sign Here
You can whisper in American Sign Language, or you can shout. You can make poetry. And if you learn ASL later in life, you might be signing with an accent forever. In most ways, it is a language just like any other, with a complex grammar, slang, dialects, the whole shebang. But in some respects, ASL is much more than just a typical language. It’s visual and kinesthetic and is an essential component of Deaf culture in the United States, too – giving signers a special bond that non-signers may not fully understand. ASL has also been, for a long time, an important part of both research and teaching in the UC San Diego Department of Linguistics, which recently put on a two-day event celebrating Deaf culture and ASL.


MEXUSA New U.S.-Mexico Border?
Teddy Cruz of Visual Arts and Fonna Forman of Political Science “don’t look at the U.S.-Mexico border as a dividing line,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “They look at it as a region – one with a shared culture, economy and environment. That vision is why they were chosen as one of seven design teams to be featured in the U.S. Pavilion’s official exhibition, ‘Dimensions of Citizenship,’ at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.”  The urbanists have mapped a new 154,000 square-mile border region they call “MEXUS,” highlighting the broader environmental issues the U.S. and Mexico face as one.


How Language Shapes the Way We Think
A fascinating TED talk by Lera Boroditsky of Cognitive Science.


You’ll Likely Be Killed by Something You’re Not Worried About
There seems to be a vast gap between the most common causes of death in the U.S., and the causes of death we hear the most about, shows an infographic making the social-media rounds. The visualization was created by a UC San Diego alumnus based on data collected by students in a data science class taught by Bradley Voytek of Cognitive Science.  See the clever visualization at link above; additional backstory is in the students’ write-up.


UCSD’s Justin Koo Arguably Is Nation’s Top Student Lawyer
Political Science major Justin Koo won big at the American Mock Trial Association’s national championships for his performance as a defense attorney. “Justin was the highest-ranked All-American attorney with 27 ranks,” said one of his coxaches, Caitlin Macker. “He was tied as the top attorney in the country and first place in our [division].”


AAS composite - Berg, Kutas and SchullerMarta Kutas Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the country’s most esteemed honorary societies and independent policy research centers, has elected three UC San Diego professors as new members, including Marta Kutas of Cognitive Science. The academy’s class of 2018 features 213 individuals in a wide range of disciplines and professions, from actor Tom Hanks to former president Barack Obama. Previous members have included George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King Jr. Kutas will be inducted along with the other new members at a ceremony in October.


Asking Children One Simple Question Can Jump-Start Learning
Developmental psychologist Caren Walker is trying to find ways to help young children learn more effectively, and parents might be surprised to know that one way to do that starts with just one question: Why?


Is Amazon Evil and Am I Evil for Using It?
Lilly Irani of Communication on Gizmodo: “We need political movements that create policies, laws, and institutions that put us in charge of our technologies,” she said.


UC Global Health Day 2018 at Price CenterStudents and Faculty Commit to Healthier World
UC Global Health Day 2018 brought “well-being warrior” Vikram Patel and 500 other champions of global health to UC San Diego. As part of his keynote speech calling for universal mental health coverage, Patel urged global health practitioners to “step out of the universities and engage communities,” engaging in particular those who are affected and young people to demand change. Janis Jenkins of Anthropology was one of the keynote commentators. Thomas Csordas of Anthropology, director of the division’s Global Health Program, opened the day-long event with Chancellor Khosla. A research poster session featured more than 120 participants, including students from the Global Health Program presenting their senior capstone projects.


Yanny or Laurel? Your Brain Hears What It Wants To
Diana Deutsch of Psychology weighs in with the Wall Street Journal on the viral audio clip. Also: Auditory illusions discovered by Deutsch were a big hit at the 5th USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., as part of AAAS’ Science of the Senses interactive exhibit.


2018 Clark Kerr Award
Richard Atkinson of Cognitive Science and Psychology – a UC San Diego chancellor who became UC president – has won the 2018 Clark Kerr Award, conferred by the UC Berkeley Academic Senate in recognition of service and achievements as a distinguished educator.


President Obama awards 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom on Congressman LewisA Living Legend
LaGina Gause of Political Science and second-year major Hunter Miranda, who serves as executive director of the Student Organized Voter Access Committee (SOVAC), spoke to the significance of civil rights icon John Lewis, who is going to be UC San Diego’s commencement speaker. “Congressman Lewis’ leadership in Congress,” Gause said, “continues to demonstrate to his constituents that he is willing to go beyond the normal call of duty to represent the issues and concerns that are most pressing among his community.”


Does ‘Blue Mind’ Science Explain Why We Love the Ocean?
Karen Dobkins of Psychology – who is an avid swimmer and an absolute believer in the well-being the ocean can bring us and its therapeutic value – questions whether there’s as much science behind the “blue mind” idea as some people say.


Newsom Ad Shows Odd Incentives of California Top-2 Primary
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic front-runner in the governor’s race, has said he wants to face a Republican in November and his latest ad makes it seem his preferred GOP candidate is John Cox. “This is not about winning the political argument in November,” Thad Kousser of Political Science told U.S. News & World Report. “This is about having the governor’s race be over before June 6.” Kousser also spoke with KPBS about voter registration and local voting trends.


In Virtual Reality, How Much Body Do You Need?
The New York Times consulted V.S. Ramachandran of Psychology on a study, not his own, suggesting that people’s brains will fill in missing information in virtual reality – even to the point of thinking an invisible body is their own.


Cover of CCSSO reportUnderstanding and Supporting the Educational Needs of Immigrant English Learner Students
The Council of Chief State School Officers has published a report co-authored by Megan Hopkins of Education Studies that explores answers to three critical questions: Who are recently arrived immigrant English learner students in K-12 schools? What are their educational needs? And what school, district and state-level policies and practices are being implemented to support them? Ph.D. students Peter Bjorklund Jr. and Hayley Weddle served as research assistants on the project.


Deserts Into Forests
At a recent UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies event, Gary Fields of Communication argued that tree planting, forestation and cartography were used as tools of land dispossession in Palestine.


Sanctuary Cities Don’t ‘Breed Crime’ – They Encourage People to Report Crime
Writing in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Tom Wong of Political Science describes his most recent survey: Undocumented immigrants in San Diego County are 60.8 percent less likely to report a crime they witnessed, and 42.9 percent less likely to report being a victim of a crime – if they believe local authorities are cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on deportation raids. Other effects are equally stark. KPBS also reported on the survey. Separately, Wong was recently appointed to serve on Gov. Jerry Brown’s California Complete Count Committee, “a statewide panel of community members that will guide California’s outreach for the 2020 federal census.”


Pro- and Anti-Trump Forces Score Points on Immigration, But Both Sides Are Losing
A Steve Lopez column in the Los Angeles Times quoted Wayne Cornelius of Political Science, saying there is no correlation between sanctuary cities and crime rates. “Trump is throwing red meat to the nativist portion of his base, without seriously disrupting the economy,” Cornelius said. “It’s a political shell game. Leave the vast majority of employers alone, but terrorize their workers, families and communities.”


Mueller’s Investigation Isn’t Going to Wrap Up Soon, and Trump Is Still in Peril
That’s according to Harry Litman of Political Science, writing in the Los Angeles Times. Litman also published opinion pieces on related topics in the Washington Post, the New York Times, on CNN and on Lawfare. And he made dozens of appearances on MSNBC, CNN and FOX News.


Sandy LakoffConstantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award
The 2017-18 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award honoring emeriti professors in the University of California system has been awarded to UCLA’s Henry Ansgar Kelly and UC San Diego’s Sandy Lakoff of Political Science.


Human Cell Atlas Projects Funded by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced the funding of 85 projects, including one led by Eran Mukamel of Cognitive Science, to develop collaborative computational tools for the Human Cell Atlas. The tools are aimed at allowing better access to the data generated and make it easier to gain biologic insights from the data.


The FCC, Sinclair and the Decline of Media Localism
Robert Horwitz of Communication shares his insights on FCC history and the deregulation of broadcasting now underway.


Anyone Can Be an Innovator
Students given incentives to innovate are just as skilled as the self-motivated, according to research co-authored by Joshua Graff Zivin of Economics and the School of Global Policy and Strategy.


The Pulse on Language
Rachel Mayberry of Linguistics was interviewed for NPR podcast The Pulse. Mayberry’s contribution – about her research on learning a first language after childhood – begins around the 40-minute mark in the episode called, simply, “Language.”


Intergenerational Effects of Disability Insurance Receipt (PDF)
The NBER Digest, from the National Bureau of Economic Research, describes a recent paper co-authored by Gordon Dahl of Economics.


Keynote speaker Michelle Sadrena Clark at the 5th annual EDS/CREATE Teaching and Learning ConferenceConference Celebrates Five Years of Teacher-to-Teacher Learning
Education Studies and CREATE continued to expand their regional efforts for a fifth year with a slate of innovative learning experiences headed by leading area educators at “Engaging Today’s Student: Sharing What Works.”


From Condors to Oysters, California Sea Grant Funds New Coastal Research
Why do people fish in San Diego Bay even when they know their catch may be contaminated? David Pedersen of Anthropology will be working on that question and more with Theresa Talley of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


San Diego’s Scientists Span the Globe to Unearth New Discoveries, Solve Deepest Mysteries
“Scientists from San Diego will visit virtually every corner of the globe during the upcoming summer field research season to take up an equally broad range of questions. … UC San Diego, the nation’s fifth largest research university, is sending the most people packing with passports,” reports the Union-Tribune. That list includes Ivano Caponigro of Linguistics, Tom Levy of Anthropology and Anita Raj of Education Studies and Medicine.


Alicia GarzaUC San Diego Alumni Presents 40 Under 40
Not all heroes wear capes. From a doctor who developed the cure for Hepatitis C to an actress who is helping refugees from war-torn countries, these heroes are among 40 alumni to be honored for disrupting the status quo to build a better world. Alicia Garza of Anthropology and Sociology, who is co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and Milana Vayntrub of Communication, who works with refugees, are both featured in the story linked above. In all, nine of the 40 honorees are Social Sciences alumni, and you can read about all of them here. Alumni Weekend 2018 runs May 31 through June 3 this year.


Urban Planning and Studies studetns huddle around a planNew Majors to Help Students Tackle Big Issues
Hands-on and real-world, four new majors at UC San Diego respond to workplace trends, future demand and alumni feedback. The Division of Social Sciences is home to two of these: Business Psychology and Real Estate and Development – which are both the first of their kind in the UC system. The division is also collaborating on the new major in Data Science.


Why Deciphering Data Is Essential to Modern Living
“From Twitter feeds to the human genome, understanding data helps us understand the world around us. On the other hand, digital illiteracy can have catastrophic consequences, as identities are stolen or democracy subverted,” write Jeff Elman of Cognitive Science and Rajesh Gupta of Computer Science, co-directors of the recently launched Halicioğlu Data Science Institute at UC San Diego.


Kate AntonovicsFaculty Members Celebrated for Seeing the Classroom and World Differently
Congratulations, Kate Antonovics of Economics – 2018 winner of the Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Award in undergraduate teaching! “Students lavish praise on Professor Antonovics, both for her skill as a teacher, but also for her innovation in creating new forms of classroom education,” said Social Sciences Dean Carol Padden.


New Vista Education Center Asks ‘How Can We Help Kids Learn?’
Teachers from Vista Unified School District and researchers from UC San Diego are teaming up to better understand how children learn. The project – the International Center for Educational Research and Practice, a new “virtual center” at the district – also includes the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which will help educators prepare students for jobs that may not exist yet. The Union-Tribune story quotes Alan Daly of Education Studies, who is part of the effort, on the importance of “connecting research and practice.”


Nathan Fletcher lecturing in classUCSD Professor Nathan Fletcher Running for County Supervisor After Five Years of Teaching
Nathan Fletcher of Political Science is the subject of a profile in the Triton student newspaper, which reports that “regardless of the result of his current campaign, Fletcher intends to continue his professorship. If he wins the seat, he will try to teach at least one or two quarters per year.”


The Driverless Car Revolution Must Proceed With Caution
“Imperfect automation, continually getting better? Or distracted drivers, continually getting worse? Choose.” - Don Norman of Cognitive Science and the Design Lab, writing in the Union-Tribune.


Science of Swearing AMA
Ben Bergen of Cognitive Science braved Reddit’s Ask Me Anything to discuss his most recent book, “What the F,” about the science of swearing. Questions he answered include “What makes a word bad?” and “Is swearing harmful to children’s development?”


Can You Hear Me?
The Naked Scientists podcast ran a month of stories on the senses, including a week on hearing. Diana Deutsch of Psychology participated in the show about auditory illusions, “Sounds sometimes behave so strangely…” The show was broadcast on BBC 5 and ABC Australia.


Senior Prom King and Queen at downtown senior centerLearning From Our Elders With a Twist (and Shout)
A “Senior Prom” at a Serving Seniors’ center in downtown San Diego – organized by students in the Life Course Scholars program for the center’s age 60-and-up crowd – is just one of a number of activities that bring together the program’s students with elders in our community for innovative learning outside the classroom. Life Course Scholars is directed out of Urban Studies and Planning by Mirle Bussell and Leslie Lewis. (Lewis is also an Anthropology alumna.) The students featured in the story are Urban Studies major Jacqueline Brinkmann, Human Biology major Jadzia Nguyen-Khoa, and Biochemistry major Jeong Hoon (John) Kim.


Cover of Patrick  Andersen's "Autobiography of a Disease"Best Book in Qualitative Research
“Autobiography of a Disease,” the most recent book by Patrick Andersen of Communication, Ethnic Studies, and Critical Gender Studies, has won a top award from the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. The book blends storytelling, historiography, ethnography and memoir to explore the experience of extended life-threatening illness in contemporary U.S. hospitals.


Arsulan TafazoliCampus Welcomes Soda and Swine
Culinary visionary Arsalun Tafazoli, ‘06 alumnus of Political Science and Philosophy, is bringing Soda and Swine to campus: “When I was at UC San Diego, it was a good place to go and focus,” Tafazoli said. “But there weren’t many gathering spots that fostered a social college experience. Now, there’s a shift happening to support that kind of interaction, and to be part of that renaissance is a beautiful thing.” The feature story in ThisWeek also reports on the university enlisting Next Wave Commercial to attract additional innovative retail operators.


The Center Selects Next CEO
Psychology alumna Caroline 'Cara' Dessert ‘05, who also minored in Ethnic Studies and in Law and Society, has been named the next leader of San Diego’s LGBT Community Center, the nation’s second oldest center and one of its largest.


Here’s the Real Reason Teachers Are Revolting in Red States
Agustina Paglayan, incoming to Political Science, writes in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog about her recent research. Contrary to popular belief on both sides of the aisle, collective bargaining rarely leads to higher teacher salaries and more education spending, Paglayan’s research shows. “Teachers in red states are striking because of their low pay – but that is not because their labor rights are weak. The problem is they teach in states that have historically spent little on education.” Politico, Education Week, Governing, NBC News and others reported on the research.


Newborns in hospital nurseryNorwegian Experiment Shows How to Change Men’s Ideas on Gender
“New research suggests a pretty straightforward way to bust gender stereotypes: Get men and women to work closely alongside each other,” writes Quartz on a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper co-authored by Gordon Dahl of Economics. The paper reports on the results of an experiment conducted with Norway’s military in 2014, and Stars and Stripes focused on a different takeaway from the basic-training study: that unit cohesion is unaffected by adding women. Separately, earlier research by Dahl was cited in the New York Times in a story suggesting Americans may no longer prefer sons over daughters, and he was quoted in the Union-Tribune in a story about Echo Yard, a new experimental unit at Donovan State Prison.


Silhouette of distressed womanMaking Mental Health a Global Priority
The UC Global Health Institute speaks with Vikram Patel, noted psychiatrist from Harvard Medical School, ahead of his keynote speech at UC San Diego on April 22, when the system-wide UC Global Health Day comes to our campus. The story also includes Janis Jenkins of Anthropology, director of the Center for Global Mental Health, who is serving as commentator during the event: “As a matter of social justice,” Jenkins says, “[global mental health] research, care and advocacy must be developed wherever needed. Worldwide, there are no shortages of need.”


Celebrity Cookbooks Ranked on How Many Animals Die for Each Dish
A new research paper co-authored by graduate student Ike Sharpless of Political Science with senior author Andy Lamey of Philosophy analyzes the cookbooks of 26 celebrity chefs to offer insight and guidance for consumers seeking to reduce their consumption of meat on ethical grounds.


Trump Is a Globalist. Just a Chaotic One
For this analytical piece, Quartz checked in with Erik Gartzke of Political Science and the Center for Peace and Security Studies. Gartzke also shared his expertise with the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in March, in a briefing on “Deterrence Situations (Nature of Weaponry).” And on April 21, he will give a talk hosted by the San Diego Independent Scholars in the Chancellor’s Complex on “Fighting by Bits and Bytes: What to Expect from Internet Conflict.”


Trump’s Man on Campus
A Politico Magazine feature on Charlie Kirk – founder of Turning Point USA, who has been called “a rock star among millennial conservatives” but has also been accused of racism and hatefulness – quotes Amy Binder of Sociology. Attacking university administrators is a strategy that sells, she says.


California Sanctuary Law Backlash Spreads to San Diego County
Reuters sought the expertise of political scientist Thad Kousser for a story suggesting there may be growing opposition to California Senate Bill 54, which prohibits in certain situations state and local law enforcement officials from co-operating with federal immigration authorities on the deportation of undocumented immigrants.


This Syndrome Causes People to Think Their Loved Ones Have Been Replaced by Identical Impostors
More than 20 years ago, V.S. Ramachandran of Psychology and the Center for Brain and Cognition achieved a breakthrough in understanding Capgras syndrome, after a student developed the delusion as a result of head trauma from a car accident.


Tom LevyHonorary Doctorate for Tom Levy
Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348, has bestowed an honorary doctoral degree on Thomas Levy of Anthropology. Local newspaper Lidové Noviny ran a feature story on the proceedings, complete with a photo of Levy in ceremonial robes.


Should Democrats Embrace the Center or Abandon It?
New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall mentions research by Seth Hill of Political Science showing that there has been a steady reduction of conservative voters participating in Democratic primaries: From 27 percent of Dem supporters in 1972 to 24 percent in 1992, and all the way down to 7 percent in 2012.


Trump’s One-Night Stand Turns Into a Legal Nightmare
“Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump appear to be vying for the world record for the longest one-night stand in history,” writes Harry Litman of Political Science in the New York Times. Litman has been on quite a roll: In addition to the NYT piece linked above, he has also published op-eds recently in the Washington Post (twice), the Los Angeles Times (also twice) and CNN. He was also featured in a Slate podcast.


UCSD mock trial team 2018Mark Your Court Brackets: UCSD Seeks National Title for Student Lawyers
“UCSD is two years away from NCAA Division I status, but the Tritons’ mock-trial team has been top-echelon for years, competing with the likes of five-time champ UCLA, defending titlist Virginia and other powerhouse schools,” reports Times of San Diego. Social Sciences students participating in the American Mock Trial Association’s national championships in April include: sophomore Nicole Kwan (Political Science), who is team co-captain, junior Divya Desale (Economics and International Studies), junior Justin Koo (Political Science), sophomore Noor Takidin (Political Science), sophomore Jenny Rothman (Cognitive Neuroscience), freshman Jonathan Kim (Political Science), sophomore Gabby Lipco (Political Science) and freshman Brianna Fluhrer (English/Socioeconomics).


EVENTS

April 18: What Data and Research Reveal about Sexual Assault and Harassment on Campuses
Education Studies and the Center on Gender Equity and Health present a film screening and research panel discussion for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2018. From 4 to 6 p.m. in Medical Education/Telemedicine Bldg., Rms.141/143.


April 18: Design@Large
Kamala Visweswaran of Ethnic Studies on “The Algorithmic Turn”: In light of how hard it is to imagine a world without algorithms now, even as scandals like the one with Cambridge Analytica force a reckoning, Visweswaran poses “a counter-factual for thinking about the perils of fast knowledge in slow time.” Beginning at 4 p.m., CSE Building, Rm. 1202.


April 18: The Future of Democracy in Brazil
Former President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency, who was impeached by the country’s National Congress in 2016 for allegedly breaking a budgetary law, comes to San Diego thanks in part to co-sponsors at UCSD, including the Division of Social Sciences, the Black Studies Project, the Department of Political Science, Latin American Studies, and the International Institute. From 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Montezuma Hall, SDSU.


April 22: UC Global Health Day 2018
The system-wide conference on global health – brought to UC San Diego by our Global Health program and showcasing the outstanding research, training and outreach taking place across the University of California – is sold out. See you at the Price Center if you managed to get tickets!


April 27: Authoritarianism Today
The International Institute, directed by Nancy Postero of Anthropology, presents a daylong conference, “Authoritarianism Today: Repertoires and Resistance,” featuring UC San Diego faculty and guests. Panel topics are: “The Diverse Forms of Authoritarianism,” “Authoritarianism and the Academy,” “Technologies and Authoritarianism” and “Cities as Sites of Struggle.” Social Sciences faculty participating include, in addition to Postero, Molly Roberts of Political Science, Erik Gartzke of Political Science and Lilly Irani of Communication. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Institute of the Americas, Malamud Room. Please RSVP at link above.

April 28: Engaging Today’s Student: Sharing What Works
CREATE and Education Studies present the 5th annual Teaching and Learning Conference for P-16 teachers and educational leaders. From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Pepper Canyon Hall.


May 9 and 10: Gifts from Deaf Culture
The Department of Linguistics presents a two-night event: First up is a one-man show by performer Wink on May 9, followed on May 10 by a discussion panel on American Sign Language, audism, and the diversity and richness within Deaf culture. The panel includes Social Sciences Dean and Linguistics alumna Carol Padden. The entire event will be presented in ASL with English interpretation. Atkinson Hall, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on both nights.


State capitolWe Are Deeply Polarized, But…
Polarization isn’t all bad. California has the most polarized legislature in the country yet also leads the nation in passing laws that are in line with what voters want. Thad Kousser of Political Science shares this and other insights in an op-ed for the Union-Tribune.


A Campus Hub for Data Science
Former Social Sciences Dean Jeffrey Elman of Cognitive Science is co-director, with Rajesh Gupta of Computer Science and Engineering, of the new cross-disciplinary Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute at UC San Diego. “Professors Gupta and Elman are among this university’s most distinguished faculty members and administrators, and they are uniquely positioned – with input and expertise from many other departments – to make UC San Diego one of the world’s leading academic centers of excellence in the burgeoning field of data science,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We have a long history of deciphering insights from large volumes of data, and we have been doing so since long before the term ‘data science’ was coined.” To read the story about the campus dedication: “Bill Nye Comes to Campus as ‘The Data Science Guy.’”


Collaboration to ‘Rebirth’ NZ Education
New Zealand’s Education Central features Alan Daly of Education Studies who is a Visiting Fulbright Global Scholar at the University of Auckland. Daly says he’s “tremendously optimistic” about the potential he sees in the country to solve complex educational issues: “There is vast set of resources and expertise within New Zealand. This needs to be honored and listened to – including the expertise not only sited at universities, but also the expertise that resides in the many cultural, social and intellectual assets of educators, youth, parents and communities.”


Picture of a babyBabies Can Spot Language, Even When It’s Not Spoken
Rain Bosworth of Psychology presented on her work at AAAS, showing that babies are as primed to learn a visual language as they are a spoken one. Science magazine covered Bosworth’s presentation (linked above), as did Red Tricycle and others. Bosworth and former post-doc Adam Stone also posted this YouTube video on the lab’s eye-tracking research with babies, children and adults.


Fed Should Lean on Rate Cuts, Not QE, in Next Recession: Paper
“The Federal Reserve should focus on lowering interest rates in the face of the next recession, and avoid relying on asset purchases that are a less effective policy tool than previously thought, four top U.S. economists told a roomful of Fed officials,” Reuters reported. The economists – James Hamilton of Economics, David Greenlaw of Morgan Stanley, Ethan Harris of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Kenneth West of University of Wisconsin – were presenting their new paper at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum. The co-authors said that while the Fed has not set an end point, it should not go too far and consider larger and looser run-off caps. Also reporting on the research or responding to it were the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Market Watch, as well as Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren and, in Money and Banking, Brandeis Professor Steve Cecchetti and NYU Professor Kim Schoenholtz.


Face ID then and nowWhat’s in a Face ID?
A Slate story on facial recognition technologies – from the touted new Face ID available on the iPhone X to applications by the Department of Homeland Security – referred to what Kelly Gates of Communication has dubbed the “facialization of terrorism.”


Live Video of #NationalWalkoutDay at UC San Diego
In this live video, Union-Tribune reporter Gary Robbins interviews undergraduate students Eden Allegretti, Sociology and Political Science major, and Emma Potter, Political Science with a minor in human rights, who helped organize #NationalWalkoutDay on campus.


Trump Blames Video Games for School Shootings – Here’s What Science Says
“There is no scientific evidence that confirms or disconfirms that speculation,” said Mark Appelbaum of Psychology, chair of a 2015 American Psychological Association Task Force on Violent Media, to Time magazine.


Woody Allen and Academic Freedom
“The UC San Diego Academic Senate rejected a student-led push to cut a course on the filmmaker from the curriculum over sexual abuse allegations,” reported Inside Higher Ed. The senate “supports the right to the continued teaching of this course now and in the future,” Senate Chair Farrell Ackerman of Linguistics and Vice Chair Robert Horwitz of Communication wrote. “As importantly, the senate supports and will vigorously maintain the right of all faculty to participate in the principles of academic freedom: these advance and preserve the university as a singular institution for the free exchange of ideas and debate that cannot and should not be diminished by forces that seek to restrict and canalize course content in favored directions.”


Something Wonderful Happened to These Men When a Group of Women Joined Their Team
Marketwatch: “What happens when a profession or team traditionally dominated by men suddenly sees more female colleagues? Men change their attitudes about mixed-gender productivity, gender roles and identity.” This is according to an experimental study with the Norwegian military, co-authored by Gordon Dahl of Economics. The NY Post also reported on the work.


Frances ContrerasLatina Pathways in P-20 Systems and Beyond
Frances Contreras of Education Studies spoke about the challenges and opportunities for engaging and supporting Chicanas/Latinas across the P-20 education continuum and beyond with BlogTalkRadio’s Latino Role Models & Success.


Walls! Walls! Walls! Trump’s California Trip
The OC Register takes a look at the history of physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border and of border-enforcement policies with David FitzGerald of Sociology and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies.


Dear Mexico: Please Forgive Us for Donald Trump
The U.S. shares the blame with Mexico for illegal immigration because the 1986 overhaul of immigration laws gutted employer sanctions, writes a Star Ledger columnist, citing Wayne Cornelius of Political Science.


Tom Wong and his triplets in coffee shop8 San Diegans Take Us Inside Their Favorite Spaces
Tom Wong of Political Science talks about his “office” at North Park’s Communal Coffee. Separately (and unrelated to coffee), Sing Tao Daily ran a feature story on Wong, while a writer of a personal essay in the Huffington Post, entitled “A Piece of Paper Is Controlling My Students’ Lives,” cited Wong’s research on DACA recipients. 


Councilwoman Kicks Off National City Mayoral Campaign
National City Councilwoman Alejandra Sotelo-Solis – an alumna of Political Science who champions such issues as public safety, environmental justice and small businesses – officially kicked off her campaign and pledged to “fight hard” for the community. At UC San Diego, Sotelo-Solis serves as director of the university’s Community Law Project, a student organization that focuses on law, public policy and advocacy. The third-generation National City resident also serves as a liturgical minister at St. Anthony Catholic Church in National City. She was endorsed during her campaign kick-off event by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, state Treasurer John Chiang and the National City Firefighters Association.


March 22: Building a Stronger San Diego
Real estate alumni from SDSU, USD and UC San Diego are coming together to meet one another and build an even stronger real estate community in San Diego. The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cushman & Wakefield Office UTC. Spread the word? And register at link.


Kaplan Lecture and Athenaeum Membership
V.S. Ramachandran of Psychology gave the Edith Kaplan Memorial Lecture at the 46th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychology Society in Washington, DC (linked above).  He has also been elected a member of the Athenaeum in London – one of the oldest exclusive clubs with members “who have obtained some distinction in science, literature, or the arts.” Early known members include Michael Faraday and Charles Darwin.


“Driving the Horses” plate from the Koba-Russell Sketchbook. Courtesy of: Plains Ledger Art project (PILA)Ledger Art Books Serve as Hands-On Learning Tool for Graduate Students
Lakota artist Dwayne Wilcox met with students and spoke at a public gathering hosted by the university library in connection with an exhibit of Wilcox’s contemporary ledger artwork, “Teíč’iȟ iŋla: Practicing Decolonial Love,” curated by UC San Diego graduate students enrolled in “Representing Native America,” a class taught by Ross Frank of Ethnic Studies. Wilcox was joined at the event by Frank, who also directs the Plains Indian Ledger Art project (PILA), and has been working since 1995 to digitally preserve Plains Indian ledger books under one platform to promote research and public access.


NYT logoCurses! And Why They Work So Well Onstage (Sometimes)
“All things being equal, the most physiologically affecting language is profanity,” Benjamin Bergen of Cognitive Science said to the New York Times, in a theater story exploring the use of curses on stage. “Your heart rate increases, your pupils dilate, you start sweating. We call this a state of emotional arousal. Hearing the most taboo language induces this effect much more strongly than other powerful positive or negative words.”


The 50 Shades of States
A “national sorting” is underway, according to experts cited in the U.S. News & World Report, “with people moving to places that reflect their values and party IDs, further reinforcing a state or region’s political character.” Thad Kousser of Political Science, who’s working on a book about the politics of states, said that “political polarization has led states to take very different paths when they’ve had that opportunity.” And that, he said, leads Americans to think about politics and party when they are choosing a place to live, pondering, “Am I an Oregon-type person, or a Mississippi-type person?”


What the State Dept., CIA Leadership Shuffle Could Mean for U.S. Security
Thad Kousser of Political Science was an hour-long guest on the Forum, a program of Bay Area NPR affiliate KQED. Kousser also spoke with the Associated Press about sexual misconduct allegations against California state senator Tony Mendoza: The state senate’s action against Mendoza sends a message, Kousser said, that “no matter how powerful a committee chair you are, no matter if you’re in the majority caucus, the same rules apply to you.” Commentary by Kousser also appeared in an ABC News piece about California’s crowded U.S. House race; a San Francisco Chronicle story on the California Democratic party not endorsing its long-serving incumbent U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein; and in a story in The Hill about U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris positioning herself for a White House run in 2020.


UC Global Health Day April 22 with smiling young woman in South AsiaApril 22: UC Global Health Day 2018
Our Global Health program and the UC Global Health Institute present an all-day event showcasing the work of global health practitioners from UC and beyond, with a keynote on global mental health by Harvard psychiatrist Vikram Patel and commentary by Janis Jenkins of Anthropology.


Education Studies Partners with Action Research Network of the Americas
The sixth annual ARNA conference, this year on “Knowledge Mobilization for Equitable and Peaceful Social Progress,” will be held at UC San Diego June 28-30, 2018. This conference welcomes diverse participants from throughout the Americas, including people involved with action research, participatory action research and practitioner research. If you are interested in attending, presenting or having your students participate at this conference, please contact mrattana@ucsd.edu in Education Studies.


Numbers Hint at Why #MeToo Took Off: The Sheer Number Who Can Say Me Too
The New York Times reports on a new national survey led by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment. According to the survey data – analyzed by Anita Raj of Education Studies, the School of Medicine and the Center on Gender Equity and Health – 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men said they had experienced sexual harassment or assault over their lifetimes. That’s higher than most other studies and polls have suggested. The timely survey was also covered by NPR and others.


Alleys in Action pop-up event in Normal Heights‘Alleys in Action’ Project Demonstrates What’s Possible for Neglected Public Space
Urban Studies and Planning students Vincent Page, Joyce Lee and Dmitriy Goncharuk are working hard with community partners and faculty member Sue Peerson to transform our attitudes about alleys. Instead of being places for trash, storm-water puddles and crime, alleys, they say, can help make our urban environments greener, friendlier and more connected. The team organized a pop-up event in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood to demonstrate the possibilities. The Union-Tribune also covered the event.


Bill Nye the Science Guy to Help Dedicate Data Science Institute
One of the nation’s best known popularizers of science, Bill Nye the Science Guy will visit UC San Diego March 2 to help the university dedicate the new Halicioğlu Data Science Institute, co-directed by Jeff Elman of Cognitive Science, former dean of the Division of Social Sciences. The campus-wide institute will help train students to gather, analyze and apply data. Nye is speaking at an invitation-only event in the morning. In the afternoon, starting at 12:30 at the Qualcomm Institute, a faculty open house and symposium will feature a number of presentations from social scientists, including by Terry Jernigan of Cognitive Science and the Center for Human Development, Molly Roberts of Political Science and Bradley Voytek of Cognitive Science.


Kids on smart phonesHow Parents Can Talk to Their Kids About Using Technology Safely
In this op-ed for the Union-Tribune, Gail Heyman of Psychology offers advice both as a parent and as a development researcher. Talking with kids is key.


Students, Families and Educators Should Lead the Way on the Gun Crisis
“As a mother and daughter who spend our days in schools, we think students, families and educators should lead this effort to make legislators finally move on sensible gun control measures to promote school safety.” – Mica Pollock of Education Studies and CREATE with her middle-school daughter, Elea, in Teaching Tolerance magazine.


Vista District and UCSD in Study About Teaching
Sherice Clarke of Education Studies is co-PI on a project to understand K-12 teacher learning. Funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the project is in collaboration with the Vista Unified School District and Carnegie Mellon.


Private Joke Becomes Critically Acclaimed Children’s Book
Brian Selznick and Communication’s David Serlin turn a joke they’ve shared for years into an unconventional story for young readers. “Baby Monkey, Private Eye” is not only funny it also lets Serlin take some loving digs at academia.


Native Like Water posterComm Grad Students Selected for San Diego Film Week
Work by graduate students Nalini Asha Biggs and Caroline Collins of Communication has been selected for San Diego Film Week. “Native Like Water: We’re Still Here,” by Collins, Biggs and 23 Native youth representing more than 15 tribes from California and Hawaii, and the Biggs-directed “What’s My Line?will be screened on March 4 and 5, respectively.


Robert McCormick Adams Dies at 91
The Washington Post reports on the passing of longtime Anthropology adjunct Robert McCormick Adams, former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who sought to make “confrontation, experimentation and debate” part of the Smithsonian’s mandate. Smithsonian Magazine also carried an obituary about its one-time leader.


Trump Policy Spotlights San Diego’s Nuclear Past
According to the recently released Nuclear Posture Review, the Trump administration wants to boost the number of U.S. nuclear weapons, in particular smaller tactical nuclear weapons. To help its audience understand the historical context and possible consequences, KPBS sought the expertise of Erik Gartzke of Political Science and the Center for Peace and Security Studies.


Now We Know for Sure: The Russia Story Is Not a ‘Hoax’
“We now know without a doubt that Russians conducted a multimillion-dollar, highly sophisticated campaign to destabilize the American political system. Has there been a sharper or more serious attack on the United States since 9/11?” – Harry Litman of Political Science in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. Litman also published an opinion piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and made a half dozen appearances on MSNBC to talk about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation.


Yupno participants in pointing studyThe Way Humans Point Isn’t as Universal as You Might Think
Cognitive Science alumnus Kensy Cooperrider worked with Rafael Nunez, also of Cognitive Science, on the work he describes in this piece for The Conversation: The pointing gesture differs by culture. Some groups of people prefer to use their noses or their lips to point rather than their fingers.


March 2: The Role of Hunting in Anthropogeny
Hunting has long been seen as a key human adaptation, thought to have influenced our anatomy, physiology and behavior. Yet there is considerable uncertainty about where, when, why and how our early ancestors came to consume meat on a regular basis.  The goal of this CARTA symposium – co-chaired by James Moore of Anthropology and featuring a talk by Margaret Schoeninger, also of Anthropology, along with numerous guest speakers – is to explore the evidence on the origins of hominin hunting and to set a research agenda for the future. From 1 to 5:30 p.m., Prebys Auditorium at Salk Institute or a live webcast.


How an Abundance of Democratic Candidates Could Help the G.O.P. Hold the House
California voters eliminated traditional party primaries in 2010, replacing them with the top-two system at the urging of Arnold Schwarzenegger, then the Republican governor, and other moderates. Has the change made a difference? Thad Kousser of Political Science suggested to the New York Times that so far it had not. “We haven’t seen big shifts in the legislature,” he said. “It hasn’t changed California politics radically.”


UCSD to Offer a Business Psychology Major Fall 2018
Psychology will offer a new degree this coming fall, a B.S. in business psychology, designed to train students to apply psychological principles to the workplace and to organizational challenges and opportunities. UC San Diego will be the first school in the UC system to offer the degree. “The principles and concepts behind people are so integral to so many aspects of business like working in teams, working creatively, working innovatively,” said Student Affairs Manager Rachael Lapidis of Psychology. “I think that that coupled with the data analysis skills that they’ll get both from the Psychology side and the Rady side will give them both the conceptual background and the skill background to be able to succeed in a way that’s slightly different than what you would get from a pure business major.”


UCSD to Offer Real Estate Major Starting Fall 2018
Urban Studies and Planning is now offering a minor in Real Estate and Development, reports Triton News, and starting in Fall 2018 will also offer a major.  Mirle Rabinowitz-Bussell said the major and minor came about after surveying alumni and seeing that many had entered the field of real estate. “Students will learn how to plan efficiently [and] sustainably, taking into account transportation patterns, mixed use of land, innovation, equity and social justice, green infrastructure, and more,” she said in an interview with UC San Diego Sustainability. “UC San Diego is the first campus in the UC system to have a minor like this. In the next five to 10 years, we hope to be one of the [nation’s] top 10 with this minor/major.”


March 15: 28th Annual Urban Expo
Urban Studies and Planning hosts its annual showcase of posters and research exhibits from graduating seniors and community partners. Beginning with an open house at 1 p.m. in Price Center ballrooms A and B, the event runs until 6:30. Please see flyer at link for detailed schedule or visit the USP website.


March 22: Building a Stronger San Diego
Real estate alumni from SDSU, USD and UC San Diego are coming together to meet one another and build an even stronger real estate community in San Diego. The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cushman & Wakefield Office UTC. Spread the word? And register at link.


Foreign Policy Magazine Ranks UC San Diego Among World’s Best
The magazine’s global rankings lauded UC San Diego’s undergraduate international relations program – second among public universities (11th overall). The university’s master’s program, for policy careers in international relations, was ranked first among public institutions (15th overall). And the campus’s Ph.D. program, for students pursuing an academic career in international relations, was named the best among public colleges (7th overall).


Paola AvilaTriton Alumnae Making an Impact: Paola Avila, ’97
Paola Avila had no desire to work anywhere near politics. As an undergraduate studying Economics, her dream career was in international business. But when Avila got talked into helping with a local political campaign – just something to try while she was figuring out her next step, she assured herself – she found her passion, and it set her on a course that would take her through mayoral races and city hall to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she currently serves as vice president for international business affairs.


Data Released From Adolescent Brain Development Study
The ABCD study – the largest long-term study of the developing adolescent brain in the United States –has released its first datasets to scientists worldwide: 30 terabytes of data. That’s about three times the size of the Library of Congress collection. The ABCD study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is headed by a cross-disciplinary team of social and medical scientists at UC San Diego, including Terry Jernigan of Cognitive Science and Vice Chancellor for Research Sandra Brown of Psychology and Psychiatry. 


Lost in Translation: The Power of Language to Shape How We View the World
NPR’s Hidden Brain talks with Lera Boroditsky of Cognitive Science, who argues that language features like grammatical gender and reading direction can have a real effect on the way we think.


A Picture Might Be Worth More Than a Thousand Words
Even a 10-millisecond flash of an image can change people’s behavior, while similarly charged words do not, finds a study by Piotr Winkielman of Psychology.


Trump’s Obstruction of Justice Is Far More Extensive Than Nixon’s
Writing in the Washington Post, Harry Litman of Political Science: “Now that a consensus is beginning to emerge that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has the evidence to make a compelling case of obstruction of justice against President Trump, the president’s defenders have trotted out a new defense: that obstruction on its own is a mere ‘procedural crime’ that doesn’t really count unless coupled with proof of guilt on an underlying crime. In other words, defenders view the Mueller probe as akin to the Watergate investigation without the break-in. But this view is wholly untenable.” Litman also published an op-ed in the New York Times, “Trump’s Efforts to Oust Mueller Show the ‘Cancer’ on This Presidency,” and addressed television audiences numerous times, including on MSNBC’s The Last Word and Deadline White House, among many others.  One of his appearances even inspired a poem!


‘Chain Migration’ Doesn’t Work the Way Trump Tells You It Does
“The Trump administration’s immigration proposal guts provisions for family reunification that have been a core principle of U.S. immigration policy since the 19th century,” writes David FitzGerald of Sociology and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies in the Hill. “To sell this radical break with American tradition, the strategy is apparently to deceive the public about the scope of the current law.” Separately, FitzGerald’s research was cited in a New York Times editorial.


Alan DalyThe Milk Moonshot
On her Uncivilize podcast, author Jennifer Grayson speaks with Alan Daly of Education Studies and School of Medicine’s Lars Bode about breast milk, “the lifeblood that has sustained humankind for at least the past 7 million years” but a substance that is still poorly understood by scientists. Bode directs the recently launched center called MoMI CoRE and Daly is a member of its scientific advisory board. “We’ve got a lot of great science that’s taking place, but it isn’t moving its way out into the larger world,” Daly says. “What’s going on here?”


Our 100th Episode! What’s the Big Deal?
The Brains On podcast “for kids and curious adults” celebrates its 100th episode by talking with Rafael Nunez of Cognitive Science about numbers and why, for example, people love 100. Check it out – one of the interviewers is a kid.


A Peek Into the Brains of Children With Autism May Lead to Better Treatments
There are plenty of theories about how autism interferes with development of social skills. But there’s considerably less hard evidence about what’s actually going on. A new study by Leslie Carver of Psychology and doctoral alumna Katherine Stavropoulos, now at UC Riverside, offers a glimpse. Covered by the Union-Tribune, the study compares the neural activity of children with and without autism.


APA Releases New Journal Article Reporting Standards
The American Psychological Association recently put out a new set of standards for researchers seeking to publish in scholarly journals. Aimed at increasing transparency, the standards guide quantitative and qualitative research reporting and were developed by two working groups. Mark Appelbaum of Psychology led the quantitative group, producing a set of standards that focus on enhancing reproducibility.


Feb. 17: Alley Pop-Up – Take Back the Alley!
Alleys are some of our most neglected public spaces – often seen as just places for garbage, storm-water puddles and crime. But Urban Studies and Planning students Vincent Page, Joyce Lee and Dmitriy Goncharuk are working to change that. Together with their faculty advisor, Sue Peerson, they seek to transform alleys, helping to make our urban environments greener, friendlier and more connected. On Sat, Feb. 17, a pop-up event they’ve organized will showcase the possibilities in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood, in an alley south of Adams Avenue between Felton and 34th. There will be music, art activities for kids, and opportunities for the community to provide input. See you there from 1 to 4 p.m.


Kelly GatesFeb. 21: Who Are the ‘Humans’ in Human-Centered Design?
Kelly Gates of Communication considers the question in Design Lab’s speaker series, beginning with the premise that “human” is not a unified or stable category, and that its plasticity has serious implications for design. From 4 p.m. in CSE 1202.


Feb. 22: Conference for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Tom Wong of Political Science is serving as keynote speaker at UC San Diego’s CRASSH. The all-day campus conference recognizes research done in the arts, social sciences and humanities, and seeks to inspire undergraduates who are pursuing degrees in these fields to conceive of novel and socially meaningful research projects. Register at link above. Institute of the Americas, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Lazy? John Kelly ‘Simply Misses the Mark’
According to the Washington Post, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly suggested that some immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program failed to apply for the legal protections because they were too afraid – or “too lazy to get off their asses.” Kelly’s comment “suggests that he doesn’t fully appreciate the complexities of navigating life as an undocumented young person,” said Tom Wong of Political Science.


A Brain Implant Improved Memory, Scientists Report
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University have developed a brain implant that works like a pacemaker, sending electrical pulses to aid the brain when it is struggling to store new information, but remaining quiet when it senses that the brain is functioning well. Bradley Voytek of Cognitive Science, who is excited by the promise of the device, also told the New York Times that “eventually we’re going to have to work out the ethical and public policy questions raised by this technology.”


Military Families Bolster the Case That Obesity Is Indeed Contagious
Members of the military serve their country in myriad ways. That includes helping researchers figure out whether obesity is a contagious disease. A new study out of USC and Rand Corp., involving thousands of military families, suggests that the answer is yes. The current study is based on earlier research co-authored by James Fowler of Political Science.


UCSD Students Design ‘Game Console for Dogs’
KPBS-FM and TV: “Pretend for the moment, you’re a dog. You have nothing to do all day but eat, sleep and wait for your human to return home. Two students from UC San Diego have started a company called CleverPet that makes waiting a little less boring.” CleverPet, co-founded by Leo Trottier as a graduate student in Cognitive Science, sells a game console that dogs have to play to get their food.


March 2: The Role of Hunting in Anthropogeny
Hunting has long been seen as a key human adaptation, thought to have influenced our anatomy, physiology and behavior. Yet there is considerable uncertainty about where, when, why and how our early ancestors came to consume meat on a regular basis.  The goal of this CARTA symposium – co-chaired by James Moore of Anthropology and featuring a talk by Margaret Schoeninger, also of Anthropology, along with numerous guest speakers – is to explore the evidence on the origins of hominin hunting and to set a research agenda for the future. From 1 to 5:30 p.m., Prebys Auditorium at Salk Institute or a live webcast.


ClassInSight: Insight on Teacher Learning
Sherice Clarke of Education Studies is co-PI on a project to understand K-12 teacher learning funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation as part of its 21st Century Science Initiative. The project, “ClassInSight: Insight on Teacher Learning by Scaffolding Noticing and Reflection,” is a research-practice partnership between Vista Unified School District, UC San Diego, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Distinguished Educator Network (DEAP). It will examine how secondary science teachers engage with a technology called ClassInSight and what cognitive and motivational factors drive change in classroom communication.


Did a Study Show That Dogs Exhibit Jealousy?
Snopes.com, the popular website that separates Internet facts from fiction, checks out a meme based on work by Christine Harris of Psychology.


Rendering of UCSD Urban downtownBillions in the Works for Area Colleges – Plus Rethinking Priorities
San Diego County’s higher education institutions are in a building mode. UC San Diego has $2 billion in current projects underway and planned. “You’re going to see all four of our universities present in more places with more programs going forward,” said Extension Dean Mary Walshok, who also has an appointment in Sociology. Walshok talked about redevelopment of the university’s medical center in Hillcrest and the UCSD Urban building under construction at Park Boulevard and Market Street.


This Land Is Our Land
“Enclosure: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror,” by Gary Fields of Communication, lands the cover of the New York Review of Books.


Melanie McComseyImproving Senior Care Through Geriatric Emergency Department Research
Anthropology alumna Melanie McComsey, now a Design Lab postdoc, has been doing ethnographic research at different geriatric emergency departments, shadowing providers and getting a sense of their job and workflow. In addition to learning about best practices and innovations, the project sought to determine whether GEDs are an effective way to aid the aging population.


What Went Wrong in Hawaii, Human Error? Nope, Bad Design
Writing in Fast Company, Don Norman of Cognitive Science and the Design Lab examines how poorly designed software spread panic about a missile attack in Hawaii – and offers tips for avoiding such incidents in the future.


UC Campuses – Including San Diego – Rank Among Top Schools in West
The University of California system dominates in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings of public colleges in the West, with UC San Diego among the top four.


Where in the World Triton mag layoutWhere in the World?

UC San Diego research ventures well beyond campus labs and lecture halls. Meet the people working around the globe and see the projects changing the world for the better. This Triton alumni magazine spread includes the work of Clark Gibson of Political Science, Gail Heyman of Psychology, Karthik Muralidharan of Economics and Anita Raj of Education Studies. Link above is to the online story. To get a sense of the magazine’s print layout, check out this link.


Game Changer
Seventeen years ago, Triton magazine reports, alumnus Chris Yanov (Political Science and Spanish Literature) began a program that has since sent 1,600 inner-city kids to college and been called “a model for the nation.” What made it possible? A few failures, a good dose of grit and a love of game shows.


The World in Stories
“The young people of today – they’re fearless. They may be worried about things, but they are not afraid.” - Lakshya Datta, Economics alumnus and founder of online storytelling platform Launchora, in Triton.


Also in Triton Alumni Magazine:
Precious Little Liars – the way we praise our kids may influence their morals, according to research by Gail Heyman of Psychology; Reaching New Heights featuring Communication alumna Cherie Kephart and her memoir, “A Few Minor Adjustments,” winner of the 2017 San Diego Book Award; First Gen Success on system-wide support for first-generation students, including the stories of Frances Contreras of Education Studies, Political Science and Sociology alumnus Ricky Flahive and Brad Voytek of Cognitive Science; and a Letter from the Alumni Board President, Economics alumnus Robert Brownlie on why alumni should give back to their alma mater.


‘Dreamers’ Are Pawns in the Immigration Wars
“There was always a risk that the roughly 700,000 DACA beneficiaries would become pawns in our larger immigration policy wars,” writes Wayne Cornelius of Political Science in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “For all his past expressions of support for the ‘Dreamers,’ President Trump appears to see protecting them mainly as a lever for extracting hardline, anti-immigration measures from Congress.” Cornelius also published a letter to the New York Times editor on the important contributions immigrants make to in-home health care and elder care.


Jan. 25: Rap on Border – A Public Conversation
Participants from Transnational Seminar I, an interdisciplinary effort between students of UC San Diego, Southwestern College and Universidad Autonoma de Baja California in Tijuana, will discuss race, gender, sexuality and life in general as residents of the borderlands. K. Wayne Yang of Ethnic Studies will moderate the conversation. MCASD Downtown, beginning at 5 p.m.


Jan. 30: Faculty Research Lecturer Award
The Academic Senate award recognizes colleagues whose research has made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge. Tom Levy of Anthropology is being honored this year and will give a talk on “At-Risk World Heritage and the Digital Humanities.” Faculty Club, reception begins at 2 p.m. Please RSVP to awelch@ucsd.edu.


Don’t Expect Trump to Testify Anytime Soon
Harry Litman – a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, who now practices law at Constantine Cannon and teaches in Political Science as part of the department’s Krinsk-Houston Law and Politics Initiative – has been helping the public parse the investigation of Trump Administration ties to Russia. In addition to the Lawfare blog post linked above, Litman published an op-ed in the L.A. Times, “Sweet words we may soon hear: ‘Mr. President, you are a target for obstruction of justice charges.’” He also appeared on MSNBC‘s “The Last Word,” the TRT World‘s “The Newsmakers,” and in many other outlets.


OC Lawyer Named Interim U.S. Attorney
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has named Nicola Hanna, an alumnus of Political Science, as interim U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, which encompasses the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. The news was reported also in the Washington Post and the L.A. Times, among many others.


Appointment of John Moore as Dean of Undergraduate Education
John Moore of Linguistics has been appointed Dean of Undergraduate Education at UC San Diego, to provide academic leadership in the development, enhancement, and delivery of undergraduate academic programs, including new interdisciplinary programs across colleges, divisions, schools, and disciplines.


Meme’s Best Friend: The Rise of ‘Doggo’
“Twitter lost its damn mind,” reports Wired, over Merriam-Webster’s year-end announcement that “doggo” was one of the dictionary’s “Words We’re Watching.” Ben Bergen of Cognitive Science helps explain the “-o” suffix.


How Your Brain Remembers What You Had for Dinner Last Night
Confirming earlier computational models, John Wixted of Psychology with Larry Squire of the School of Medicine and colleagues in Arizona and Louisiana, report in PNAS that episodic memories are encoded in the hippocampus of the human brain by distinct, sparse sets of neurons. “Scientists are interested in these issues not only because of their implications for models of memory, but also for health-related reasons,” Wixted said. “For example, degeneration in this region of the brain is responsible for memory loss in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”


Our Capacity for Number
The Parsing Science podcast interviews cognitive scientist Rafael Nunez about his research into the human understanding of number: Did it develop through biological evolution, or through the evolution of language and culture?


Don’t Let Your Young People Sell Their Souls
An opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, arguing that “we’ve created a generation of young people who talk the talk of Marx and Foucault, then walk the walk of management and finance,” cites the work of Amy Binder of Sociology and her graduate students.


Teen Helps Repair the World Through Philanthropy
Last June, a dozen San Diego philanthropists held a check-passing ceremony to deliver more than $20,000 they’d raised for mental health charities. The event sounds routine, except for the fact that the philanthropists were all members of the Jewish Teen Foundation, a philanthropic council of local high school students. Among these junior philanthropists is Josh Herz, 18, who last summer interned in cognitive scientist Gedeon Deak’s Cognitive Development Lab.


Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying
Premiering on UCSD-TV on Feb. 2: Literature professor emeritus Roddey Reid speaks about his new short book, “Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying: A Citizen’s Handbook for the Trump Era and Beyond,” with Akos Rona-Tas of Sociology.


How Donald Trump’s First Year in Office Has Sparked California’s Resistance
“California has been a political island for a decade,” says Thad  Kousser of Political Science. “Trump is expanding that gulf – his brand is so toxic for Republicans in California that it’s hard for any of them to escape his shadow.”


Quarterly Conversations in Global Health Feb 7 2018Feb. 7: Winter Quarterly Conversations in Global Health – The Opioid Epidemic
The Global Health Program brings together experts to discuss the opioid epidemic locally and globally. Great Hall, beginning at 3 p.m.


Feb. 22: Conference for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Tom Wong of Political Science is serving as keynote speaker at UC San Diego’s CRASSH. The all-day campus conference recognizes research done in the arts, social sciences and humanities, and seeks to inspire undergraduates who are pursuing degrees in these fields to conceive of novel and socially meaningful research projects. Applications for student presentations (posters and performances) are now being accepted. Attendee and volunteer registration is also open.  Institute of the Americas, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Registration is required.


 

School bus in AfricaLiberia’s Big School Experiment
Seeking to improve the availability and quality of its public education, the West African nation of Liberia set out on a controversial experiment: It asked a range of non-government organizations to run some of its state schools. The nonprofit Center for Global Development in D.C. and UC San Diego graduate students Mauricio Romero and Wayne Sandholtz of Economics are helping to evaluate the impacts of the experiment. Students in “Partnership Schools” seem to be making significant gains over those in government-run schools, according to this write-up on BBC News, but there are some caveats.


Why Words Matter
Scientific American asked Lera Boroditsky of Cognitive Science if it’s a big deal that the Trump administration recently instructed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid certain terms –”science-based,” “transgender” and “fetus,” among them. “Words have power,” Boroditsky said in this extended Q&A. “We can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something.”


NSF’s Best of 2017
The National Science Foundation’s Science360 news service picked as its best video of the year one that features the work of Rain Bosworth of Psychology. Bosworth and colleagues are investigating perception and cognition in both deaf and hearing babies.


Jan. 19: Social Sciences and the Social Good (PDF)
A tribute to the late Daniel Yankelovich, 1924-2017, the luncheon event will feature remarks from UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, Hilary Pennington of the Ford Foundation and Will Friedman of Public Agenda, as well as Social Sciences Dean Carol Padden, former deans Paul Drake and Jeff Elman, and John Skrentny, director of the division’s Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research. The event begins at 11:30 in the Faculty Club. Please RSVP to mlapthorn@ucsd.edu.


The 9 Most Important Scientific Studies for Parents of 2017
Compiled by parenting website Fatherly and reported in the Huffington Post, the list includes a study by Gail Heyman of Psychology. The study suggests it’s possible to reduce implicit racial bias in young children by teaching them to distinguish among faces of a different race.


The Science of Parenting
A free online class by David Barner of Linguistics and Psychology starts up again Jan. 23. Offered on the edX platform, the course teaches how to be a better parent – and a better consumer of parenting advice.


High Temperatures Are Already Sending Refugees to Europe
A study published in Science suggests a link between crop-harming weather and asylum applications to the European Union. Claire Adida of Political Science commends the work.


Factory smoke stacks polluting the airLow Level Air Pollution Costs the Economy Billions of Dollars in Lost Productivity
Air pollution delivers subtle effects that can have lasting negative impacts on our brain function, suggests a new policy paper by Joshua Graff Zivin of Economics and the School of Global Policy and Strategy. At pollution levels well below current regulatory standards in the United States, Graff Zivin says they’ve found impacts of air pollution on agricultural, manufacturing, and call center work productivity.


2018 Miller Prize Winner
A paper by Yiqing Xu of Political Science has been selected for the 2018 Miller Prize as the best work appearing in the journal Political Analysis in 2017. The award citation reads, in part, that his “estimator is widely applicable and provides a unique contribution that highlights how political methodology can contribute to exporting methodological advances to other disciplines.” The winning paper is linked above.


The Year San Diego Unified Established Itself as the Agency Most Hostile to Transparency
In a blistering piece about SDUSD, Voice of San Diego cites research on the district’s graduation rate by Julian Betts of Economics and SanDERA.


Design at Large
Several of the division’s faculty members are featured in the Design Lab’s “Design at Large” speaker series this winter. First up, on Jan. 10 at 4 p.m., is Jeff Elman of Cognitive Science. Elman’s talk is titled “Designing for Change: The Challenge of Institutional Aging (And Success)”; details here. Morana Alac of Communication will speak Feb. 7 and Kelly Gates, also of Communication, will speak Feb. 21.


Don Norman on BISTalk RadioBISTalk Radio Interview with Don Norman (MP3)
Don Norman of Cognitive Science speaks with BISTalk Radio on ESPN1700 about founding and directing the Design Lab at UC San Diego.


Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying
Premiering on UCSD-TV on Feb. 2: Literature professor emeritus Roddey Reid speaks about his new short book, “Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying: A Citizen’s Handbook for the Trump Era and Beyond,” with Akos Rona-Tas of Sociology. The program is presented by the Division of Social Sciences, Division of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Literature. You can watch it online at the link above.


How Trump Became ‘the White Affirmative Action President’
“It’s odd that Trump’s Justice Department is going after affirmative action while Trump is putting all of these people in positions of power and influence who are clearly not qualified for their positions,” said John Skrentny of Sociology and the Yankelovich Center to CNN.


New Year’s Resolution Help: NPR Seeks Your Alternatives to Swearing
All Things Considered checks in with Ben Bergen of Cognitive Science on cursing, the brain and one radio reporter’s attempt to cut back on using words that are bleep-worthy.


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