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News Highlights

Contact Inga Kiderra, Director of Communications, at ikiderra@ucsd.edu or 858-822-0661


School kids high-fivingCalifornia Team to Uncover Pandemic Impact on PreK-12 Students
UC San Diego economist Julian Betts is co-PI on a study of pandemic recovery and equitable outcomes across 1,000 school districts in the state. The effort is in collaboration with the Public Policy Institute of California, UC Berkeley School of Education and California Department of Education.


Math to Make a Difference
A myth-busting Q&A with Economics Department Chair Julie Cullen about the field and its future. 


Econ alum Rhett ButlerEcon Alum Wins Heinz Award
Economics alumnus Rhett Ayers Butler ’99, founder and CEO of the environmental nonprofit news platform Mongabay, has won the 2022 Heinz Award for the Environment.


Kroner Center to Strengthen and Protect Retiree Investments
Economics alumnus Kenneth Kroner and his wife, Jennifer, have pledged $5 million to establish the Kroner Center for Financial Research. Co-directed by Graham Elliott of Economics, the center is the only research center of its kind – linking major asset owners around the world with the academic economics and finance community.


Welcome, Aram Grigoryan


Welcome, Nir Jaimovich


Portrait of Karthik MuralidharanOne of ‘100 Most Influential Academics in Government’
Apolitical’s list includes Karthik Muralidharan of Economics who is celebrated for research to enhance the efficacy of government expenditure in the social sector.


Inflation Inequality
Economics graduate student Jacob Orchard writes in The Conversation about how the poorest Americans are hit hardest by soaring prices on necessities.


Remote Work Drove Over 60% of House-Price Surge, Fed Study Finds
Bloomberg News reports on research co-authored by Johannes Wieland of Economics and a colleague from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The research also caught the attention of New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman.


Portrait of Valerie RameyThe 8 Economists Who Decide If the U.S. Is in a Recession
Hint: Our own Valerie Ramey is among them, the Washington Post reports.


Why Billionaires Are Donating Millions to This Nonprofit That Gives Cash to the Poor
Forbes presents an extensive story on the nonprofit GiveDirectly, co-founded by Paul Niehaus of Economics. 


Did the Federal Reserve Make the Right Call Increasing Interest Rates?
James Hamilton weighs in as a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Econometer panel.


Couple in front of their rebuilt homeCalifornia’s Wildfire Building Codes Make Newer Homes Less Likely to Burn
Marketplace features the research of economist Judson Boomhower on the protective effects of wildfire building codes on new homes. Remarkably, Boomhower’s research also shows that the codes also protect older neighboring homes.


The Resilience of State and Local Government Budgets in the Pandemic
Jeffrey Clemens recently published an Econofact memo describing his research on the unexpected stability of state and local governments’ budgets.


What If TV Isn’t Bad for Us?
Gordon Dahl of Economics is featured in a “Freakonomics, M.D.” podcast where he speaks about his research from 2009 on the surprising correlation between consuming violent media and a decrease (not increase) in acts of violent crime.


Previous News Highlights


Photo of the U.S. CapitolPolitical Moderates Are Having Their Moment 
About 4 in 10 Americans identify as moderates, but both Republicans and Democrats have been pushing to mobilize committed members of their party and have paid little attention to persuading swing voters. Seth Hill of Political Science co-authored a study featured in the Los Angeles Times that addresses the importance of moderate voters in American elections. According to Hill’s research, many swing voters are neither inconsistent nor uninterested in politics, rather they’re “ambivalent centrists” – voters who are “confronted by two party coalitions that each express views that are more extreme on some issues than the moderates would prefer.”'


How the War in Ukraine Might End
The New Yorker recently spoke to a number of war-termination theorists, including Branislav Slantchev of Political Science, to see what their perspectives could tell us about the war in Ukraine. “In a terrifying blog post,” the New Yorker writes, Slantchev outlines how and why Putin might make a nuclear strike. After reading the New Yorker piece linked above and what Slantchev had to say to the reporter, you can also read  “Endgame” post


New York Times illustration of a remote worker at homeRemote Work Drove Over 60% of House-Price Surge, Fed Study Finds
“The shift to working from home drove more than half of the increase in house and rent prices during the pandemic and will likely drive up costs and inflation going forward as the shift becomes permanent,” writes Bloomberg news, according to research co-authored by Johannes Wieland of Economics and a colleague from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The research also caught the attention of New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman.


California Approves a Wave of Aggressive New Climate Measures
The world’s fifth-largest economy has embarked on “its most aggressive effort yet to confront climate change, after lawmakers passed a flurry of bills designed to cut emissions and speed away from fossil fuels,” the New York Times reports, portraying these also as a political victory for Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom. Thad Kousser of Political Science weighed in.


Economics alum Rhett ButlerEcon Alum, Mongabay Founder Wins Heinz Award
Economics alumnus Rhett Ayers Butler ’99, founder and CEO of the environmental news platform Mongabay, has won the 2022 Heinz Award for the Environment. The nonprofit Mongabay produces original reporting on conservation and the environment in 10 languages with more than 800 correspondents in some 70 countries.


Collage of Angela Booker in her yellow hatAnnual Convocation Inspires New Tritons to Embrace Their Curiosity
The New Student Welcome Convocation ceremony on RIMAC Field welcomed first-year and transfer students into UC San Diego’s scholarly community with Angela Booker of Communication as the event’s keynote speaker. Booker shared her vibrant sense of humor and wisdom with the audience, in part through the story of her yellow hat, encouraging students to embrace this new chapter in their lives and prioritize their well-being during their time on campus. “While you’re here, it’s okay to grieve the things you let go,” Booker said. “Releasing them lets you step bravely into this beautiful period in your life where who you are and who you are becoming can make the most important things happen for you, for our community, and for society.”


Stock image of mother in distressMore Stress, Fewer Coping Resources for Latina Mothers Post-Trump
The sociopolitical climate in the United States has taken its toll on the mental health of Latina mothers, according to new research co-authored by Amy Non of Anthropology and published in PLOS ONE. “Latinx Americans have been historically disadvantaged on many fronts, including access to quality education, job security and healthcare, making them particularly vulnerable to stressors that can lead to poor mental health,” Non said. “Our findings indicate that in a more hostile political landscape their well-being is even more threatened.” Newsweek was among the outlets reporting on the study. 


Federal Interest Rate Hike on Consumers
Marc Muendler of Economics speaks with San Diego’s NBC station.


Graphic showing different dimensions of student development Transforming Education for Holistic Student Development
In a Brookings Institution blog post, Amanda Datnow of Education Studies helps summarize a report that she and her co-authors put together for Brookings on the urgent need “to build and rebuild academically focused education systems into humanistic education systems that also support the social, emotional, moral, and civic development of students.” The report, “Transforming education for holistic student development: Learning from education system (re)building around the world,” focuses on the journeys of seven different education systems “as they make the whole child the center of their work.”


Violence Is Common and Increasing in Pandemic-Era California
According to the latest annual report from the California Study on Violence Experiences across the Lifespan (CalVEX), the nation’s only multi-year statewide assessment of violent experiences, violence is on the rise in California, with significant increases observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anita Raj of Education Studies and the School of Medicine is the principal investigator. She says: “Current violence prevention efforts are clearly woefully inadequate and often ignore the gendered nature of violence, its intersections with other socioeconomic vulnerabilities and its disproportionate effects on marginalized populations.”


Karthik Muralidharan Examines the Indian State
The Seen and the Unseen, a “deep dive interview” podcast by influential Indian journalist Amit Varma, features Karthik Muralidharan of Economics.


Students Should Learn About the Human Impact of War 
Thinking about news coverage of the war in Ukraine, former history teacher and current Education Studies doctoral student Marco Chacón published an opinion piece in Ed Source arguing it’s important to reform K-12 history curricula  to include the devastating wartime stories of individuals. “Few students will need to recite dates, presidents or military strategies as adults, but most will cross paths with people displaced by violence, and others from invading countries. They will elect officials who promote and oppose wars and refugee-related legislation,” Chacón writes. 


Portrait of Margaret RobertsMax Planck-Humboldt Research Award for Studies on Censorship and Disinformation 
Margaret “Molly” Roberts of Political Science has been selected for the 2022 Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award. In announcing the competitive award, which supports collaboration with German universities, the award committee noted Roberts’ pioneering work and the central question of her research: “How is it that individual authoritarian regimes and criminals can effectively spread fake news on the Internet and manipulate the public?” Roberts will carry out her project, analyzing “the opaque moderation procedures of social media platforms,” with colleagues at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Konstanz.


What Are Animals Thinking?
National Geographic magazine’s cover story features the work of Federico Rossano of Cognitive Science and his Comparative Cognition Lab. (Note: Link is for subscribers.)


Address STEM Inequality by Reconceiving Merit
“Academic scientists value scientific excellence and believe they can judge it accurately. Yet women, people of color and LGBTQ+ scientists, who are just as productive as their white heterosexual male peers, are routinely marginalized and devalued,” write Mary Blair-Loy of Sociology and doctoral alum Erin Cech in their article for Times Higher Education. Their recently published book, “Misconceiving Merit,” addresses two schemas that “anchor sexism, racism and heteronormativity in academic STEM,” and in their piece for THE Campus, the co-authors propose four strategies for solutions.


Portrait of Renee BowenA Different Kind of Trade Agreement
Renee Bowen of Economics and the School of Global Policy and Strategy spoke with Marketplace about the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.


An SDPD officer looks onSan Diego Citizens Wrest Control of Surveillance Tech Away From Police
Community-led efforts to address potential civil liberties violations, spurred by the deployment of more 3,000 police cameras across the city, paid off when the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to stop police from making any future decisions about surveillance unilaterally. Under a new ordinance, the city will assemble a privacy advisory board comprised of community leaders and technology experts to determine the impact of surveillance products and policies on San Diegans’ civil liberties. Lilly Irani of Communication, who is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition that backed the ordinance, told Gizmodo the group researched ordinances in other cities such as Seattle and Oakland in an effort to devise a broader regulatory scheme that incorporated community approval.


In Kansans’ Landslide Turnout for Abortion Rights, a Glimpse of Post-Dobbs Politics
“When the Supreme Court overturned federal protections for abortion rights in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June, that didn’t end the debate. It rolled a political grenade into every statehouse across the nation, writes Thad Kousser of Political Science in the Los Angeles Times. In his opinion piece, Kousser dives into the world of “post-Dobbs politics,” focusing on states’ political actions, increasing tensions amongst political parties, and what this means for our future elections. 


Janna DickensonWe’re Afraid to Talk About Sex. This UCSD Professor Says We Shouldn’t Be
The San Diego Union-Tribune sat down for a Q&A with Janna Dickenson of Psychology. “I envision a world – or, at least, a campus – where accessing scientific information about sexuality is easy, and that’s why I started the SWAG Lab,” she said, referring to the Sexual Well-being and Gender Lab that she leads at UC San Diego.


As California Strengthens Abortion Protections, SoCal Leader Proposes ‘Sanctuary City' For the Unborn
California is one step closer to becoming a sanctuary state for abortion access, but a Temecula councilwoman is drawing attention for proposing an abortion ban within city limits. Speaking with NBC7, Thad Kousser of Political Science said a city doesn't have the power to override state law. Kousser made numerous other media appearances, on a variety of different political matters. These included: speaking with the Los Angeles Times about politicians trying to connect with young voters on TikTok; with KPBS on how student loan forgiveness might help Biden with some voters; and with the Bay Area News Group about a poll showing that most Californians oppose a Biden second term. 


The Man Who Did the Math on America’s Partisan Divisions
Samuel Popkin of Political Science spoke with the New York Times about his sometime collaborator, the late Howard Rosenthal, who helped develop a formula to give Congressional votes a partisan score and helped explain the rise of Donald Trump and Trumpism: “Howard was the person who started pointing out that the median income of a white man in America hasn’t increased against inflation since the late 1960s. Nobody wants to say that.”


Is the Border More Secure Under Biden Than Trump? What We Know 
A wide-ranging piece in Newsweek discussing the partisan claims about migrant crossing and what the (flawed) government data show quotes Wayne Cornelius of Political Science extensively, including with this: “the differences from the Obama and Trump years to Biden are not that striking.”


Underlying Energy Market Conditions Could Signal Pain for Consumers This Winter and Beyond
In the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) has attempted to cut itself off from natural gas imports from Russia. A Fox Business exploration of what that might mean not only internationally but nationally turned to James Hamilton of Economics for some insights. 


In Memoriam: Victor Magagna, Associate Professor of Political Science 
We are saddened to share that longtime faculty member Victor Valentine Magagna of Political Science – who dedicated himself to teaching thousands of students over the course of three decades at UC San Diego – passed away Aug. 3, 2022. 


This Hawaiian Geneticist Works to Empower Indigenous Peoples
National Geographic profiles Keolu Fox of Anthropology. Fox, who says it’s critical for “historically vulnerable communities to be in control of their information,” has co-founded the Indigenous Futures Institute and the Native BioData Consortium.


Making Sense: How Sound Becomes Hearing
Psychologist Diana Deutsch is featured in an “Unexplainable” podcast from Vox Media that has now won the Online Journalism Award: 2022 Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling. 


‘Gonzo Governance: The Media Logic of Donald Trump’ 
Sociology doctoral alum David L. Altheide ’74, who recently retired from teaching in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University for 37 years, has a forthcoming book that “offers a new interpretation of presidential power that shifts focus to the media dynamics that surrounded Donald Trump.”


Anaheim’s ‘Little Arabia’ Neighborhood Is Finally Official 
A poll conducted in 2021 by political scientist Tom Wong’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center in collaboration with the Arab American Civic Council found that 58% of registered Anaheim voters supported designating Little Arabia.


Schoolchildren and teacher in a classroomNew Grant Program to Help Aspiring School Counselors
The new California state budget includes $184 million to pay for the teaching grants and other efforts to recruit more counselors and mental health clinicians. Amy Bintliff of Education Studies told KPBS’s “Midday Edition” program that the need for counselors in California is great. “One in 300 California youth have lost a parent or direct caregiver to COVID-19. That's higher in California than nationally,” Bintliff said. “So, we're a state that's full of grieving children. And schools don't necessarily have the resources at hand to work through all of that without having quality counselors.”


This Is Why Disability Advocates Say It’s Not OK to Use ‘Spazz’ in Lyrics
“Both Beyoncé and Lizzo have been called out recently for using the ableist term 'spazz' on album tracks. And, to their credit, both women reacted quickly to the backlash,” writes Billboard magazine. “In both cases, the apparent intention was to refer to someone who appears to be out of control/not able to control their actions, employing it as colloquial slang.” David Serlin of Communication commented: “When I first read about it, I attributed it less to cruelty or somehow more to their cluelessness about the power and stigma of the word,” Serlin said. And while that’s not an excuse to use a potentially offensive word, Serlin distinguishes it from people who deliberately use language to stigmatize and hurt people. 


Portrait of Sian BeilockSian Beilock Is First Woman Named President of Dartmouth College
In Dartmouth College’s 252-year history, Cognitive Science alum Sian Beilock will be the first woman to assume its presidency. Beilock, 46, who will start at Dartmouth July 2023 and is currently president of Barnard College in New York, explained to The Washington Post that her multiple identities are all “front and center” in her work: “President, mother, researcher – they all contribute to one’s ability to lead. I really embrace them all.” Beilock’s accomplishments are also featured in the San Francisco Gate, among many other outlets.


The 8 Economists Who Decide If the U.S. Is in a Recession
While famous politicians and pundits are already publicly arguing about it, the official pronouncement of whether the U.S. economy is in a recession will be made by a “little-known group of economists selected by the National Bureau of Economic Research called the ‘Business Cycle Dating Committee,’ which stubbornly takes its time and tries to wall itself off from political interference or attempts to spin its findings,” reports The Washington Post. “The eight economists on the committee,” the story continues, “are among the most respected in their field,” and include Valerie Ramey of UC San Diego’s Department of Economics.


Portraits of Amy Binder and Jeffrey Kidder with their new bookThe Channels of Student Activism: How the Left and Right Are Winning (and Losing) in Campus Politics Today
The Next Big Idea Club – a virtual subscription book club co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and other well-known public intellectuals so as to have “a better way to discover and interact with today’s great writers and thinkers” – features Amy Binder of Sociology and doctoral alum Jeffrey Kidder, now at Northern Illinois University. On the Next Big Idea, Binder and Kidder share five key insights from their new book, one of which is this: “We need renewed dedication to productive civic engagement within the academy.”


NSF Awards $1M to Multi-Disciplinary Team to Plan Pandemic Prevention Hub
A multi-campus, multi-disciplinary team led by scientists at UC San Diego has been awarded $1 million from the National Science Foundation to plan a new center to prevent and rapidly contain disease outbreaks and their negative effects on health, the economy and society. The team includes Anita Raj of Medicine and Education Studies.


A person experiencing homelessnessPeople Who Live in Their Cars See 24-Hour Parking as Long Overdue
The San Diego City Council unanimously agreed to fund 24-hour operations at an 86-space parking lot in Mission Valley for people living in vehicles, thanks in part to research led by Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell and Leslie Lewis, co-directors of the Homelessness Hub in Urban Studies and Planning. Sociology doctoral candidate Stacey Livingstone, who worked on the research to evaluate the city’s Safe Parking Program operated by Jewish Family Service, was present for the vote. Livingstone, the Union-Tribune reports, “told council members that 180 people were interviewed in the study, and it was resoundingly clear that a 24-hour safe parking lot was desired.” Learn more about how the research contributed to Mayor Todd Gloria’s decision to expand the Safe Parking Program and about the recent establishment of the Homelessness Hub with generous gifts from the Epsteins and the Gleibermans.


2021-22 Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year Award Recipients
Two staff members from Linguistics are among the university’s most exemplary employees:  Christina Knerr Frink, the department’s chief administrative officer, and Jeffrey Lau, academic human resources analyst. Big congrats to Christina and Jeffrey – and to the department as a whole! No other academic unit has two winners of this competitive award, and Linguistics only has six staff in total. Read more about the winners on the department’s news page.


Twitter portrait of Mary Blair-LoyScience Inequity Rooted in ‘Moralized’ Worship of ‘Hard Work’
Times Higher Education reports on a new book by sociologist Mary Blair-Loy, co-authored with doctoral alum Erin Cech, now at the University of Michigan. A decade-long study of scientists’ output and attitudes, “Misconceiving Merit“ shows why structural tactics to tackle gender and race inequalities in the sciences continue to fail. A key discovery according to Blair-Loy, the THE reports, “is that many scientific leaders truly believe that hard work will win out in the end – even though the reality is clearly at odds with that.”


Ventura County Proposes Steep Increases in Bond Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators
An in-depth story on efforts to mitigate the financial and environmental impacts of abandoned oil and gas wells that haven’t been properly plugged or decommissioned cites a 2018 California Council on Science and Technology report led by Judson Boomhower of Economics. “When you start digging in to just what it is going to cost to eventually take care of that problem,” Boomhower says, “the numbers get big pretty quickly.”


''Language Is Incredible’
You can now watch the video of the “2022 Legacy Lecture” delivered by Will Styler of Linguistics in which he explains why language may just be the most complicated and amazing thing any of us will ever do. A “Legacy Lecture” responds to the prompt “If this were the last lecture you ever gave, what would you want to share with the world?”


New York Times illustration accompanying op-ed showing a woman hanging on to a giant gavelWhy Overturning Roe Will Unleash a Legal Storm for the Supreme Court
Harry Litman of Political Science, in an opinion piece for the New York Times: “While laying waste to 50 years of abortion jurisprudence, the Supreme Court – or at least four of the five members of the new hard-right majority – took pains to reassure the country that it had executed an isolated hit on an ‘egregiously wrong’ precedent that would not reverberate in other areas of constitutional law. But the court will not fully control whether and when it will have to confront demands for similarly breathtaking changes. In fact, the justices’ agenda will be driven primarily by the political ferment in red states that are racing to capitalize on one of the most conservative blocs of five justices in at least 100 years. And that in turn means that overturning Roe v. Wade will not take the issue of abortion out of the courts but rather intensify the battle there.”


Let’s Not Pretend We’re Keeping Our Promises on Asylum
Wealthy nations are experimenting with “quasi-legal methods to repel asylum seekers,” subverting the spirit of international law, writes Megan Stack, contributing opinion writer for the New York Times – with the United States turning back migrants for the past two years on “the pretext of the pandemic and a rarely used health ordinance known as Title 42.” David FitzGerald of Sociology, co-director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, spoke with Stack: “These policies are very much a race to the bottom,” FitzGerald said. “The governments are all keenly aware of what other governments are doing to keep out asylum seekers. They copy each other. They’re clearly inspired by each other.”


This May Be Democrats’ Only Chance to Blunt a Red Wave in November
“The tightening correlation between voters’ attitudes toward a president and their support for U.S. House, Senate and even gubernatorial candidates from [the same] party” threatens Democrats as Joe Biden’s ratings continue to drop, writes CNN political analyst Ronald Brownstein in his Fault Lines column, turning to Gary Jacobson of Political Science for his expertise. There’s “a growing tendency of voters to treat congressional elections in particular as parliamentary contests,” Jacobson said, “that are less a choice between individuals than between which party they want to control the majority and set the agenda.”


2022 Dissertation Year Fellowship Award Recipients
Social Sciences doctoral students Andrew Matschiner of Education Studies, Pamela Riviere of Cognitive Science and Melanie West of Ethnic Studies are among those selected for the UC President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship. Congrats to all three!


Photo of California Governor NewsomCalifornia’s Newsom Goes to Washington; 2024 Chatter Follows
As Governor Newsom headed to the nation’s capital to receive an award on behalf of his home state, the Associated Press predicted there would be speculation about his presidential ambitions. Thad Kousser of Political Science weighed in with “This is Gavin Newsom building his national brand for whatever opportunities might come up in the future.” The AP story ran in numerous outlets, including NBC 7 San Diego, San Francisco Gate, Chron, WTOP News, The Denver Post, The Hamilton Spectator, Toronto Star and CBS Los Angeles. Separately if relatedly, Kousser was also quoted by CalMatters columnist Dan Walters in a commentary picked up by Yahoo News, Napa Valley Register and The Hanford Sentinel.


US, Allies Aim to Cap Russian Oil Prices to Hinder Invasion
James Hamilton of Economics says that garnering the participation of China and India will be key to enforcing any price cap plan. “It’s an international diplomatic challenge on how you get people to agree. It’s one thing if you get the U.S. to stop buying oil, but if India and China continue to buy” at elevated prices, “there’s no impact on Russian revenues,” Hamilton told the AP in a story that ran around the world, including in U.S. News, CTV News, Global News Online, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, The Denver Post, Daily Herald, News Tribune, among others.


Is San Diego on the Right Track With its New Wage Theft Proposal?
San Diego is considering a proposal that would mandate those applying for building permits to complete detailed paperwork on their workers. James Hamilton of Economics weighs in on the matter as a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune “Econometer” panel, stating that this proposal would slow down the construction of housing units that San Diego desperately needs.


Webinar photo of linguists Tory Sampson and Rachel MayberryMeet the Authors’ Webinar
The July 2022 installment of a webinar series from the Linguistics Society of America featured Linguistics graduate student Tory Sampson and faculty member Rachel Mayberry, authors of “An Emerging SELF: The Copula Cycle in American Sign Language.” Sampson and Mayberry’s work documents the emergence of the copula – a word meaning to be (e.g., is, was, are, were) – in ASL, something that has been overlooked in previous linguistic analyses. Here’s video of the webinar.


14 New Latinx Studies Faculty to be Hired at UC San Diego
The Latinx Cluster Hire Initiative, supported by a $500,000 grant awarded through UC’s Advancing Faculty Diversity Program, aims to increase faculty diversity, spur innovative research and infuse culture into the curriculum. There are currently seven ladder-rank faculty searches underway at UC San Diego, including within the School of Social Sciences’ departments of Urban Studies and Planning, Ethnic Studies and Anthropology.


Image of bacteriaSupporting the “Grandmother Hypothesis”
Humans are one of the only species known to live well past menopause. According to the “grandmother hypothesis,” this is because older women provide important support in raising human infants and children, who require more care than the young of other species. A new paper co-authored by Pascal Gagneux of Anthropology and the School of Medicine, supports the hypothesis by tracking the evolution of a gene variant that supports cognitive health in older humans.


Mitigating Bias Through Rubrics
Inside Higher Ed reports on a case study to investigate faculty hiring rubrics, led by Mary Blair-Loy of Sociology with colleagues at the Jacobs School of Engineering. The research, detailed in a Science ‘Policy Forum’ paper, shows that while the hiring rubrics – also called criterion checklists or evaluation tools – helped mitigate some gender bias as on STEM department made its hiring decisions, a lot of bias still persisted.


Turning Point USA Donations Surged During the Pandemic
“Ten anonymous donors helped boost the organization’s revenue in the 2020 fiscal year,” writes NBC News, “helping it expand its focus on culture war activism and become a political powerhouse.” The in-depth story quotes sociologist Amy Binder.


Research Evaluations Are Narrowing the British Social Sciences
Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra of Sociology writes in the Times Higher Education Supplement about the evidence detailed in his new book, “The Quantified Scholar,” showing that “slowly but surely, UK [social science] disciplines have been moved in the direction of greater intellectual homogeneity.” And this is not a good thing, he explains, as “study after study demonstrates that serendipity and diversity are critical for innovation and the advancement of knowledge. Homogeneity constrains our imaginations and our ability to find solutions to collective problems.”


Why Billionaires Like MacKenzie Scott and Jack Dorsey Are Donating Millions to This Nonprofit That Gives Cash to the Poor
Forbes presents an extensive story on the nonprofit GiveDirectly, co-founded by Paul Niehaus of Economics. 


Campus Raises $3.05 Billion as Campaign for UC San Diego Concludes
UC San Diego is the nation’s youngest university to reach a multibillion-dollar fundraising campaign thanks to gifts of all sizes from more than 163,000 donors. The campus success story, “Changing the World Through Philanthropy,” includes such significant donations to the School of Social Sciences as gifts from Phyllis and Dan Epstein and Hanna and Mark Gleiberman to establish the Homelessness Hub and ongoing support from Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs for K-12 education and graduate fellowships. Thousands of people gave to support Social Sciences’ student career preparation and community-driven programs addressing housing, health and racial inequality, diversifying the tech industry, and police accountability, among many impact areas.


Book cover of "Misconceiving Merit"Authors Discuss Book on Science and Definitions of Merit
“Science is a meritocracy. The merit of scientists’ ideas matters much more than whether a scientist is Black or white, a man or a woman, and is gay or straight. Right? Not so fast,” writes Inside Higher Ed in prefacing correspondence with Mary Blair-Loy of Sociology and doctoral alum Erin Cech, now at the University of Michigan, about their new book, “Misconceiving Merit.” The book studies more than 500 STEM professors at a top research university to show how cultural ideas of merit nonetheless produce unfair and unequal outcomes for professors who are women, people of color and/or LGBTQ. Read more in Blair-Loy’s “Tweetorial“ on the book. Relatedly, Blair-Loy and colleagues at the Jacobs School of Engineering show in a Science “Policy Forum” paper how bias in hiring women engineering professors persists even when a well-intentioned group uses a method considered a best practice.


Marco Werman of the ‘The World’ to Host Public Radio Program from UC San Diego
The host of the international news program “The World“ from GBH and PRX, Marco Werman, will serve as the university’s first Journalist in Residence and will host the public radio show from a new broadcast studio in the Department of Communication built as part of its “Democracy Lab” initiative. In making the announcement, Communication Chair Brian Goldfarb said, in part: “Our collaboration with ‘The World’ comes at an exciting and critical time. Communication is inextricably tethered to questions of democracy, diversity, and justice.” The Union-Tribune, the Times of San Diego and others reported on the news.


Michel Estefan lectures in his sociology classShort Group Quizzes Go a Long Way to Building a Class Community
Sociologist Michel Estefan implements fresh teaching techniques to ensure an education that’s genuinely inclusive and student-centered. These techniques needn’t be whiz-bang or complicated to be effective. And students have noticed. Sociology Chair Amy Binder remarks that not only are Estefan’s classes wait-listed but also that “he’s brought in new courses that students really appreciate – the sociology of social justice, for example, and another on race and racism in the United States.”


Commentary: Foreign Policy on Ukraine Shows West’s Arrogance
“It makes no sense for Western pundits, from nations that are not fighting, to debate whether the war should continue,” writes Erik Gartzke of Political Science in an opinion piece published by News Tribune. “It is not up to officials in the West whether Ukraine continues to resist Russian aggression or whether President Vladimir Putin persists or pulls the plug on his ill-conceived military campaign. The West has quite carefully, and consciously, absented its armies from Ukraine’s battlefields. … With a policy of restraint comes the obligation not to engage in hubris (or timidity) by proxy.”


Tiles and buttons that a dog might use to communicate with humansDogs With Something to Say Press Buttons for Words in UCSD Cognition Study
KPBS features what scientists at UC San Diego are calling the biggest community science project ever done on animal communication. Dogs use soundboards, whose buttons they press with a paw or a nose, to communicate human words, thoughts – maybe even sentences. The project is led by Federico Rossano of Cognitive Science. He said the goal of studying cognition in animals is to understand what is uniquely human and what kind of thinking is shared with other creatures.


New Prenatal Genetic Screens Pose Underappreciated Ethical Dilemmas
Writing in Scientific American, Daniel Navon of Sociology considers “the myriad dilemmas unleashed” by cutting-edge prenatal screening technologies such as NIPT (or NIPS) and PGT. With often hard-to-interpret results, the tests raise ethical issues, says Navon, “that do not fit neatly into futuristic discussions of ‘designer babies’ or entrenched debates about abortion,” but we as a society must grapple with them nonetheless.


California Survey Finds Hot-Button Issues May Spark Voter Turnout in November
Despite low turnout in the June primary elections, the national political battle over the issue of abortion could spur greater voter participation in November, according to a survey experiment run by the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at UC San Diego, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. The center’s latest survey [PDF] – “Looking Ahead to November: How Will Reproductive Rights, Crime Rates and Top Two Dynamics Shape California’s General Election?” – was covered by several different outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, which focused on how California is likely to remain blue even if a red wave sweeps the nation later this year. The report’s lead author, Yankelovich Center Co-Director Thad Kousser of Political Science joined KPBS “Midday Edition” to discuss how, if voter turnout remains low, California voters will skew older and wealthier than the state’s demographics.


Portrait of Victor FerreiraAppointment of Victor Ferreira as AVC-FEDI
Victor Ferreira of Psychology has been appointed associate vice chancellor for Faculty Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion. Ferreira will work in partnership with the director of the Center for Faculty, Diversity and Inclusion and collaborate numerous units across campus to provide academic leadership and direction in advancing the university’s goal of achieving and sustaining equity, diversity, and inclusion for all faculty at UC San Diego. 


Portrait of Abigail Andrews2022 Distinguished Teaching Awards
Kudos to Abigail Andrews of Sociology and to graduate student Ethan Hurwitz of Psychology, who are among this year’s recipients of the Academic Senate awards for distinguished teaching.


Did the Federal Reserve Make the Right Call Increasing Interest Rates?
To try and slow inflation, the Federal Reserve has approved the largest interest-rate increase since 1994. “It will be very hard at this point to bring inflation down without causing a recession,” said James Hamilton as a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Econometer panel. “The Fed will likely be forced to keep raising rates through the end of the year, and that could slow economic growth significantly.”


Mayor Gloria Announces Funding to Operate Safe Parking Lot 24 Hours
In announcing a proposed expansion to the city’s Safe Parking Program, operated under contract by Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the San Diego mayor’s office shared research on the effectiveness of the program [PDF], conducted by faculty and students in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. “Our research showed that [safe parking] is a critical tool in our collective toolbox for addressing homelessness in San Diego,” said Mirle Rabinowitz-Bussell, co-director of the new Homelessness Hub at UC San Diego and a co-author of the cited report. Leslie Lewis, also co-director and co-author, added: “We are pleased that our report findings could contribute to the mayor’s decision to increase the hours of the Safe Parking Program. Research is made meaningful through its policy, practice and human impacts.” KPBS reported the news following a unanimous vote by the city council to approve the expansion.


Three Years After a Referendum in Which Colombians Rejected an Agreement with FARC, the Pact Signed by Santos Faces Difficulties
Alexander Fattal of Communication was quoted in a recent story about the Columbian election in prominent Brazilian outlet G1 Globo.


Humans Didn’t Evolve to Count so Numbers Remain a Challenge
Rafael Núñez of Cognitive Science is featured on KPBS for his research on numbers vs. inexact discrimination of quantities. “We are a species that has been around for 250,000 years and numbers have not been around that long,” Núñez explains.


Tom Levy and colleagues review data in digital reconstruction of archaeological siteEvent Celebrates $1M Gift in Cyber-Archaeology from Philanthropist Norma Kershaw
The Qualcomm Institute held a celebratory showcase of cyber-archaeology research made possible in part by the generosity of the late Norma Kershaw and led by Thomas Levy of Anthropology, director of the QI’s Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability. The Union-Tribune reported on the bequest, noting that Levy, who also holds a chair endowed by Kershaw, is “especially interested in examining how the culture, climate and environment of the eastern Mediterranean have changed over the past 10,000 years.”


Should The U.S. Impose a Windfall Tax on Oil and Gas Companies?
Oil and gas companies in the United Kingdom will be taxed an additional 25% on their profits to fund a new benefits package that will aid low-income households. In the San Diego Union-Tribune, James Hamilton of Economics expresses his concern regarding a similar conversation among economists in the U.S.: “If “windfall” taxes are imposed on oil producers, the U.S. will produce significantly less oil. That would mean higher prices for U.S. consumers and make it harder for the world to get by without Russian production,” Hamilton said.


California Election: Who Will Newsom, Bonta, Padilla Face in November?
Republican State Sen. Brian Dahle is soon to face Governor Newsom, but will he be able to compete with the state’s most powerful Democrat, who has already defeated a recall effort? Thad Kousser of Political Science weighed in on the matter with the Bay Area News Group, stating “The governor won this race last September.” In addition to East Bay Times, the article also ran in Mercury News, The Santa Cruz Sentinel and Marin Independent Journal. Kousser also weighed in with the Coast News Group as a fraud lawsuit against Oceanside Councilman Chris Rodriguez headed to jury trial.


Portrait of the late linguist Leonard NewmarkIn Memoriam: Founding Chair of Linguistics, Leonard D. Newmark
We deeply regret to share that Professor Emeritus Leonard D. Newmark, founding chair of the UC San Diego Department of Linguistics – who came to the nascent university in 1963 and helped build the campus in innumerable ways – has died. After years of challenges with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, Newmark died from COVID-19 on May 2, 2022. He was 93.


Class of 2022 Shining Stars
Among the inspiring students featured in this end-of-year story is Kayla Monnette of Cognitive Science, president of the UC San Diego Student Foundation, a student-run nonprofit philanthropic organization. Monnette, who is graduating with Provost Honors and a 3.9 major GPA, failed her first major-related class. She attributes her ultimate success to the “beautiful support system” she found in the Student Foundation’s community of peers and alumni mentors who lifted her up and believed in her even when she didn’t – or couldn’t – believe in herself.


Lucas Lima student commencement speakerIt Starts from Within
Preparing to congratulate 7,000 of his peers on graduation, Commencement 2022 student speaker Lucas Anthony Lima of Political Science “draws inspiration from the lessons he has instilled in his little brother,” shared a ThisWeek@UCSanDiego feature story. “The most important of these,” the story continued, “is believing in yourself, especially when the road gets rocky. As someone who has faced persistent immigration barriers and made the courageous decision to embrace his transgender identity, Lima knows firsthand how persistence and self-love can help overcome any obstacle.” To read more about this year’s graduation celebrations, including Lima’s speech, check out this All Campus Commencement story. The story also notes a crowd-pleasing performance of the national anthem by Psychology student Arisa Namioka and includes reflections by Shimika Basuray of Cognitive Science on the emotions of graduating.


Graduate Salad OmarClass of 2022 Outstanding Grads
Another end-of-year piece features Salad Omar of Economics. A first-generation college student who transferred to UC San Diego in 2020, Omar was encouraged to pursue higher education by his mother, who never learned to read or write. “I came to the United States in 2017 as a refugee; I didn’t know how to take the bus or use a GPS,” Omar said, remembering. “Seeing a blind man go to work every day and visiting him gave me the hope I needed to know that I can overcome every challenge as I become someone who helps my family.”


Take 10 With a Triton: Alumnus Jose Perez Shares Why His Heart Belongs to Triton Transit
Urban Studies and Planning alum Jose Perez ‘05 has a special relationship with Triton Transit that dates back almost two decades. He started as a shuttle driver when still a student and met his wife while both were driving buses on campus – and he’s now returned as general manager. Passionate about inclusivity, sustainability and leadership, Perez is energized by recent efforts to secure federal funding for the Voigt Electric Mobility Hub and looks forward to contributing to the university’s sustainability efforts.


Tom WongUCSD Professor Tom Wong Wins National Civil Rights Award
For his work on immigrant rights, including research cited in a number of prominent court cases, the American Civil Liberties Union has honored Tom Wong of Political Science with its Presidential Award. “I have never imagined myself as an academic who writes books and articles that only a handful of other academics read,” Wong told the San Diego Union-Tribune, which covered the award. “I have always seen my job as a professor as a platform to have broader impact.” The ACLU award is presented biennially to academics “for outstanding contributions to civil liberties.”


Ana Celia ZentellaElected to the Academy
Ana Celia Zentella of Ethnic Studies, one of the world’s leading researchers on multilingualism, linguistic diversity and language intolerance, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed honorary societies. Zentella’s approach is one she calls “anthro-political linguistics.”


Andrew ScullHe’s Studied Mental Illness for 50 Years. Here Are All the Things We’re Doing Wrong
The Los Angeles Times ran an extended interview with Andrew Scull of Sociology, “a singular authority on more than 200 years of the medical profession’s tangled relationship with mental illness,” about his new book,  “Desperate Remedies: Psychiatry’s Turbulent Quest to Cure Mental Illness.” Scull, the L.A. Times noted, is “especially critical of the last 20 years when research narrowed its focus onto possible biological factors for mental illness. The lack of concern with the social and psychological dimensions of mental disturbance, he argues, has precipitated inequities in treatment and led to the consignment of the mentally ill to the streets and jails of this country.” Scull also joined KPBS Midday Edition for an interview.


Leading From the SBailey Kim serves as coxswain in rowingtern
Urban Studies and Planning undergraduate student Bailey Kim, who is majoring in real estate and development, is recognized for her hard work in two competitive arenas – rowing and real estate. She is a coxswain for UC San Diego men’s rowing and is also a part of the university’s NAIOP real estate development competition team.


Forcing Homeless People Into Treatment Can Backfire. What About a Firm Nudge?
Neil Gong of Sociology published an op-ed in The Washington Post on the intertwined crises of homelessness and mental illness. “In March,” write Gong and coauthor, “California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed tackling the problem with a sweeping new plan involving something called Care Courts that could push people with psychosis into treatment. The Care Courts, if implemented with sensitivity and robust resources, could actually be a step forward.  But for that to happen, each side will have to acknowledge some hard truths. The hard truth that advocates of forced treatment ought to concede is that coercion often backfires.” The piece was reprinted by SFGate.


The ‘Great Reshuffling’ Played a Big Part in Pushing Home Prices Higher
CNN explores the connections between social changes brought about by the COVID pandemic and their role in the U.S. housing market with Johannes Wieland of Economics. In a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Wieland and a coauthor from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco show that the shift to working from home played a bigger role than previously thought.  “We were pretty shocked remote work had this impact, once we saw the estimates,” Wieland said. “We thought about how people moving to different locations would be important. And it is. But it is the people who are remaining in a metro area – the people who need more space at home if they work at home -- that is really pushing up prices. That is the majority of the story.”


Illustration of work-from-home parent and kidsUnder Pressure
Sociologist Mary Blair-Loy says the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gender inequities for working parents, but “new attention to these problems means we can begin to address them.”


Focus on Preventing Sexual and Domestic Violence
“Prevention of sexual and domestic violence is fundamentally important to strengthening our communities and state as part of how we contend with the COVID-19 pandemic and its harmful lingering effects. Why? Because prevention efforts have multifold benefits beyond just reducing incidents of violence now. They also help stop the cycle of intergenerational violence.” – Anita Raj of Education Studies and the School of Medicine, in an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune on the need for ongoing rather than one-time funding of violence prevention.


Michael Genhart's and familyFamily Stories
Tritons recount what it means to be a family – the ancestry, the history, the traditions and the importance of preserving stories for future generations. This Triton Magazine story features profiles of alumni  Nyssa P. Chopra ’07 of  Political Science, Joel Poremba ’89 of Political Science and Michael Genhart ‘84 of Psychology, among others.


Abortion Opinion Leak Unprecedented But Not a Supreme Court First
“More distrust” of the high court is likely now that the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade was released, experts tell NBC News. “Basically what we're facing right now is totally unprecedented, and it’s going to have political repercussions that are pretty severe,” said Peter Irons of Political Science.


Will San Diego County’s Population Continue to Decline?
Within the last year, San Diego decreased in population by 11,183 residents. And there is debate among analysts about what might be driving residents out of the city. James Hamilton of Economics provided his expert opinion to the San Diego Union-Tribune: “The high cost of living – and in particular housing – is a big factor. I don’t see San Diego’s housing problem being solved soon, which is why I think the exodus could well continue.”


Meet the Candidates in the 49th Congressional Battleground District
The 49th Congressional district has been redrawn based on the last census and now spans from Del Mar to Dana Point. The new boundaries make the 49th a swing district: 36% of the voters are registered Democrats, 33.6% are registered Republicans and the rest are independents. “That’s now going to be the battleground district for San Diego that I think you’re going to see Republicans contesting and Democrats putting a lot of resources into,” Thad Kousser of Political Science said to NBC7.


Four Candidates Compete for Open Seat in 80th Assembly District
There are a lot of twists and turns to contest in the recently redrawn 80th Assembly district, which includes most of South Bay, Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach and Otay Mesa. Political scientist Thad Kousser weighed in on the matter in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s leaving voters to have two elections for two different candidates, for two different 80th assembly districts,” Kousser said. “If many voters are confused by this, they should be.”


Man on e-scooter with dog beside himDo E-Scooter Companies in San Diego Need Additional Regulation?
James Hamilton of Economics says “yes”: “We want to encourage alternatives to cars but need to ensure public safety. It should be as easy to report riders who pose a danger as it is to rent a scooter.” The Union-Tribune Q&A with experts was picked up by Government Technology and others.


A Decade Ago, California Adopted a Strange Top-Two Primary System. How’s It Working Out?
Proposition 14 created the “top-two primary” a decade ago, and it has since been tested in five, soon to be six, elections. Some reformers, writes Los Angeles Times columnist Nicholas Goldberg, are now suggesting that the system, which was originally meant to subvert political gridlock in California, be expanded to other states in an effort to combat the nation’s growing political polarization. Thad Kousser of Political Science expressed his skepticism: “...it hasn’t changed who voters have elected or the type of candidate they’ve elected. It hasn’t been a silver bullet to end the march toward partisan polarization.” The column also ran in The Mercury News.


Like Sisters
Lifelong friends and alums Audrey Natal ’89 of Economics and Susan Balch ’87 of  Urban Studies and Planning have a bond that is literally bound by blood, as Audrey donated a kidney to her dear friend Susan, despite the hundreds of miles physically separating them.


Judge Orders Government to Continue Migrant Expulsions on Border
The Biden administration was blocked by a federal judge from lifting Title 42, a sweeping pandemic-related health order that has been preventing thousands of asylum seekers at the border from entering the U.S. since March 2020. Wayne Cornelius of Political Science, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, said to the New York Times: “The Biden administration is probably breathing a sigh of relief because they weren’t ready for the rule to be lifted.” In addition to this piece, Cornelius was also quoted in a New York Times story written before the judge’s decision.


Is East Village Green Worth the Cost? 
The total cost of San Diego’s East Village Green is now $79.6 million, and some are starting to wonder if the investment will pay off. James Hamilton of Economics weighs in as part of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Econometer panel of experts, stating that the project’s price tag is troubling, especially in light of other issues: “We have more pressing priorities such as addressing the many homeless in San Diego.”


Angela Chapman in front of Geisel LibraryUndergraduate Research Gives Rise to Doctoral Dreams
A ThisWeek@UCSanDiego feature story celebrating a milestone moment for the McNair Program includes a profile of Psychology student Angela Chapman. The McNair Program helps prepare underrepresented students for enrollment in  Ph.D. programs. Chapman, who has been researching neurophysiological biomarkers in the brain among patients with schizophrenia, aspires to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology specializing in neuropsychology.


Lifting Up Youth Voices
The winners of the #USvsHate Spring 2022 youth messaging contest are in! A national project of UC San Diego CREATE and Education Studies’ Mica Pollock, #USvsHate received entries from across the country, from elementary school to college. In their messages, young people tackled issues ranging from censorship to women’s rights to environmental injustice, with passion and clarity.


2022 Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal Recipients
Kudos to Lauren Nippoldt of Anthropology! Nippoldt and the other recipients of this prestigious campus award are recognized for outstanding doctoral research.


Randy Edmonds receives "Wise Elder Changemaker Award"11th Annual UC San Diego Powwow
Check out this slideshow on the annual event to celebrate the traditions of Native American people and their culture on campus. This year’s event included a presentation of the inaugural “Wise Elder Changemaker” Award from the Life Course Scholars program, by Leslie Lewis of Urban Studies and Planning, to Randy Edmonds, founder of the Indian Human Resource Center, San Diego.


Displaced Ukrainians in the  in the town of Kryvyi.Americans See Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees Very Differently. Why?
Writing in the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog, Claire Adida of Political Science and colleagues describe their recent survey experiment showing striking differences between how Americans view Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, with a lot more positive sentiment for Ukrainians. The research echoes the group’s earlier work comparing attitudes toward Christian vs. Muslim refugees from Syria. However, that isn’t to say nothing can be done. The research also suggests solutions: To help refugees integrate, Adida’s group and other researchers say, “it’s important to encourage empathy toward refugees and emphasize the host community’s commonalities with them.”


Is Vladimir Putin Sunk?
Coauthored by Michael McCullough of Psychology, this opinion piece in The Hill debunks the “madman theory” and suggests instead that Russian President Vladimir Putin is suffering from something “much more mundane and commonplace” – namely confirmation bias and the sunk-cost dilemma.


Ann and Jim Pesout in front of their new house in Calaveras County, California.California’s Wildfire Building Codes Make Newer Homes Less Likely to Burn
Marketplace features the research of economist Judson Boomhower on the protective effects of wildfire building codes, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. “These codes have really clear benefits in terms of improving the probability that a home will survive a wildfire,” Boomhower said. Remarkably, Boomhower’s research shows that the codes not only help newly constructed buildings to not catch flame but also older neighboring homes built pre-code. The Wall Street Journal cited the research in its story “Neighbors Take the Fight Against Fire Threats to the Next Level.”


VValerie Ramey. Ramey = No. 1
Economist Valerie Ramey has been ranked the top female economist based on publications over the last 10 years by RePEc, a go-to resource in the field of Economics. RePEc, or Research Papers in Economics, is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 102 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in economics.


Two Factors May Keep Putin’s Finger Off the Nuclear Button
Erik Gartzke of Political Science, founding director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at UC San Diego, published a piece in Business Insider (linked above) discussing the war in Ukraine and what factors may keep nuclear warfare at bay. Gartzke also published an essay in The Conversation about cyberattacks on Ukraine, which was republished by Buffalo News, ZME Science, and more. From the start of the crisis, Gartzke has been lending his expertise to numerous print and broadcast outlets, including CBS8 and Defense One, among many others.


President Biden Announces Key Nominees
Political Science alum Jaime Lizárraga has been nominated for Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Throughout his 31-year public service career, Lizárraga has advised Congressional leaders and heads of executive agencies on policy and legislative strategy,” the White House announcement reads. Lizárraga’s nomination was featured in the Bloomberg and Reuters newswires, as well as on Politico.


Sherice ClarkeNSF Early CAREER Award
Kudos to Sherice Clarke of Education Studies, who has been selected by the National Science Foundation for a prestigious and highly competitive Early CAREER Award. Clarke’s project, “Designing teacher professional development to leverage the brilliance of learners of color,” is a five-year research-practice partnership in collaboration with a school district that serves a 75% minoritized student body. The project starts with this premise: “Students of color must have access to robust and meaningful opportunities to learn science in classrooms that center their assets and humanity.”


William T. Grant Scholars Class of 2027
Theresa Stewart-Ambo of Education Studies is one of five early-career researchers selected for the William T. Grant Scholars Class of 2027. The program “supports the professional development of promising researchers in the social, behavioral and health sciences who have received their terminal degrees within the past seven years.” Stewart-Ambo’s five-year research project will explore the relationship between the educational outcomes of American Indian youth and Native nation-building and how higher education can fortify Indigenous futures.


Theresa Stewart-AmboIndigenous Futures Institute Receives Grant from Lumina Foundation
An innovative, interdisciplinary community-action research incubator at UC San Diego is now further empowered to continue its work in educational, scientific and environmental co-design with Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous Futures Institute (IFI) has received a $400,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Racial Justice and Equity Fund. Theresa Stewart Ambo (Tongva/Luiseño) of Education Studies co-founded the IFI with Keolu Fox (Kānaka Maoli) of Anthropology and Wayne Yang of Ethnic Studies, who is also provost of Muir.


UC San Diego Honors 2022 Integrity Champions
This year’s integrity champions include Jade d’Alpoim Guedes of Anthropology and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who came forward with evidence of sexual harassment by a Harvard professor. “Our community of trust depends on the integrity of everyone,” said Guedes. “A ‘leaky pipeline’ has forced generations of women and minoritized communities to leave academia because there are too few inroads to remove racial, gender and sexual violence perpetrators. We can only change this when we end the culture of silence that allows perpetrators to operate. My story is one of ending this culture of silence.”


Linguistics Undergrad Wins Boren Scholarship
Bridget Egan, a Linguistics and Machine Learning double major at UC San Diego, has won a Boren Scholarship for 2022-23, a prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Defense. The scholarship provides up to $25,000 to support a U.S. student who wants to study abroad for a year, with special emphasis on learning or improving their knowledge of a foreign language.


African Refugees See Racial Bias as US Welcomes Ukrainians
Tom Wong of Political Science, founding director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Center, weighed in with VOA News: “The U.S. has responded without hesitation by extending humanitarian protections to predominantly white and European refugees,” Wong said. “All the while, predominantly people of color from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia continue to languish.”


Bar graph of state and local government revenue 2019-21 The Resilience of State and Local Government Budgets in the Pandemic
Jeffrey Clemens of Economics recently published an Econofact memo describing his research on the unexpected stability of state and local governments’ budgets during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Predictions from the pandemic’s early days were dire. By the spring of 2021, however, many states were awash with surplus cash,” Clemens writes. Read on for Clemens’ analysis of why and what this means going forward.


Brain Scans May Reveal a Lot About Mental Illness, But Not Until Studies Get Bigger
To really get insights into intelligence or anxiety and depression, NPR reports, brain scan studies may require thousands of scans. The ABCD Study, the National Institutes of Health study on adolescent brain development, for example, has enrolled more than 11,000 young people. The study’s large size is, in part, an effort to address the problems found in smaller studies, said one of the study’s principal investigators, Terry Jernigan of Cognitive Science. But it’s not enough to be big. Studies must also be more diverse than they typically have been, Jernigan said: "You want to know to what extent your observations are generalizable to all the groups in our society.”


Judson BoomhowerHere Are the 28 Andrew Carnegie Fellows for 2022
Forbes: The Carnegie Corporation of New York announced the 2022 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows. Among the new fellows is Judson Boomhower of Economics. Boomhower’s project, “Learning about Climate Risk and Adaptation from Catastrophic Wildfires,” will document lessons for successful adaptation. More on the Carnegie website.


With ARPA Funds, Newfane Considers Infrastructure Improvements
Newfane, Vt. is set on getting the best bang for their buck with $400,936 from ARPA funds. In the Brattleboro (Vt) Reformer, Juli Beth Hinds of Urban Studies and Planning weighs in on the potential infrastructure upgrade of a new wastewater system for the town. “...the good news is that we really do have a bigger suite of solutions and financing options than we did even five, six years ago,” Hinds said.


Katzin Prize Recipients 2022
Round 2: Coryna Ogunseitan of Anthropology and Zaiyao Zhang of Psychology are among the prospective doctoral students that have been selected for the prestigious Katzin Prize, which is reserved for “a select group of scholars, demonstrating outstanding talent and promise.”


Collage of the five inaugural "Wise Elder Changemakers"First ‘Wise Elder Changemaker’ Awards Celebrate San Diegans Age 65+
Born out of a desire to highlight the life work and current accomplishments of San Diegans 65 years and older “who have had a significant impact on people, land, communities and movements for change across our region,” the inaugural awards recognize change-making work that ranges from food justice to housing advocacy, from the arts to gender and racial equity, to community healing. Nominations for the award were solicited and then selected by students in the Life Course Scholars Program. Now in its seventh year, the LCS program is co-directed by Anthropology doctoral alum and Urban Studies and Planning continuing lecturer Leslie Lewis. The program brings together UC San Diego students with elders in the region for project-based learning in order to design communities that are accessible and friendly to all ages.


Soaring Energy Costs Fuel Fastest Inflation in 40 Years: 3 Essential Reads
A round-up of “essential reads” by The Conversation includes a piece by Economics doctoral candidate Jacob Orchard on how Americans with the lowest incomes are being hit much harder by inflation than the richest Americans. This gap is explained by something known as inflation inequality: The poorest spend a lot more of their incomes on energy and food, which are the categories climbing the most right now.


Videos Now Available of 2021 Revelle Medal Winners
Dick Attiyeh of Economics and Wayne A. Cornelius of Political Science were each honored with a 2021 Revelle Medal, which recognizes sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus. You can now watch the videos celebrating Attiyeh and Cornelius on YouTube.


Did Biden Make the Right Call Extending the Student Loan Payment Moratorium?
The Biden administration has extended a moratorium on student loan payments through August in an effort to aid households in stretching their budgets. However, economists have criticized the extension because of its potential to add to the already rising inflation. James Hamilton of Economics responds to the situation in the San Diego Union-Tribune, stating “We need to change to an honest accounting system that’s fully funded with tax dollars. But getting there requires political compromise and courage, which are lacking in Washington, D.C., these days. So for now, extending the moratorium will have to do.”


COVID: Have We Reached the End For Vaccine Mandates?
Policymakers aren’t junking mandates entirely but they certainly don’t seem to be as popular as they had been earlier. Thad Kousser of Political Science weighs in on the matter with the Bay Area News Group. “The political will for mandates is directly proportional to caseloads and hospitalization,” Kousser said. “Maybe this simply isn’t the time to push them.” The story was picked up by Mercury News, Press-Telegram, Redlands Daily Facts and The Press-Enterprise.


Spanish Language Disinformation Crisis (video)
The San Diego Public Library, together with the National Association of HIspanic Journalists, is addressing the Spanish language disinformation crisis with a series of “Fact o Ficción” panels in local libraries. The featured panelists, in addition to journalists from Univision, CBS8 and more, include UC San Diego’s Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra of Sociology.


Meet the 2022 Alumni Award Honorees
Alumni Jamie Montgomery ’81 of Political Science, Liliana Pao ’99 of Psychology and Political Science, as well as School of Global Policy and Strategy, Tanya A. Menendez ’09 of Sociology and Pauline L. Nuth ’13 of Economics and Biology are among eight individuals who will be honored at the 43rd Annual Alumni Awards this year. The awards celebrate the distinguished work and personal accomplishments of extraordinary alums “who are innovating new possibilities around the globe.”


CWUR: UC San Diego Among Top 10 Public Universities in U.S.
The university is once again ranked one of the top 10 public universities in the country, according to the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). In these annual rankings, the campus placed No. 8 among public U.S. universities and No. 22 among all universities nationwide.


Supreme Court Hears ‘Remain in Mexico’ Repeal Case
Ahead of a Supreme Court hearing to repeal the "Migrant Protection Protocols" (MPP), the Trump-era policy better known as “Remain in Mexico,” ABC News cited a 2019 UC San Diego report of more than 600 asylum seekers subjected to the MPP program, which found about a quarter of them reported receiving violent threats, about half of which resulted in physical violence, beatings and robbery. The report was led by Tom Wong of Political Science and the U.S. Immigration Policy Center.


Baby stroller with pattern of American flagThe Trump Baby Bump Among Republicans After the 2016 Election
Research suggests that Republicans’ increased economic optimism during the Trump presidency may have motivated them to have more children, compared to Democrats. The study, to be published by American Economic Review: Insights, is co-authored by Gordon Dahl of Economics, with William Mullins of the Rady School and Runjing Lu, a doctoral alum of Economics now at the University of Alberta. It is the first study to establish a link between a presidential election and the birth rates of politically aligned groups, documenting a partisan shift that amounts to between 1 and 2% of the national birth rate. That’s a seismic shift, “equivalent to changes in birth rates that occur after economic shocks or in response to policies designed to affect birth rates,” Dahl said. Covering the study were KPBS and many others, including this CBS8 news segment in which Dahl, Mullins and Lu were able to appear together.


Kavli Foundation Donates $5M to UC San Diego Brain and Cognition Research
Matching funds from The Kavli Foundation, paired with private gifts from generous donors, support the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, which was co-founded by the late Social Sciences Dean Jeff Elman of Cognitive Science. The story includes mention of KIBM-supported research by Tim Gentner of Psychology, being conducted in partnership with a Jacobs Engineering colleague, as well as the establishment of the Elman Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Cognitive Science, and more.


Educate to Indoctrinate: Education Systems Were First Designed to Suppress Dissent
New research by Agustina Paglayan of Political Science and the School of Global Policy and Strategy explores the origins of state-funded schools across 40 different countries. Public primary schools were created by states to reinforce obedience among the masses and maintain social order, rather than serve as a tool for upward social mobility, suggests the study published in American Political Science Review. “The key prediction of the research,” Paglayan said, “is that when there are periods of internal conflict, states will introduce education reform that is designed to indoctrinate people to accept the status quo.”


Oil And Gas Prices Are ‘a Drag on the Economy’ But Won't Trigger  Recession: Expert
James Hamilton of Economics joined Yahoo Finance Live to “discuss how rising oil and gas prices amid COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the Russia-Ukraine war could affect the U.S. economy.”


People at Santa Monica PierWhy It's So Difficult to Assess Pandemic Risks Right Now
It can be difficult to translate small risks around COVID-19 into behavioral changes, experts say. The decisions we make – Will I fly to that wedding? Should I eat at an indoor restaurant? – tend to be yes-or-no choices, not behaviors we can modify by, say, 10 percent, Craig McKenzie of Psychology said to the New York Times. So we’re all searching for a threshold at which we can stop adjusting our behaviors to avoid COVID, he said. And some people may already feel they have reached that place.


Book cover of The Advantage of Disadvantage by LaGina GauseProtesters Shouldn’t Have to Pay a High Price for Lawmakers to Care
LaGina Gause of Political Science published an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune on the subject of her new book, “The Advantage of Disadvantage,” addressing why “costly protests” – which involve protestors suffering physical harm, monetary losses or other losses – are more effective in gaining legislative support. Gause elaborates on why Black people are both more likely to experience the costs of protest and see legislative support for their efforts.


Mayor Gloria Honors Influential 'Women of Distinction' in San Diego
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council recognized, for the first time, 10 San Diego Women of Distinction. Fonna Forman of Political Science and the Center on Global Justice was recognized for her impressive accomplishments and her passion for her work on climate justice, equitable urban development and border ethics. “These highly accomplished leaders,” Mayor Gloria said, “have helped move our city forward and make it better for all of us.” The honor was covered by the San Diego Union-Tribune.


The Misuse of Race in The Search For Disease-Causing Alleles
Amy Non of Anthropology co-authored a commentary in the Lancet highlighting “how theories and beliefs about a biological meaning of race have engendered dangerous misconceptions with implications for disease treatment, research and policy.”


Portrait of Will StylerStyler to Give 2022 Legacy Lecture
A campus-wide vote of students has chosen Will Styler of Linguistics to give the 2022 UC San Diego Legacy Lecture, a recognition awarded by the UCSD Scholars Society to “influential and amazing professors.” The selected professor is then given this prompt for their talk: “If this were your last lecture, what would you want to share with everyone?” Learn more about Styler and stay tuned for the event details in Spring Quarter.


San Diego High students at Global Climate StrikeHow to Turn Your Climate Anxiety Into Climate Activism
Megan Phelps, program coordinator at San Diego 350’s 'Youth4Climate' and staff research associate in the UC San Diego Climate Psychology and Action Lab, joined KPBS’ Midday Edition to talk about how to become a climate activist. The lab – which is focused on moving people from skepticism to belief and from belief to action – is headed by Adam Aron of Psychology.


The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on the Future Careers of Women in STEM
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine convened experts and leaders for a virtual workshop March 23-24, 2022  to inform a national research agenda that ensures academic and federal institutions are prepared to monitor and mitigate the long-term negative impacts of the pandemic on the STEM careers of women – especially women of color. Mary Blair-Loy of Sociology was one of the featured speakers. You can view a video of the workshop at the link above.


Amanda DatnowDatnow to Present 2022 Distinguished AERA Lecture
Amanda Datnow of Education Studies will be one of two major speakers at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting. Scheduled for April 21-26, the meeting “is the largest annual gathering of scholars in the education research field and is a showcase for groundbreaking, innovative work in a diverse array of subject areas.” Datnow’s lecture will be given on-site at the meeting (this year in San Diego) and also live-streamed on the virtual platform.


El Centro Names Oliva as New Mayor
Political Science alum Tomás Oliva ’07 has been elected the new mayor of El Centro. “There is a part of me that feels I don’t deserve it. This stems from the fact that my parents were immigrants from Mexico. We were a family without means and wealth,” Mayor Oliva told the Desert Review. “And yet, there is a part of that, that says, ‘This is supposed to be where I should be. And I worked hard for it.’”


U.S. and Allies Move to Further Isolate Russia From Global Economy
The Biden Administration took another stab at Russia’s economy by joining Europe and other allies in stripping Russia of permanent normal trade relations. The New York Times reports on computational analysis by Marc Muendler of Economics and a colleague at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland showing that if G-7 countries imposed a 35-percent tariff, Russia would suffer a loss of over $13 billion.


2022 Cognitive Science Society Fellow
Rafael Núñez of Cognitive Science has been elected a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society for his outstanding research and impact on the cognitive science community. Núñez “investigates embodied cognition, conceptual systems, and abstraction using multidisciplinary methods that range from psycholinguistic experiments to gesture studies and field research with isolated indigenous groups.”


While Red States Debate CRT, Illinois Looks at Curriculum Transparency
A Chalkbeat article about how Republican-backed “transparency” bills could prevent students from learning curricula that address race, gender, sexuality and religion quotes Agustina Paglayan of Political Science: “It’s not just about observing what’s happening in the classroom and giving parents more information, but also about controlling teachers.”


Marwa AbdallahChancellor’s Scholarship and Fellowship Challenge Exceeds Goal for Students
An additional $15.6 million is now fueling scholarships and fellowships at UC San Diego. Among those giving students the gift of opportunity were Economics alumnus Gary E. Jacobs ’79, and his wife, Jerri-Ann, who grew their support of the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Endowed Fellowship Fund in Social Sciences. This campus story also features fellowship recipient, Communication graduate student Marwa Abdalla. Abdalla’s research emphasizes anti-Black and anti-Muslim racism, Islamic and Muslim media representation, and how legacies of imperialism and Orientalism continue to inform conservative and progressive politics. Undergraduate student Patrick Buenaventura ’25 of Economics is featured as well, as a recipient of a Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship.


In-Depth: Study Says Russia Is Faking its COVID Death Toll
A new analysis of Russia’s COVID death toll proves almost certain that the country has been undercounting its COVID fatalities. Daniel Hallin of Communication weighs in on the subject with ABC10 News. “The legitimacy of Putin’s rule depends on showing himself to be in control and able to handle any problem on his own. So whenever you have a problem that starts to get out of control, the strategy is to cover that up,” Hallin said.


Here’s How State Lawmakers Want to Help Californians Facing High Gas Prices
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions that followed, have spiked gas prices, combined with the fact that demand for oil has ramped up from pandemic lows faster than supply. As the U.S. turns away from Russian oil, there’s a fundamental reality that we’ll have to make do with less fuel, said James Hamilton of Economics in the San Jose Mercury News. And when it comes to gas prices, Hamilton doesn’t think good news is right around the corner. “I think they’re headed up before they come down.”


People fuel up in San DiegoCalifornia Gas Tax Holiday Would Split Benefits Between Consumers, Oil Companies
Mark Jacobsen of Economics said California drivers would likely see an even smaller share of the savings from a gas tax holiday. California has higher gasoline purity standards than neighboring states, and there are not as many oil refineries able to produce gas that can be sold here. It would be more difficult for gas producers to flood the state with a new supply, Jacobsen said, meaning that any drop in gas prices would be much less than $0.51 per gallon.


Inflation vs. Recession: The Fed Is Walking a Tightrope
With inflation at a 40-year high, some economists believe the Federal Reserve will go too far in raising interest rates, contributing to an oncoming recession. James Hamilton of Economics spoke on the matter in an interview with The New York Times, stating that at current oil price and supply levels, the effects of the Russian war “are fairly manageable for the American economy.” Hamilton was also quoted and his research on oil shocks and the prospects of a recession were cited in a Yahoo Finance story and a New York Times opinion article, as well as  yet another Times piece on the roiling of financial markets. 


Gas Prices: Renting a Tesla is Cheaper For This Uber Driver Than Fueling His Jeep
I
n response to the skyrocketing gas prices, rideshare driver Al Gaines has parked his Jeep Cherokee and pays $400 a week to drive a Tesla instead. James Hamilton of Economics weighs in on the matter in the San Diego Union-Tribune, emphasizing the difficulties people face as they’re forced to spend twice as much on gas than they used to.


California’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.4%
California’s employment growth in February brings the state even closer to returning to pre-pandemic unemployment rates. Jeffrey Clemens of Economics speaks on the subject in an interview with Courthouse News Service, stating “The rapid decline in Omicron cases is a clear leading factor behind the February numbers.”


 xAre Black Voters Really Leaving the Democratic Party?
“Electoral capture is real,” reports The Bulwark, citing research from 1998 co-authored by John Skrentny of Sociology.


Kudos to the First Round of Katzin Fellows!
Three of  five doctoral students selected so far for the prestigious Katzin Fellowship for prospective Ph.D. students are from the Social Sciences: Matt Lukacz of Communication, Ifsha Zehra of Communication and Samantha Almonacid of Political Science.


A Heart So Full, Her Chipped Teeth Were an Afterthought
Ethnic Studies alum Alexander Fernandez is featured in a New York Times “Vows” piece, showcasing his and Kyra Friedell’s love story. The two literally bumped into each other at a bar in San Francisco, and you could say that their relationship has been chipper ever since. 


College Education Can Change the Lives of Formerly Incarcerated People. It Changed Mine.
Beto Vasquez, academic coordinator with CREATE (the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment & Teaching Excellence) published an opinion essay in the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Formerly incarcerated individuals will continue to be our neighbors when they are released. As such, it is in our best interest to support them with meaningful opportunities that will allow for upward mobility and positive change.”


Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age
Subtitled “Sending Out an S.O.S.,” a new book co-edited by Tom Levy of Anthropology “provides readers with a non-technical overview of how archaeologists and other stakeholders are increasingly turning to digital methods to mitigate some of the threats to at-risk cultural heritage.”


Rochelle McFeeGraduate Students Honored for Inclusive Mentorship
Ethnic Studies doctoral candidate Rochelle McFee, one of five students being inducted into the prestigious Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, is a “force to be reckoned with.” To call her impressive is an understatement, with more than a decade of work towards ending violence and oppression. McFee currently studies “the ways Black girls, Black women, and queer-identified people are codified in the Jamaican legal system and social normativity as violable.”


Impact of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
Yahoo Finance runs ABC10 conversation with Erik Gartzke of Political Science on the timing and impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Danielle Raudenbush

UC San Diego Celebrates 20th Annual Black History Month
February 2022 marked  UC San Diego’s 20th annual Black History Month celebration. Throughout the month, the important contributions of  Black students, staff and faculty were recognized and the entire UC San Diego community was  invited to join in a series of events that centered on the theme of “Black Health and Wellness.” This campus story highlights and thanks UC San Diego medical pioneers and community healers who are making a difference in the health and wellness of others through their work – including Danielle Raudenbush of Sociology. 


Daniel HallinPandemic Communication in Times of Populism
Daniel Hallin of Communication is part of a research project that was recently granted a T-AP Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World award. Hallin and team are focusing on pandemic communication in the US, Brazil, Poland and Serbia, and their research “will inform recommendations aimed at building more resilient media organizations that are better equipped to withstand the challenges of future pandemics in divided societies.”


Mexico City Gave Ivermectin to Thousands of Covid Patients. Officials Face an Ethics Backlash.
As COVID-19 rampaged through Mexico City, local officials made the decision to provide medical kits containing ivermectin to Covid patients. Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra of Sociology wrote a widely shared Twitter thread assailing Mexico City’s work, reports the Washington Post, comparing the distribution of the drug without proof of its effectiveness to the Tuskegee syphilis study on Black men in the 1930s-70s. Pardo-Guerra was also cited in the Washington Post Global Opinions, The Boston Globe, Toronto Star, KGTV and others, and he authored a piece in Nexos.


Angry parents at school board meetingCritical Race Theory Thrust into Spotlight by Misinformation
From September 2020 onward, the vast majority of national news stories about critical race theory came from national conservative news sources, with mainstream news sources and liberal news sources falling behind, according to recent research from UCLA and UC San Diego. The research found there were more than seven stories from conservative news sources for every one from a national liberal media source. The study, coauthored by Mica Pollock of Education Studies, was also covered by CNN and others.


Freakonomics logoWhat If TV Isn’t Bad for Us?
Gordon Dahl of Economics is featured in a “Freakonomics, M.D.” podcast where he speaks about his research from 2009 on the surprising correlation between consuming violent media and a decrease (not increase) in acts of violent crime.


Sue PeersonFAICP: College of Fellows of AICP
Kudos to Sue Peerson of Urban Studies and Planning, who has been elected by peers to the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows for her dedicated work in the field of planning and the positive transformation of communities that Peerson has served. The award is the professional organization’s highest honor, and fellows are celebrated for achieving “excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, and community service and leadership.” The 2022 class will be inducted into the College of Fellows at the National Planning Conference in San Diego on May 1, 2022.


Indian Americans on List of “100 Most Influential Academics in Government”
Karthik Muralidharan of Economics is featured in India West for his inclusion on Apolitical’s list of the 100 most influential academics in government. Muralidharan is celebrated for “research covering development, public, and labor economics, focusing on enhancing the efficacy of government expenditure in the social sector, such as education, health, and social protection programs.”


Angela Yu2022 Humboldt Professorship
Angela Yu of Cognitive Science has been selected for the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Artificial Intelligence. Yu’s research is focused on the complexities of facial recognition and how the mind processes faces.


2022 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings
Mica Pollock of Education Studies and CREATE has once again been recognized in Education Week as one of the most publicly influential university-based scholars – scholars who “do the most to shape educational practice and policy.”  Being one of the 200 celebrated on the RHSU Edu-Scholar list is an accomplishment in itself, as more than 20,000 scholars in the United States qualify.


Angela CoronaGrow Your Goals with a Staff Scholarship
Like so many others, staff member Amanda Corona found herself dealing with unexpected financial constraints due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A UC San Diego alumna, she was working in the Division of Social Sciences as director of alumni engagement when she decided to pursue her doctorate of education in the joint program offered by UC San Diego’s Education Studies with  Cal State San Marcos. “As a first-generation Latinx student, I understand the distinction between surviving and thriving in higher education,” said Corona, now director of development in Social Sciences. “My personal experiences give me insight into the need to create supportive, culturally competent climates for students to thrive.” She didn’t want to give up on her dream and successfully sought out a staff scholarship.


Heart to Heart: Seven Couples Share Their UC San Diego Love Stories
Alumni Samantha Bell ’21 and Trevor Tilston ’20 of Political Science, Maria Walker and Anthony Ostia ’20 of Cognitive Science, and Crystal and Jordan King ’17 of Education Studies and Communication share how their love blossomed on campus, and how much it’s grown since.


CARTA field trip to East AfricaCARTA Maps Humanity's Distinctive Evolution  
The Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, a collaboration led by UC San Diego and the Salk Institute, has been for more than 20 years seeking answers to where we came from, and what makes us uniquely human. “In short, anthropogeny is concerned with what made us such a strange ape,” says current CARTA associate director Pascal Gagneux of Anthropology and Pathology, “It’s both fascinating and humbling that we don’t have answers to some of the most basic questions about ourselves and how we differ from our closest evolutionary cousins.” Learn more about CARTA history in the story linked above and also check out its long-running public symposium series, hosted by UCSD-TV, which has now been viewed more than 40 million times.


Grocery store workerOmicron Slammed California's Workforce. Was There Another Way?
“There probably weren’t many steps that governments could have taken in real-time in an effort to significantly blunt the [Omicron] wave,” weighed in Jeffrey Clemens of Economics with CalMatters: The story was picked up by KPBS, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Capital Public Radio and many more.


Ukrainian-Americans in San Diego React to Rising Tension at Ukrainian Border
Erik Gartzke of Political Science and the Center for Peace and Security Studies at UC San Diego weighed in with ABC 10 ahead of the invasion of Ukraine, saying that Russia’s President Putin wants to prevent NATO from making Ukraine an ally.


Preserving Legacy
How the Black Student Union influenced Moorisha Bey-Taylor ’08 of Economics to choose UC San Diego and impacted her career thereafter as an intellectual property lawyer.


IJan 6 attack on the U.S. Capitolnsurrectionist Chic Is a 'Serious Growth Sector,' Analysts Say
David Pederson of Anthropology was interviewed in Newsweek about this past year’s attack on the Capitol on January 6. “It's a wish for recognition, to be heard, based on the notion that they are less heard than they want to be," said Pederson, who  is also currently writing a book that treats the Capitol riots as a “conjuncture of historical tendencies that flow directly through San Diego and Southern California.”


Inflation Inequality: Poorest Americans Are Hit Hardest by Soaring Prices on Necessities
Economics graduate student Jacob Orchard in The Conversation: The fastest rate of inflation in 40 years is hurting families across the U.S. who are seeing ever-higher prices for everything from meat and potatoes to housing and gasoline. But behind the headline number that’s been widely reported is something that often gets overlooked: Inflation affects different households in different ways – and sometimes hurts those with the least, the most. 

WildfireCalifornia to Pay for Wildfire Retrofits up to $40,000 per Home, Starting with Rural San Diego 
The San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times covered research by Judson Boomhower of Economics showing in an NBER working paper how wildfire building codes matter – in a big way. A home built according to California’s upgraded wildfire building codes is about 15 percentage points, or 40%, less likely to be destroyed in a wildfire than a pre-code home experiencing identical exposure. Remarkably, building a home to modern codes also improves the survival odds of neighboring homes. The New York Times cites the study, and Vox’s “The Weeds” podcast (starting around the 57-minute mark) features Boomhower’s study in-depth. 


Progressive Working Families Party Lands in California, and Is Targeting Moderate Democrats
“In order for a third party to show strength, you have to weaken a (major) party by costing it elections,” says Thad Kousser of Political Science in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Calif Gov Gavin Newsom after helping clean up a homeless encampmentWith the 2nd Year of a Projected Budget Surplus, Should California Consider Cutting Taxes?
James Hamilton of Economics provided his expert opinion in the San Diego Union-Tribune on the best use of California’s expected budget surplus. “The cyclicality of California’s revenue sources leads to huge shortfalls when the economy turns down and surpluses when the stock market picks up. When times are good, we should use the surplus for one-time items that will help us weather the next downturn,” stated Hamilton. The Kansas City Star also ran the story.


Biden Hones in on Local Projects After Legislative Failures
Thad Kousser of Political Science spoke about Biden’s strategy to connect himself with local politicians, such as mayors. They are “the most moderate and popular political figures in our country right now,” Kousser told the Washington Examiner. “They are a rare exception to the polarization of American politics.”


Information Disorder
A Washington Post Live discussion about the threat of disinformation in today’s political atmosphere,  included content from the Omidyar Network and Political Science alumna Wafa Ben-Hassine, who leads the firm’s efforts related to encrypted messaging platforms and the nature of safe and private online messaging spaces.


Satellites Make It Harder for Countries to Launch Surprise Attacks. That’s in Ukraine’s Favor.
A piece in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog by Erik Gartzke of Political Science and UC San Diego’s Center for Peace and Security Studies.  


If Russia Invades Ukraine, What Happens Next?
David A. Lake of Political Science writes in the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog. 


Eva TrujilloCulture Keeper
Protecting and honoring the indigenous history of campus land with Anthropology alumna Eva Trujillo ’20.


Tunnel Vision
Exploring the legendary allure of our campus utility tunnels with alumni Jeff Palitz ’94 of Psychology, Josh Schoenwald ’00 of Cognitive Science, Barbara Denz ’69 of Literature, and Amber Schnaider ’01, Med ’02 of Mathematics and Physics and the Teacher Education Program.


IChristo Smisnstitute for Advanced Study
Christo Sims of Communication won a prestigious fellowship to join the  Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. The IAS, founded in 1930,  invites its visiting scholars, or “members,”  to freely determine their academic trajectory in an effort to promote academic freedom worldwide in the areas of mathematics, natural science, historical studies, and social science. Sims' book-in-progress, writes the  IAS website, “examines how corporations, cities, and states are materially reconfiguring themselves in response to climate catastrophe.”


Janis Jenkins and Thomas CsordasThe Bellagio Center Residency Program
Janis Jenkins and Thomas Csordas of Anthropology were awarded with a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency for their demonstration of professional contributions to their field and their alignment with the beliefs of the Rockefeller Foundation, which works to promote the well-being of humanity, particularly through issues that have a direct impact on the lives of socially and economically disadvantaged populations around the world. They’ve now completed the four-week residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s renowned Bellagio Center in Italy.

TRITON 5
Economics and History alum Erik Jepsen ’10 shares his perspective as a campus photographer in this Triton Magazine feature: “I love visual storytelling and inspiring people through my photographs. I always aim to capture emotion and pass that on to others.”

Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs at Founders Dinner 2018Hitting It Out of the Park with $3M Boost for Scholarships and Fellowships
Longtime campus champions Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs renew support for two of their passions: UC San Diego Baseball and the School of Social Sciences. First established in 2006, the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Endowed Fellowship Fund is dedicated to exceptional graduate students in Social Sciences.

People holding hands, dancing in a circle$5 Million Grant Grows Capacity of UC San Diego’s ‘Community Stations’
Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ensures innovative campus initiative will continue its community-engaged work on both sides of U.S.-Mexico border.