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Ethnic Studies Professor Wins ASA Election

The American Studies Association is “the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history,” and Curtis Marez of Ethnic Studies has been elected to its leadership, effective July 1, 2012.

Over a three-year term, Marez will serve first as ASA vice-president, then president and immediate past president, helming a group of 5,000 – who come from numerous different fields but have “a common desire to view America as a whole rather than from the perspective of a single discipline.”

Education Studies, ‘Champion of Diversity’

Education Studies was honored as a “champion of diversity” at the 16th Annual Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards.  

The Social Sciences program was one of 17 individuals and eight departments, organizations and units recognized for their outstanding contributions in support of UCSD’s commitment to diversity and understanding of other cultures. The ceremony honoring the 2010 award recipients was held at the Price Center on Feb. 8, 2011.  

“The very dedicated staff and faculty not only value diversity,” the award citation read, “but also incorporate it into their daily practice.”  

Education Studies was praised for its service learning and community outreach efforts as well as for modeling diversity in its recruitment of students, faculty and staff.   To read the citation in full:

School Improvement Study Funded

The William T. Grant Foundation has awarded $342,000 to Alan J. Daly of Education Studies, and a colleague at the University of Rochester, for a study of how schools use research evidence in the service of school improvement.

The multi-year project focuses on how urban systems and high schools in need of improvement — schools designated as in need of "corrective action" by the No Child Left Behind Act — diagnose problems, identify strategies, and define, acquire, use and diffuse research evidence to improve under accountability sanctions.

In this two-phase, longitudinal study, Daly and his co-PI will examine how social networks support or constrain efforts at organizational learning and moving research evidence throughout urban districts. In addition, they will explore how educators both define and distinguish between types of evidence and whether these are responsive to identified issues. The study is taking place in the San Diego Unified and Rochester City school districts.

Erie Honored with International Award

Steve Erie, director of Urban Studies and Planning, received the International Author Award from Lambda Alpha International, a distinguished honorary society for the advancement of land economics.

The biennial award was "in recognition of his careful, detailed and insightful analysis of the process by which a region develops wise use of land, promoting economic development, international trade and employment embodied in the groundbreaking book Globalizing L.A.: Trade, Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Erie's research interests include urban politics, public policy, ethnic/minority group politics and American political development. He is the author of two other books in addition to Globalizing L.A.: Rainbow's End: Irish-Americans and the Dilemmas of Urban Machine Politics, 1840-1985 and Beyond 'Chinatown': The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California. Rainbow's End won best urban book awards from the American Political Science Association and the American Sociological Association.

Humbolt Honor

Keith Rayner, Atkinson Professor of Psychology and director of the Rayner Eyetracking Lab at UC San Diego, has been honored with a Humboldt Research Award.

The award, given to "internationally recognized scientists and scholars," and described by Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as a "central pillar" in its program of sponsorship, "is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date... whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements."

Award winners are invited to spend time for research in Germany. 

Rayner, who arrived at UCSD in 2008 after a 30-year career at University of Massachusetts Amherst, is primarily interested in the process of skilled reading and uses eye movement data to make inferences about perceptual and cognitive processes. He is also interested in various issues in psycholinguistics and in scene perception and visual search.

Mehan Honored by AERA Again

Hugh "Bud" Mehan, professor of sociology and director of CREATE, the university program that aids outreach efforts in schools, has once again been recognized by the American Educational Research Association (AERA): Mehan has been named a member of the inaugural Fellows Program. The designation honors education researchers with substantial research accomplishments and emphasizes the importance of sustained research in the field. Mehan was officially inducted at AERA's 2009 meeting in San Diego in April.

Deutsch Honored for Contributions to Field of Empirical Aesthetics

Diana Deutsch, professor of psychology, has received the Gustav Theodor Fechner award from the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics. Deutsch was honored for her “outstanding contributions to the field of empirical aesthetics, especially in her very extensive writings on the psychology of music and the perception and memory for sounds.” The Association certificate of award said Deutsch’s “research has set the standard for empirically oriented investigations in the field.”

The International Association of Empirical Aesthetics is dedicated to investigating the factors contributing to aesthetic experience, using scientific methods. The Association has members in 20 countries and includes academicians in a variety of fields as well as painters, artists and other practicing artists. Its official journal is Empirical Studies of the Arts.

Mehan Celebrated for Education Research and Outreach

Sociology professor Hugh “Bud” Mehan, director of CREATE, was honored March 26 by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Cited for work and a career that “have been and continue to be a guiding beacon of excellence in research, scholarship and teaching,” as well as for “brilliance and insightfulness” in “translation of research into practice, ”among other qualities, Mehan was the recipient of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Division G.

AERA is the largest scientific association that specializes in the study of education, and its Division G specializes in the study of the social context of education. 

There were other UCSD highlights of this year’s annual AERA meeting. CREATE had a featured symposium, highlighting its work at the Preuss and Gompers charter schools. And Cory Koedel, a recent Economics PhD. mentored by professor Julian Betts, was this year’s co-winner of the AERA Dissertation Prize.

Aron's Work Recognized with Sloan Research Fellowship

Adam Aron, of Psychology, has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, which supports the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers. Aron is one of two at UC San Diego and one of 17 at the University of California as a whole to receive the prestigious award this year.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation presented fellowships to 118 young scientists, mathematicians and economists on Feb. 15, with UC faculty members receiving more fellowships than any other university. Fellows can use their two-year, $50,000 grants to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are most of interest to them.

The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. Since then, 35 Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in their fields and 14 have received the Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics.

National Academy of Sciences Cites Research by Moore

The editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has selected a paper coauthored by Jim Moore, of Anthropology, as an exceptional paper published in 2007.

"Savanna Chimpanzees Use Tools to Harvest the Underground Storage Organs of Plants" received a Cozzarelli Prize, which honors PNAS papers of "outstanding scientific excellence and originality."

The prize-winning papers will be recognized at the National Academy of Sciences Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC in April.

Kutas Lauded for Contributions to Psychophysiology

Marta Kutas, chair of Cognitive Science, was honored in October with the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychophysiology Award from the Society for Psychophysiological Research.

SPR is the oldest and the most prominent society in the field. This award was first given in 1969 and last given in 2005, with a total of 24 recipients so far. Kutas is only the third women to receive this highest award in psychophysiology.

At the society’s 47th annual meeting held in Savannah, Georgia, Kutas not only received the award but was also honored with a symposium. Celebrating her seminal work on the psychophysiology of language processing and her continuing (and “driving”) influence in the field, the symposium featured four former students of Kutas’, including Robert Kluender, currently on the Linguistics faculty at UCSD.

“Relatively few disciplines in science can clearly trace their roots to a single investigator and perhaps even more impressive, to a single study,” read the symposium abstract. “Twenty-seven years ago Marta Kutas (along with Steve Hillyard) published in the journal Science what has turned out to be one of the most important and frequently cited studies in psychophysiology.”

Mackie Cited in Awarding of Humanitarian Prize

Tostan, an organization whose name means “breakthrough” in Wolof, the main language of the West African country Senegal, was presented on Sept. 12 with the 2007 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize of $1.5 million. This is the world’s largest humanitarian award and is given annually to an organization that significantly alleviates human suffering.

Established in 1991, Tostan became known for fighting discrimination against women and children in Africa and motivating more than 2,600 villages, with more than two million people, to voluntarily abandon harmful traditions such as female genital cutting and child and forced marriage.

The announcement of the award cited the work of Gerald Mackie, assistant professor of political science and an authority on the tradition of female genital cutting, who has volunteered with the organization since 1998. Mackie’s theory is that collective action and public declarations are crucial to ending the practice, and he believes it can be totally eliminated within a generation. Currently about two million girls are subjected to it each year, primarily in Africa.

To help in his continuing efforts to help bring an end to female genital cutting, Mackie has just been awarded a grant from UNICEF for a multi-country study on the social dynamics that lead to abandonment of harmful practices.

Epstein's Book Cited as 'Tour De Force'

Steven Epstein, of Sociology, was honored with the Robert K. Merton Professional Award for his book Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research (University of Chicago Press, 2007) at the American Sociological Association‘s annual meeting in August. 

In Inclusion, Epstein argues that well-intentioned efforts to include traditionally underserved groups in medical research have masked health inequalities rooted more in society than biology.

Citing the book as one that “breaks new ground on multiple fronts,” the award committee wrote: “Inclusion is a tour de force that deftly weaves archival and interview data into an empirical analysis of the emergence of a new ‘bio-political paradigm’ for medical research. The story is a compelling one, rich in history, full of twists and turns and driven by conflicts in streets, clinics, regulatory agencies and the corridors of power.”

Epstein’s first book, Impure Science: AIDS, Activism and the Politics of Knowledge (University of California Press, 1996), was also selected for the Merton prize, making Epstein the only scholar to win the award twice.

Levy Book Cited for Scholarly Impact

Anthropological archaeologist Thomas E. Levy has received the 2007 award as editor of The Bible and Carbon Dating, named best scholarly book on archaeology by the Biblical Archaeology Society.

In citing Levy, UCSD professor of anthropology and director of Judaic Studies, and his co-author, Thomas Higham, judges for the award said the book “is critical, timely, well produced and sure to have an immediate impact on the field.”

In a further description of the work, the award committee wrote, “The volume leaves no doubt that in light of these advances every excavator must incorporate [radiocarbon dating] into his or her research design.”

The 2007 Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Awards recognize the best books on archaeology and the Bible published in 2005 and 2006. The biennial BAS Publication Awards for books about archaeology and the Bible have been presented since 1985.

Natalie Molina wins Prize for History of Race and Public Health in LA

Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies Natalia Molina has received the 2007 Hundley Prize for her work on public health and race in Los Angeles, covering the period 1879-1939. The book is titled “Fit to Be Citizens?”

The work details how Mexican, Japanese and Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles were treated in demeaning ways by public health officials with the effect of creating and reinforcing racial stereotypes. Molina shows how scientific discourses were used to assign negative racial characteristics to groups. Grounded in archival studies, the book depicts immigrant living conditions and traces ways in which regional racial categories influenced national laws and practices.

The Norris and Carol Hundley Award, bestowed annually by the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, goes to the most distinguished book on an historical subject written by a scholar from within the 22 western states or four western provinces of Canada.

Archeologist Honored by Jordan's Antiquities Department

In May, UCSD archeologist Thomas Levy received the Publication Award from the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, at the 10th International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The award was presented by Jordan’s Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan and recognized Levy’s spearheading of the book Crossing Jordan - North American Contributions to the History and Archaeology of Jordan (Equinox, 2007).

Urban Studies Profs Recieve Environment Award

On June 12, Keith Pezzoli and Hiram Sarabia, of UCSD’s Urban Studies and Planning Program, received the 2007 San Diego Environmental Professional’s Association Award for Outstanding Research.

Pezzoli and Sarabia are creating a Regional Ecology Network and Environmental Workbench for Sustainable Development (RENEW-SD). A joint project of UCSD’s Environment and Sustainability Initiative and the Superfund Basic Research Program, RENEW-SD is currently testing the use of biomolecular technologies to track the sources of toxicants in San Diego’s Pueblo Watershed.

Pezzoli and Sarabia have a track record of almost 30 years of combined work focusing on environmental and related sustainability issues in the San Diego-Tijuana region. The award prize will be used to further the involvement of students in environmental research.

And the Padma goes to...

Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran has been awarded one of India’s top civilian honors, the Padma Bhushan. Established in 1954 by the president of India, the Padma Bhushan recognizes distinguished service of a high order to the nation, in any field. Ramachandran, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, will receive the award from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, India’s president, in April 2007. Other U.S.-based recipients of the year’s award are: Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia, Yale economist T.N. Srinivasan and Indra Nooyi, chief executive officer of PepsiCo.

Political Science Profs Honored

Members of the political science faculty were honored at the 2006 meeting of the American Political Science Association.

Gary W. Cox, Thad Kousser and Mathew D. McCubbins were presented with the 2005 State Politics and Policy Quarterly Best Paper Award, for their. What Polarizes Parties? Preferences and Agenda Control in American State Legislatures. The award recognizes the best paper on the American states presented at any political science conference during the calendar year.

Cox and McCubbins were also honored for their book Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the US House of Representatives (Cambridge UP, 2005) with the Leon D. Epstein Outstanding Book Award, for outstanding and lasting significance in the field.

Economist Nora Gordon Receives National Academy of Education Fellowship

Nora Gordon, assistant professor of economics, has won a highly selective National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral fellowship, the nation‘s oldest source of support for education research for scholars who are recent recipients of the doctorate. Professor Gordon will work on issues surrounding “competitiveness among vendors to public schools.”

Another Top Book Award for Communication Professor Dan Hallin

Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics , by UCSD professor of communication Daniel C. Hallin and Italian scholar Paolo Mancini, has been named the “Outstanding Book of the Year” by the International Communication Association. The work provides a systematic comparative framework for understanding the role of the press in different forms of political systems. This selection is the third prestigious honor for the book, with similar laurels having been bestowed by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy and also by the National Communication Association.

Thomas Csordas Receives Collegium Budapest Visiting Scholar Award

Professor Thomas J. Csordas of the Department of Anthropology received a Visiting Scholar fellowship at the Collegium Budapest Institute of Advanced Study. In addition to his residency at the Collegium, thus far the award has allowed him to initiate ethnographic research on religion and globalization in post-socialist Hungary, as well as to lecture as a core faculty member of the Budapest-Balaton Summer School of Medical Anthropology on “Sacral Communication and Healing” sponsored by the Semmelweis university and the Karoli Gaspar University.

UCSD Anthropologist Receives NIMH Grant to Study native American Mental Health

Professor Thomas J. Csordas of the Department of Anthropology has received a four year National Institute of mental Health research grant to support his study “Navajo Youth and the Experience of Psychiatric Treatment” (NYEPT). The grant will fund Csordas and his research team to conduct a clinical ethnography and therapeutic process study in an inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit within an Indian Health Service hospital on the Navajo Nation, the first unit of its kind to operate on an Indian reservation and to integrate traditional native American healing practices with conventional psychiatry. The study will examine the development of a clinical culture within the new unit, and will compare adolescent patients treated in the on-reservation facility with untreated adolescents and with adolescents treated in off-reservation facilities, tracing the trajectory of patients into treatment and on toward reintegration with their families and communities.

"Occupational Ghettos" by Maria Charles

The last half-century has witnessed dramatic declines in gender inequality, evidenced by the rise of egalitarian views on gender roles and the narrowing of long-standing gender gaps in university attendance and labor force participation. This development, while spectacular, has been coupled with similarly impressive forms of resistance to equalization, most notably the continuing tendency for women to crowd into female “occupational ghettos.”

This book answers the important questions: Why has such extreme segregation persisted even as other types of gender inequality have lessened? Why is segregation especially extreme in precisely those countries that appear most committed to egalitarian reform and family-friendly policies?

UCSD Archaeologist is Part of "Global Moments" Project

Anthropological archaeologist Thomas Levy, professor in the UCSD Department of Anthropology, will join an international team of researchers in a study of “Global Moments in the Levant,” under a $2.6 million grant from the Norwegian Research Council. Global moments are defined as “developments that typically call for significant adaptation leading to new forms of cooperation or conflict.” The major objective of the collaboration of the 16 scientists is to advance understanding of how these significant events altered lives of groups and communities in the past. Professor Levy will focus on his research project in Southern Jordan, at a series of large ancient copper processing sites, where he has been studying the role of metallurgy and technology in the development of complex societies.

Professor of Ethnic Studies Receives the Thomas and Znaniecki Award

Congratulations to Yen Espiritu whose book, Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries, has won the Thomas and Znaniecki book award sponsored by the American Sociological Association as the best book in the field of International Migration for the 2005 competition.