Social Ecology E-newsletter November 2016
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• • • Science Driving Solutions • • •

November 5: Master’s Degree in Criminology, Law and Society Info Session
November 9: New Dean Welcome
November 15: The Future of Water in Southern California
November 16: The Social Value of Awe
November 16: MURP Info Session

Motivated Reasoning in Politics

Are your political opinions as rational as you think?

Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, studies biases in our moral and political reasoning. His particular interest is in "motivated reasoning" -- how people selectively recruit general principles and factual beliefs to support desired conclusions. In politics, motivated reasoning can affect how we think about candidates and policies, and is an important contributor to political conflict and partisan gridlock.
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Experience Required

Social Ecology's field study program yields real-life lessons

Each year more than 900 students participate in the Field Study program, which partners with 233 community organizations. The alliance offers students the opportunity to develop real-world, hands-on skills and gives organizations a chance to benefit from Social Ecology’s energetic talent pool. The result? Annually, UCI students contribute over 106,000 community service hours in diverse areas such as corrections and law enforcement, teaching, mentoring, urban planning and civic affairs.
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Metropolitan Futures Initiative

Quarterly report examines demographic ‘mixing’

The latest quarterly report from the Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI) explores the concept of demographic “mixing,” its prevalence in Southern California neighborhoods and its relationship to “economic dynamism.” Researchers identified seven factors that directly affect a community’s vitality and well-being, each with a four- or five-category range: population age, household income, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing age, housing type and land use. “Mixing” refers to the distribution of those attributes.
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Solving Society’s Most Pressing Problems

Q&A with Dean Nancy Guerra

When Nancy Guerra interviewed at UCI for the position of dean of the School of Social Ecology, she didn’t mince words about her devotion to the subject. “I am social ecology,” she recalls saying. “Using an interdisciplinary approach to understand important social problems – and then working toward solving those problems – has been a central part of my whole career.”
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New Faculty

The School of Social Ecology is pleased to welcome ten new faculty members during this past summer and fall, which is one of the largest cohorts in recent history. They represent a variety of research areas in all three departments.
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Improving State Correctional Practices

The Center for Evidence-Based Corrections (CEBC) recently received $1.4 million in funding from multiple organizations, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of State Hospitals. Their funding will support numerous research projects to better understand risk factors for prisoners and parolees, as well as evaluate staffing needs in psychiatric hospitals.
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Dan and Jeanne Stokols Graduate Fellowship

Maureen Purcell is this year's recipient of the Dan and Jeanne Stokols Social Ecology Graduate Fellowship Award. This endowed fellowship supports outstanding transdisciplinary research by a Social Ecology graduate student.
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Newkirk Fellowships

The Newkirk Graduate Fellowship Award promotes appropriate and effective uses of research in the natural and social sciences to enhance the quality of life. This year, two students from the School of Social Ecology received the fellowship: Brooke Jenkins (Psychology and Social Behavior) and Edith Medina (Planning, Policy and Design).
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Food sovereignty initiative in Swaziland

Swaziland is a small kingdom in Subsaharan Africa that has been ravaged by HIV, stagnant economic growth, and increasing climate uncertainty. After completing preliminary fieldwork in Swaziland and observing what a powerful role malnutrition was playing in limiting health and development, Social Ecology doctoral student Connor Harron launched The Swaziland Food Sovereignty Initiative (SFSI).
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Dinner with Anteaters

Hosts are needed for Dinners with Anteaters, which brings together students, alumni and faculty for an evening of food, fun and engagement throughout Orange County. Alumni get the opportunity to engage with students and faculty on a personal level in a casual setting, and students can get advice and learn about life after graduation. If you are interested in being an alumni host, please contact the UCI Alumni Association.
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23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

Some prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end. In her new book 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement, Assistant Professor Keramet Reiter explores how America’s prisons turned a “brutal and inhumane” practice into standard procedure. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, Reiter's book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.
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