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Featured SSHA Activities

SSHA Research and Scholarship News – November 2021

Awards

  • Global Arts, Media, and Writing Studies Professor David Kaminsky’s book “Social Partner Dance: Body, Sound, and Space” won the Kealiinohomoku Award of the Dance, Movement, and Gesture’s section at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual meeting. This award recognizes an outstanding piece of ethnomusicological work (broadly defined) that substantially engages the topics of dance, movement, and/or gesture.

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz of Cognitive Science received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education titled: “Growing en comunidad: Teacher and Family Language and Biliteracy Professional Development Project”.

In The News

  • Community and Labor Center Accurately Forecasts Voter Preferences

    UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center accurately forecasted voter preferences in Fresno within 1 percentage point for the gubernatorial recall election help September 14.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • UC Merced Names First Endowed Chair in Medical Education

    Distinguished UC Merced Director of Medical Education and public health Professor Dr. Thelma Hurd has been appointed the inaugural Thondapu Family Endowed Chair in Medical Education.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • Researching Latina Teen Mothers' Mental Health

    A team from the Department of Psychological Sciences conducted a study that looked at the associations between the quality and quantity of Latina adolescent mothers' sleep and mental health.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • HSRI Gets $1.2 Million Grant to Study Vehicle Emissions

    A $1.2 million grant has been awarded to study the effects of vehicle emissions on public health and the environment. The Lead Investigator on the project is Public Health Professor Asa Bradman.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • Brain Study 'Turns Off the Brake' to Understand Sympathy

    A new study by faculty members and students in UC Merced's Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences takes a closer look at the sympathy people have for one another.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • Characterizing Cancer as a 'War' Assumes it can be Won

    Professor Teenie Matlock explains how metaphors are 'deeply entrenched' in our communications. "Metaphors ... give us a useful tool to think about new domains, challenging domains, to connect with other people."

    Read more
    www.usatoday.com

  • NCPC Hosting Free Webinar on Policy and the Media

    UC Merced's Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center (NCPC, directed by Dr. Anna Song of Psychological Sciences) and the American Heart Association are hosting a free webinar to provide insight on generating media coverage and helping change public perceptions on a variety of issues in the Central Valley.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • California Low-wage Workers No Longer Have COVID Paid Leave

    The Delta variant, which has led to an uptick in breakthrough infections, has had a “disproportionate effect across the state,” said Ana Padilla, executive director of the UC Merced Community and Labor Center.

    Read more
    www.sacbee.com

  • U.S. Will Develop a Federal Heat Standard

    To do this, OSHA has to increase its capacity to enforce the rules, said Ana Padilla, executive director of the Community and Labor Center — including hiring more staff to avoid redirecting resources from one enforcement mechanism to the other.

    Read more
    www.pbs.org

  • Research from UC Merced Focuses on Latina Teen Mothers

    New research from UC Merced highlights the mental health crisis many teen mothers face throughout the Central Valley. Professor Alexandra Main spearheaded the study, which began in 2017.

    Read more
    abc30.com

  • Sharim’s “Central Valley Portraits” Exhibit Showcased Online

    After a two-month run at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, UC Merced Professor Yehuda Sharim’s exhibit is now available for viewing across the globe.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

Interviews

Books and Publications

    • Escobar, Maria, and Tanya Golash-Boza. "Constructing Citizenship,“Legality,” and “Illegality” in Comparative Perspectives." In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 2021.
    • Golash-Boza, Tanya, and Hyunsu Oh. "Crime and Neighborhood Change in the Nation’s Capital: From Disinvestment to Gentrification." Crime & Delinquency (2021): 00111287211005394.
    • Ceciliano-Navarro, Yajaira, and Tanya Maria Golash-Boza. "“Trauma Makes You Grow Up Quicker”: The Financial & Emotional Burdens of Deportation & Incarceration." Daedalus 150, no. 2 (2021): 165-179.
    • CecilianoNavarro, Yajaira, and Tanya GolashBoza. "Social, Human and Positive Psychological Capital in the Labour Market Reintegration of People Deported to the Dominican Republic." International Migration 59, no. 2 (2021): 221-238.

Guest Editor


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – October 2021

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Irene Yen of Public Health received a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation titled: “Fresno Housing and Health: Local Organizing Committee”.
  • Dr. Rachel Ryskin of Cognitive and Information Sciences received a grant from the NIH titled: “Prediction in Language across the Lifespan”.

In The News

  • 2021's States with the Most and Least Student Debt

    Professor Charlie Eaton is featured by WalletHub in an Ask the Experts segment regarding student debt in America.

    Read more
    wallethub.com

  • UC Merced Community and Labor Center
The Community and Labor Center at UC Merced released findings from a recent survey by the Fresno County Civic Engagement Table that asked the 1,500 voters in Fresno City Council districts what their priority issues were and if they planned to vote in the gubernatorial recall election. The findings were highlighted in the articles below:
 
 
‘Game-changer’ Agreement with Union for Fresno Projects
 
A UC Merced Community and Labor Center policy brief estimating the effects of a Fresno Project Labor Agreement (PLA) policy on jobs and wages was cited by The Fresno Bee in a story about the Fresno City Council’s passage of a PLA agreement.
 
 
California Bill Could Alter Amazon Labor Practices
 
Professor Edward Flores was quoted in a New York Times story on California legislative bill AB 701, which would create standards around warehouse workplace health and safety.
 
 
  • Research Shows Sleep and Social Support Are Vital to Latina Teen Mothers’ Mental Health
Psychology Professors Alexandra Main, Eric Walle, Rose Scott, and students Shun Ting Yung and Yaoyu Chen, published a study in Frontiers in Psychology, in which they found that teen mothers who reported poorer sleep had higher depressive and anxiety symptoms. The effects of poor sleep on the mothers’ mental health were buffered by social support from peers.
 
Read more here in English and Spanish from UC Merced News.

Fellowships

  • In 2021, Prof. Blythe George of Sociology was awarded a Circle 3 Intergenerational Indigenous Women’s Fellowship from the Spirit Aligned Leadership Program. Through this opportunity, she is facilitating an intergenerational knowledge transfer project between herself and Judge Abby Abinanti, the Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and the first tribal woman to be a member of the California State Bar. Together, Prof. George and the Yurok Tribal Court have founded the Yurok Data Repository and Modeling Center. Under Prof. George’s leadership, this center centralizes the Court’s ongoing research efforts on criminal justice and policing reform and is the first tribally-housed justice policy research center in the nation. You can learn more here and here.

Books and Publications


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – September 2021

Grant and Fellowship Awards

  • Dr. Paul Almeida of Sociology received a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation titled: “Fresno Speaks 2021”.
  • Dr. Lace Padilla of Cognitive and Information Sciences received a grant from the National Science Foundation titled: “EAGER: SAI: Facilitating Restoration of Natural Infrastructure Using Uncertainty Communication”. Dr. Padilla also received a grant from Sandia National Laboratories titled: “Visual Cognition in Support of Transmission Reliability”.
  • Dr. Holley Moyes of Anthropology and Heritage Studies received a grant from the National Science Foundation titled: “MRI: Acquisition of Hovermap Rapid Data Capture and 3D Imaging of GPS-Denied Spaces”.
  • Dr. Jayson Beaster-Jones of Global Arts, Media and Writing Studies received a grant from California Humanities titled “Gateway to Merced”.
  • Dr. Asa Bradman of Public Health received a grant from the State of California Attorney General titled: “San Joaquin Valley Center for Community Air Assessment and Injustice Reduction (SJV CC-AIR)”.

In The News

  • Prehistoric People May Have Created ‘Proto-Cinema'

    Professor Holley Moyes, an expert on subterranean rituals, talks about ancient cave wall art and the data collected and observed by researchers in northern Spain’s Atxurra Cave.

    Read more
    thefrontierpost.com

  • UC Merced Faculty Land Three UC-HBCU Grants, Most in System

    The University of California Office of the President awarded three out of only seven UC-Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative grants to UC Merced faculty members. Literature Professor Nigel Hatton was awarded one of the grants for his research project titled: “Increasing African-American Graduate Enrollment in the Humanities at UC Merced”.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

Awards

  • Falandays Wins Marr Prize for Phenomenon of Meaning Research

    Cognitive and Information Sciences Ph.D. student Ben Falandays was recently awarded the Marr Prize for Best Student Paper at the Cognitive Science Society's annual conference.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

Publications

Television

  • Professor Nicola Lercari’s Work at Bodie Featured on NatGeo. Anthropology and Heritage Studies Professor Nicola Lercari’s work at Bodie State Historic Park in California has been featured on National Geographic's "Drain The Oceans" - The Wild West episode. The trailer can be viewed here, while the full episode is available on demand here.

SSHA Research and Scholarship News – August 2021

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Jessica Trounstine of Political Science received a grant from the Association of Bay Area Governments titled: “Measuring Racial and Socio-Economic Housing Inequality”.
  • Dr. Nigel Hatton of Literature and Languages received a research grant from the UC-HBCU Initiative.
  • Dr. Rose Scott of Psychology received a grant from the National Science Foundation titled: “Collaborative Research: Trust Across Diverse Contexts in Early Childhood”. This project will be conducted at UC Merced, as well as in collaboration with Yuyan Luo at the University of Missouri Columbia and Lori Markson at Washington University in St. Louis. This research investigates the development of different forms of trust in early childhood, with an emphasis on how socioeconomic factors and children's racial backgrounds and experiences impact children's decisions about who to trust at different ages.
  • Dr. Sidra Goldman-Mellor of Public Health received a grant with Michigan State University from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development titled: “Pregnancy-associated mortality and morbidity due to drugs, self-harm, and violence in the United States”. This research will advance clinical and public health knowledge regarding the incidence of and trends and disparities in mortality and morbidity during pregnancy and the first year postpartum due to drug use, self-harm, and violence. Our research will also change clinical practice by finding ways to identify women — in hospital-based settings — at high risk for future morbidity and mortality due to drug use, self-harm, and violence, and lay the foundation for developing preventive strategies. The evidence from the proposed research will extend the current knowledge about maternal morbidity and mortality to encompass non-obstetric causes that are of substantial and growing importance.

In The News

  • 100 Sociology Undergraduate Students Trained in Survey Research. Sociology Professor Paul Almeida, along with colleagues from universities in Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, trained more than 100 sociology undergraduate students to conduct research about social movements and civic engagement in Central America. Read more
  • Study: Conservatives' Distrust of Science Guides Actions

    Professor Colin Holbrook and colleagues conducted a study which found that Republicans' and independents' inclinations to embrace protective behaviors were overruled by distrust in science and in liberal or moderate information sources.

    Read more
    phys.org

  • Meet Zandile Ndhlovu, South Africa's 'Black Mermaid'. Professor Kevin Dawson says a learned fear of water, which Ndhlovu had to overcome, extends past South Africa's shores. Read more
     
  • Three-Day Caravan Focused On Farmworker Rights.UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center is partnering on the outreach efforts to inform farm workers of their rights at work. Read more
  • Opinion: Normal May Be a Long Way Off for Immunocompromised

    Professor Andrea Polonijo says "normal may be a long way off for about 10 million immunocompromised Americans who face unprecedented health risk and uncertainty when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness" in a recently published opinion piece.

    Read more
    www.sandiegouniontribune.com

  • Those Not Vaccinated: No time or 'enormously selfish'?

    UC Merced Community and Labor Center Executive Director Ana Padilla said there still needs to be better access to the vaccine — and good information about it — for people like agricultural workers, who are now working the busiest time of the year.

    Read more
    www.latimes.com

  • How One Worker Protected Himself from COVID-19

    An analysis of health data by UC Merced revealed essential workers across 10 industries in the state experienced a 30 percent increase in deaths between March and December 2020

    Read more
    blackvoicenews.com

  • "Central Valley Portraits" Exhibit Showcases Everyday Life

    Professor Yehuda Sharim's exhibition "Central Valley Portraits" looks to give people a closeup look at these trying times as they're experienced in Merced.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • A Study Suggests an Instructive Way to Talk to Little Crawlers. Research by Dr. Eric Walle of Psychology and graduate student Lukas Lopez was featured in The Hechinger Report in an article titled: “PROOF POINTS: A Study suggests an instructive way to talk to little crawlers”. Read more

Awards

  • Ketika Garg Wins UC Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship

    Cognitive and Information Sciences graduate student Ketika Garg is the recipient of the 2021-2022 UC Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • Christa Fraser of the Merritt Writing Program was selected to receive a non-senate academics council excellence award for outstanding service.

Publications


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – July 2021

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Paul Brown of Public Health received a grant from the County of Mariposa titled: “Epidemiology Surveillance – COVID Response”.
  • Dr. Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz of Cognitive and Information Sciences received a grant with Texas Technical University titled: “Growing Stems Consortium: Training the Next Generation of Engineers for the DOE/NNSA Workforce”.
  • Dr. Stephanie Canizales of Sociology received a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation titled: “Unaccompanied immigrant youths’ undocumented labor migration, transnational financial responsibilities, and prospected for mobility”.

In The News

  • How Much Americans Would Get From Student Debt Forgiveness

    A brief analyzed how $50,000 of student debt forgiveness would impact household wealth. Professor Laura Hamilton argues that wealth captures a more complete picture of borrowers' financial status and better accounts for racial disparities.

    Read more
    www.nbcwashington.com

  • Humans Might be Making Genetic Evolution Obsolete

    Professor Paul Smaldino says "people have been working for a long time to describe how evolutionary biology interacts with culture. Their big argument is that culture is the next evolutionary transition state."

    Read more
    www.livescience.com

  • Black Women Owe 22% More in Student Debt than White Women

    Professor Laura Hamilton states, “Black women are much more likely to attend college than Black men and they are subject to significant racial wealth gap disparities, which means that they need to pull out more money to attend college."

    Read more
    www.cnbc.com

  • How the Virus Unraveled Hispanic American Families

    “Everybody knows someone who has died, or multiple people who have died, and everyone is figuring out how to compensate for the roles and duties that are no longer being done by those people,” said Professor Zulema Valdez. “The hardship is extreme.”

    Read more
    www.nytimes.com

  • Will Fresno farmworkers get universal basic income?

    UC Merced Community and Labor Center figures were cited in Cal Matters coverage of local efforts to improve California farmworkers' access to a Universal Basic Income pilot program, and to create Supplemental Guaranteed Income for them.

    Read more
    calmatters.org

  • Archiving National Agony: Sharim's Short Film Featured

    Professor Yehuda Sharim is having his short film "Red Line Lullaby" featured in the International Video Poetry Film Festival in Athens. The work has been selected to be part of the Video Poetry Zone 2021 category.

    Read more
    news.ucmerced.edu

  • Humans are Evolving Faster Than Ever

    “This theory has been a long time coming” said Professor Paul Smaldino, who was not affiliated with this study. “People have been working for a long time to describe how evolutionary biology interacts with culture.”

    Read more
    then24.com

  • UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center was one of several partners involved in an initiative to get vital information directly to agricultural workers. A mobile caravan made multiple stops around the Central Valley to provide information to farmworkers about their labor rights and COVID-19. You can read more here: https://bit.ly/2SVNB5W

Awards


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – June 2021

Acknowledgements

  • UC Merced’s Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology has been ranked #8 by Study.com.

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Ricardo Cisneros of Public Health received a grant with UC Davis titled: “Participatory Assessment of Health Equity Impacts through the Implementation of the Community Air Monitoring and Management”.
  • Dean Dr. Jeff Gilger of Psychology received a grant with UC Irvine titled: “Living Through Upheaval: The University of California Humanities Initiative”.
  • Dr. Arturo Arias of Literature & Languages: English & Spanish received a grant with UC Santa Barbara titled: “The Global Latinidades Project: Globalizing Latinx Studies for the Next Millennium”.

In The News

During the first 10 months of the coronavirus pandemic, California saw a 30% increase in the deaths of essential workers in 10 industries, according to a new study by UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center. Reported in CapRadio.
 
CA workers accounted for 12,500 of 14,370 additional deaths compared to the previous year – or 87% of additional deaths in 2020, according to an analysis of state public health data by the UC Merced Community and Labor Center. Reported in the Fresno Bee.
 
Ana Padilla, the executive director of the UC Merced Community and Labor Center, said that the Central Valley had consistently been one of California’s hardest-hit regions. Reported in The New York Times.
 
Some farmworkers in Central California still have not received vaccinations in though they were prioritized months ago to receive the shots, said Ana Padilla, executive director of the UC Merced Community and Labor Center. Reported in the Los Angeles Times.
 
Featuring Dr. Nancy Burke of Public Health and reported in UC Merced News.
 
Featuring Dr. Asa Bradman of Public Health and reported in UC Merced News.
 
Featuring Dr. Yehuda Sharim of Global Arts, Media & Writing Studies and reported in UC Merced News.
 
Featuring Dr. Nancy Burke of Public Health and reported in YourCentralValley.
 
Featuring Dr. Mariaelena Gonzalez of Public Health and reported in UC Merced News.
 
Community and Labor Center Executive Director Ana Padilla spoke with the LA Times about the state’s proposed $300,000 fines and the need for greater measures to prevent workplace health and safety non-compliance. Reported in the Los Angeles Times.
 
Featuring Dr. Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook of Psychology and reported in UC Merced News.
 

Books, Essays, and Publications

Comics


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – May 2021

Acknowledgements and Awards

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Sidra Goldman-Mellor of Public Health was awarded a grant with UC Berkeley titled: “California Policy Lab: Data-Driven Solutions to California’s Most Complex Issues”.

In The News

  • Interdisciplinary Humanities graduate student Iván Soto was on the front page of the Imperial Valley Press newspaper as a 2021 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow.
  • Professors Paul Prescott and Katie Brokaw of Literature, Languages and Cultures organized a Shakespeare and Climate Emergency Conference jointly with Globe Theater. Read more here.

Presentations

Publications


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – April 2021

Acknowledgements and Awards

  • Dr. Jan Wallander of Psychology was awarded the Chancellor’s John J. Conger Lectureship and Visiting Professorship by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities graduate student Iván Soto was awarded the 2021 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Nancy Burke of Public Health was awarded a grant with UC San Francisco titled: “Getting Asian Americans INFORMED to facilitate COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination”.
  • Dr. Asa Bradman of Public Health was awarded a grant with University Corporation at Monterey Bay titled: “Science teaching through the arts: Bringing state-of-the-art environmental health education to youth in agricultural communities”.

In The News

  • Dr. Charlie Eaton of Sociology and a colleague helped draft an open letter asking Mr. Biden to "right a series of wrongs" by using executive action to cancel student debt.

Publications

  • Dr. Irenee Beattie of Sociology and Ph.D. student Melissa Quesada published a research brief on racialized and gendered patterns in earning a teaching credential.

Film, Podcasts and Radio

  • To benefit the people of Texas, so recently impacted by freezing temperatures and a lack of power and fresh water, Global Arts Studies Professor Yehuda Sharim held a talk and a screening of two of his films. The virtual event was titled “People. Film. Hope.”
  • Dr. Jessica Trounstine of Political Science was a featured guest on Not Another Politics Podcast through the University of Chicago. The podcast can be listened to here for Apple and Spotify.
  • Mexico’s National Public Radio featured a book by Dr. Paul Almeida of Sociology titled: “Movimientos sociales: La estructura de la acción colectiva”. The feature can be listened to here.

Affinity Groups, Panels, Presentations, and Projects

  • After the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Dr. Maria Martin of History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies started an affinity group for Black faculty, staff, students, and community members on campus at UCM designed to fight anti-Blackness and advocate for the concerns of the Black campus (and off campus) community with the chancellor and provost. The inaugural February Speaker Series was recently completed.
  • Dr. Edward Flores of Sociology was on a panel with KSEE 24 that discussed Cesar Chavez’ legacy and Jill Biden’s visit to Delano.
  • Dr. Maria Martin of History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies put together a potentially first of its kind panel for the Fulbright organization. It centered perspectives on race, equity, and access from three Black women Fulbrighters.  It can be seen here and here.
  • Dr. Maria Martin of History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies has been on a team with two NGOs, an Oxford researcher, and a clinical psychologist to complete a project under the COVID Rapid Response Grant that they won through the US Dept. of State.  The project brought therapy to vulnerable youth in an orphanage in Ibadan, Nigeria to address the mental health challenges brought on by the disruption of their lives by COVID. It has had a wonderful impact. They trained the orphanage staff on mental health awareness and provided youth with support and coping mechanisms. Some social media posts on it are here and here.

SSHA Research and Scholarship News – March 2021

Acknowledgements and Awards

  • Dr. Deb Wiebe of Psychology has been selected by the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Child and Family Health SIG to receive its 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Child and Family Health.

In The News

  • Dr. Charlie Eaton of Sociology co-authored a letter to connect academic research on racial and class inequalities to activism surrounding student debt and to push back on the idea that student-debt cancellation would disproportionately benefit the well-off. Read the full article here.

Collaboratives and Publications


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – February 2021

Acknowledgements and Awards

  • Dr. Jessica Trounstine of Political Science, along with graduate students Eddie Lucero, Ricardo Robles, and Ada Johnson-Kanu, has been named as a research partner with The Association of Bay Area Governments to collaborate on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing program.  The award is facilitated through STIR Labs and will provide research funding for all three graduate student researchers.

In The News

Articles, Books, and Publications

  • Dr. Haifeng Huang of Political Science, along with Ph.D. student Nick Cruz, had a paper titled ”Propaganda, Presumed Influence, and Collective Protest” accepted for publication in Political Behavior.

Guest Editors

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Nancy Burke of Public Health was awarded a grant with UCLA titled: “STOP COVID-19 CA”.
  • Dr. Maria-Elena Young of Public Health was awarded a grant with Drexel University titled: “Multiple-levels of Influence on Access to Care for Latino Youth and Families”.
  • UC Merced Community and Labor Center Executive Director Ana Padilla was awarded a grant from the California Endowment titled: “Analyzing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Central Valley”.
  • Dr. Charlie Eaton of Sociology was awarded a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation titled: “Online Predation and Race and Student Debt”.
  • Humanities Professor Arturo Arias, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Endowed Chair, is a co-PI on a University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant titled “The Global Latinidades Project”. Scholars will take Latinx studies beyond North America to examine the global reach and impact of Latinx people in Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as Central and South America. Spiritual and cultural transformations, along with human rights and political struggles in worldwide Latinx communities, will also be explored. These discoveries will inform new and existing Latinx studies courses, publications and community partnerships which will be featured in an important international conference.
  • School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts Dean Jeffrey Gilger is a co-PI on the Living Through Upheaval project which is sponsored by a University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant. The Living Through Upheaval project is a humanities initiative that includes research intended to address momentous changes facing human existence and culture, such as how people understand what constitutes contemporary modes of truth; the social and environmental impacts of massive demographic shifts; and, as artificial intelligence and robotics evolve, how the distinctively “human” features of human beings change. This project supports the Centers for the Humanities on all UC campuses.

SSHA Research and Scholarship News – December 2020

Acknowledgements and Awards

  • Dr. Virginia M. Adán-Lifante was recognized by the Modern Language Association for substantial contribution to the Spanish literature and teaching of language sections of the Modern Language Association’s International Bibliography database during the past academic year.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Irenee Beattie of Sociology, Ph.D. student Melissa Quesada, Dr. Whitney Pirtle of Sociology, undergraduate student Tatiana Howell, and SSHA’s Research Administrator Tuccoa Polk as UC Merced 2020-2021 Black Research Fellowship recipients. See more about the UC Merced Black Research Fellowship and a brief description of each of the projects here.

Articles and Publications

  • Dr. Meredith Van Natta of Sociology published an essay with colleagues from Duke University about how the Department of Homeland Security's latest plan to expand DNA collection for immigration enforcement lacks transparency and genetic data protections.
  • Dr. Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook of Psychology and incoming graduate student Jessica Marino have a new study suggesting that the breastmilk of mothers who have recovered from COVID-19 contains strong antibodies to the virus.

Films

Grant Awards


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – November 2020

Articles and Publications

  • Dr. Nicola Lercari of Anthropology and Heritage Studies has a new publication in Advances in Archaeological Practice stemming from community-engaged work on California cultural heritage in the Eastern Sierra Nevada (site of Bodie, CA).

Editorial and Curating Activities

  • Dr. Eric Walle of Psychology recently served as guest editor of a special section of the journal Emotion Review that focused on emotional development. The issue brings together international leaders in the study of emotion and emotional development, consisting of 4 target articles, 8 commentaries, and 4 author responses.

Grant Awards

  • Dr. Mariaelena Gonzalez of Public Health received a new grant award from The University of California Office of The President titled “Intersectionality of Religion and Immigration with Smoking among Arab Americans in California’s SJV”.

Interviews


SSHA Research and Scholarship News – October 2020

Articles, Podcasts, and Publications

  • UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center (CLC), in partnership with leading civic and community organizations, implemented a representative survey in the city of Fresno in August and September with nearly 2,400 registered voters (led by Dr. Paul Almeida of Sociology). The survey focused on needs assessment and the major social issues of 2020 and is called FRESNO SPEAKS. It is likely one of the largest representative samples of the city in the past five years. Initial findings have attracted the attention of major news outlets in the Central Valley and beyond, including ABC News, the Fresno Bee, and the LA Times.

Grant Awards:

  • Dr. Rowena Gray of Economics and Business Management received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Gray is Co-PI on the NSF grant in the Economics Program, working on the project "Historical Housing Data" with Allison Shertzer (Co-PI, Pittsburgh) and Ronan C. Lyons (Collaborator, Trinity College Dublin). They received $607,000 for 2020-2022 to build a new picture of historical living standards through improved measurement of housing prices and rents, using historical newspaper advertisements and the latest real estate economics techniques.

    SSHA Research and Scholarship News – September 2020

    Articles and Publications

    • Dr. Colin Holbrook’s recent research that explored the relationship between political orientation and precautionary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic was discussed in the New York Times.

    Books

    • “The Handbook of Behavior Change”, a major edited book, co-edited by Dr. Martin S. Hagger and Dr. Linda Cameron (Professors of Health Psychology), was launched this month. This Handbook is a one-of-a-kind edited work outlining the theory, research, and practical guidelines on how to change behavior authored by world-leading experts in the field. This is particularly relevant to current world and California-relevant issues such as minimizing coronavirus transmission in the current pandemic, reducing the risk of devastating wildfires, and promoting better healthcare for underserved communities.
    • Professor Michael Spivey of Cognitive and Information Sciences published a book with MIT Press, titled “Who You Are: The Science of Connectedness”. This book describes scientific evidence showing that you are more than a brain, more than a brain-and-body, and more than all your assumptions about who you are. Rather than peeling layers away to reveal the inner you, Spivey traces who you are outward. It is available in hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook formats.

    Grant Awards:

    • Dr. Lace Padilla of Cognitive and Information Sciences received a grant from the National Science Foundation titled: “Visualizing Epidemical Uncertainty for Personal Risk Assessment”.
    • Dr. Anna Epperson of Psychology received a grant from the Food and Drug Administration titled: “RTI International's National American Indian Campaign Evaluation (NAICE) Project“.
    • Dr. Colin Holbrook of Cognitive and Information Sciences received a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research titled: “Trust in Machine Agents Under Realistic Threat”. This human-robot interaction research will be conducted here at UC Merced as well as in collaboration with co-PI Alan Wagner at Penn State, and will use convergent online, laboratory, and VR methods to explore determinants of over- and under-reliance in physical robots or software agents under contexts of life-or-death decision-making.
    • Dr. Matthew Zawadzki of Psychology received a grant from the California Department of Public Health for a project with the Merced County Department of Public Health titled: “Longitudinal Breastfeeding Study”.

     


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