Developments in SBS
Each SBS unit has chosen a departmental update to share with alumni and friends of the College.
Above:Communication majors on a field trip to Shanghai as part of their study abroad experience in Nanjing, China.
The School of Anthropology is partnering with the White Mountain Apache Tribe's Heritage Program to offer undergraduates valuable research experience. The three-year program is funded by a $254,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Each summer, eight students spend six weeks learning ethnographic research and geographic information systems theory and methods. Students are contributing to the creation of a Western Apache cultural and historical atlas, and their projects will also be adapted for cultural education classes in reservation schools. Last summer, students completed projects ranging from documenting clan origin sites to mapping the extent of invasive plant species on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan, professors in the School of Anthropology, are excavating the Maya site of Ceibal, located in Guatemala. They have chronicled their experience in an online journal in The New York Times.
The Department of Communication has been developing study abroad opportunities for its students and now has programs running in Nanjing, China, and Orvieto, Italy. More than a hundred communication majors have taken classes at these locations. In addition, this fall the department will be offering a revised "Intercultural Communication" class in Tucson, taught by new faculty member Maggie Pitts, who has expertise in helping students prepare for international experiences. Soon, the department hopes to offer an "International and Intercultural Communication" track within its major and minor. "The environment in which our students will work when they leave the University of Arizona is incredibly international and intercultural," said Professor Jake Harwood. "International experiences are no longer a luxury for students getting ready to enter the workplace; they are a necessity."
Gender and Women’s Studies
Associate Professor Jennifer Croissant recently received a three-year research grant titled "Collaboration and Climate" from the National Science Foundation. To understand important issues in science policy, one must understand collaboration. Two of the more pressing issues in science policy are women's participation in science and ethical issues in science. Croissant will be investigating collaboration in the chemical sciences in order to develop deeper knowledge about both women in science and how scientists think broadly about ethical issues and responsibilities in their field. Croissant will observe how different approaches to collaboration among men and women chemists are employed on a daily basis, and what kinds of laboratory organization are conducive to innovative collaboration.
Above: Geography graduate student Andrea Prichard went to France for six weeks as part of a research exchange facilitated by the joint international unit on water, environment and public policy.
Geography and Development
Geographer Connie Woodhouse completed a research study using dendrochronology that suggests that a 60-year-old drought in the Southwest--like that which occurred as recently as the 12th century--would irreparably affect water supplies in our region and in Mexico. By figuring out when and for how long drought and warm temperatures coincided in the past, Woodhouse and colleagues identified plausible worst-case scenarios for the future. Such scenarios can help water and other resource managers with planning. "We're not saying future droughts will be worse than what we see in the paleo record, but we are saying they could be as bad," said Woodhouse. "However, the effects of such a worst-case drought, were it to recur in the future, would be greatly intensified by even warmer temperatures."
Above: UA students James Vancel, Ariel Sim, Angela Barraza and Francisco Lara Garcia at the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in April.
Government and Public Policy
The Arizona Model United Nations (AzMUN) group--advised by Bill Dixon, professor in the School of Government and Public Policy--won the "Clinton Global Initiative" award for their work with Mexican high school students. The project was featured at the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in April, which was aired on MTV. The AzMUN is a student-run academic simulation of the United Nations that educates young people about the value of international diplomacy. The students' project "Bridging the U.S.-Mexico Border: Regional Dialogue through Global Education" will make their annual conference more accessible to underprivileged youth in Sonora, Mexico, and Arizona.
The Department of History will welcome a new colleague in the fall, Professor Minayo Nasiali. Nasiali's research focuses on immigrant communities in postwar Marseille, France, especially the history of public housing and social welfare as well as national and international debates about race and citizenship. She'll join Professors Julia Clancy-Smith and Miranda Spieler to support an outstanding program in French history and to teach classes on modern Europe, imperial cities and decolonization. Nasiali is a graduate of Stanford University and received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Information Resources and Library Science
The Arizona Library Information Center for the Environment (ALICE) and the Arizona Museum Information Center for the Environment (AMICE) -- groups started by Bryan Heidorn, director of the School of Information Resources and Library Science -- are working on the project "Celebrating the Past, Present and Future of the Arizona Environment." The groups plan to gather and disseminate information about peoples, plants and animals associated with specific pieces of public land in Arizona, including the Tucson Sabino Canyon. Libraries, museums, state and federal agencies, and universities are valuable repositories of information about the environmental past of Arizona. The group will use social media tools, smart phones and other tools to map the current distribution of species across the landscape. They will also use environmental modeling tools to predict the life of those lands.
An anonymous donor has created a permanent endowment in the School of Journalism to fund international travel for deserving journalism students. Preference for the $1,000 award is given to graduate students who are taking part in one of the school's study abroad programs, an international journalism internship, or other UA programs in other countries, such as language-study programs. The school is offering study abroad programs in Italy and Costa Rica in 2011. Plans are underway to offer a study abroad program in Jordan in 2012. The school's International Journalism Program features faculty with decades of experience reporting from Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies received a 2011 American-Israeli Cooperative Exchange Conference grant. They are now planning for this town/gown conference, which is titled "On the Verge of a Paradigmatic Shift? Symposium on the U.S.-Israel Relationship." It will explore key strategic issues and look at changing dynamics in the past and present relationship between Israel and the United States. With all the changes occurring in the Middle East and North Africa, this conference is timelier than ever.
Late Medieval and Reformation Studies
The Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies hosted a launch lunch on April 4, 2011, to formally begin its new fundraising campaign to augment its Ora DeConcini Martin and Morris Martin General Endowment. The Division will focus on increasing this endowment to a minimum of $500,000, so that it results in an annual stipend for either a graduate student engaged in archival research abroad or for one nearing the completion of his/her dissertation. At present, the endowment stands at approximately $111,000. To donate securely online, you can visit this link.
Latin American Studies
The Center for Latin American Studies was recently awarded $680,000 in Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) from the U.S. Department of Education. The Center selected 12 students for the summer FLAS fellowships for travel to Latin America to learn Portuguese, Garifuna, Hatian Kreole, Maya Kaqchikel, Mixtec and Tsotsil. Additionally, eight students were selected to receive FLAS fellowships for the 2011-2012 year to study Portuguese on campus and to create new courses on Maya Kaqchikel. FLAS fellows came from across SBS departments, including anthropology, geography, history, gender and women’s studies, and Latin American studies.
Linguistics Professor Andrew Carnie heads a research project analyzing and documenting Scottish Gaelic, the most at-risk of Celtic languages. Photo is of the UA linguistics research team in Scotland (l-r): Micaya Clymer, Lio Mathieu, Muriel Fisher, Jessamyn Schertz and Colin Gorrie.
The Department of Linguistics continues to make huge strides in revitalizing endangered languages. Mutsun was spoken near San Juan Bautista, Calif., until approximately 1930 when the last fluent speaker died. Natasha Warner and graduate students have compiled a dictionary from published Mutsun sources and field notes, assisting in the development of language teaching materials. Heidi Harley researches the grammar of the endangered Hiaki language (Yaqui) by preserving recorded histories of Arizona's Yaqui people. Teaching Navajo language and linguistics to school teachers in various reservations is Mary Willie's main focus. Ofelia Zepeda's commitment to improving literacy in the Tohono O'odham language encouraged community support for the Tohono O'odham Dictionary Project. Adam Ussishkin is digitizing an under-documented European language, Maltese. You can support UA students carrying out language revitalization work by giving to the Kenneth Hale Scholarship online here.
Mexican American & Raza Studies
On April 3, the Department of Mexican American Studies held the first Consuelo I. Aguilar Scholarship Walk/Run. More than 100 people participated in the event, which helped the department raise more than $10,000 and establish a scholarship with the UA Foundation. The event was covered by FOX News. Also, faculty Anna Ochoa O’Leary, Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith and Antonio Estrada participated in “SBS Immigration Week,” both on the planning committee and on panels related to human rights and public health.
The main library at Yarmouk University in Jordan. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
Middle Eastern Studies
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), which is part of the new School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, has been working with UA Study Abroad to develop a program in Irbid, Jordan, at Yarmouk University. Recently, Christian Sinclair, assistant director of CMES, traveled to Jordan and met with the president and staff of Yarmouk University to discuss the plans for the program, which will include Arabic, Middle Eastern studies, journalism and environmental studies. Beginning in summer 2012, UA students will be able to spend seven weeks in Jordan earning UA credit.
Near Eastern Studies
The Department of Near Eastern Studies (NES) hired Sonia Shiri to be its new Middle Eastern
language coordinator and assistant professor of Arabic. In addition, NES’s newest sub-unit, the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC), has gained international attention with its Weekly Bulletin, video interviews and publications in Al Jazeera English. SISMEC is also organizing a series of live video collaborations with the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore. With a new dual degree M.A. program between Near Eastern studies and the School of Government and Public Policy just approved, and the recent transformation of the department into the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the unit is poised for new prominence nationally and internationally.
The Department of Philosophy is delighted to acknowledge Grafton Berger for his wonderful and continuing generosity to the department through his annual gifts over the past 15 years. Upon retiring from a very successful career in business and a leadership position with the Burr-Brown Corporation, Berger turned to philosophy and completed the equivalent of the major in philosophy by enrolling and excelling in a demanding array of courses in the philosophy department. Students using the philosophy department’s library today will almost certainly discover that they’re reading books purchased for the department by this generous benefactor.
SBS Research Institute
SBSRI welcomes its new faculty fellow, Cecile McKee, professor of linguistics and cognitive science. McKee will provide a leadership role in enhancing research for the College of SBS by working with individuals and teams of faculty and student researchers to increase the amount of externally funded research in the College. An early goal is to identify groups of faculty across departments to collaborate on interdisciplinary grant-writing projects. McKee brings valuable experience as a former program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and as the recipient of an NSF collaborative grant for research on child language development.
Sociologist Louise Roth received a grant from the National Science Foundation for her project “Legal and Insurance Environments Impact and Health Practices.” Cesarean delivery accounts for approximately one-third of American births, more than double the World Health Organization’s recommendations. To what extent are obstetricians’ perceptions and fears about liability connected to actual malpractice risk? Using Vital Statistics birth certificate data, the National Inpatient Samples data on hospitals, and state-level measures of legal and insurance regulations, Roth is conducting a novel analysis of the effects of litigation and managed care on obstetric practices. Her research also includes interviews with medical negligence attorneys, obstetricians, certified nurse midwives and hospital administrators.
David Yetman, research social scientist in the Southwest Center, in Chile. Yetman is working with videographer Dan Duncan on "In the Americas with David Yetman" for PBS.
The Southwest Center
For 10 years, research social scientist David Yetman was host of the PBS documentary series “The Desert Speaks.” Videographer Dan Duncan, who recently received his M.A. in Latin American studies at the University of Arizona, has now joined Yetman as resident documentary filmmaker at the Southwest Center. Duncan was producer and videographer for “The Desert Speaks” for nearly 20 years and is the winner of multiple Emmy Awards. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Yetman and Duncan are recording whistled speech among indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, Mexico. In addition, they are completing the first season of a new PBS television series titled “In the Americas with Dave Yetman,” as well as a new series on Mexican fiestas.
Southwest Institute for Research on Women
SIROW researchers, through their iTEAM project, are working hard to improve the lives of homeless and near-homeless youth in Tucson. iTEAM provides several services to youth (ages 15-23) who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer) or as a straight ally and are homeless or near homeless. All of the iTEAM participants receive intensive case management to assist with housing, independent living skills and employment, and also have access to free substance abuse treatment, sexual health education and a community of people to provide support. Since March of 2010, 71 Tucson youth have been enrolled in the project.