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In light of the reawakened reckoning on racial justice issues and other historical and contemporary inequalities, the UCLA Division of Social Sciences is turning its attention and support to its graduate students. The newly established Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality was created to provide funds to graduate students in the Division researching and examining the important social justice issues of our time.

Launched in November 2020, an email campaign showcased cutting-edge research in the division with the goal of raising $50,000 by December 31, 2020.  For six weeks, messages highlighted various research projects, ranging from how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color to the Division’s own Hollywood Diversity Report.

Midway through the campaign, Dean Darnell Hunt’s Advisory Board was so inspired by this effort that the board decided to provide $25,000 in matching funds. Additionally, Material, a modern marketing services company, led by Chairman and CEO UCLA alumnus Dave Sackman ’80, also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, pledged a $25,000 gift. Thanks to these gifts, as well as the generous support of numerous donors, alumni and friends, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising over $77,000.

“As the #1 public university in the United States, we continually strive to advance knowledge, address pressing societal needs, and foster the kind of environment enriched by diverse perspectives in which our students can flourish. I am truly heartened by how the UCLA community came together to support our graduate students during these challenging times.” —Dean Darnell Hunt

Graduate students in the Division’s departments and programs are invited to submit research proposals and the funds will be distributed as $5,000 grants starting summer 2021. Raising money for this fund will be an ongoing effort, underscoring the Division’s commitment to its graduate students as they take on important and critical research around issues of diversity and inequality.

To support graduate students through the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, please visit this site.

OR

To submit a research proposal for the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, please apply by submitting your information HERE, where you will be asked to provide:

1.  Name

2.  Department/Program (Must be a department/program in the UCLA Division of Social Sciences)

3.  Year in program

4.  Other summer support

5.  Project title

6.  Project abstract (one page max)

7.  Faculty support letter

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA Department of Communication is offering a wide array of amazing courses. Below we will highlight two of them. For more information about these courses, click HERE, and register/enroll HERE Today!

Summer Session A

Check out Dr. Michael Suman’s UCLA ONLINE summer course, “Communication in Intimate Relationships” (Communication 114).

Nothing is more important to us than our intimate relationships. What are the building blocks of successful relationships? What makes us attracted to other people? How important are first impressions? How and why do men and women approach relationships differently? What types of verbal and non-verbal communication are key for successful relationships? What is and how important is commitment? How can we stay committed and content? What types of communication are dysfunctional and how can we avoid them? What do we expect from our relationships and how can we get what we desire? What is the difference between friendship and love? What are the different types of love and attachment? Does romantic love last? How important is sex in relationships? Who gets jealous and why? What are the consequences of lying and betrayal? How can inevitable relationship conflict be effectively managed? How and why do relationships end? How can you effectively maintain good relationships and repair troubled ones? Learn all this, and much more. Having studied the modern science of close relationships, you should be better equipped to understand, create, and maintain happy, rewarding relationships that last.

Even though I took this class during the summer, the hardest time to focus, I was always interested and excited to go to class. The concepts that Suman teaches in CS 114 can be applied to your everyday life. Understanding relationships and how the female and male minds differ was eye-opening. Though it seems like a foreign concept to talk about personal relationships in a college course, it was incredibly helpful to my life, and interesting as well. The reading assigned in this class was very easy to get through since it was so relatable. I actually kept this book and refer back to it from time to time. Suman requires you to know the material from lecture and in the book very well, but this made me remember it today and use it to understand differences in my own relationships. Whether you are a communications major or not, I would highly recommend this class for the sake of your future relationships.

Communication Studies 114 is one of my favorite classes at UCLA. People always say, “What do you want to do with a Communication Studies major? Do you want to be a journalist or a news reporter?” But honestly, there are classes in the Comm department unlike any you’ll ever take, and CS 114 is one of them. CS114 is about Intimate Relationships – one of only two such courses on this campus. The readings are fantastic – interesting, applicable, and well written. And Professor Suman is a great lecturer, well-read and very knowledgeable. The topics covered in class are incredibly insightful and useful for everyday relationships as well as intimate ones. Even if you have never been in an intimate relationship (as was my case), the class is quite helpful for understanding the workings of relationships and how to be successful in them. You learn everything from common pitfalls in relationships (like trying to mind read) to how to remedy and mediate conflict with your partner. This class has had an incredible influence on how I communicate with my friends and co-workers, and all for the better! I’ve used things I’ve learned in CS114 in countless situations (and as recently as last week!). So, what can I do with a Communication Studies degree? Anything I want! Because I’ve learned how to effectively discuss feelings and desires with people in a vast array of settings, intimate or otherwise. Do not miss out on this class! It is a fantastic opportunity to learn about something that everyone wishes he/she understood better.

Summer Session C

Check out Dr. Michael Suman’s UCLA ONLINE summer course, “Persuasive Communication” (Communication 140).

What comes to mind when you think of persuasion? Presidential candidates trying to get you to vote for them? Websites shamelessly promoting products and companies? Charismatic political and religious leaders trying to get you to see things their way? Lawyers trying to get you to convict–or find their client innocent? Can you think of any time when the media or some attractive communicator changed your mind? Have you ever been convinced to buy something that you didn’t need or even want? Have you ever been talked into an unnecessary car repair? Have you ever been persuaded to loan money to a friend only to discover that she had no intention of paying you back? On the other hand, have you ever been helped by persuasive communication? Have you ever been talked into giving up some bad habit? Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that gave you a new and positive attitude? Have you ever been convinced by someone to look at the world in a new way? Have you ever been persuaded by a teacher that you had potential that you had not known you had? How and why are we persuaded in some instances, but not others? This class examines persuasion through media, interpersonal, psychological, and sociological lenses. It systematically explores the processes, complexities, and subtleties of persuasion in everyday life.

I took Comm 140 the summer after my first year at UCLA.  I initially took this class to prove to myself that I was capable of getting an A in a Comm class, after I dropped the ball in the previous one I took. However, my motives quickly changed once I took my seat on the first day of Session C. The content of this class sparked my interest, and dare I say it, this was the first class to do so at UCLA. My favorite feature of this class was how it did not stop at presenting you with the information, but it took everything a step further by giving examples of the concepts’ implementations of real life. I believe Professor Suman did a remarkable job of not only teaching in a clear and organized manner, but also by choosing the perfect book for this course. “Yes!” by Robert Cialdini is the only book I bought during my four years of college that I actually kept after the course was over. Altogether the course holds a plethora of content that is applicable to life, whether you are an entrepreneur, looking to get a job in corporate America, or even presenting proposals for projects. I recommend this class to anyone who sees value in communication. This is a class that receives a 10/10 rating from me.

I took CS140 in the summer session C in 2017 and it was one of the best choices I have made. Doctor Suman is no doubt a good teacher who is patient, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. As a foreign student, I might have some difficulties understanding some concepts during the class. Doctor Suman always explained to me patiently. He made sure we could put those theories into practice and utilize them properly. The readings assigned in class were also relatable and instructive. I kept the two books for daily utilization. With all those theories, I can persuade people and make people say YES when I need to reach agreement with others, in moral ways. Also, I can prevent myself from being persuaded by merchants and advertisers if I don’t need to purchase their products. I even used some of the theories from the class in a graduate school paper which brought praise from my teacher. I believe CS140 is a course that can be highly recommended.

Dr. Justin Dunnavant, an incoming professor in the UCLA Department of Anthropology, recently had his work with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) featured on WUSA9 news in Washington, DC. Dr. Dunnavant’s research seeks to share the whole truth about the experience of African Americans by unearthing artifacts from some of the highest and lowest places on earth. The Slave Wrecks Project is focused on salvaging artifacts from the wreckage of slave ships around the world. Dr. Dunnavant states that there is history, particularly underwater history, that hasn’t been uncovered. “Dunnavant has done work in Africatown, Alabama, a city that was formed by African Americans after the emancipation of enslaved people. Many of those in the town crossed the Atlantic on a ship named the Clotilda — the last known slave ship to reach the United States.”

To learn more about this important research, check out WUSA9’s print and video coverage HERE.

The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute (BKI) is supporting the “Just Say Hello” campaign to help bridge the racial divide. This is a small gesture with a big message. The #JustSayHelloChallenge encourages people to Just Say Hello to somebody who doesn’t look like you, and share the videos and photos on social media with the hashtag #JustSayHelloChallenge.

The campaign hopes everyone will participate. Please share this content across your social media platforms and tag their account:

Instagram: @JustSayHelloUS

Twitter: @JustSayHelloUS

Facebook: @JustSayHelloUS

TikTok: @JustSayHelloUS

Website: www.JustSayHello.org

Watch a segment that aired on LA This Week about the campaign HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In light of the reawakened reckoning on racial justice issues and other historical and contemporary inequalities, the UCLA Division of Social Sciences is turning its attention and support to its graduate students. The newly established Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality was created to provide funds to graduate students in the division researching and examining the important social justice issues of our time.

Launched in November 2020, an email campaign showcased cutting-edge research in the division with the goal of raising $50,000 by December 31, 2020. For six weeks, messages highlighted various research projects, ranging from how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color to the Division’s own Hollywood Diversity Report.

Midway through the campaign, Dean Darnell Hunt’s Advisory Board was so inspired by this effort that the board decided to provide $25,000 in matching funds. Additionally, Material, a modern marketing services company, led by Chairman and CEO UCLA alumnus Dave Sackman ’80, also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, pledged a $25,000 gift. Thanks to these gifts, as well as the generous support of numerous donors, alumni and friends, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising over $77,000.

“As the #1 public university in the United States, we continually strive to advance knowledge, address pressing societal needs, and foster the kind of environment enriched by diverse perspectives in which our students can flourish,” said Hunt. “I am truly heartened by how the UCLA community came together to support our graduate students during these challenging times.”

Later this spring, the Division’s graduate students will be invited to submit research proposals, and the funds will be distributed as $5,000 grants starting summer 2021. Raising money for this fund will be an ongoing effort, underscoring the Social Science’s commitment to its graduate students as they take on important and critical research around issues of diversity and inequality.

To support graduate students through the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, click HERE.

 

Dr. Celia Lacayo, Associate Director of Community Engagement in the UCLA Division of Social Sciences, contributed to the KCET documentary, 187: The Rise of the Latino Vote. It focuses on a pivotal moment of California history, the passage of California’s Proposition 187 in 1994, which sought to deny public services to undocumented immigrants. The measure which sought to discourage the “immigrant threat,” served to mobilize non-immigrants and immigrants in Latino communities as well as their allies across the state. It transformed the state’s electoral politics.

Check out the next telecast on election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 6:30 PM PT on KCET-HD OR watch the full episode now HERE.

In addition to being an associate editor and contributor to LA Social Science, Dr. Lacayo is an adjunct professor in the UCLA Chicana/o & Central American Studies Department and the African American Studies Department.

As a guest author for Scatterplot, Dr. Aliza Luft, UCLA assistant professor of sociology, makes the case that American leaders have switched sides, embraced the Nazi separation playbook during this current administration, and turned their backs on agreements that Americans made during the “Greatest Generation” seventy-eight year ago. Dr. Luft makes clear that children are being hurt by xenophobic policy, and she reminds us of history, while allowing no excuses for inaction.

Dr. Luft’s historical comparison is timely and a call to action. To read the essay, click HERE.

Darnell Hunt, Ph.D., Dean of UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology and African American Studies,

invites you to attend the inaugural Social Sciences Dean’s Salon:

“Protecting the Right to Vote in the 2020 Presidential Election”

 Monday, October 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. PDT

Live streaming via Zoom featuring a conversation with the following:

Matt Barreto

Professor, UCLA Department of Political Science and César A. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies

Chad W. Dunn

Director of Litigation, UCLA Voting Rights Project

Latino Policy & Politics Initiative

Lorrie Frasure

Acting Director, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

Associate Professor, UCLA Departments of Political Science and African American Studies

Natalie Masuoka

Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Political Science

Chair and Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Asian American Studies

moderated by

Darnell Hunt, Ph.D.

Dean, UCLA Division of Social Sciences

Professor of Sociology and African American Studies

To RSVP for this event, click HERE

Please submit your questions in advance of the webinar via email to:

hnadworny@support.ucla.edu (by Friday, October 16 at 12:00 p.m.)

Instructions to join the webinar will be provided once your registration has been confirmed.

 

 

U Heard It Here

“The 2020 Campaign for the Hardest Job in the World”

Featuring a conversation with John Dickerson (Correspondent, 60 Minutes and CBS News; Author, The Hardest Job in the World)

and Dr. Lynn Vavreck (Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

5:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m. PDT

Live streaming via zoom.

RSVP link: https://ucla.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_90lJmq1TSWubJidThX-_Og

MicroOne/Adobe Stock

UCLA Professors Akihiro Nishi and Michael Irwin and colleagues co-authored a paper that was published in Nature‘s Scientific Reports titled, “Mindfulness Meditation Activates Altruism,” on April 16, 2020. Dr. Nishi and Dr. Irwin are affiliated with the Bedari Kindness Institute within the UCLA Division of Social Sciences. The paper finds that mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and stress, and improves emotion regulation due to modulation of activity in neural substrates linked to the regulation of emotions and social preferences. The abstract is included below and the full paper can be found HERE.

Abstract

Clinical evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and stress, and improves emotion regulation due to modulation of activity in neural substrates linked to the regulation of emotions and social preferences. However, less was known about whether mindfulness meditation might alter pro-social behavior. Here we examined whether mindfulness meditation activates human altruism, a component of social cooperation. Using a simple donation game, which is a real-world version of the Dictator’s Game, we randomly assigned 326 subjects to a mindfulness meditation online session or control and measured their willingness to donate a portion of their payment for participation as a charitable donation. Subjects who underwent the meditation treatment donated at a 2.61 times higher rate than the control (p = 0.005), after controlling for socio-demographics. We also found a larger treatment effect of meditation among those who did not go to college (p < 0.001) and those who were under 25 years of age (p < 0.001), with both subject groups contributing virtually nothing in the control condition. Our results imply high context modularity of human altruism and the development of intervention approaches including mindfulness meditation to increase social cooperation, especially among subjects with low baseline willingness to contribute.