Social Sciences Alumni Newsletter Fall 2014

Featured News (1)

New Research 

  Rice University to be part of NIH-funded Center for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge
Rice University’s Department of Psychology will use mobile sensing technologies to help people who are trying to stop smoking from having a relapse as a member of the National Institutes of Health’s new Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data to Knowledge (MD2K).
  One-third of male academic scientists willing to scale back career to focus
on family One-third of men in academic science are willing to scale back their careers to focus on family life, according to a new study from sociologist Elaine Ecklund that suggests traditional family roles may be shifting.
Kimbro (1)
  Children in immigrant families more likely to be sedentary
Immigrant children from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be sedentary than U.S.-born white children, according to a new study by sociologists at Rice University. The researchers said their findings should remind pediatricians and parents of children in immigrant families to encourage physical activity.
  Does practice really make perfect? Does practice really make perfect?
It’s an age-old question, and a new study from psychologist Fred Oswald finds that while practice won’t make you perfect, it will usually make you better at what you’re practicing
Martin   Older adults nearly twice as likely to have memories affected by environmental distractions
Older people are nearly twice as likely as their younger counterparts to have their memory and cognitive processes impaired by environmental distractions, according to a new study from psychologist Randi Martin. Whereas other studies had found that older adults are distracted by memories of prior similar events, this was the first study to convincingly demonstrate across several tasks an impairment from environmental distractions.
  US should re-evaluate definition of skilled workers in immigration policy
New immigration research from sociology professor Sergio Chavez suggests the U.S. should re-evaluate its definition of skilled workers to include informal skills of migrant workers.
  Researchers find hormones affect voting behavior
Researchers from Rice University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have found that hormone levels can affect voter turnout.
Murdock   New $1 million grant to fund Rice study on Houston-area urban development
A new $1 million grant from Houston Endowment Inc. will enable researchers from Rice University’s Hobby Center for the Study of Texas to embark on a three-year study of how urban development is affecting neighborhoods and residents in the Greater Houston metropolitan area, with emphasis on Harris County and the city of Houston.

Around the Social Sciences

Gateway Video
  School of Social Sciences Gateway Program for Undergraduates
Check out the new GATEWAY program video!The GATEWAY program provides Rice Social Sciences undergraduates opportunities to put what they learn in the classroom to work in the real world through international experiences, research and internships.
MGA   Rice University to offer Master of Global Affairs degree
Rice University will begin offering a Master of Global Affairs degree in fall 2015. The new program is designed to offer graduate students professional education that simultaneously requires high standards of scholarship and offers practical training for global affairs careers in government, the private sector and international organizations.
D Wetter   MD Anderson researcher David Wetter named chair of Rice Department of Psychology
Acclaimed MD Anderson researcher David Wetter became chair of Rice University’s Department of Psychology this month.
Cunha   Rice economist awarded Frisch Medal
Flavio Cunha, an associate professor of economics at Rice, is the recipient of the 2014 Frisch Medal, one of the top prizes for research in the field of economics.
Wolpin   One of the nation’s leading labor economists joins Rice
Kenneth Wolpin, widely recognized as one of the nation’s pre-eminent labor economists, has joined Rice University’s Economics Department.
Econ Fac   Faculty ‘dream team’ joins Rice Economics Initiative
Three rising stars in the field of economics – Xun Tang, Flavio Cunha, and Hülya Eraslan – joined the Department of Economics July 1 as part of the Rice Economics Initiative, a multiyear plan to enhance research and teaching in economics at Rice University.
Grad (1)   GradConnect
In its inaugural year, the GradConnect Alumni Mentor program has paired just under 20 Social Sciences graduate alumni with current graduate mentees to foster mentorship and experiential learning opportunities.

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