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School of Social Sciences Humanities and Arts

Former Street Kid Fulfills Educational Promise with Ph.D.

As a teenager in Merced, Marcus Shaw lived a life marked by poverty, poor choices and indifference to education.

The idea of college — especially at the new UC Merced campus — seemed like an opportunity for someone else. Yet on Dec. 16, Shaw will participate in the university’s first Fall Commencement ceremony and celebrate his dream of earning a Ph.D. in sociology.

Crediting UC Merced with much of his success, Shaw said the ceremony will be one of the biggest moments of his life.

From White House to Campus, Labor Economist Digs Deep into Data

Professor Laura Giuliano isn’t the only female economics faculty member at UC Merced, but she is the only faculty member who worked in the Obama administration before joining the campus.

As a senior labor economist supporting the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, Giuliano and her colleagues played a big role in policy written during the last administration.

Prestigious Fellowship Furthers Grad Student’s Asthma Research

Very few people will admit to an abiding love of statistics. But Emanuel Alcala, a second-year public health doctoral student, believes statistics are key to solving many of the San Joaquin Valley’s public health challenges.

“I grew fond of statistics when I started working at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute,” Alcala said. “I saw firsthand how statistics could impact people.”

Grad Student Researches Biology Behind Political Views

If you’ve ever wondered why people stand where they do on the political spectrum, science might have at least part of the answer: People can be biologically predisposed to certain feelings toward politics and society.

A new paper lead-authored by UC Merced graduate student Chelsea Coe indicates that physiological factors can predict how someone will react when presented with political scenarios — an idea that demonstrates an emerging area of study, the intersection of biology and politics.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations Broaden Archaeology Research

Archaeologists have been asking where high-elevation populations came from for decades; how they are going about answering the question, however, is new.

“Fifty years ago, I would have consulted other archaeologists,” UC Merced Professor Mark Aldenderfer said. “It used to be the one archeologist who led a dig with assistants. It was much more insulated. Now, you can’t answer interesting questions about the past without a team of scientists.”

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