Latest Achievements

Updates about the latest publications and other achievements by our faculty, staff and students

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Week of: Jul 16, 2017

Faculty Brandon Browne, Raul Becerra, Geology

Dr. Brandon Browne, Associate Professor of Geology, and four undergraduate thesis students, including Raul Becerra (‘16), recently published their study titled “Quaternary basaltic volcanism in the Golden Trout Volcanic Field, southern Sierra Nevada, California” in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. The study uses results from geologic mapping and geochemical analyses of rocks and minerals to interpret the eruption styles and geologic evolution of the volcanic field – the only one of its age in the High Sierra.

Week of: Jul 09, 2017

Faculty Chris Aberson, Psychology

Chris Aberson was recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) for 2018-2021. ASAP is published by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). At the core of SPSSI’s mission is a desire to bring empirically sound research findings to bear on public policy. Dr. Aberson joins ASAP after completing terms as an Associate Editor of the journals Group Processes and Intergroup Relations and Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Week of: May 21, 2017

Student Natasha La Vogue and Ally Jaurique, Psychology

Psychology students Natasha La Vogue and Ally Jaurique will deliver an oral presentation at an international conference (the International Society for Political Psychology) in Edinburgh in June.

The presentations were:
Gaffney, A. M., Hackett, J. D., Jaurique*, A. & La Vogue*, N. (2017, July). The state of political identity post-Trump. Oral paper presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Gaffney, A. M., Hackett, J. D., La Vogue*, N., & Jaurique*, A. (2017, July). From group-based anger to populism: Implications for collective action and protest. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Edinburgh, Scotland.

La Vogue*, N., Jaurique*, A., Gaffney, A. M., & Hackett, J. D. (2017, July). Is 2016 a diversity backlash? Political identity norms and the future of democratic elections. Oral paper presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Far-right leaders such as Trump, Le Pen, Farage, and Wilders might threaten liberal and democratic ideals of diversity acceptance, which their nations have purported to embrace. Indeed, the United States Presidential election ended in the loss of the nation’s first major woman nominee to a man who campaigned on what was (arguably) an anti-diversity platform, targeting Americans’ uncertainties. In response to uncertainty, people are change-resistant and embrace conservative ideology (Jost et al., 2003). Uncertainty can also lead to endorsement of group norms through social identification (Hogg, 2012) and may cause people to advocate the very issues on which they feel uncertain (Cheatham & Tormala, 2017). This research examines how uncertainty over the election of Trump affects liberals and conservatives’ desires to vote for future diverse presidential candidates. We sampled 328 American Democrats and Republicans before and after the 2016 election. Republicans reported a decrease in uncertainty compared to Democrats after the election. Whereas Republicans’ uncertainty was unrelated to willingness to vote for diverse presidential candidates, among Democrats, uncertainty was related to increasing desire to vote for women, ethnic minorities, LGBT candidates, and candidates who are not Christian. These results suggest that in the direct aftermath of the election of Trump, liberals appear to use their uncertainty as a base for holding to liberal diversity norms, whereas for conservatives, whose candidate won the election, uncertainty and future voting preference were unnrelated. Results highlight the strength of political norms, even in the face of uncertainty, in guiding voting and political behavior.

Staff Michae Le, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Michael Le, Research Associate in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness is an invited panelist at the 57th annual conference for the Association for Institutional Research held May 30 to June 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The Forum is the world’s largest gathering of higher education professionals in institutional research, effectiveness, assessment, planning and related fields. Learn more at:

Faculty Leena Dallasheh, History

Dr. Dallasheh was invited to present a paper at UC Berkeley, entitled “Early Encounters, Future Possibilities.” Dallasheh’s paper explored the ways Palestinians continue to negotiate their status with the Israeli State based on their experience during the early years of their incorporation with the state. This panel was a part of a series of panels organized contemporaneously at the Centers for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Middle East war, “6 Days, 50 Years: 1967 and the Politics of Time.”

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