Social Sciences Faculty Summer Research Grants

Research Grant Recipients, Summer 2014

12 School of Social Science faculty members received $1,250 each to help fund their proposed research topics as part of the 2014 Summer Research Grant program. Research findings will be presented at the Brown Bag Lecture Series.

Jeff Baldwin, Geography
Professor Jeff Baldwin is involved in an on-going research project concerned with beaver re-colonization in the mountains of the Western United States as a strategy to adapt to the loss of winter snow pack due to global climate change. Professor Baldwin used his summer research grant to focus on research into institutional environments regarding beaver re-introduction in California. The research included conducting field reconnaissance seeking past physical evidence of beaver in northwestern California and began to map the institutional environment regulating beaver presence and absence in California. This research is particularly relevant given California’s critical water shortage this year and on-gong legislative efforts to fund construction of more high dams in the Sierra. The contention is that if allowed to re-populate to their pre-historic populations, beaver would more effectively cache water in a manner which is more useful to the Californian ecologies that long co-adapted to beaver by re-connecting streams with their flood plains, and sequestering carbon in increased riparian biomass and in peat soils which form behind the dams.

Alexis Boutin, Anthropology
Alexis Boutin used her summer research grant to prepare a manuscript for publication which reflects on the place(s) of her research area – bioarchaeology – betwixt and between the traditional four sub-fields of anthropology. The research is based on the observation that when it comes to funding, publications, and the job search, bioarchaeologists are at a disadvantage compared to peers who specialize in one anthropological subfield. Specifically her research looks into the idea that the segregation of bioarchaeology between the four subfields is generational and that the mentorship that current bioarcaeologists received is qualitatively different from the training that they are giving their own students. The research provides important insights into the current state of the discipline, and will allow her to make recommendations for new cross-subfield initiatives.

Mary Gomes, Psychology
Professor Mary Gomes used her summer research grant to undertake a literature review on teaching self-compassion to undergraduates. The literature review will help her integrate self-compassion theory and practice into her teaching and will also be of value to the other relevant campus programs such as First Year Experiences and Counseling and Psychological Services. Self-compassion, defined as responding to life struggles and failures with kindness rather than harsh self-judgment, has been established as a trainable skill. Research has demonstrated self-compassion to be a powerful predictor of physical and psychological health across a wide range of outcomes, many of which are of particular relevance to the challenges encountered by young adults in college. Self-compassion has also been shown to buffer against anxiety, depression, and stress-related inflammation, and to support happiness and overall life satisfaction.

Maria Hess, Psychology
Humanidad Therapy and Education Services (HTES) is a multicultural community mental health agency and Marriage and Family Therapist training program. HTES offers low-fee, no-fee psychological services in Sonoma County. Additionally, HTES offers court-affiliated services such as supervised visitation, therapeutic supervised visitation, and mediation. As a therapist mentorship program the focus is on providing culturally aware, qualified therapists to serve diverse populations. Humanidad is entirely staffed by volunteers who are SSU graduates. It is a mentorship cohort model that has MA students mentoring BA students, who shadow therapists in training. Professor Maria Hess used her summer research grant to continue to develop assessment measurements for innovative programming, as well as to help support research assistance for data analysis and reporting.

Karin E. Jaffe, Anthropology
The process of “retirement” for research primates is critical for the well-being and survival of the animals, yet despite the squirrel monkey being listed as the second most frequently utilized research subject, there is little available literature focusing on the transition of squirrel monkeys from the laboratory to retirement in captive facilities. Professor Karen Jaffe is working on a long-term project, which started in summer 2010, to help the San Francisco Zoo (SFZ) better understand the interactions between the monkeys as they transition from several smaller groups and are gradually introduced to form one large group with the hope that they can be successfully housed and their aggression and resulting injuries can be managed. Professor Jaffe used her summer research grant to summarize and analyze the data that have been collected thus far.

Catherine Nelson, Political Science
Professor Catherine Nelson is working on a project that applies feminist theory to the analysis of political communication in U.S. presidential campaigns. The research will build upon the work of political theorist Michaela Ferguson in her article “Women are not an Interest Group” (Theory and Event, 2013). In that piece, Ferguson argues that in the 2012 presidential election candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both spoke about women’s issues in a way that deflected attention from “feminist issues,” defined as issues of structural gender inequality. Given the significance of visual media in election campaigns, Professor Nelson used her summer research grant to explore the possibility of extending Ferguson’s analysis to the visual representation of women’s issues in presidential campaign commercials.

Peter Phillips, Sociology
Professor Phillips used his summer research grant to work with four student research assistants to finalize data collected as part of his long-term research project documenting the numbers of law enforcement related deaths in the US for the past 15 year. Law enforcement related deaths are those whenever a person dies in the presence of police. This includes shootings deaths by officers, as well as suicides, chase deaths, and any other case when deaths occur. The research focuses on the tragic death of Andy Lopez in Sonoma County as a case where different police procedures and cultural circumstances would have likely prevented this incident. In particular, the research will include a content analysis of all the news stories on the Lopez case from the local media. The hope is to be able to make recommendations that would reduce the number of law enforcement related deaths in the US and stimulate additional research into this issue.

Napoleon C. Reyes, Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies
Professor Napoleon Reyes used his summer research grant to explore the determinants of the decision of the Philippine Supreme Court, acting as a disciplinary tribunal, (1) to convict or acquit magistrates accused of judicial misconduct, and (2) to retain or dismiss from the service those who are found guilty of judicial misconduct. Opinion in judicial administrative cases promulgated by the Court from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010 was analyzed for this study. The present state of the Philippine judiciary and the different approaches to judicial misconduct in other jurisdictions will also be discussed.

Don Romesburg, Women’s & Gender Studies

Professor Don Romesburg used his summer research grant to travel to the Kinsey Archives in Bloomington Indiana to do the research needed to complete the final chapter of his book manuscript Arrested Development: Homosexuality and American Adolescence, 1890-1940. The manuscript explores the crucial moment when emergent 20th – century models of adolescence and homosexuality became disciplinary, productive, and cultural forces in expert discourses, institutions, and lives. From the turn-of-the-century inception of the concept of modern adolescence, experts who articulated it had to grapple with questions of homosexuality and gender diversity that were, in turn, incorporated into theories of adolescent adjustment. By the 1930’s, understandings of modern adolescence and modern homosexuality had become mutually reliant upon one another. This had profound effects on the experts, institutions, youth cultures, and broader society.

Daniel Soto, Environmental Studies & Planning
Professor Daniel Soto used his summer research grant to publish a methodology for quantifying the economic benefit of solar technologies at different income and spending levels. The research collected data on three aspects to inform this analysis. First the current costs of solar devices in the field, second, the costs for kerosene and retail phone charging from reports and interviews, and third, the loan terms available from lenders in these markets will be gathered. The data will be assembled into a quantitative analysis of the return on investment for consumers considering purchasing these devices, highlighting favorable conditions for consumers to invest. The goal is for this work to further encourage the inclusion of financial sustainability into the technical humanitarian academic design community. In areas where products bring clean energy benefits but remain unaffordable, Soto hopes to inspire technical or financial strategies to allow consumers to purchase them.

Laura A. Watt, Environmental Studies & Planning
Professor Laura Watt worked with students to revisit her research into the environmental history of the King Range with the goal of updating the research and adapting it into a publishable article. Otherwise known as the “Lost Coast,” the King Range is a remote stretch of northern California coastline north of Mendocino and south of Eureka, where the rugged terrain famously forced the builders of Highway 1 to turn inland for a stretch; putting the highway right along the coast was physically impossible. The original research was done in conjunction with a twenty-year Resource Management Plan for the BLM’s King Range National Conservation Area, but was not published as part of the plan. Professor Watt used her summer research grant to help to off-set the cost of a research trip up to the Arcata Field Office and King Range NCA office to gather archival documents and talk with the land managers. The students working with her on this project will be co-authors on the publication.

Adam Zagelbaum, Counseling
Professor Adam Zagelbaum used his research Grant to develop a series of workshop trainings based on the principles and findings from his recently published, Zagelbaum, A. (2014). School counseling and the student athlete. New York: Routledge. And current training video: Zagelbaum, A. (2013). Counseling the student-athlete. Hanover, MA: Microtraining Associates, Inc. The research addresses and attempts to bridge a perceived gap that exists between the profession of school counseling and the world of K-12 student athletics. Though there are several school-based professionals who are involved with the training and development of student-athletes, such as coaches, school psychologists, parent/teacher associates/consultants, and athletic trainers, the role of the school counselor has not necessarily received as much attention yet it can also have a significant impact on the development of the student-athlete.

Research Grant Recipients, Summer 2013

16 School of Social Science faculty members received $1,000 each to help fund their proposed research topics as part of the 2013 Summer Research Grant program. Research findings will be presented later this year at the Brown Bag Lecture Series.

Dr. Stephen Bittner - History
"Whites and Reds: Wine in the Lands of the Tsar and Commissar”

Professor Bittner traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia and St. Petersburg, Russia to consult tsarist-era collections containing materials on the history of winemaking in the valleys of the south Caucasus after Russian annexation at the end of the 18th century. In Russia, he consulted material that will illuminate the cultural and legislative events leading up to the passage of Russia’s wine-purity law in 1903. The research is central to his book-length study on the history of tsarist and Soviet winemaking.

Dr. Cynthia Boaz - Political Science
“Depictions of War and Peace in Media Coverage of Palestinian Crisis”

Professor Cynthia Boaz is using frame analysis to examine the competing narratives used by conventional media to discuss the ongoing conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Her research considers the two dominant sets of frames on the conflict: one that emphasizes violence, repression, and terrorism, and the other that emphasizes civil resistance, people power, and the quest for unity across borders.

Dr. Maureen Buckley - Counseling
“The Impact of Parental Involvement on the Academic Achievement of Latino Students”

Professor Maureen Buckley conducted a literature review on the impact of parental involvement on the academic achievement of Latino students. Latino students are particularly at risk for problematic academic outcomes such as low grades, absenteeism, lower test scores, and high school drop-out. Buckley hopes that through this research she can devise concrete suggestions to help our local school committees address this issue.

Dr. James J. Dean - Sociology
“Gay Ghetto Straights? Anti-homophobic Practices, Gay Normalization, and the Growing Presence of Straight Residents in San Francisco’s Castro District”

Professor James Dean’s research asks the question: how do straights who live in the Castro district enact their straight identities in their interactions with LGBT persons who still compose the majority of the neighborhood’s residents, visitors, and patrons? And which neighborhood characteristics, resources, and cultural values do straight residents define as central in their decisions to live in a historically famous gay ghetto? Dean is using his summer research grant to conduct 30 in-depth interviews with straight residents of the Castro District.

Dr. Steve Estes - History
“Too Proud to Whitewash: Charleston Since the Civil Rights Era”

Professor Steve Estes traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to complete the research and revisions of his book manuscript: “Too Proud to Whitewash: Charleston, since the Civil Rights Era.” In Charleston, Estes had access to several archives including Charleston Post & Courier and the Avery Research Center and may be able to conduct some final oral history interviews.

Dr. Diana Grant - Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
“In the Shadow of the Jury”

Professor Diana Grant plans to examine how the political role of petit juries manifests in this era of massive pretrial publicity and media creation of ‘moral crises’ relating to crime. Her research focuses on contemporary cases, which appear to illustrate this phenomenon.

Dr. Patrick Jackson - Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
“Foster Children Involved in Animal Assisted Therapy”

Professor Patrick Jackson is continuing his work with foster children at Forget Me Not Farms, a non-profit where children learn how to care for and manage abused and abandoned animals. His research uses photo elicitation procedures to interview the foster children involved in animal assisted therapy and mentoring programs about their relationship with animals as well as their human mentors, and exploring how these relate to breaking the cycle of criminality.

Dr. Thomas Jacobson - Environmental Studies and Planning
“The Basics of California Land Use Planning”

Professor Thomas Jacobson is researching and completing the basic text of a new book called “The Basics of California Land Use Planning.” The book, inspired by a course taught by Jacobson called Planning for Non-Planners, focuses on providing the basic structure of the planning process and land use regulation in California to a broad non-professional audience.

Professor Lena McQuade - Women’s and Gender Studies
“Conceiving Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care: The Santa Fe Maternal Health Center, 1937”

Professor Lena McQuade continues to trace the development of the first free birth control clinic established in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the late 1930’s. Her research helps provide historical context for contemporary questions about reproductive freedoms and the role of birth control in comprehensive health care reform.

Professor Melinda Milligan – Sociology
“In the Interest of the Past: Organizational Identities and the Historic House”

Professor Melinda Milligan continues her research on historical preservation issues by conducting fieldwork (observation and interviews) on historic house museums and historic house tours. With this additional data she will be able to continue her analysis of preservation ideology as presented by preservation advocacy organizations as a means to continue assessment of these groups as social movement organizations.

Professor Kathleen Noonan - History
“Gasoline and Unrest: The 1915-1916 Bayonne Refinery Strikes and the Balm of Employee Housing”

Kathleen Noonan traveled to Bayonne, New Jersey to conduct research into the Standard Oil refinery strikes there and the development of the first “garden apartments” for the Standard Oil employees as part of an experiment in urban planning underwritten by John D. Rockefeller.

Professor Gerryann Olson – Psychology
“Diaries, Letters, Scrapbooks and Journals: Crafting a Visual Autobiographical Self”

Professor Gerryann Olson is studying a variety of Professor Napoleon Reyes' Criminology and Criminal Justice 
approaches to documenting one’s life through scrapbooks, diaries, letters, individual and group journals, and the more recent use of online blogs and confessional sites such as Postsecret. She hopes to propose some reasons why scrapbooks and diaries remain enduring and compelling as private hobbies, and to collect data on the increase of their use as a therapeutic method.

Professor Napoleon Reyes -Criminology and Criminal Justice
“Big Brother in Reverse? A Cross-National Study of the Impact of Social Networking on Government Corruption”

Professor Napoleon Reyes continues his research into the correlation between transparency and integrity in government organizations. His work will specifically focus on social networking’s role in the public’s participation in governance.

Professor Julie Shulman – Counseling
“Women’s Self-Objectification”

Professor Julie Shulman continues her work on women’s body surveillance which is the tendency to view one’s own body as though one is an outside observer rather than from the subjective, phenomenological experience of self. Body surveillance predicts several interrelated clinical symptoms among women including body shame, body consciousness during sexual activity, sexual dissatisfaction, and sexual dysfunction.

Professor Cindy Stearns – Sociology
“Breastfeeding Professionals Study”

Professor Cindy Stearns continues her research into interviewing lactation professionals in order to develop an understanding of their work and its consequences for mothers. Her orientation questions include: How do lactation consultants talk about the embodied practices of breastfeeding in the U.S.? What are the prevailing ideologies concerning proper motherhood and breastfeeding practices shared by breastfeeding professionals and how are these enacted in their work routines and practices? What social and economic resources do these professionals believe are necessary to make breastfeeding successful?