Year in Review 2002: Social and Behavioral Sciences

Jeff Harrison
Dec. 20, 2002

Studies in politics, anthropology, memory and health were some of research highlights of the year at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' long search for a new dean ended with the hire of Edward I. Donnerstein, who was the dean of social sciences at UC - Santa Barbara. Donnerstein, a professor of communication and psychology, and a nationally known authority on the impact of television on behavior, began Sept. 1.

Elsewhere in SBS:

  • Michael Schaller, history, was among those named as Regents' Professor this year. Schaller, also a former department head, is a noted authority on the post-WWII history of the United States, especially regarding relations with Japan and China.

  • The UA anthropology department received a record $2 million gift from the Salus Mundi Foundation, headed by former UA anthropology Professor Richard Diebold. The gift, the largest ever given to SBS, will fund student fellowships and aid faculty recruitment and retention.

  • The anthropology department's archaeological field school, held on the Mogollon Rim near Show Low, was evacuated ahead of the Rodeo/Chediski forest fires that ravaged Rim-country homes and towns.

  • Professor James Johnson and Professor Emeritus Donald Carson, journalism, published "Mo" an insightful detailed biography of Arizona's celebrated former congressman, Morris K. Udall. Johnson also came out with "The Noble and the Notorious," a series of short biographical sketches of the state's famous and infamous political figures.

  • Ellen Basso, anthropology, won a Guggenheim Award that will enable her to complete new translations of a collection of narratives of the Kalapalo Indians of central Brazil.

  • Mimi Nichter, anthropology, won the prestigious Margaret Mead Award, given by the American Society of Applied Anthropology. Much of Nichter's research has focused on issues of teenage girls' images of themselves, especially as they relate to eating and smoking behaviors.

  • Professor Bruce McNaughton and graduate student Kari Hoffman, psychology, showed through their experiments how short-term memory is consolidated from various parts of the brain and sent to long-term storage. Their work was published in the journal "Science" in September.

  • The UA announced it would seek to obtain the private library of the late Professor Heiko Oberman, history, and establish an endowed chair in the department. Oberman's collection of late Medieval and Reformation-era texts, some that date to the 16th century, is believed to be the largest private library of its kind and worth $1.2 million.

  • Matthew Kruer, a junior history major, earned the Portz Prize from the National Collegiate Honors Council for his research paper on the aftermath of the Indian epidemic in New England in 1616.

  • Andrea Romero, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, won a $950,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) for a program designed to prevent drug abuse and the spread of AIDS and HIV among teens in South Tucson.

  • The Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratories (CNL) and the University Medical Center installed a 3.0 T high field strength, research-grade magnet, a first in Southern Arizona. This will be used for magnetic resonance imaging research on aging and the brain. The CNL is known nationally for its research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke victims. The additional and upgraded magnets mean that researchers, who have been conducting their MRI studies late at night when UMC's MRIs are typically not being used on patients, will be able to work on their research during regular daytime hours.

  • SAMSA also funded researchers in the Southwest Institute for Research on Women to the tune of nearly $5million. Rosi Andrade and Sally Stevens each have $2.4 million to fund Mujer Sana/Healthy Women, to provide health education to low-income Hispanic women in Tucson, and for Conexiones Sana/Healthy Connections targeted at young Hispanics in Maricopa County about avoiding problems associated with drugs and sexual habits that foster tuberculosis, HIV and other infectious diseases.