In the 2015-16 academic year, Ryan Alaniz published a book chapter and co-published a journal article and two policy briefs on drought, one for the White House and another for the California State Legislature. Alaniz collaborated with United Nations University and MunichRe Foundation to host the Disaster by Drought Summit at Cal Poly, which brought United Nations scholars and academics and practitioners from the Western United States together to discuss the ongoing drought. This led to invitations to lecture at Fresno State, Vancouver, UCSB, and the U.S. Embassy in France, which he had to decline, and to attend the White House Water Summit in March 2016. He is now working with the CSU Chancellor’s Water Resource and Policy Initiative to address water scarcity in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. Aside from drought, Alaniz taught the course Incarceration and Society this year. This Learn by Doing class involved twelve Cal Poly students meeting weekly with twelve inmates inside the San Luis Obispo County jail’s Honor Farm. The twenty-four students discussed the criminal justice system and societal beliefs about punishment. Alaniz was invited to present locally and at Purdue University about the pedagogy and student learning outcomes from this course.
Maggie Bodemer will present a paper titled “Using Memoirs to Reposition and Reimagine ‘The Chinese American Experience’ in American History and Culture” at the Chinese Historical Society of America’s conference This Land Is Our Land: Chinese Pluralities Through the Americas in San Francisco in 2017. Her paper explores issues of race, culture and identity in the personal experiences of Chinese and Chinese Americans. Using anthropological and historical perspectives, Bodemer argues that first-person accounts show the multiplicity of experiences.
Bodemer continues to teach courses in cultural anthropology and history at Cal Poly, and she serves on the executive committee of the Vietnam Studies Group, an international academic society. Bodemer recently established a Language Conversation Table for Vietnamese language at Cal Poly, to serve students interested in learning Vietnamese and/or traveling to Vietnam. Bodemer has recently begun a new research project documenting and analyzing Vietnamese and Southeast Asians on the Central Coast and San Luis Obispo County, using oral history, ethnography and archival work, entitled “Where’s the Phở: Vietnamese Americans on the Central Coast.”
Coleen Carrigan continues her anthropological research on cultures of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and how best to desegregate these fields. In collaboration with peers at North Carolina State University and University of Washington, she received a National Science Foundation award to broaden the participation of women of color in computer and electrical engineering. She also received a Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities grant, funded by the Provost’s Office, to engage undergraduates in ethnographic research that investigates exclusionary behaviors and disciplinary segregation on campus. Carrigan published a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Technology Transfer on the benefits of non-traditional career paths in efforts to achieve gender parity in STEM faculty ranks. The paper’s findings were highlighted in the journal Science. She presented a conference paper on combining ethnography with the case study method at the 2015 American Anthropological Association meeting and was on a panel at 2016 National Science Foundation ADVANCE Annual PI conference to discuss the value of qualitative research in efforts to desegregate STEM fields. Carrigan was also invited to participate in the American Association for University Women (AAUW) Working Group to move forward a national agenda to achieve gender equity in engineering and computing.
Terry Jones chaired the plenary session for the 50th Anniversary meeting of Society for California Archaeology in Ontario, Calif. in March. In January his book, “Re-examining a Pacified Past: Violence and Warfare among Hunter-Gatherers” (co-edited with Mark Allen from Cal Poly Pomona) was honored as one of Choice Magazine’s outstanding academic books for 2015. He published papers in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology and the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. In February, he attended a seminar to launch the book, “Ecosystems of California” (Erika Zalvaleta and Hal Mooney, editors, University of California Press, 2015). The volume includes a chapter co-authored with former student, Kacey Hadick, entitled, “Indigenous California.” He continues as editor for the journal, California Archaeology.
James Keese taught in the Cal Poly in Australia program during winter quarter 2016. He spent seven weeks in Adelaide with 25 students. The focus of the program was wine, viticulture and agribusiness. Keese taught Global Geography and Culture of Australia. He also made a trip to New Zealand, travelling to Queenstown to ride dirt bikes in the Southern Alps. In fall 2016, Keese attended the annual conference of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers in Palm Springs where he presented the paper “Results of the Follow-up Study on Improved Cookstoves in Cuzco, Peru.” In spring, he presented the results of that research at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in San Francisco. This year, Keese also became the CLA advisor for the Environmental Studies minor.
Dr. Liz Johnston has been teaching as lecturer in the department since 2010. In fall 2016 she began a tenure track position as assistant professor of sociology. Johnston is one of the first generation of college students in her family, so she is very excited to move into this new role at Cal Poly. This year she completed two faculty courses at the Center for Learning and Teaching at Cal Poly. In the first, Teaching the Large Lecture, she learned innovative techniques for teaching large lecture courses. As a result, she implemented a computerized peer review
(CPR) assignment in which students used specialized software to critique and analyze their group project papers. In the second course, the IDEAL Diversity Seminar, she worked with 16 other faculty members to more fully understand the diversity climate at Cal Poly. She also restructured her fall quarter course in social policy to include an increased focus on teaching about diversity. In Sociology 110, Johnston includes guest speakers who discuss different aspects of social justice and other social issues. Dave Lockridge the founder of the Adverse Childhood Experiences ACES program, spoke to the class about his work preventing child abuse in Rwanda.
Dawn Neill continues her research in nutritional anthropology both in Fiji and on the Cal Poly campus. Along with kinesiology professor, Marilyn Tseng, and undergraduate student collaborators, Neill published a peer-reviewed paper in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy. In the paper, she examined the healthfulness of on-campus food options at Cal Poly. Subsequently, Neill was invited to present the results at Cal Poly’s inaugural Food Forum in spring 2016. Also in collaboration with Tseng, Neill was awarded a STRIDE seed grant to fund two undergraduate students to establish baseline metrics on Cal Poly’s sustainable food purchasing goals. Additionally, four undergraduate social science students who worked with Neill were awarded a Baker/Koob Endowment to conduct geospatial and policy analyses of Cal Poly’s food purchasing. Neill presented a conference paper on nutrition transition in Fiji at the 2015 American Anthropological Association meetings in a session she organized. She also continues to serve as the secretary/treasurer of the Evolutionary Anthropology Society of the American Anthropological Association.
During his first year at Cal Poly, Dr. Brian Pompeii received a Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities (RSCA) Grant to study the social and environmental consequences of the Great California Drought in Tulare County, Calif. The research team, including students Stacey Olson and Gabriella Alvarez, spent the month of July in Porterville documenting how multiple government and non-profit agencies collaborate to reduce community vulnerability during a creeping hazard like a drought. With the encouragement of Pompeii, Olson and Alvarez plan to start a Cal Poly Drought Response Team in the fall 2016 quarter with the goal of addressing the most immediate need of drought-stricken households by delivering bottled drinking water. The research team will publish their findings, “Uneven Ground: The great drought of California, groundwater usage, and the production of new socioenvironmental risk regimes,” in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Pompeii also presented research on water management and vulnerability at the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers meeting in Palm Springs, Calif. and the American Association of Geographers meeting in San Francisco. He accepted service positions as the student awards committee chair for the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers and as a member of the Sustainability Committee for the Cal Poly Academic Senate.
Pompeii was an invited guest at multiple state-wide drought meetings, including Disaster by Drought at Cal Poly in October 2015, the Drought Summit at Fresno State in January 2016, and the Water Resources and Policy Initiatives Conference at Long Beach State in April 2016. Stemming from the Disaster by Drought meeting at Cal Poly, Pompeii served as a contributor to state and federal policy briefings that were organized and co-authored by Cal Poly sociologist Dr. Ryan Alaniz. Pompeii also authored a book review of Erik Swyngedouw’s “Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities in Twentieth-Century Spain” that is scheduled to appear in the Fall issue of the journal Human Geography.
This spring, Dr. Stacey Rucas hosted the tenth anniversary of the annual California Workshop on Evolutionary Social Sciences (C-WESS) for students and faculty from across eight California campuses. She has an upcoming co-authored chapter with Alissa Miller on the Sidama of Ethopia soon to be published in the Oxford Handbook on Women and Competition, edited by Maryanne Fisher. Rucas also engaged in a faculty-led student research project examining women’s online fertility communities this spring. Important Learn by Doing projects such as this provide unique research opportunities for advanced undergraduates. The research culminated in a professional poster presentation by the student at the annual C-WESS conference in May.
In winter quarter, Rucas served as advisor to a group of graduating seniors, who organized and executed this year’s successful Extra Curricular Activities in the Social Sciences (ECOSS), an event that seeks to educate students on opportunities for jobs, volunteer positions, study abroad and internships in the diverse fields of the social sciences.
Robert Schaeffer published a book, “Understanding Globalization: The Social Consequences of Political, Economic, and Environmental Change, Fifth Edition” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016); and gave a presentation on economic marginalization in Africa at the Political Economy of the World-System Conference at the University of Maryland in April.
Unique Shaw-Smith joined the sociology faculty in fall 2015 and has been involved in myriad activities since her arrival. She is a BEACoN Mentor, the co-chair of the Black Faculty and Staff Association, a member of the College of Liberal Arts Diversity Committee, an employment equity facilitator, and the advisor for the Social Sciences Club. Shaw-Smith has also established working relationships with the Juvenile Hall, SLO County Jail, California Men’s Colony and Restorative Partners in order to provide students with an inside look at correctional institutions of various levels. She also serves on the advisory council of Restorative Partners, a tri-county restorative justice organization that provides programming and services to inmates and community members. She was awarded a CLA summer research grant to conduct research at the SLO County Jail, where she will be working with three students to collect data on inmates’ perspectives of the effect of incarceration on families and communities. This year, Shaw-Smith also presented her research on “Racial Differences in the Timing of Incarceration on Children’s Mastery” at the annual meetings of the Western Society of Criminology and The Pacific Sociological Association. She was also honored with the President’s Diversity Award for her efforts toward advancing diversity and inclusivity at Cal Poly.
Dr. Benjamin Timms led the Cal Poly Global Program in Thailand last summer with several anthropology and geography majors among the 34 participating students. In the fall he was on sabbatical creating a laboratory manual utilizing ArcGIS for his Applications in Remote Sensing course. Three anthropology and geography majors worked with him on the project as student assistants and gained valuable experience analyzing satellite imagery for observing the earth and developing teaching methods. Timms also published the article “Coping with Displacement: Adjustments to Rural Livelihoods following Relocation from Celaque National Park, Honduras” in The California Geographer, and a book chapter titled “Contemporary Human Impacts on the Environment in Latin America and the Caribbean” in “Placing Latin America: Contemporary Themes in Human Geography.” Further, he presented the article “A Comparative Remote Sensing Analysis of Coastal Development with Alternative Tourism Trajectories in Jamaica: Treasure Beach versus Negril” at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. The presentation represents a new blended research field that applies remote sensing analysis to the impact of tourism development on coastal regions in the Caribbean.