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Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

Sociology Table of Contents: 1-2. Commencement 3. Letter from the Chair 4. Faculty Spotlight: Jacob Foster 5. Comings & Goings 6-7. News & Achievements 8-9. Life after the Degree: Alumni Panel 10-11. Giving


2013 commencement edition

Saturday, June 15, 2013 Wilson Plaza Saturday morning, Wilson Plaza was filled with robed faculty, excited families and the Sociology Class of 2013 resplendent in gowns and tassels. The commencement speaker for the 2012-2013 Sociology ceremony was alumna and basketball star, Ann Meyers Drysdale. Ann received her BA in Sociology in 1976. Her speech included the following points: 1. Live without regrets. 2. Two words that apply to everything that you’ll study: “change and attitude.” 3. Don’t be afraid to reinvent youself. The UCLA community is more supportive than any other group you’ll come across. It doesn’t matter where you came from or how you got here, right now you’re all equal. You are all Bruins for life. You know the Bruin way and no one can take that away from you.

Left: 2013 Commencement Speaker Ann Meyers Drysdale and Undergraduate Advisor/Commencement Coordinator Simbi Mahlanza take a quick photo prior to the ceremony. Ann Meyers Drysdale is a Hall of Famer and award-winning broadcaster. Top: Professor Zsusza Berend with the undergraduate departmental honors students.


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

Right: Sociology Ph.D. recipients pose for a goofy picture prior to the ceremony. Far right: Graduates proudly show their autographed basketballs.

Right: Students wait for the ceremony to begin.

Top (left to right): Lydia Min-Joo Lee, Sally Pan and Maggie Walsh were the Voices of the Class of 2013. Far right: Commencement speaker, Ann Meyers Drysdale runs to throw her autographed basketballs to the crowd. Bottom left: Sociology faculty gather for a quick picture before heading down to Wilson Plaza. Bottom far left: Four of the 262 graduates smile as they turn in their registration cards.


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

letter from the chair Dear Friends, I hope you are having a wonderful summer. Great news. We have been successful in hiring two new faculty members the past academic year. Professor Lauren Duquette-Rury will be strengthening our concentration in immigration research with exciting research on how political ties are created between sending and receiving communities. Professor Jacob Foster is a network researcher and will help grow our group of early career scholars using advanced quantitative methods to analyze big data. I’ll let you in on a secret. Professor Foster is actually a physicist by training. What is a physicist doing in a sociology department? To find out, read his new faculty profile in this newsletter. We enthusiastically welcome these new faculty members. This coming academic year, the department will also participate in Partnership UCLA. This program consists of various initiatives to engage our many friends and alumni. One component is an internship program for our best and brightest undergraduate students. We will also invite alumni to convey their wisdom to select groups of undergraduate students, similar to our alumni panels. The Partnership program will set up various informal and classroom opportunities to bring our alumni and students together. Job security for sociologists remains guaranteed. News stories related to the core topics of sociology such as race, stratification, and shifts in power keep popping up. Our faculty and graduate students have thus plenty of material to work with. We are still in the midst of growing our undergraduate program and our intellectual community remains varied and vibrant. It’s all good. Stay in touch. Best wishes,

Stefan Timmermans Professor and Chair


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

faculty spotlight: Jacob Foster

The UCLA Department of Sociology is pleased to welcome Jacob Foster, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Jacob received his BS in Physics from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Calgary. Although he studied Physics as an undergraduate, Jacob always had a strong interest in the history of ideas. He began his graduate work studying High Energy Theory at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, yet he soon found that he had a calling in complex systems. This calling took him to the Complexity Science Group at the University of Calgary. At the University of Calgary, Jacob met sociologist Art Frank, with whom he shared an interest in narrative. Art invited Jacob to take his upcoming class in Social Theory, which Jacob loved. “It was a conversion experience. I felt a real resonance between the way I had been trained to think about complex systems and this reservoir of things to think with, and about, in social theory.” Determined to become a sociologist, Jacob took up a position as a Postdoctoral Scholar with James Evans in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. With the help of James, he learned how to think like a sociologist and develop “a sociological habitus.” Jacob’s research reimagines the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology from the perspective of ideas. He develops quantitative tools to infer the strategies, cognitive biases, and social processes that give knowledge its shape and govern its evolution. His current research focuses on the measurement of novelty and influence; the nature and consequences of scientific tradition; the identification of distinct styles of scientific research; and the quantitative genealogy of ideas. His approach is strongly informed by the literatures on science studies, complex systems, and biological and cultural evolution. Jacob has given talks on a wide range of topics, from “Simulation, Reality, and the Social” to “The Eye of the Swarm: Collective Intelligence and the Public Intellectual.” His work has appeared in journals like Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and Sciences. Outside of the classroom, Jacob loves to read and hike. He is partial to classical music. He likes to sing, and participated in musical theater in college, directing Cabaret and performing in several other shows. During the school year, he can be found in 204 Haines Hall. Welcome Jacob!


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.


comings goings Anthony Alvarez Anthony Alvarez was hooded by Professor Bill Roy. His dissertation title is Payday Lending: Credit and Networks among the Economic Insecure. Anthony will be an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University at Fullerton.

Faustina DuCros

Faustina DuCros was hooded by Professor Rebecca Emigh. Her dissertation title is And They All Came from New Orleans: Louisiana Migrants in Los Angeles—Interpretations of Race, Identity, and Place.

Sarah Morando Lakhani

Yiling Hung Yiling Hung was hooded by Professor Stefan Timmermans. Her dissertation title is Sickness and Cure: A Study on Hansen’s Disease in Taiwan. Yiling will be pursuing her career in Taiwan.

Sarah Morando Lakhani was hooded by Professor Stefan Timmermans and Professor Roger Waldinger. Her dissertation title is Tears and More Tears: The Humanitarian Path to Citizenship. Sarah will be a Law and Social Science post-doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation for 2013-14.

Yang Sao Xiong

David Trouille David Trouille was hooded by Professor Jack Katz. His dissertation title is Jugadores del parque: Immigrants, soccer, and the creation of social ties. David will be an Assistant Professor at James Madison University.

Yang Sao Xiong was hooded by Professor Min Zhou. His dissertation title is Hmong Americans’ Protest Movements and Political Incorporation in the United States, 1980-2012. Yang will be a tenure track Assistant Professor in Social Work and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Nazgol Ghandnoosh Nazgol Ghandnoosh was hooded by Professor Stefan Timmermans. Her dissertation title is Challenging Mass Incarceration: A South Los Angeles Group’s Advocacy for the Release of Term-to-Life Prisoners.

Tara Ailinn McKay

Tara Ailinn McKay was hooded by Professor Stefan Timmermans. Her dissertation title is (In)Visible Men: How the Structure and Strategies of Intergovernmental Organizations Produce Global AIDS Policy. Tara will be joining the 20th cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars at UC Berkeley/UCSF.

Summer 2013 Issue No 5.


news achievements ladder and emeriti faculty Jennie Brand - elected to

Jack Katz - interviewed in

the ASA Sociology of Education Section Council, 2013.

the online journal, (April 2013) where he explains his vision of a three-dimensional ethnography, combining human interactions, biographical experiences, and historical processes.

Abigail Saguy’s

book, “What’s Wrong with Fat?” was Gail Kligman - Presidental featured in the Oxford UniverMedal, Silver Cross of Merit sity Press, Times Magazine, NY from the Republic of Poland, Times, Robert Wood Johnson 2013. Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research, Washington Post, and the LA Times. She has also appeared in several news outlets such as: the Debate Club of U.S. News, Reason TV, NPR, New Hampshire’s Public Radio, and the UCLA Newsroom.

Megan Sweeney

- UCLA Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award. The UCLA Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award increases awareness of UCLA’s leadership in teaching and public service by honoring individuals who bring respect and admiration to the scholarship of teaching. By recognizing reeachers for their achievements, the award gives parents, donors and others an idea of what makes UCLA, “a beacon of excellence in higher education.

Maurice Zeitlin’s

book “TALKING UNION” (co-written by Judith Stepan-Norris) is now available as an audio book, via

Hannah Landecker - fea- Suzanne Bianchi - quoted tured in the Center for the Study of Women Newsletter (March 2013) for her work on cell culture, microcinematography and metabolism, which draws on and contributes to issues central to feminist science studies.

Judith Seltzer became the

director of the California Center for Population Research, July 1.

Lauren Duquette-Rury

two forthcoming publications in peer-review journals: Latin American Research Review and Migraciones Internacionales.


in USA Today’s article, “More wives are earning more than their spouse,” 2013. Suzanne also received the Distinguished Career Award, ASA Family Section.

Stefan Timmermans’

op-ed, “Genetic screening: Every newborn a patient” was featured in the LA Times, August 2013.

Michael Mann - Best Book Award of the Global and Transational Sociology Section of the ASA, 2013.

Ed Walker

- two books in print next year, (Grassroots for Hire: Public Affairs Consultants in American Democracy and Democratizing Inequalities: Pitfalls and Unrealized Promises of the New Public Participation). Ed received a 2013 UCLA Faculty Career Development Award for his research on the role of sociodemographic diversity in lowincome community organizing processes. He was was elected to the editorial board of _Research in Political Sociology_, and he founded a new departmental working group on Contentious Politics and Organizations, which will be coordinated by grad students Juan Delgado and Lina Stepick.

David Halle’s book, “New

York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future” was featured in the New York Times. He was also featured in UCLA Today’s article, “Big-screen blockbusters tell tale of three cities,” 2013.

Summer 2013 Issue No 5.


news achievements

graduate students Peter Catron - published

David Trouille and Caitlin Patler - received the

in the American Sociological Review for his comment on Immigrant Unionization through the Great Recession, 2013.

Philippe Duhart and Zeynep Ozgen - awarded

UC MEXUS Fellowship 20132014.

Tahseen Shams, Lina Stepick, Calvin Ho, and Saskia Nauenberg

the Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowship in European Studies. Zeynep also - awarded the National Science received the Mellon ACLS DisFoundation Graduate Research sertation Completion Fellowship, Fellowship, 2013. 2013.

Alexandra Tate and Stephanie D’Souza

Caitlin Patler - was

awarded the Community Action Research Award from the ASA’s Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy. She also received the Graduate Student Research Grant from the UC Center for New Racial Studies, 2013-2014.

received an honorable mention for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2013.

Oliver Schilke - was

Elena Shih and Laura Enriquez - Ford Foundation

Hasan Mahmud -

Elena Shih - received the

Jay Johnson and Megan Fornasar - re-

Dissertation Fellowship , 2013

ASA Minority Program Fellowship, 2013.

received the Hosei International Scholars Fellowship 2013-2014.

ceived the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship from UCLA Center’s for European and Eurasian Studies, 2013.


a Law and Research Fellowship at Georgetown Law, 2013.

Irene Vega -

received a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation and the Alice Belkin Memorial Scholarship from the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, 2013.

Danielle Wondra - won

Kjerstin Gruys - featured

on the Colbert Report for her book “Mirror Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body By Not Looking at It for a Year,” 2013.

Julia Tomassetti - received

the Poster award for “Understanding Men’s Fertility Preferences and Intentions: The Effects of Race, Class and Sexuality” presentation at the Population Association of America annual meeting, 2013.

awarded the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Rocio Garcia and Lina Research Improvement Grant Stepick - received the honor(Sociology Program) and he is able mention to the also a recipient of the UCLA Graduate Division Travel Grant, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Program, 2013. 2013-2014.

Susila Gurusami

- won the CSW Constance Coiner Graduate Fellowship, 2013

Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

life after the degree:

what i did with my

sociology degree

On Wednesday, May 15th the UCLA Department of Sociology hosted its second alumni panel, Life After the Degree: What I Did with My Sociology Degree. The alumni panelists were Cynthia Barajas, Carmen Curtis, David Kitnick, Willie Naulls, Luis Rodriguez, Karen Silton and Mike Vanneman. The discussion was moderated by Professor and Chair Stefan Timmermans. Through this event, students had the opportunity to ask our panelists questions regarding career growth, changing majors and how to succeed both professionally and personally, such as

for a paycheck....It’s not quantity, it’s quality.

Several of the people will be looking for jobs in the next year or the next couple of years. From where you are now, what kind of advice would you give them?

Mike: Over the years I’ve zeroed it down to three key areas that I look for. First of all, humble, hungry, and smart. With humility, I look for someone who has the right attitude, a strong sense of self, confident, someone who can understand their strengths and weakness. Hungry: high degree of work ethic, and high degree to achieve. Intelligence, not just academic intelligence, but I also look for common sense, someone who has the ability to act appropriately and sometimes inappropriately. Emotional intelligence too, someone who is stable, consistent, ability to adapt.

Karen: Acronym for different skills that can serve anybody well: CHARM, C for Caring, H for humility or humor, A for attitude (walking in with any attitude is bad unless it’s a positive attitude, which will serve you well in job hunt and so much, R for resilience, responsiveness, and respect (qualities other than getting grades, learning good social skills which will help move forward in life, so you can find what you want to do and have people pay you for it). Sociology is kind of like being

an ambassador to the world.

Cynthia: Internships are critical, [as they] develop relationships and networking [with people] that you wouldn’t otherwise - especially your UCLA network. Carmen: If they don’t have the skills or don’t know what to do [and yet] they show up early and have a good work ethic, I could train them easily. A lot of times too, your job becomes your family, so you want an environment with similar work ethics.

Louis: The biggest thing my grandma taught me was hard work and hustle. Just sticking to [it], and if you’re told no, just hustle and talk to folks where you can get where you want to be. That hustle and hard work got me to where I am at today.

Willy: We always look for self confidence: for people who look at me in the eye when answering, know something about the business when going in for an interview.

To see a video of the entire alumni panel, visit http://www. and click ‘Events’ and then ‘Multimedia’.

David: Ninety-five percent of the resumes or CVs are generic letters that they’ve written and sent to a bunch of companies. If they haven’t spent any time learning about the company, it’s tough for us to want to spend time with them because we want to think that our company is special, but they didn’t express that in their cover letter and we’re not looking for someone just to hire and looking


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

about the panelists Cynthia Barajas: Ms. Barajas received her

Luis Rodriguez: Mr. Rodriguez is a partner

Carmen Curtis: Ms. Curtis is a co-owner in

Karen Silton: Ms. Silton is an accomplished

degree in Sociology from UCLA and currently serves as Division Compliance Officer for First American Title Insurance Company having previously served as Vice President of Legal and Compliance for JPMorgan Chase and Washington Mutual. She has over 20 years of experience working in legal and compliance for businesses operating in all 50 states. Ms. Barajas attended UCLA on academic scholarship where she was a member of the UCLA Academic Honor Society and in the Alpha Kappa Delta sorority.

in the firm Goldfarb & Lipman LLP, practicing in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, and tax exempt organizations. Mr. Rodriguez organizes and conducts affordable housing, New Markets Tax Credit, and nonprofit governance workshops for agencies and nonprofit groups. Mr. Rodriguez received his bachelors degree in Sociology from UCLA, a Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and returned to UCLA where he completed law school.

professional artist, entrepreneur and educator, and a native of Los Angeles, who earned her degree in Sociology from UCLA. For the last fifteen years, she has served primarily as a creator and educator of mosaics in the Los Angeles community, teaching at numerous colleges and art centers Currently, Ms. Silton is interested in exploring micro-enterprise as a way to provide low-income communities with artistic and entrepreneurial skills to help advance themselves economically, emotionally and psychologically.

Airealistic helping create and perform shows all over the world. She also owns and manages Airealistic Circus and Flying, a Cirque-style school in Ventura, CA. She attended UCLA on a full-ride scholarship for gymnastics and was a part of the National Championship team. She earned a degree in Sociology with a minor in Education and an emphasis on Theatre.

David Kitnick: As the president of Scotts-

dale’s Rosewood Homes, Mr. Kitnick has led his team to achieving Eliant’s 2010 Homebuyer’s Choice Award for providing the “Best Overall Purchase and Ownership Experience” in America. He earned his degree in Sociology from UCLA, followed by Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Mike Vanneman: Mr. Vanneman is the

Founder and Managing Principal of TVG Executive Search. The focus of his firm is to identify and recruit game changing sales leaders and to help companies build successful sales organizations. Mr. Vanneman played soccer at UCLA and was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in 1978. His professional career was extremely brief by choice but then deciding what to do next was the start of a his journey. Mr. Vanneman returned to UCLA in the fall of 1978 and completed his degree in sociology. The focus of Mike’s presentation is on career preparation, career strategy and life after sport.

Willie Naulls: Mr. Naulls attended UCLA,

receiving his degree in Sociology, and played baskeball. He broke all UCLA basketball records, including scoring and rebounding. Mr. Naulls played for the New York Knicks for six-plus years. In the late 1980s, Mr. Naulls undertook six years of postgraduate study and received a Master’s Degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was ordained as a pastor and founded Willie Naulls Ministries in 1993.


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

The UCLA Sociology department is training the next generation of sociology teachers and researchers. Our graduate students win professional awards, publish in the leading journals, and obtain jobs in other top sociology departments. The competition for promising graduate students is strong and requires financial resources. You can help! We are pleased to announce the Next Generation of Sociology Leaders Fund to support our talented graduate students. Funds received by the department will go to the direct support of graduate student research through a formal application process emphasizing need and merit. Funds will be used for direct research costs and conference travel support. You CAN make a difference in a student’s life at a critical point in time. In addition, we have established the Sociology for the 21st Century Fund to support undergraduate students in Sociology. As with the graduate fund every dollar received by the department will be used to support undergraduates in their pursuit of a meaningful education in Sociology. One way we are using these funds is to ramp up the undergraduate Honors Program. Individualized attention to undergraduates through the Honors Pro-


Summer 2013 Issue No 5.

thank you.

gram allows students to learn research methodology in more depth and to push students beyond the traditional boundaries of learning. These highly motivated students are the ones who will move into leadership positions after their education and you can know you had a part in providing some of the stepping stones to their success! There are a few funds available to undergraduates for research or conference support so here, too, you can make a significant difference in an individual’s education and life trajectory. You may also contribute to the Sociology’s Chair’s Discretionary Fund. These funds strengthen our ability to attract and retain top faculty and to train the best graduate and undergraduate students. They support a variety of academic endeavors such as our active colloquia series, our faculty student working groups and departmental conferences. We provide research seed funds for promising, high-risk research projects. Annual gifts above $1,000 to the Chair’s Discretionary Fund, in addition to providing vital funds to our department, also qualify the donor for membership into the Chancellor’s Circle or Chancellor’s Associates (gifts above $2,500). For additional information and to donate, please visit, or contact Peter Evans at


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