SE 194W Naturalistic Field Research
Marshmallow Challenge Winter 2019
In Professor Karna Wong’s Social Ecology (SE) 194W Naturalistic Field Research course, teams of teaching assistants attempted to build the tallest structure with spaghetti sticks, tape, string, and a marshmallow on top. Each team had approximately 15 minutes to build the structure, while students took notes to practice naturalistic field observation. For more information about the Marshmallow Challenge, view this 2010 TedTalk, “Build a tower, build a team” with Tom Wujec: https://youtu.be/H0_yKBitO8M
UPPP 101 Urbanization & Social Change
Poster Presentations Fall 2018
In Professor Karna Wong’s Urban Planning and Public Policy (UPPP) 101 Urbanization & Social Change course, students created posters on U.S. and international cities. Students researched the city’s history, socioeconomic data, and a social change event or movement. Cities are dynamic, innovative places of social change driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific, and technological forces. This course provides a historical overview of cities from around the world. Through various theoretical frameworks, students analyze cities and their successes, failures, problems, and solutions. Students evaluated and voted on the top 20 posters, which were on display in the Science Library 2nd floor Lobby from Dec. 2018 to Jan. 2019.
Professors Karna Wong and Maura Allaire meet Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose research on children’s lead levels helped to uncover the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
Mengdi Li, Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) student, received the 2018 American Planning Association – Orange Section (OC-APA) Student Award for her Capstone Project Professional Report on “Urban Heat Island Effects Mitigation Strategies in Southern California.” Her client was the Planning Division of Community Development Department, City of Newport Beach, California, and her faculty advisor was Dr. Maura Allaire. This report quantifies the influence, the spatial and temporal characteristics, and the heat reduction ability of mitigation strategies of urban heat island effects in Southern California.
Aya Elalami and Francisco Meza, both Criminology, Law & Society (CLS) majors, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Field Study in June 2018. Aya completed her field study at Knowles & Vacca, Inc. court investigators and the Law Firm of Higbee and Associates. Francisco completed his field study at Wayfinders dispute resolution services. These two students were nominated by their field study community partners and Professor Karna Wong.
Aya Elalami, Criminology, Law & Society (CLS) major, received the award for the 2017-2018 Excellent Upper-Division Academic Writing award, and was nominated by Professor Karna Wong. Aya’s final paper was titled, “Revolutionizing the Criminal Justice System: Reducing the Recidivism Rate for Drug Offenses Away from Incarceration.” The purpose of her study was to evaluate programs that can effectively reduce the drug recidivism rate of narcotic offenders, as well as decrease the amount of people incarcerated for drug offenses in the United States. This study examined how drug recidivism rates can be reduced in the court system through drug courts, drug addiction programs, and employment-focused programs. Analyzing, comparing, and evaluating data from these three programs, there was a lack of solid evidence that employment-focused programs reduce drug reoffending. However, there was compelling evidence that drug courts and addiction programs can effectively reduce reoccurrence rates as well as decrease the number of individuals incarcerated for drug offenses.
Hiring of 57 educators goes a long way toward strategic plan goal of adding 250 by 2021