Celebrating the Social Sciences

by Taylor Glover

The accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and alumni are an important focus of the Fulbright Review. Fulbright College is comprised of four distinct areas, the fine arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Each issue of the Fulbright Review dedicates a story within the Successes section to some of the year's highlights within a particular area. The fall issue features successes in the social sciences.

The University of Arkansas social science faculty ranked fifth for sharing their research information with the news media, according to a ranking system developed by the Faculty Media Impact Project at Hawaii Pacific University.

The Department of Political Science and the School of Social Work partnered with Feed Communities to host the first University of Arkansas Food Justice Summit, Nov. 12-14, 2013, at a variety of locations in Fayetteville. The food justice movement promotes fair and equal access to healthy food by all members of a community. The three-day summit incorporated lectures, panel discussions and table exercises to address the issue of food justice in Arkansas.

Department of Anthropology

  • Kirstin Erickson

    Associate professor Kirstin Erickson was named director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program.

  • Peter Ungar

    Distinguished Professor Peter Ungar wrote Teeth: A Very Short Introduction. The book is part of the Very Short Introduction series published by Oxford University Press. The study, “A preliminary analysis of dental microwear as a proxy for diet and habitat in shrews,” coauthored by cum laude graduate Charles Withnell and his mentor, Ungar, appeared in the February 2014 issue of Mammalia.

  • Jonathan Marion

    Assistant professor Jonathan Marion assumed leadership of the Society for Visual Anthropology. Marion took office as president of the society during the American Anthropological Association's 112th annual meeting, held Nov. 20-24, 2013, in Chicago.

  • Ethan Morton-Jerome

    Doctoral candidate Ethan Morton-Jerome was awarded a Mediterranean Regional Research Fellowship from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

  • Rachael Pellegrino

    Rachael Pellegrino, a Bodenhamer Fellow and Honors College student majoring in anthropology and biochemistry, was selected as a finalist for the Rhodes ­­Scholarship.

  • Lucas Delezene

    Lucas Delezene was named assistant professor. He has served as a visiting assistant professor for the University of Arkansas since 2011.

  • The 1960s image at left captures an area of southern Iraq's marshes, many of which have since been drained. The photo at right is of the same location in the early 2000s.

    Assistant professor Jesse Casana and co-author John Kanter, revealed never-before-seen structures in an Ancient Native American settlement called Blue J. The researchers used a small drone to capture thermal images that allowed them to peer under the surface of the New Mexican desert floor. Casana also presented the results of the new CORONA Atlas of the Middle East. The Atlas team revealed thousands of ancient cities, roads, canals and other ruins using Cold War spy-satellite photos.

    Photo: The 1960s image at left captures an area of southern Iraq's marshes, many of which have since been drained. The photo at right is of the same location in the early 2000s.
  • Michael Plavcan

    Michael Plavcan and a team of scholars analyzed a newly discovered bone from the hand of an East African hominim. The bone provides the earliest record of a structural feature related to tool use. At 1.42 million years old, the bone is evidence of the evolution of a distinctive feature of modern hands more than half a million years earlier than previously known.

  • Wilson Guillory

    The University of Arkansas Press published Pinson Mounds: Middle Woodland Ceremonialism in the Midsouth by Robert C. Mainfort. Mainfort retired from a long career as an archaeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey and professor of anthropology.

  • Margaret J. Hoffma

    Michael Hoffman, professor emeritus, contributed $25,000 to create the Margaret J. Hoffman Endowed Scholarship for Citizens of Tribes Indigenous to the United States. The scholarship is named in honor of Hoffman’s late wife, Margaret “Peggy” Hoffman, who was also a faculty member in the department.

    Photo: Margaret J. Hoffman

Department of Political Science

Department of Psychological Science

  • Ellen Leen-Feldner

    Ellen Leen-Feldner and Matthew Feldner, associate professors, launched a new program to help families cope with stressful situations. The Equipping Families to Work on Relationships for Kids program is designed to gain a better understanding of how families function following stressful or difficult experiences.

  • Class Gift

    The office of annual programs selected students Shannon Davis and Shelby Tarver to serve as Class Gift Council members for the 2013-2014 school year. Davis is double majoring in biology and psychology, and Tarver is double majoring in international relations and psychology.

  • Tim Cavel

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences has awarded a four-year grant of $1.3 million to a research team led by University of Arkansas psychology professor Tim Cavell.

  • Jennifer Veilleux

    Jennifer Veilleux, assistant professor, was awarded a SEC Visiting Faculty Travel Grant to visit the Personality and Emotion Laboratory at the University of Missouri.

  • Nathan Parks

    Nathan Parks, assistant professor, received a three-year grant totaling $259,078 from the National Institutes of Health titled "Short-Term Plasticity in the Human Visual System: The Role of Cortical Feedback."

  • Song Feng

    Honors Fellow Alexander Wolf won the Under 2000 rating section of the Chess World Open Blitz Championship.

    Alexander Wolf teaches basic chess ideas to the elementary school members of St. Joseph's Catholic School's chess club, where he volunteers as an instructor.

School of Social Work

  • Social Work Action Group

    The School of Social Work and the Social Work Action Group, also known as SWAG, hosted an Affordable Care Act open enrollment event in the spring of 2014 at the Fayetteville Public Library.

  • Tom Bercher and Francis Hayes Bercher

    University of Arkansas alumni Tom Bercher and Francis Hayes Bercher of Racine, Wisconsin, established a trust to benefit students in Fulbright College. The Tom Bercher History Fellowship and Francis Hayes Bercher Social Work Scholarship Fund will both be established as a result of their generous philanthropy.

  • Raymond Walter

    The school’s graduate program is among the top 50 percent of programs in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Graduate Schools.

  • Yvette Murphy-Erby

    Yvette Murphy-Erby was promoted from director of the school to associate dean of the college. She was also among four University of Arkansas faculty members selected as fellows of the 2013-2014 Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program.

  • April Rand

    April Rand joined the School of Social Work as assistant professor.

  • master of social work competition

    Undergraduate students Shelly Nelson, Heather Edge, Cynthia Flynn, Patrick Crisp, Jenni Conner, Emily Cox and Kim Williams won the Policy Poster Presentation Competition for the bachelor of social work category at the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers’ annual meeting. Graduate students Joanna Sites, Kathy Shook, Nicki Nanton and Benita Shaddix won the master of social work competition. 

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

  • Juan Bustamante

    Assistant professor Juan Bustamante's book, Transnational Struggles: Policy, Gender, and Family Life on the Texas-Mexico Border, was released in December 2013 by LFB Scholarly Publishing.

  • Brent Klein, Noah Schneider, Andy Brooks, Lauren Grantham and Kayla Allison

    Graduate students Brent Klein, Noah Schneider, Andy Brooks, Lauren Grantham and Kayla Allison presented their terrorism research at the annual Academy Criminal Justice Sciences conference.

  • How Do You See Community

    Kevin Fitzpatrick, Jones Chair of Community and Family, worked with Fayetteville High School students as part of the Adopt-A-Classroom program in the College of Education and Health Professions. The project, “How Do You See Community” was aimed at raising the students’ understanding of what “community” means and how their own experiences shape that view.

  • Poverty and Health: A Crisis among America’s Most Vulnerable

    Fitzpatrick also edited two volumes of essays by an interdisciplinary group of authors. Poverty and Health: A Crisis among America’s Most Vulnerable provides readers with a glimpse into the poverty and health paradox as well as an examination of the crucial nexus of health and place.

  • Murphy McCrary

    Student Murphy McCrary received the Purple Heart during a ceremony on campus after being wounded while deployed in Afghanistan.

  • Sergey Prosandeev

    Research professor Sergey Prosandeev and Distinguished Professor Laurent Bellaiche produced research showing that behavior could be predicted and understood in thin films made of materials called relaxors, which can be used in electronic devices.

  • Jeff Gruenewald

    Jeff Gruenewald, assistant professor, and colleagues Steven Chermak at Michigan State University and Joshua D. Freilich at the City University of New York examined characteristics of far-right, extremist homicides in the United States over the past decade. Their findings were published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and Criminology and Public Policy.


Taylor Glover

About the author

Taylor Glover is a graduate student in the Department of Communication. She is serving as a communications intern in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences for the fall 2014 semester.