Institute for the Study of Societal Issues e-News
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ISSI e-News
Spring/Summer 2015
From the Director Martín Sánchez-Jankowski
The past six months have been significant for ISSI and our six research centers. 

In April we received high marks from members of the External Review Committee, who described ISSI as serving “important and distinctive—and indeed, as far as we could tell, unique—purposes” at UC Berkeley “as a high quality research center with a strong educational component and an obvious commitment to serving diverse graduate and undergraduate students.” The External Review Committee’s Site Team Report concluded, “ISSI has excelled at fulfilling its research mission through faculty engagement, project initiation, the generation of new centers, interdisciplinary collaboration in the social sciences and beyond, and by providing impressive and distinctive levels of training and support for diverse students and faculty.”

In this first issue of ISSI e-News we share highlights of our programs and events from the spring and summer. We invite you to read about the international scholars we welcomed, view video of colloquia and conferences we sponsored, and learn more about the research centers, projects, training and scholars that make up ISSI. We have a full calendar of events planned for the fall, so please join us for one or more of these.

You can follow us on Facebook and/or sign up for our mailing list here.

The New 2015 Graduate Fellows
This fall, a new cohort of eight graduate students will participate in ISSI’s Graduate Fellows Program: Heather Arata, Dani Carrillo, Caitlin Keliiaa, Yang Lor, Peter Nelson, Carlos Penilla, Christyna Serrano, and Miriam Solis. The Graduate Fellows Program provides two years of training and mentorship to an interdisciplinary mix of advanced graduate students who are in the midst of dissertation research and writing. The new Fellows come from a range of fields: Anthropology, Sociology, City and Regional Planning, Ethnic Studies, Education and Public Health. Their projects tackle a variety of pressing issues related to race and class in the US, including the economic integration of low-income immigrants in suburban spaces and the implementation of federal policy in Oakland’s school lunch program. The new cohort of Fellows will join six returning Fellows. Read more about the Fellows here
In the News
Are Uber Drivers Employees?

After the California Labor Commission found one Uber driver to be an employee under California law, KQED Forum featured Veena Dubal, former Center for Research on Social Change Graduate Fellow and current Associate Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose research focuses on law and social change in the context of work law. 

Listen Here
Research Note
A Tale of Two Cities: The Exploration of the Trieste Public Psychiatry Model in San Francisco

"A Tale of Two Cities: The Exploration of the Trieste Public Psychiatry Model in San Francisco" by Elena Portacolone, Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCSF's Institute for Health and Aging and an ISSI Visiting Scholar, was published in the spring issue of Culture, Medicine, and PsychiatryThe Trieste model is a community mental health system that replaces the mental institution, promoting the social inclusion and full citizenship of users of mental health services. This research illustrates a recent attempt to determine whether the Trieste model could be translated to San Francisco.

We recently interviewed Dr. Portacolone regarding her collaborative, cross-national project, as well as her experiences since joining ISSI in 2013. 

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Center Spotlight
Center for Ethnographic Research

While many Center for Ethnographic Research (CER) affiliates have been off in the field this summer, conducting research in Chile, Mexico, San Francisco, and other sites, the center has still been buzzing with activity, including hosting a summer workshop, planning for a spring symposium on new innovations in ethnographic methodology, and selecting speakers for the fall colloquium series. Led by graduate students Neil Gong and Cole Hansen, the CER Summer workshop provided training in qualitative methods. Eleven graduate and undergraduate students participated, including students from Berkeley and other universities across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Each week the students put their new knowledge into practice, conducting interviews and participant-observation, then analyzed their data together. This intensive, hands-on, guided training prepares the students to embark on their own projects.
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Videos of Spring Events
ISSI and its research centers sponsored colloquia and conferences throughout the spring semester, and many of them are available for viewing here. If you would like to be notified as soon as we upload a new video, please subscribe to the ISSI YouTube channel.
Amanda Hollis-Brusky: "Ideas with Consequences"
"Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution" by Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Assistant Professor of Politics, Pomona College with Fred Smith, Assistant Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, as respondent (sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies).
International Scholars in Residence at ISSI
This spring ISSI welcomed visiting scholars from Norway, Holland, Germany, Turkey, and Australia. Among them was Merijn Oudenampsen, a Visiting Student Researcher with the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies. When asked about his experience, he responded, “I spent three months as a visiting scholar at ISSI. In that time I attended a broad range of lectures and seminars, as there is a huge intellectual community around Berkeley, and almost everybody seems to pass by eventually. I do regret that I came in April, at the end of the semester, and only witnessed the last of the working groups at ISSI. Of course, there is also the natural splendor of the Bay Area landscape, and the urban attractions of Oakland and San Francisco. A lot to take in on a short visit.” All of ISSI's international visiting scholars who arrived in the spring are listed below:
  • Ferdinand Mohn, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Runar Døving, Professor of Social Anthropology, Oslo School of Management, Norway
  • Anna Godøy, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway
  • Femke Kaulingfreks, Ph.D., University of Humanistic Studies, The Netherlands
  • Merijn Oudenampsen, Ph.D. candidate, Sociology and Political Science, Tilburg University, Holland
  • Torsten Heinemann, Professor of Sociology, University of Hamburg, Germany, and Marie Curie Fellow
  • Kubilay Arin,  Ph.D., International Relations, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Peri Campbell, Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Education, Deakin University, Australia
More visiting scholars will arrive in the fall, and each of them will be featured in ISSI's weekly update throughout the semester. 
Awards and Prizes
2015 Thomas I. Yamashita Prize

Sepehr Vakil was awarded the 2015 FOUNDATIONS FOR CHANGE: Thomas I. Yamashita Prize. He is a scholar and activist committed to educational equity issues in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education. Sepehr is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. In collaboration with an Oakland-based teacher, he co-founded and was the previous director of Oakland Science and Mathematics Outreach (OSMO), a STEM-focused after school program based out of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland. 
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