Latin American History Scholar Named Woodrow Wilson Fellow
UC Riverside history professor James P. Brennan has been named a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., for the current academic year.

Brennan, a specialist in modern Latin American history, will conduct independent research at the center’s Latin American Program in The Mexico Institute during the nine-month, residential fellowship. His project looks at political violence, state terrorism and human rights abuses in Argentina during the 1976-83 military dictatorship.

The project is part of his book-length study of Argentina’s so-called “dirty war,” tentatively titled, “Missing Bones: the ‘Dirty War’ in Córdoba.” It builds on 30 years of research on Argentina, which began with Brennan’s Ph.D. dissertation and first book. That early work examined social and labor mobilizations in Córdoba in the years just prior to the military dictatorship.

Two Professors Earn NSF CAREER Award
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Iulian Neamtiu and Joel Sachs, an assistant professor of biology, have been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award. The awards are given to junior faculty members most likely to become academic leaders in the 21st century.

Neamtiu was cited for his research project, “Differential Types and Declarative Hypothesis Testing for Software Evolution. He will receive a total of $498,228 over five years to fund his efforts in improving software evolution. Changes made to source code in the course of evolution might not have the intended consequences (fixing bugs, adding features), a situation which negatively impacts both software producers and software consumers, with high economic costs.

His work will use type theory and empirical software engineering to better understand the software evolution process and help uncover certain kinds of errors before software is deployed.

For Sachs, the award will bolster his research into the symbiosis between legume plants and bacteria known as rhizobia, which fix nitrogen for their host plants in return for carbon. Specifically, his project will investigate the rapid evolution of the legume-rhizobia symbiosis in response to human fossil fuel combustion.

Sachs will use his award to train middle-school students to help gather data for his project, develop a college course focused on the scientific method and initiate a microbiology research training program that targets undergraduate students from underserved backgrounds.

His award stipend will be $587,486.

UCR Psychologist Wins Prize for Inspiring Students
Howard Friedman, distinguished professor of psychology, has won a $25,000 award from the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust for inspiring students to make a difference in the community.

Friedman is one of 15 professors from U.S. universities recognized by the trust for inspiring students to action that benefits society. He is the first University of California scholar honored since the awards began two years ago. The recipients were honored in a ceremony Jan. 7 at The Carter Center in Atlanta.

Friedman, who has won four awards for teaching excellence while at UC Riverside, spent more than 20 years identifying predictors of health and long life among 1,500 individuals who were part of a study started by Stanford University psychologist Louis Terman in 1921.

Friedman’s research has profoundly affected two generations of students who have since become physicians, public health workers, psychologists and health psychology researchers.

“I work with a lot of students in UCR’s biomedical and pre-medical programs,” he said. “They use the findings of health psychology research in the practice of medicine. And my wonderful graduate students have gone on to teach and spread the word to countless other students.”

Balandin New Fellow of Physics Institute
Alexander A. Balandin, professor of electrical engineering and founding chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Program at the Bourns College of Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Institute of Physics, United Kingdom.

Balandin was honored for his studies of the physical properties of semiconductor nanostructures and grapheme.

He will be recognized at an event in Boston during the March meeting of the American Physical Society. At UCR, Balandin leads the Nano-Device Laboratory.

Educational Talent Search Program Receives $1.15 Million Grant
A five-year, $1.15 million grant from the U.S Department of Education will allow the Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at UCR to continue its work of putting low-income high school students in the San Bernardino City Unified School District on the path toward pursuing a college education.

The ETS program at UC Riverside has been in existence since 2002. It is overseen by the Office of TRiO Programs and is one of more than 450 such programs nationwide and 60 in California.

Four high schools will participate in the program: Arroyo Valley High School, Pacific High School, San Bernardino High School, and San Gorgonio High School.

TRiO Director Alicia Velazquez said that she expects more than 1,000 students to participate in the four-year program, which offers one-on-one academic advising, mentoring, college campus visits, cultural activities and a new three-day summer residential component at UC Riverside. The program is open to low-income and potential first-generation college students at the schools.