We’re seeking mavericks. Not the big wave type (although we count many surfers and beach goers among our 6,000+ student body and our 230+ faculty and staff). We’re after the wave makers, the mold breakers – those who aren’t afraid to forge a new path, break with tradition and be boundaryless in search of solutions that create positive change in society, economies and human well-being.
For the past 50 years, the school has been putting this approach into practice. Our students, who comprise nearly 20 percent of the entire UCI student body, are in the conflict zones of the Middle East and teaching global awareness in Orange County high schools. They’re in our groundbreaking behavioral economics labs, testing new methods to reduce traffic congestion, creating better online marketplaces and preventing the spread of disease. They’re in our brain, behavior and cognitive robotics labs, mapping the structure of the human brain to understand how speech works in order to help restore it in victims of stroke, and building interactive robotics to help children with ADHD and autism improve social engagement skills.
Our faculty are breaking with convention to forge connections with computer science, engineering, the arts and the humanities. Our interdisciplinary work with law, medicine and environmental science is helping our researchers educate policy makers on the social, cultural and psychological factors impacting regulation and policy adoption, health and human behavior. Our world-class faculty in our top-ranking departments are experts in their fields, consistently sought by national media to provide perspective on innovative discoveries and pressing social problems, all while teaching courses within some of the most popular majors on campus and leading more students to successful graduation than any other UCI unit. And our alumni – numbering more than 47,000 strong – are taking their world-class education from our Irvine classrooms to the halls of justice in D.C., capitals around the world, courtrooms across the nation, boardrooms in some of the world’s top companies, and classrooms around the globe where they’re training our next generation of leaders.
But there is still much to be done. We live in a time where political, environmental and ethical affairs intersect with health, economic and social issues to impact – in both good and bad ways – how we live and function as a society. The challenges and opportunities brought on by these 21st century social shifts know no boundaries. They stop at no border; they aren’t limited to one discipline; and their effects will be felt well into the futures of our children and grandchildren. That’s why we, in the UCI School of Social Sciences, believe that they must be met head on through innovative social research, world-class teaching, and outreach that truly makes a difference.
If you’re someone who gets as excited as we do about these possibilities, we would love for you to join in and support us in our pursuit.
We’ve identified student support and scholarship as the School of Social Sciences’ priority for UCI’s Giving Day campaign, and we would love for you to help us make a splash with your donation toward this goal. We thank you in advance for your continued support of our endeavors to create positive change – we could not do what we do without our incredibly supportive social sciences Anteater network.