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Claremont, CA, United States

Pitzer College is a private residential liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, United States, a college town approximately 39 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Pitzer College is one of the Claremont Colleges.Pitzer College has a curricular emphasis on the social science, behavioral science, international programs, and media studies. As it is one of the Claremont Colleges, consortium resources are shared and students from the school are encouraged to take classes at the other four undergraduate Claremont Colleges as well as at Pitzer. Likewise, students from the other Claremont Colleges are permitted to take classes at Pitzer. Wikipedia.

Peterson T.H.,Pitzer College
Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action

Youth from the city of San Bernardino, California, launched a community organizing campaign to develop policy changes to address conditions of inter-racial violence in their community. Pitzer College students collaborated with the high school youth organizers in a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project to study violence and racial conflict at local high schools. The purpose of the project was to explore the experiences and perceptions of high school youth about racial conflict in their community and to develop policy proposals to address this issue. Undergraduate student researchers and high school youth organizers collaborated in designing and conducting narrative research. Together they developed questions and carried out semi-structured interviews and two focus groups with 40 local youth. The undergraduate students then coded and analyzed the data to identify common themes. Youth organizer's feedback was incorporated into a final, shared research report, including policy proposals, which were presented to the greater community. Youth organizers worked with city and school administrators to secure the implementation of programs they recommended to address their research's findings. Programs were enacted to reduce racial bias and conflict on school campuses, and city leaders agreed to develop a strategic youth development plan together with youth organizers. The partnership experience supported important policy changes in San Bernardino high schools, yet also illuminated areas wherein the community-campus partnerships could work more intentionally to shift power dynamics between and within the partners, address conditions that generate dependency and inequality in the partnership, and expand outcomes of institutional and community transformation. Source

The role that Muraviovka Park in Russia has played in the lives of local people has radically changed since the early 1990s. From opposing the establishment of the park, to seeing the park as a provider of services, to finally feeling a sense of ownership of the park and its rare cranes, local attitudes toward the park have changed dramatically. This article contributes to literature on integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) on many fronts. Unlike economic conflicts ICDPs have addressed elsewhere, the conflicts around Muraviovka Park have been ideological. The project is also in Russia, a region of few ICDPs that merits examination. Additionally, this is a long-term study that demonstrates that time is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of an ICDP. This study is primarily based on ethnographic interviews I conducted in Russian during the year 1999-2000 and during the summers of 2005 and 2008. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Munroe R.L.,Pitzer College | Gauvain M.,University of California at Riverside
International Journal of Environmental Health Research

We reexamined field data on cognitive performance in light of recent research that shows open-fire cooking - with its emission of harmful substances - to pose a risk to healthy physical development. Tests of three- to nineyear-old children in four communities around the world yielded evidence concerning block-building skills, memory, and the discernment of embedded figures. Naturalistic observations of these children were also undertaken in everyday settings. Open-fire cooking (as opposed to cooking on kerosene stoves) was associated with both lower cognitive performance and less frequent structured play at all ages. Although these correlational results do not reveal causal mechanisms, they are consistent with ideas about negative developmental consequences of exposure to open-fire cooking and suggest that research is needed on the effect on brain development of practices involving production of indoor smoke. © 2012 Taylor & Francis. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: TOPOLOGY | Award Amount: 136.98K | Year: 2012

A classical way to study 3-manifolds is to begin with an embedded surface in it that satisfies some useful property. For example, Haken solved many important problems by building hierarchies of incompressible surfaces that decompose large classes of 3-manifolds into balls. Casson and Gordon introduced the idea of strongly irreducible surfaces to study Heegaard splittings of 3-manifolds. This proposal concerns the further development and application of the PIs theory of topologically minimal surfaces, which generalize both incompressible and strongly irreducible surfaces. Such surfaces have been used by the PI to solve several long standing conjectures, Gordons Conjecture and the Stabilization Conjecture. The specific goals of this proposal are to: (1) Further explore the relationships between topologically minimal, PL minimal, and geometrically minimal surfaces; (2) Use topologically minimal surfaces to explore what happens to the set of Heegaard surfaces under Dehn filling; and (3) Understand the behavior of topologically minimal surfaces under finite coverings.

Just as the surface of the Earth seems like a plane to those confined to local observations, a 3-manifold is an object that is locally indistinguishable from 3-dimensional Euclidean space, such as our universe. A classical way to study 3-manifolds is to utilize surfaces they contain that are non-trivial in some suitable sense. Topological minimality is a very general notion of non-triviality for such surfaces that was introduced by the PI to solve several problems in topology. These surfaces are the analogue of more classical objects, the so-called geometrically minimal surfaces. Familiar examples of such surfaces include soap films. Conjecturally, topologically minimal surfaces have all of the same properties as geometrically minimal surfaces. The goal of the present work is to elucidate those properties that are shared by these two kinds of surfaces.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SOCIOLOGY | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2012

SES - 1226437
Azamat Junisbai
Pitzer College


Value Systems in Comparative Perspective

We have long sought to understand the relationship between governments and their constituents. However, because most studies have focused on Western democracies, we have a limited understanding of how public opinion trends resonate with, and potentially shape, government actions in countries of strategic importance to the U.S. It is not clear whether we can generalize across different political systems, in particular given contemporary political conditions outside of Europe, which continue to change rapidly, and often violently. This project will conduct nationally representative public opinion surveys about social and economic inequality and the proper role of government in two Central Asian countries. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were chosen as comparative case studies, because they are of strategic importance to U.S. policy, and because their multi-ethnic, largely Muslim population makes them representative of other countries in the region. In addition to gauging current popular opinion regarding a range of economic and social policies, this study seeks to discern changes in public attitudes and expectations over time, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Broader Impacts
Research shows that long-term political stability is associated with both autocratic regimes (whose survival is less reliant on fair elections) and with governments that maintain legitimacy by implementing redistributive policies in a range of policy arenas. Findings from this study have the potential to make an important contribution to our understanding of how formerly autocratic states can move successfully towards democratization. In addition, findings from this study may inform our understanding of how the recent financial crisis has affected public sentiments in authoritarian societies more broadly.

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