Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at Duke UniversityJanuary 2013

   Deborah Hicks Escapes Appalachia,
Returns As A Teacher

Deborah Hicks, research scholar at SSRI, grew up in an Appalachian paper mill town she hoped to escape. Her education opened doors for her to leave and travel to other parts of a country, but she returned time and again to Appalachia as a teacher. Deborah has dedicated her life to educating those that need her most - focusing on young girls in poor neighborhoods. She is the founder and director of PAGE, Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education, in Madison County.

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  Bass Connections

Launched by a $50 million donation by Anne and Robert Bass, the program will prepare students to tackle complex issues facing society through problem-focused educational pathways and integrated project teams in five broad thematic areas. Bass Connections in Education & Human Development, led by SSRI Director Tom Nechyba, will provide a rich and stimulating interdisciplinary framework for engaging students and faculty to investigate a broad constellation of measurable human outcomes-including social capital, health, income, and well-being-and the vital influence of education on those outcomes. Connections in Education & Human Development will draw participants from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, education, biology, neuroscience, and public policy; will feature a broad set of gateway courses offered through several departments; and self-contained modules designed to ensure a meaningful common language among all participants.


   Restraining Order: The Art of Self-Control   
If you're not familiar with the Center for Advanced Hindsight's program of absurdist yet practical critique, come and see their current exhibition, Restraining Order: The Art of Self Control, which is on view through Feb. 22. Director Dan Ariely and curator Catherine Howard invited 25 artists working in a variety of media to participate in a discussion with Ariely about his research into techniques for developing self-control. Artists also did self-control exercises while creating work in response to the research. An alternative to open calls for thematic work, the Center's process is designed (with a modicum of facetiousness) to spur retrospective insight.

Check out pics of the event


    Why Universities Should Avoid Income As Proxy for Race-Based Admissions Policy   
In the coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court may land the final blow to what's left of race-based affirmative action in higher education. If the type of questioning raised during case hearings in October are an indicator, the Court may rule that the University of Texas at Austin's 

 admissions policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and that the plaintiff, 22-year old Abigail Fisher, was a victim of what affirmative action opponents long have framed as "reverse discrimination." In practice, this means that public universities, but also private institutions that receive federal monies, may be required to eliminate any "race-based" admissions criteria. Even the smallest race-based factors considered permissible under the Grutter vs. Bollinger (2003) decision -- which the court ruled were "narrowly-tailored" enough alongside other admissions criteria given a "compelling interest" for universities to represent the diverse demographic composition of the United States -- may be void.

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    Shipbuilding contracts should lead to 30 years of opportunity

The province is helping Nova Scotians get ready to make the most of the federal shipbuilding contracts that will bring 30 years of opportunities and good jobs. Premier Darrell Dexter released an analysis of the range of activities needed to create, produce, deliver and maintain the arctic offshore patrol ships, polar icebreaker, and research vessels. SSRI's Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness (CGGC) prepared the study, which shows how local companies could become suppliers to the shipbuilding programs in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

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About SSRI
The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) is the interdisciplinary social science research institute of Duke University. Our core mission is to catalyze pioneering social science research and methods across the social and behavioral sciences.
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