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Lorena Anderson

Psychologists Look to Partner with Merced Babies, Moms for National Study

Psychology Professor Eric Walle ’s Interpersonal Development Lab will recruit local infants and mothers as an important and unique part of a large-scale study focusing on the development of young children.

Led by scientists at New York University and Pennsylvania State University, the Play and Learning Across a Year (PLAY) project involves 65 researchers across the United States and Canada and is funded by a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Health Communication Researcher Working to Improve Internet-based Medical Information

If you’re an American with Internet access, you’ve probably done it. You get a headache, a sniffle or a mystery bruise, and instead of seeing your doctor, you consult “Dr. Google.”

According to some studies, more than 80 percent of Americans have used the Internet to “self-diagnose” health issues. UC Merced public health communication Professor Susana Ramirez’s new partnership with an eHealth startup aims to help people get quality information and find out what they do with it once they have it.

CAREER Award Will Help Professor Advance Organic Chemistry Education

Chemistry and chemical biology Professor Ryan Baxter recently became the campus’s 22nd recipient of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) prestigious early CAREER awards for untenured faculty.

The $647,000 he received from NSF will mostly go toward paying student research assistants and purchasing supplies to help advance his lab’s work developing new strategies for initiating radical chemical reactions to engineer mild experimental protocols.

Emergence, Extinction of Massive Ancient Shark to be Explored with NSF Grant

Forty million years after dinosaurs went extinct, one of the largest predators that ever prowled Earth’s oceans emerged, feeding the imaginations of modern scientists and the nightmares of modern movie audiences.

Megalodon — the name means ‘giant tooth’ — appeared some 23 million years ago and reigned the seas for about 21 million years. In 400 million years of shark evolution, megalodon is the most massive shark species that ever lived, growing to 60 feet long, or three times the size of the largest of today’s great whites.

Shakespeare’s ‘Dream’ Delights Yosemite Visitors for Earth Day Weekend

“April ... hath put a spirit of youth in everything,” Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 98. He might as well have been writing about this year’s Shakespeare in Yosemite production.

With Friday’s premiere — attended by high school students from Mariposa and several children of park employees and El Portal residents and performed by a troupe of players ranging from those experienced and trained in Shakespeare to brand-new actors — the 420-year-old “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” seemed new again.

Professor’s Fellowship Allows Renewed Focus on Sociology of Race in South Africa

Professor Whitney Pirtle recently became the first researcher to win the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship while employed at UC Merced — a grant that will help her finish writing a book and move her closer to gaining tenure.

“It’s a really big honor,” Pirtle said. “It comes at a great time in my career.”

Prestigious University Press Signs Professor as Book Series Editor

Interdisciplinary Humanities Professor Arturo Arias was recently selected to edit a series of indigenous-studies books for the State University of New York (SUNY) Press.

That makes him the first UC Merced professor to be named editor of a book series for a major university press. He said it is an honor and a credit to the university and UC Merced programs that are meriting national recognition.

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