Browsing: Social Sciences

As Kathleen Wilson surveyed her last semester of a four-year term as director of the Humanities Institute within the College of Arts and Sciences, she spoke with excitement about the Institute’s history, programming and changes she has implemented. Wilson, a SUNY Distinguished Professor with an appointment in the Department of History, is aided by Program Coordinator Adrienne Unger, a supporting staff and an advisory board composed of 15 faculty members who endeavor to keep Stony Brook at the crossroads of critical thinking and aligned with the social, cultural and political issues of the world. The Institute has striven for social…

Before taking a Stony Brook University course in news literacy, 17-year-old Alex Macholz, a student at Northport High School, never thought to question the source of the news he was exposed to.   “The news literacy course has changed my thought process,” he said. “I have learned to be more skeptical of what I read, leading me to make sure I verify the source of where the information comes from.” What began at Stony Brook as an effort to encourage critical scrutiny of the news is now gaining traction in local schools, and has even found its way overseas. The…

In 2017, Stony Brook University once again excelled in diversity, innovation, cutting-edge research and groundbreaking discoveries with real-world impact. A major study showed that SBU has become a nationwide leader in the area of social mobility. Meanwhile, Stony Brook experts and events were featured in the world’s news columns as we unearthed archaeological discoveries, performed pioneering surgeries, and welcomed luminaries to campus, including Michael J. Fox and Joe Biden. As a new year full of promise begins, browse our Top 10 website for a colorful review of Stony Brook’s biggest stories of 2017.

Stony Brook celebrates Native American Heritage Month throughout November with a variety of events and performances, but acknowledgement of the history and issues surrounding indigenous peoples is a year-round commitment on campus. Perhaps most prominent of the Native American influencers at Stony Brook are Jay Levenson, an interlibrary loan clerk in the Access Services Department at University Libraries, and Timothy Long, a professor, conductor and pianist with the Department of Music. They remain key figures in promoting and furthering a fuller understanding of Native American culture, art and history on campus. It was Levenson who, with the help of a…

In 2017, Stony Brook graduate student and ethnomusicologist Jay Loomis and assistant professor of computer science Roy Shilkrot teamed up to secure a grant to create 3D printed replicas of ancient wind instruments. The goal? To give museum-goers an opportunity to interact with rare instruments rather than merely viewing them through a glass enclosure. Loomis had been interested in wind instruments since he was a boy in Wisconsin, when he was struck deeply by flute music wafting from his car radio. After he moved to Long Island, his thirst for playing dovetailed with an insatiable curiosity about indigenous musical instruments. He hoped…

It was a perfect June morning on the East End of Long Island. Breeze flowing off the water, clouds providing a slight scrim for the sun trying to push through. Sitting at a remote picnic table (although not quite remote enough to keep away several “Hi Bobby, I love your new show” fans) with television star and celebrity chef Bobby Flay, I shared our plans and set-up for the opening night keynote address he would be delivering for the 3rd Annual Food Lab Conference. It would be delivered that evening on the water’s edge at the School of Marine and Atmospheric…

Hannah Mieczkowski ’17 discovered psychology in ninth grade when she read Malcolm Gladwell’s best-seller Blink — a book that suggests that spontaneous decisions may be preferable to well-planned ones. “It was the first time I realized that the scientific method I had practiced in various science classes, such as chemistry and biology, also applied to other subjects with which I connected,” she said. Thus began a fascinating series of research experiences en route to a 4.0 GPA. In Professor Susan Brennan’s Communication Lab, Hannah collected and analyzed data for multiple experiments regarding eye movements, theory of mind and interpersonal deception. In the spring…

When pro ballers indulge in late-night tweetstorms, they aren’t just courting controversy: they could also be impacting their performance on-court. A new study led by Stony Brook researchers suggests that NBA players had worse personal statistics in games that followed a late-night tweet. Players scored on average about 1 point less in games following late-night tweets, and their shooting accuracy dropped 2.5 percentage points compared with their performance in games that did not follow late-night tweeting. After a late-night tweet, players also took fewer shots and had fewer rebounds, steals and blocks. “Using late-night tweeting activity as a proxy for…

Writer, artist, runner and licensed wildlife rehabilitator — this is how Erica Cirino ’15 identities herself. Perhaps survivor should be added to the description. Her childhood memories are dominated by discord. Voices escalate in anger and accusations; a door slams, followed by the sound of a woman sobbing. A car starts up in the driveway; a man is bound for who knows where. When the little girl wakes up in the middle of the night, she sees her father on the couch. Again. The days that follow bring more of the same — ongoing family drama that no child could be…

The fossil-rich sedimentary rock basin of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya was set upon almost 50 years ago by renowned paleoanthropologist and Stony Brook professor Richard Leakey. To build on decades-long and groundbreaking fieldwork and research, Leakey and Stony Brook University founded the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) in 2006 to provide the crucial infrastructure needed to facilitate future research and discovery in the remote desert region, now known to be the most complete and important repository in the world for human fossils. Supported entirely through private philanthropy, the kinds of discoveries possible at TBI are manifest in a recent find…

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