On April 20th President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Lori Peek for Member, Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences. Lori Peek is the Director of the Natural Hazards Center, an affiliate for the CU Population Center, and a fellow for the Environment and Society program and the Population Program. She is also the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded CONVERGE facility, which is dedicated to improving research coordination and advancing the ethical conduct and scientific rigor of disaster research. In the statement, President Biden also announced his intent to nominate 9 other individuals to serve on key administration boards and commissions.
To learn more about Lori Peek’s work and the other 9 nominated individuals, read the full statement on the White House briefing room website.
Thanks to all who came and participated in our IBS Poster Symposium this year! Our virtual event on Wednesday April 14th had approximately 30 attendees. Nine IBS graduate students presented their posters in two sessions.
The presenters were:
Solveig Delabroye (ECON): Learning from One’s Community: Neighborhood Effects on Non-Cognitive Skills
Ganesh Gorti (PSCI): Inequality, conditional cash transfers, and confidence in local institutions
Heather Champeau (SOCY) and Jessica Austin (SOCY): Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network: 2018 and 2019 Comparisons
Bertha Bermudez Tapia (SOCY): Violence, Asylum, and Permanent-Temporariness: The Effects of COVID-19 and Immigration Policies on the Matamoros’s Migrant-Camp
Melissa Villarreal (SOCY): Long Term Housing Recovery among Mexican Immigrants: How Service Providers Navigate Anti-Immigrant Disaster Recovery Policies
Brach Champion (ECON): Who Benefits Most from a Same-Race Mentor? Optimal Matching In Big Brothers Big Sisters
Marija Sajekaite (PSCI): Taking Climate Change Seriously: The Impacts of Weather Events on Climate Change Attitudes in Latin America
Jose Sanchez (SOCY): Gang Intervention in the COVID-19 Era: A Qualitative Study of Multidisciplinary Teams and Gang Outreach in Denver
Jeremiah Osborne Gowey (ENVS): The role of social connections and community context in adaptive farming practices among Sri Lankan households.
And our top three fan favorites based on votes were…
Jeremiah Osborne Gowey
Bertha Bermudez Tapia
Congrats to all the graduate students who participated and made the event a success! Also many thanks to Kim Truong-Vu and Carew Boulding for organizing this as part of the IBS Training Program.
In partnership with the City of Boulder, Rose Community Foundation, Together Colorado (our local faith community), and the Colorado Healing Fund, the Community Foundation Boulder County has established a fund to support the victims, their families, and our community in dealing with and processing these events. The Boulder County Crisis Fund will support the needs of those directly affected and the needs of our community to heal.
The Colorado Healing Fund has been activated. The Fund, chaired by former Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman and the nonprofit organization’s board of trustees, provides a safe way for people to donate following tragedies, ensuring that the funds go to the victims and their families. The public can securely donate online by visiting ColoradoHealingFund.org and donating through Colorado Gives. Checks and in-person donations will be accepted at Colorado-based FirstBank locations. Donors should make checks out to “Colorado Healing Fund” and designate their donations for “victims accounts” to bank tellers. Donations will be distributed to victims by the Fund’s community partners, including the Colorado Organization of Victim Assistance.
IBS hosts the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Workshop every year. This is a series of workshops designed to assist CU-Boulder applicants from the social and behavioral sciences. The workshop series is led by current graduate students who hold NSF graduate fellowships. This year 16 applicants from the workshop submitted materials for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Those who are awarded the fellowship receive a 5 year fellowship, an annual stipend, access to additional funding to sustain research while on medical deferral, and much more.
We are pleased to announce that 9 of those applicants either received the fellowship or an honorable mention! The names of the awardees, honorable mentions, and their respective programs are listed below.
It’s impossible to communicate the depth of sorrow and anger over the events at the Table Mesa King Soopers in Boulder on Monday March 22, 2021. Our hearts go out to the families of those who died. We honor them here with by listing their names and taking a moment to grieve their lives that were cut short:
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; Rikki Olds, 25; Neven Stanisic, 23; Denny Stong, 20; Eric Talley, 51; and Jody Waters, 65.
The loss of life and of confidence in our safety is beyond deplorable, and the responsiveness and courage of our police is worthy of the highest praise. We hope and pray for a world where no one ever resorts to gun violence for any reason. We want to reiterate the many resources available to help cope and work through this experience.
CU’s full list of resources and support is available here.
Lori Peek shared her experience of the event unfolding during the middle of her 400 student virtual course and tips of how to move forward with youth and college students.
Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey created a list of ways to support your ownself, the larger community, and students from a conversation he had with the CU Office of Victim's Assistance (OVA). Here's another list of
Whatever we are feeling is normal and ok.
Everyone experiences things differently (from strong emotions to numbness or feeling nothing at all) and at different times – this is both normal and OK.
It is important for us, as educators
To acknowledge the above with students in our discussions with them. It helps each of us feel less isolated and isolation is one of the biggest things crisis counselors see that people feel in crisis situations.
For us to offer a space of listening (as best we can) for students in our class, of validating the scariness and range of emotions, that all people move through these experiences very differently at different times.
That we NOT open these listening opportunities in a large classroom setting because of the range of emotional expressions present can create unintended fallout with students comparing themselves to others’ experiences, feeling more isolated, feeling abnormal, etc.
That we offer leniency to students in the class, whether on an individual or case-by-case basis or class-wide, leniency for when (or even IF) students make up assignments, leniency for unexcused absences, leniency in whatever capacity we feel makes sense for us and the classes we lead. According to the counselor I spoke with, the evidence indicates that leniency in classes is one of the biggest things we can do (aside from normalizing their feelings and reducing isolation) that helps students feel like they CAN move forward.
Ask students to think of those they trust, then reach out and connect with them, whether a roommate, a family member or a trusted friend. Encourage them to connect with others (speaks to helping “decrease a person's sense of isolation”).
If we feel comfortable, share with students our own experiences with coping with crisis and how we move through things, things that worked and did not, so students can see/hear other ways of coping they may not have thought of and it normalizes that whatever we’re feeling is OK and that there are many ways we can cope.
Share with students the “web of resources” available that are designed to provide help at the individual level (see any of the emails from various University people in the recent week).
Lastly, the counselor mentioned that it is important for each of us to acknowledge (repeatedly and also explicitly with the students) that there is no way we can do this alone, that we cannot help everyone…and that this feels awful. Then encourage students to reach out, connect with the resources, connect with those they trust, let them know that what they feel is ok, is normal, that they are not alone, that these resources are here to help each of us individually.
The shooting last week and subsequent aftermath is also a good reminder to install a shortcut on our computers to the CU Boulder “Red Folder” – it is a great starting place for finding resources to help with crises. If you have not installed a shortcut on your own computer to this resource, you can do so at https://www.colorado.edu/redfolder/.
As always, take care of yourself and reach out for support in whatever ways you need it.
At the Institute for Behavioral Science at CU Boulder, we are extremely concerned by the rise in anti-Asian sentiment and its intersection with sexism. While punctuated by the horrifying murder of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng in the Atlanta area on March 16th, hate crimes and hate speech against Asian-Americans have risen considerably in recent years, and particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anti-Asian sentiment is an old and unfortunate part of the history of the United States, particularly in the West, which led to riots against Asian-Americans – especially in the late 19th Century – and exclusionary immigration, internment, housing, and other policies – especially between then and the 1960s. As with other people of color, the plight of Asian Americans did not end with stronger civil rights legislation, with continued racism and many unfortunate alarming acts of violence to punctuate negative anti-Asian sentiment. Last year, hate crimes against Asian Americans increased by 150% while other hate crimes decreased. Anti-Asian hate incidents and hate speech are also on the rise. Asian women have borne the brunt of these abuses, being 2.3 times more likely to report hate incidents than men. Much more can be understood by learning from our CU-Boulder Asian American colleagues who are experts on these issues: see this op-ed by Prof. Jennifer Ho (“To be an Asian American woman in America”) and, below, information on a panel on Anti-Asian Violence, Silence, Race, and Patriarchy organized by the Ethnic Studies Department.
We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community, as well as with women and allies in ending anti-Asian sentiment, sexism, and the intersections of racism and sexism in society. We hope that our own and others’ research on the prevention of violence and other issues around race and gender inequalities can help shed a light on how to swiftly end these inequities.
We close with a list of resources available for more immediate action, put together by the Chancellor’s Office and the Center for the Study of Prevention of Violence.
Panel on Anti-Asian Violence, Silence, Race, and Patriarchy (organized by CU Boulder Ethnic Studies Department)
March 24, 2021 6-7:30 pm – https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/97956824956
Please join us for an engaged discussion with CU Boulder faculty and community activists on the horrific Atlanta murders of March 16th and the historic and ongoing violence(s) directed at the Asian/Asian American communities.
Featuring: Luna Beebe Ly (Asian Communities Together, CU alum); Irene V. Blair (Professor and Chair, Psychology & Neuroscience); Jennifer Ho (Director, Center for Humanities & The Arts, Professor, Ethnic Studies); Cheryl Jigashida (Associate Professor, English); Seema Sohi (Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies); & Invited Guests (TBA). Moderated by Nushant Upadhyay (Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies).
On March 11, 2021 CNN published an article about the effects of COVID-19 on children and how it will change their lives, essentially creating a new Gen-C or Generation-COVID. In the article, Lori Peek, Director of the Natural Hazards Center and affiliate of the CU Population Center and Environment and Society Program discusses how vulnerable children are even more at risk. Peek connects this to her research on Hurricane Katrina where she analyzed how the storm impacted the lives of children. During both Hurricane Katrina and COVID-19, low income African Americans have experienced longer recovery and have seen the worst impacts. She further states “children of color are disproportionately out of school. And those inequalities, need to be not only acknowledged, but also factored into recovery efforts” (Peek, CNN). Peek concludes that children’s futures are not set in stone and that there are many things we can do right now – including listening to children and giving them a chance to contribute – to ensure they have an opportunity to fully recover.
To read more about the impacts of COVID-19 on children and Peek’s research read the full article on the CNN website.
Sabrina and her team will use the newly awarded $2 million grant to fund their “An Evaluation of the Gun Shop Project: Suicide Prevention Led by the Firearms Community” project which is a study that will last for three years to document the role that gun shops can play in reducing gun suicide. They plan to partner with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition and the Firearm Safety Advisory Board to survey and interview project participants in-depth. With this information, they will also look at community-driven suicide prevention partnerships, to better understand how they impact firearm safety behaviors and suicides involving firearms.
To learn more about Sabrina and her team’s newly funded project and the link between gun ownership and suicide, read the full article at the CU Boulder Today website.
COVID-19 has changed the nature of emergency operations in the context of hazards and disasters. Fundamental shifts are needed to ensure the health and safety of individuals facing emergencies. In this guidance, Nnenia and her team explore how lessons learned from disasters that took place in 2020, along with studies on evacuation behavior, social responses to disaster, and risk communication, can be applied to emergency planning as the pandemic continues to unfold.
Just today, The Denver Post came out with an article written by David Pyrooz, from the Population Program, CU Population Center, and Prevention Science Program, and his fellow researchers. David's research team includes Justin Nix from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and Scott Wolfe from Michigan State University. The year 2020 has been a devastating year for all and has exacerbated many problems, including the homicide rate. In Denver alone, the homicide rate increased by 50% in 2020 which was higher than the average rate in 34 other U.S. cities. Many have wondered why the rate was so high and Pyrooz and other researchers have found evidence that the cause of this spike in violence is not necessarily due to COVID, but rather it is due to a legitimacy crisis within the criminal justice system.
They came to this realization due to data from the Denver Police Department’s crime, policing, and traffic data from 2016 to 2020. They found that the killing of George Floyd and other acts of police brutality over the summer led to anti-sentiment against the police and a legitimacy crisis. Pyrooz and his colleagues then focused on three major effects of the crisis: depolicing, depleted trust in the law, and de-legitimacy of the law. Based on data, specifically from depolicing, they concluded that the effects of the legitimacy crisis were the driving causes of the high homicide rates in Denver this past year.
To read more about Pyrooz’s research read the full article on The Denver Post website.