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Kiplinger reports UCLA is No. 6 ‘best value’ public college in 2016 ranking

UCLA remains one of the nation’s best values among public colleges and universities, according to the 2016 Best College Values ranking published today by Kiplinger Personal Finance.

UCLA faculty voice: Race, dignity and luck

For more than a year, this country has witnessed an extraordinary display by young folks protesting our nation’s racial disregard toward and violence against black bodies. Police brutality is being captured with greater frequency on cameras, proving true what black folks have complained about for decades.

Cryo-electron microscope research reveals structure and mechanism of Bluetongue virus

Bluetongue disease is a viral infection that has killed approximately 2 million cattle in Europe over the past two decades. A new study has revealed the atomic structure of the Bluetongue virus, including the means by which it infects healthy host cells.

New app helps students learn to read ancient Japanese writing form

Can a new app that takes a scholarly yet playful approach to studying calligraphy help students learn to read classical Japanese texts the way people in 11th century Japan did?

UCLA students seek to counter extremism in a ‘radically different’ public diplomacy course

As the public grapples with images of violent extremism advocated by the Islamic State group, UCLA students have developed a website and social movement aimed at slowing its spread by countering recruitment strategies.

Art historian takes reins of African Studies Center at UCLA

Steven Nelson recently joined a long line of respected Africanists who have led the African Studies Center at the UCLA International Institute. And as its new director, he is working to cultivate a sense of community among faculty and students on campus with an interest in Africa.

UCLA faculty voice: Ten environmental reasons to be thankful

Thanksgiving is the one national holiday that has avoided being despoiled by excessive commercialization. It is a time when families and friends gather to appreciate one another and be thankful.

Neil Garg named 2015 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching California Professor of the Year

Neil Garg, professor and vice chair for education in UCLA’s department of chemistry and biochemistry, has been selected as the 2015 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching California Professor of the Year.

Why are some wild animals more tolerant to human interaction than others?

Over time, some species become more tolerant of humans’ presence, but the extent to which they do is largely driven by the type of environment in which the animals live and by the animal’s body size, according to a comprehensive new analysis.

Anthropology alumna’s gift makes research travel a reality for the department’s graduate students

A UCLA alumna who has spent much of her life galloping around the globe has given $100,000 to establish an endowment in support of graduate student travel in the UCLA College’s Department of Anthropology.

Dorothy Jewell, who graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, said that she hopes the Dorothy H. Jewell Graduate Student Travel Award Endowment will help students experience cultures outside their own.

“The experience of immersing oneself in various cultures is what anthropology is all about,” Jewell said. “We can’t be ethnocentric.”

Specifically, graduate students in biological, linguistic and sociocultural anthropology will be given access to the travel stipends, allowing them to deepen their research beyond campus.

“UCLA is a highly rated institution that through its concentration on research makes our world better equipped to meet the future,” Jewell said. “I’m proud to help students prepare for that future.”

Jewell, who as a non-traditional student enrolled at UCLA when she was 55, had already travelled to around 80 countries before deciding to pursue her undergraduate degree.

After living in parts of Europe and Africa for months on end, including the time she slept under a eucalyptus tree on a Moroccan beach for seven months, two UCLA professors advised her to move beyond her community college courses and pursue a degree in anthropology at the university.

“I had already been living this anthropological experience,” she recalls them telling her. “They recommended I make the anthropology direction more official.”

Jewell always had an adventurous spirit. Following high school, she left her native Canada for what she thought would be a brief tour of Europe then never looked back. She met her late husband – also a UCLA graduate – in Norway when he was working on location for Disney, and they eventually settled in Los Angeles for his work in the film industry and hers in the travel business. Having discovered the riches that come with experiencing other cultures, Jewell continues to explore the world. Her next destination is Tanzania.

“Travel is an important part of my life, partly due to this nomad aspect of my personality that seemed to manifest itself when I left Canada,” Jewell said. “I originally went to Europe and Africa for six months and it turned into five years.  And ever since, I’ve had to have my travel fix.”

Jewell’s gift will now make those experiences possible to emerging anthropology scholars at UCLA.

“Seeing firsthand how other cultures and societies function is a vital part of being a successful anthropologist,” said Nancy Levine, professor and chair in the Department of Anthropology. “Ms. Jewell’s gift ensures that a new generation of anthropologists will emerge with the experiences needed to develop impactful and meaningful research.”