Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Krosnick Wins AAPOR Lifetime Achievement Award

Jon Krosnick, a 1985 Ph.D. from the social psych program at Michigan, has been awarded the American Association for Public Opinion Research's lifetime achievement award. A faculty member at Stanford (and before that at Ohio State), Jon has been a leading figure in survey-research methodology and the study of attitudes, in particular. In 2007, I wrote on this blog about Jon's appearance before a Congressional committee on the use of survey methods to gather systematic data from airline pilots on risk-elevating events (e.g., "miscommunications between pilots and air traffic controllers, disturbances caused by passengers, bird strikes, or aircraft flying too close to one another"). Congrats to Jon!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Biernat Named PSPR Editor

Monica Biernat, a member of the same entering graduate-school cohort with me (1984, graduating in '89) and a professor for the last 22 years at the University of Kansas, has been named the new editor of Personality and Social Psychology Review. Congrats to Monica!

Monday, November 14, 2011

My First-Year Graduate Dorm Closing

An "e-True Blue" e-mail newsletter today from the UM Alumni Association includes the item that the Baits I (but not the Baits II) housing complex on the North Campus will close down. I lived in one of the Baits I buildings (Parker House) during my first year of graduate school (1984-85), before moving to a series of apartments in the Central Campus area for years 2 through 5 of my graduate training.

This Michigan Daily article on the closure includes a picture of the complex. The article alludes to one of the current Baits residents being a sophomore. Back in the day, as I recall, Baits was a primarily, if not exclusively, graduate-student complex (apparently, it also accommodated upper-level undergrads, as I've now discovered). According to the article, Baits I would have required at least $6 million in renovations, which the powers-that-be do not feel is a prudent investment. Also, Baits I does not meet the university's goal of having "complexes within five minutes of a residential dining hall."

The last claim is totally valid. The nearest dorm with a dining hall was Bursley, which I recall being a lot longer than a five-minute walk. As shown on this map, Baits II is a lot closer to Bursley than is Baits I. Usually, I would have dinner at one of the restaurants in the Central Campus area on my way home, after a day of work at the office.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jussim Quoted in Academic Austerity Article

Lee Jussim, a 1987 Ph.D. recipient from the social psych program at Michigan, was quoted this past week by Bloomberg News, regarding how academic programs at Rutgers University in New Jersey are facing major budget cuts while the athletic department continues to furnish what many would consider lavish benefits to its coaches.

With specific regard to the Rutgers Psychology Department, which Lee chairs, he told Bloomberg that: “The cuts are sufficiently severe... that our ability to accomplish our core missions are, for the first time in my career, under serious threat.”

Sadly, Lee's department is not alone in having to watch things such as the number of photocopies made and provision of Scantron forms for multiple-choice exams. My department at Texas Tech is dealing with similar issues, as are many other institutions (just do a Google search on "university budget cuts").

Friday, February 18, 2011

Borders Books Declares Bankruptcy

Not that it came as a surprise, but yesterday it was announced that the Borders bookstore company had filed for bankruptcy. Borders, of course, was founded in Ann Arbor 40 years ago, before going national around 20 years ago. Not only was Borders a great place for UM students and other Ann Arborites to hang out. For myself (and perhaps others whose careers took them away from Ann Arbor), visiting a Borders in any city provided a little reminder of Michigan days.

Many, though not all, Borders locations have been closed in recent years. My home base of Lubbock, Texas has never had a Borders (at least in the 14 years I've been on the faculty at Texas Tech University), so I've mainly visited locations in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas for the past decade and a half. No longer will that be possible, as L.A. and Chicago seem to have had all their Borders stores wiped out.

The current flagship Borders on Ann Arbor's Liberty St. (which is where the store settled after moving between State St. and other nearby locations) remains open. I hope that even if the national company goes belly-up, the Ann Arbor location can survive.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Niedenthal Featured in New York Times

Today's New York Times features the research of Paula Niedenthal, who received her Ph.D. at Michigan in 1987 and since the late 1990s has been on the faculty at Universit√© Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France. The focus of the Times article is a new theory of smiling developed by Paula and her colleagues, which "[t]hey believe ... can account not only for the source of smiles, but how people perceive them."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Village Corner Shuts Down South U Store

From the December issue of the Ann Arbor Observer comes word that Village Corner, a mainstay for 40 years at the corner of S. University and S. Forest, closed in early November and is now in "hibernation," pending a move to a still-to-be-found new location. VC's website details the situation and notes that "The December 2010 issue of Ann Arbor Observer misquoted Dick [Scheer, the owner] as stating we're 'shooting for a reopening in a new location sometime in 2012.' In fact, we plan to reopen in a matter of weeks, not months or years." VC and the adjacent bicycle store are giving way to a new high-rise student apartment complex.

For those not familiar with VC (and it's hard to imagine many Ann Arborites would fall into that category), it was a store that defied easy labels. It was like a convenience store, but much bigger, or like a supermarket, but much smaller. It was also said to have one of the Midwest's finest and most extensive wine collections. My memories of VC include always seeing copious supplies of flyers for upcoming campus-area events tacked up by the entrances, and the local public radio station playing world music in the background.

Living in the South U area my second year of grad school, I frequently popped into VC, either to pick up a snack of, say, orange juice and a brownie, or for a few days' groceries. Along with VC, other South U neighborhood establishments of my grad-school days, such as Pizzeria Uno, the Bagel Factory, and Community Newscenter (bookstore), are gone.