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Behavioral and Social Sciences News

    Two CAS Professors Receive President's Awards from UM System

    The University of Missouri System presented two University of Missouri-Kansas City College of Arts and Sciences professors with President’s Awards on Friday, April 14.

    Joan McDowd, professor of psychology, was awarded the President's Award for Community Engagement by Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Bob Schwartz and Interim Chief of Staff David Russell and Wai-Yim Ching, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Physics, was awarded the President’s Award for Sustained Career Excellence by UMKC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer.

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    UMKC History Professor Reconstructs the History of Surgery before Anesthesia

    The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88Lynda Payne publishes new book about "the best surgeon" in 18th century England.

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce the publication Professor Lynda Payne's new book, The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88, about the influential English surgeon Percivall Pott, whose practice of surgery was praised for being methodical, skilled and measured.

    Payne, a specialist in the history of science and medicine, challenges the belief that the practice of surgery prior to the invention of general anesthesia was “a realm of screaming patients and larger than life eccentric medical men whose primary aims were to operate as fast as possible.” The goal of her new book is to humanize and historicize medical practices by looking at the biography of this landmark teacher and practitioner.

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    CAS Associate Dean Publishes Book About the Wartime Deeds of Henry Bloch

    Once upon a time, America’s Tax Man was America’s airman.

    Henry Bloch, founder of H&R Block, enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack and was trained as a navigator for bomber missions. He flew 32 missions over Europe as a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress. His first mission was the third-ever raid over Berlin by the Allies.

    Bloch’s wartime experiences, and the impact those experiences had on shaping his postwar business career, is the topic of a new book from BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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    Driven to Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

    Kathryn WebsterKathryn Webster (B.A. ’75, M.A. ’79) to be honored with the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Award. Webster is a life-long heart disease survivor. She was diagnosed with congenital heart disease at the age of four, underwent open heart surgery as a teenager and had her second open heart surgery 11 years ago. It was after her second surgery that she learned about WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

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    UMKC-FBI Student Academy Classes

    FBI AcademyUMKC students are learning about the FBI through a unique program called the UMKC Student Academy.

    Students of all majors can attend the non-credit professional development academy at no charge. It consists of eight seminars led by FBI personnel. Students are encouraged to participate in as many sessions as possible and may pick and choose which sessions to attend. Those who attend six or more sessions will receive a certificate of participation from the FBI.

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    Dynamic Duos: Lyne and Webb

    Dynamic Duos

    Reaching for Lofty Goals

    Meet Mona Lyne and Parker Webb

    Mona Lyne, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, joined the UMKC faculty in 2008 and has received multiple awards for her writing. She specializes in comparative politics and international relations, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. She is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Latin American Studies Association and the Midwestern Political Science Association.

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    4th Floor Cherry Hall (CJC and Philosophy)

    photo by: University CommunicationsFourth Floor Cherry Hall Now Open For Business

    Honors College, Criminal Justice, Philosophy Host Grand Opening of New Space

    UMKC faculty, staff and students filed into Cherry Hall Nov. 2 and headed toward the fourth floor, not sure what to expect.

    Upon arrival, they found a beautifully renovated, wide-open new space that had been vacant for nearly seven years. The top floor of the former dormitory, constructed in 1955, is now home to the Honors College, the Department of Philosophy and the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

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    Zippia ranks CAS's Economics Department as #1

    cas_newsZippia ranks CAS's Economics Department as #1 in their "These are the 10 best Colleges for Economics Majors in Missouri" article.

    You know there are a ton of great reasons to major in economics -- the job prospects, the intellectual challenge, and the chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest thinkers of all time.

    But what program in Missouri offers the most to would be economics majors?

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    Who Has the Candidate’s Ear?

    What does a presidential candidate’s choice of advisers tell us about the candidate?

    A deep bench of experienced advisers is essential for any president — to provide policy guidance, a sounding board, intellectual ballast and, eventually, help in translating ideas into action. But the people selected say much about the candidates themselves — their intellectual rigor, their willingness to entertain fresh views, the value they place on experience.

    Hillary Clinton’s roster is a who’s who of the astute and ambitious accumulated by both Clintons in four decades in Democratic politics. It includes Alan Blinder, former Fed vice chairman, and John Podesta, campaign chairman and a top adviser in the Clinton and Obama administrations.

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    Radical economic ideas grab attention...

    An advocate for radical Modern Monetary Theory is an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Photo: Bloomberg

    Our economic guardians at Federal Treasury and the Reserve Bank sound increasingly uneasy about some policy choices being made offshore.

    Since the global financial crisis, quantitative easing has pumped trillions of dollars into major economies with limited success. More recently central banks in Europe and Japan have opted for negative interest rates in a bid to kick-start growth.

    On Tuesday the Treasury Secretary, John Fraser, pointed out that we've now been in an "experimental stage" with monetary policy for more than seven years...

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    Denmark doesn’t treat its prisoners like prisoners...

    Prisoners prepare their own meals, wear their own clothes and leave each day. It's led to lower recidivism.

    The most interesting thing about Scandinavian prisons? Many are barely prisons at all.

    Our research team spent six weeks conducting intensive research in Danish prisons. We were struck by the sight of prisoners wearing their own clothes, cooking their own meals and having private family visits as often as once a week. At these “open” prisons, there are no barbed wire fences, solid walls with gun towers or secure perimeters.

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    UMKC professor among handful of economist to predict Eurozone fiscal downturn

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's not something Dr. Randall Wray wanted to be right about.

    "When you have your own currency, you have sovereign power," said Wray, a professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City.

    But when it came to predicting Europe's financial downturn, the economics professor was spot on.

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    The New Yorker's "The Case Against Cash Bail"

    Photo by: Spencer Platt / Getty
    It’s obvious that jail isn’t good for the jailed. It may be particularly bad for people accused of minor crimes, who are confined not because they are likely to be dangerous but because, under our cash-bail system, they can’t afford to get out. Think of the appalling case of Kalief Browder, the Bronx teenager who was profiled by my colleague Jennifer Gonnerman, in 2014. He was charged with stealing a backpack and spent three years at Rikers Island awaiting trial. Two years after the trial was dismissed and he was released, Browder killed himself.

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    Nine People Who Saw the Greek Crisis Coming Years Before Everyone Else Did

    Professor's Forstater, Kelton and Wray are among the Nine People Who Saw the Greek Crisis Coming Years Before Everyone Else Did.

    Although the problems in Greece didn't begin making big headlines until 2009, a number of economists, politicians and professors spotted cracks in the European currency union as early as the 1990s. Meanwhile, it's interesting to note that the country had a tough time making it into the single currency in the first place.

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    The Most Interested Man in Kansas City

    Bill AshworthScience, art, technology, history, space. Bill Ashworth wants to know about everything.

    If  you’re curious, there are many things that Bill Ashworth wants you to know.

    But here’s the main thing: Learning is fun.

    That optimistic aphorism is more than a casual one to Ashworth and his devoted admirers, who delight in the local educator’s indefatigable interest in not only his chosen academic field—the history of science—but anything else that might tickle his circuitously inquisitive mind.

    Ashworth is a longtime associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and consultant on rare books for the privately-funded Linda Hall Library, an independent research library of science, engineering and technology across the street from the UMKC campus.

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    Missouri Reports Wide Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops

    The New York Times' John Eligon interviews CJC's Ken Novak.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police officers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to stop black drivers than white drivers last year, and 73 percent more likely to search black drivers, according to a report released Monday by Chris Koster, the state’s attorney general.

    The data also showed that although blacks were more likely to be stopped and searched than whites, they were less likely to be found with contraband than whites, the report said.

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    Dr. Miguel Carranza awarded NACCS Scholar 2015

    Dr. Miguel Carranza, Latina/o Studies director and professor of sociology awarded the 2015 NACCS Scholar.

    2015 NACCS cover and program.

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    KC anti-violence campaign aims to plug hole by looking at parolees

    KC-NoVA image by Allison Long

    The Kansas City No Violence Alliance recently started meeting with inmates about to go on parole in an effort to help them get what they need in order to keep them away from crime while also delivering them a warning. KC NoVa rounded up people deemed by police as being key to violent crime in the area in January 2013. File photo by ALLISON LONG The Kansas City Star . The conversations go like this:

    An inmate nearing the end of his or her prison sentence is called to a meeting. A Kansas City police detective, a parole officer and an advocate for the inmate pull up chairs.

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    Erik K. Olsen's "Unproductive Activity and Endogenous ...

    Erik K. Olsen's "Unproductive Activity and Endogenous Technological Change in a Marxian Model of Economic Reproduction and Growth” receives the Review of Radical Political Economics best paper award.

    Abstract: This paper integrates unproductive activity into a Marxist growth model based on Marx’s reproduction schemes. Labor extraction and technological change are related to the production and distribution of surplus and thus are endogenous.

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    Unified front is needed to steer area youths from violent crimes

    Kansas City police have identified almost 200 young people who are connected to groups associated with crimes such as shootings, armed assaults, robberies and weapons trafficking. About half of the teenagers are 16 and younger, and a few are as young as 13.

    Young suspects have been charged in two of the Kansas City region’s most violent and high-profile crimes so far this year.

    The four men accused of killing Shawnee gun shop owner Jon Bieker Jan. 9 in a robbery gone bad range in age from 18 to 20.

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    Police are crunching data to stop murders before they happen

    Kansas City’s smart policing push users computers to find likely criminals and their associates. Civil rights groups say that tactic raises serious privacy questions.

    Kansas City had a murder problem. For the past decade it’s violent crime rate had made it one of the top ten dangerous cities in America.

    Read the full Fortune article.

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    Stephanie Kelton is named chief Democratic economist

    UMKC’s Stephanie Kelton is named chief Democratic economist on the Senate Budget Committee

    Stephanie Kelton has been an economics professor at UMKC since 1999. She is a self-described “deficit owl” who supported larger budget deficits to counteract the recent recession. Each party has its own chief economist on the budget panel, which among other things oversees the Congressional Budget Office.

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    Economics' Dr. Eaton represents UMKC in the Federal Reserve Research Center

    Three universities, Kauffman Foundation gain access to secure Census data

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City is joining with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, two other universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to establish a new research data center (RDC) that will provide area researchers with access to some of the nation’s highest-quality data for analysis of the U.S. economy and public policy issues.  Read more.

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    Using Research to Reduce Violent Crime

    Direct involvement by UMKC faculty aids No-Violence Alliance

    An ongoing law enforcement effort to rethink strategies to reduce violent crime in the Kansas City area has its own secret weapon: UMKC.

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, part of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, is intimately involved in the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA). NoVA is a 2-year-old multi-agency effort to reduce gun-related violence.

    Chancellor Leo E. Morton serves on NoVA’s governing board, and UMKC faculty members and graduate students are embedded in NoVA’s effort to implement a crime-prevention approach known as “focused deterrence,” which helps police look beyond individual criminals to the criminals’ entire social networks.

    Read the UMKC Today article.

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