Professor To Develop Online Courses on African Literature

UC Riverside Professor Anthonia Kalu has received two awards from the UC Office of the President to develop, design and teach two online courses, called “Introduction to African Literature” and “Women in African Literature.”

Professor Anthonia Kalu received two awards from the UC Office of the President to develop, design and teach two online courses on African literature. UCR FILE

Professor Anthonia Kalu 

The Innovative Learning Technology Initiative is a UC system-wide initiative that offers high quality online courses that satisfy degree requirements and help UC students graduate on time. Kalu, who joined the faculty in July, 2015, has a strong record of program and curriculum building and has taught online classes before.

Kalu, who teaches in both the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, and the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, said she wants African literatures (oral and written) to become part of ongoing research and initiatives in the Digital Humanities.

The courses will involve not only lectures, but also video interviews conducted by professor Kalu with African authors and storytellers. They are expected to be ready for enrollment in Fall, 2017.

Read the full interview with professor Kalu at

Assistant Professor Selected as Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar

Andrew Subica, an assistant professor in the Center for Healthy Communities in the School of Medicine, has been accepted as a 2016 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar.
“This is a highly competitive training program and a great honor for Andy, the UCR School of Medicine, and the Center for Healthy Communities,” said Greer Sullivan, the director of the Center for Healthy Communities.

Andrew Subica will now participate in the Health Disparities Research Institute in Bethesda, Md. UCR File

Assistant Professor Andrew Subica 
UCR File

Subica will now participate in the Health Disparities Research Institute scheduled to take place August 15-19, 2016 in Bethesda, Md.

He was selected from among a large pool of applicants based on his accomplishments and promise as a health disparities research scholar. The Health Disparities Research Institute provides participants with a broad overview of the leading issues in the field and will connect Subica with leading scientists and NIH staff to advance his proposed research with Pacific Islanders.

At UCR, Subica researches mental and physical health disparities in vulnerable communities, partnering with community organizations to target their root causes such as poverty, poor access to care, and problems in the social and built environment.

Anthropologist Will Study Roads in Maya Civilization With NSF Grant

The construction of a 62-mile-long causeway in the Yucatán Peninsula in the 7th century A.D. linked the ancient Maya cities of Coba and Yaxuna. But little is known about how the stone road affected social interactions between Coba, the largest urban center of Maya civilization at the time, Yaxuna to the west, and rural communities in between.

Travis Stanton

Anthropologist Travis Stanton 
ucr file

An international team of researchers led by UCR anthropologist Travis Stanton will begin excavating household sites in the ruins of both cities and a rural community along the causeway next summer in an effort to determine how life changed for tens of thousands of people who lived along what was the longest road in the ancient Maya world.

The research project, “Household Socio-Economic Integration of the Classic Period Coba State: Researching the Yaxuna-Coba Causeway,” is funded by a three-year, $367,240 grant from the National Science Foundation. Stanton, associate professor of anthropology at UCR, is the principal investigator on the project. Traci Ardren, professor of anthropology at the University of Miami, is the co-principal investigator.

Read more on Travis Stanton’s work.

Psychology Professor Awarded Early Career Research Grant

Cecilia Cheung, assistant psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside has been awarded the American Psychological Association’s 2016 Developmental Psychologist Early Career Research Grant. The grant will be used to conduct research for a new study titled, “Where is the Pygmalion? The Role of Parents’ Expectation in Children’s Learning.”

The prestigious award supports the research of outstanding early career members who have yet to receive any federal funding for research as a principal investigator. The support would provide Cheung and her students with crucial momentum in the early stages of the research project.

According to Cheung, a high amount of research suggests that parents play a key role in a child’s educational success. However, little is known about the ways in which parents evaluate their children’s academic potential and how that shapes a child. Cheung will look into the effects of parents’ expectations on children’s learning, and the role of parents’ expectations in children’s achievement.

Cecilia Cheung ucr file

Assistant Psychology Professor Cecilia Cheung
ucr file

It is expected that children will perform their best when their parents are induced to hold a positive view about their academic prowess. The research is anticipated to result in important insights on whether parents’ expectations can influence children’s’ academic achievement. If that proves to be the case, education programs may be devised to help parents understand the integral role their expectations play in children’s learning.

Cheung joined UC Riverside’s psychology department in 2013. She received her doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Cheung focuses on children’s development across cultures, specializing in how the environment shapes children’s motivation and achievement in school.

The research is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2017.

Entomologist Receives $10,000 Grant as Part of the Healthy Hives 2020 Initiative

Quinn S. McFrederick, an assistant professor of entomology, received funding as part of the Healthy Hives 2020 Initiative of the Bayer Bee Care Program to determine how Nosema ceranae infection alters the honey bee midgut biome.

Quinn S. McFrederick ucr file

Quinn S. McFrederick
ucr file

Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian (a type of fungus) pathogen that spread from a southeast Asian bee (Apis ceranae) to European honey bees due to the international movement of bees.

“Nosema infection spreads between bees and colonies via sick bees,” McFrederick explained. “It can cause dysentery in honey bees.”

His research group will target the bee microbiome, which is thought to be extremely important in honey bee nutrition and for pathogen protection.

“Our aim is to determine if there are bacteria in the bee gut that allow the bee to be more resistant to Nosema infection,” McFrederick said. “If so, we will determine if we can increase the prevalence of those bacteria.”

The $10,000 grant to McFrederick is for one year.

“We have just started the research,” he said.

The goal of Healthy Hives 2020 is to improve the health of honey bee colonies in the United States by the year 2020. McFrederick’s research proposal is one of only seven selected for funding. The seven recipients were selected from a total of 23 research proposals seeking to provide practical and tangible solutions to the key issues affecting the U.S. beekeeping industry.

McFrederick is also a member of a team led by Cornell researchers that received a five-year, $2.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop an approach to better understand how pathogens that infect bees and other pollinators are spread.

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