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Recent News Items

Leveling the battlefield: Report examines U.S. military's integration of women

For the past 2 1/2 centuries, women have provided support and even fought next to their male counterparts in the U.S. military. It's only now that they're being able to do so on the books. The Women's Foundation in conjunction with two University of Kansas researchers recently released a study that uncovers the barriers women in the military still face. Alesha Doan, Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies along with Shannon Portillo, Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, led the research efforts. Watch the full news clip at the link below.

Obadare receives funding from Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Ebenezer Obadare, Associate Professor of Sociology, recently received an award from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies to support his project, "The African Charismatic Revolution: Pentecostal Authority and Leadership in Nigeria and Ghana." Obadare’s work will examine the idea of authority, as it is exercised, recognized, challenged, and validated among Christian Pentecostal communities in Africa. The research will be conducted in Nigeria and Ghana, the sub-regional loci of the Pentecostal resurgence in contemporary West Africa. In both countries, a cohort of charismatic religious leaders exercises an increasing sway over theological, personal, economic, and political matters. These leaders also circulate freely between both countries, galvanizing a spiritual economy in which devotional principles, modalities, and styles of authority are freely exchanged. The ebullient and ’sensational’ aspects of contemporary Pentecostalism, a phenomenon partly driven by the personal magnetism of religious leaders, are ascendant in Nigeria and Ghana, making this study timely and imperative.

Politics, lack of progress drive cities to drop climate-protection committments

As a response to Congress’ decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, many American cities initiated efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2005 and 2010, climate protection became the cause du jour for many cities. In subsequent years, however, a notable number have backed away from their climate protection commitments. Mainstream political conservatism influenced these decisions and this effect was more likely for cities that had achieved fewer environmental milestones, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher. Rachel Krause, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration, was the lead author of the study, which examined municipalities that terminated their membership in ICLEI "Local Governments for Sustainability" by 2012, just two years after the association reported a peak number of members in 2010. Read the full news release at the link below.

Epp receives NSF funding

Charles Epp, Professor of Public Affairs and Administration, was awarded $210,999 by the National Science Foundation to study how a major litigation campaign is planned and carried out over time. The project, "Systematic Study of Group-Based Legal Mobilization," will examine how campaign organizers decide what to claim, when, and where along with how these decisions interact with official decisions and grassroots mobilization to shape the campaign’s path over time. Litigation campaigns shape public discussion and public policy on topics from hot-button social issues to matters of regulatory policy. Previous studies have focused on key court cases or how legal claims influence grassroots mobilization. This study will include every formal claim made by a campaign in every forum, and will examine how the success of these varying claims in different forums shapes the course of the campaign over time. The study has broad implications for understanding law's contribution to, and limits on, public policy. The campaign under study is an effort by environmental groups since 2003 to block construction of coal-fired power plants nationwide.

NSF funds research on university administrative data

Rodolfo Torres, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Professor of Mathematics, and Jun Huan, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in collaboration with Joshua Rosenbloom of the National Bureau of Economic Research, were recently awarded $176,071 by the National Science Foundation for a project to utilize data collected as part of the STAR METRICS® program to examine the relationship between science funding, employment and outcome metrics. Their project is to develop and implement machine learning algorithms with two specific goals. The first is to develop tools to leverage university administrative data to automate the essential and time-consuming step of classifying projects by science areas and purpose required to respond to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD). The second is to gain a better understanding of the similarities/differences in the data reported for HERD and STAR METRICS® and how both surveys could be improved by reporting additional data.