EQUAL WORK, LESSER PAY: Chang-Hwan Kim, assistant professor of sociology, was quoted in a Toronto Sun article about his study that shows Asian-American men are paid up to 29 percent less than equally qualified white males. The disparity fluctuated, the study showed. “The most striking result is that native-born Asian Americans — who were born in the U.S. and speak English perfectly — their income is 8 percent lower than whites after controlling for their college majors, their places of residence and their level of education,” Kim said.

ACHIEVING WITH BABY TALK: Betty Hart, associate research professor emeritus at the Life Span Institute, was quoted in an NPR story about differences in children’s socioeconomic upbringings manifested in their speech patterns. Hart and former KU professor Todd Risley undertook a study to record every utterance made to children in 40 families of varied backgrounds. The results were surprising. "Children in professional families are talked to three times as much as the average child in a welfare family," Hart said. Since the findings were published in 1995, programs have formed across the country to help teach poor parents to talk to their children more.

MULTITASKING IS A LOST CAUSE: Paul Atchley, associate professor of psychology, wrote a blog post for the Harvard Business Review that has been picked up by many publications, including Business Week. The piece addresses the idea of multitasking. Trying to do too many things at once makes people inefficient and reduces accuracy and creativity, Atchley says. “We have a brain with billions of neurons and many trillion of connections, but we seem incapable of doing multiple things at the same time. Sadly, multitasking does not exist, at least not as we think about it. We instead switch tasks. Our brain chooses which information to process. For example, if you listen to speech, your visual cortex becomes less active, so when you talk on the phone to a client and work on your computer at the same time, you literally hear less of what the client is saying,” Atchley wrote.

UNDERSTANDING GENEROSITY: Omri Gillath, assistant professor of psychology, was quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times story about understanding the origins of human generosity. Gillath is part of a study looking to identify what drives people to give. He is exploring the idea of “attachment security,” a sense of self-worth and that a person is loved and supported that may encourage people to give. “"No one has found one gene for generosity," Gillath said. "There is something very important in the actual decision-making process that we don't understand yet."

SUSTAINABLE SUSTENANCE: The Packer, the trade publication for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, lauded KU Dining Services in a recent article. “Although trends and movements in the U.S. are said to start at the coasts and make their way inland, one Midwest university is a leader when it comes to health, sustainability and local ingredients in its foodservice programs,” the article says about KU. “We’re a big user of resources, so we’ve committed to reducing our carbon footprint,” Director Nona Golledge said of KU Dining Services’ efforts to use more locally grown produce and encouraging patrons to eat healthier.

Campus closeup
Carey Novak, director of business relations and development, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies
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