UC Merced Connect: Focus on aftermath of tragedy

October 30, 2012 

The UC Merced Art Gallery will debut "Living with the Memory," a multimedia exhibit that tells the stories of black women, men and children coping with the aftermath of violence in California's East Bay.

Between 2001 and 2003, photographer Susan Latham followed the lives of women whose children were homicide victims. Many have started community networks and organizations to prevent more murders, empower youth and end cultures of violence.

"Like a stone dropping into a pond, each death ripples throughout the community to touch dozens of lives," Latham said.

Latham began the project as her master's thesis at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, where she met and collaborated with former Sacramento Bee crime reporter Nigel Hatton, now a literature professor at UC Merced.

"Living with the Memory" will mark the debut of a group of Latham's powerful photographs and revealing interviews centering on grief, love, despair and hope. The exhibit combines documentary photography, written text and voice recordings.

The opening colloquium, free and open to the public, is from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 117.

The exhibition is made possible by the UC Merced School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, the UC Merced Center for Research in the Humanities and Arts, and the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California, a University of California Multi-Campus Research Program funded by the UC Office of the President.

The show runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 1 in the UC Merced Art Gallery, Room 106 of the Social Sciences and Management Building. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It will be closed for winter break from Dec. 7 to Jan. 21.

Big change a chance

Chicagoan Chelsea Carey faced quite a change in choosing UC Merced for her natural sciences graduate studies. But she knew she wanted to work with Professor Stephen Hart for her environmental systems research.

"He is an awesome ecologist," said Carey, Hart's inaugural graduate student. "I really wanted to work with him."

In her fourth year at UC Merced, Carey is done with classes and continues her research in soil ecology. She studies how soil nitrogen cycling and the microbial community are affected by changes such as nitrogen deposition, cattle grazing and invasive species.

Ultimately, her work could impact public policy and regional modeling, and help land managers make more informed decisions.

Carey connected with a UC Davis researcher who had an experiment under way that she wanted to get involved with. Every six weeks, she travels to Davis to take soil samples.

The rest of her time is spent at UC Merced, teaching ecology, conducting research in her lab and working on campus issues as the external vice president of the Graduate Students Association.

"The personal experience I've had here has been better than I ever expected," Carey said.

UC Merced Connect is a collection of news items written by the University Communications staff. To contact them, e-mail communications@ucmerced.edu.

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