Campus Briefs

Economic predictions over breakfast

Arizona’s economy will continue to grow, but an economic recession may also be ahead, said two UA professors last Wednesday at an economic update event.

Nearly 200 scholars, local businessmen and community members heard projections for Tucson and U.S. economies from professors at the annual economic update breakfast, sponsored by the UA Eller College of Management and Chase Bank.

After years of tremendous growth, the Tucson economy is ready to slow down, said Marshall J. Vest, the director of the Economic and Business Research Center at Eller College.

“”Arizona’s economy was even stronger in 2005 than originally thought,”” said Gerald J. Swanson, a professor of economics at Eller College. “”A major slowdown is long overdue.””

A growth recession for 2007 and 2008, similar to the recession of the late 90s, is highly likely, Swanson said.

Arizona’s economy will still grow, just at a smaller rate for the next few years, which will calm down the housing market and force people to spend less money and pay back debts, Swanson said.

Swanson presented his projections of the national economy and what the U.S. can do to remain a world power.

Swanson said one quarter of the world’s oil comes from Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria – countries with whom the U.S. has unfavorable relations.

“”This is scary,”” said Swanson.

The dollar is weakening in international markets, and regardless of rising prices, the U.S. remains addicted to oil, Swanson said.

“”Ten percent of the oil in the world goes into American gas tanks,”” Swanson said. “”Let the prices go higher, that’s the only way we might change.””

Girl Power! Day held at UA

Girls from Tucson Boys and Girls Clubs attended the 10th Annual Tucson Girl Power! Day at the Student Union Memorial Center Saturday.

The event is part of a national Girl Power! campaign “”designed to encourage and reinforce girls’ self-confidence,”” according to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson’s Web site.

“”It’s a fun day for girls to get them pumped and excited about their futures,”” said Elizabeth Bollinger, resource development director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson. “”The purpose is to bring together girls to encourage and motivate them to be successful members of society.””

The event honored Shawntinice Polk, the former UA women’s basketball player who died unexpectedly last year, by placing her jersey number, 00, on the T-shirts of the event participants, Bollinger said.

Polk had been a regular participant of the event in the past, Bollinger said.

Joan Bonvicini, UA women’s basketball coach, has hosted Girl Power! Day each year since it began in 1996.

UA athletes and the department of nutrition presented workshops at the event on peer pressure and self-image.

Wildcat editor in chief arrested

The Arizona Summer Wildcat editor in chief was arrested and released on suspicion of driving under the influence early Saturday morning.

Nicole Santa Cruz, a journalism senior, was pulled over near East Speedway Boulevard and North Second Avenue at 2:04 a.m. for failing to stop at a red light and for making a wide turn, according to University of Arizona Police Department reports.

Police officer Michojon Amado reported that Santa Cruz appeared intoxicated and conducted a DUI investigation, reports stated.

Santa Cruz said she was driving home from a friend’s house where she had been drinking, but didn’t think she was impaired or unable to drive, reports stated.

Santa Cruz’s two alcohol breath tests showed she had a blood-alcohol content of .163 and .156 percent, respectively, reports stated.

Santa Cruz was cited for one count DUI to the slightest degree, one count DUI at or above 0.08, one count extreme DUI at or above .15, one count improper right turn and for failure to stop at a red light.

“”I regret the difficult position this has put the Wildcat in. I will continue to do my job well and continue to uphold the longstanding tradition of journalistic excellence that the Wildcat is known for,”” Santa Cruz said. “”I am confident the safeguards we have in place will not affect our coverage in any way.””

The Arizona Student Media summer board, the governing body designated to hiring, disciplining and dismissing Arizona Student media editors during the summer, was informed of Santa Cruz’ arrest, said Mark Woodhams, the adviser to the summer and daily editions of the Wildcat and director of Arizona Student Media

The advisory board has not taken any action regarding the arrest at this time, in compliance with the advisory boards governing guidelines, Woodhams said.

Santa Cruz had one prior DUI conviction in February, reports stated.

UA program send grads to teach math, science at high needs schools

A new UA program is placing math and science teachers in high-needs schools in Arizona through a scholarship for math and science majors.

The UA’s Noyce Scholars program was created this year from a National Science Foundation grant, which supports the program at universities across the nation, said Debra Tomanek, principal investigator for the grant.

The program offers a $7,500 scholarship to UA math and science students interested in teaching at a high-needs middle school in return for a two-year teaching commitment for every year they receive the scholarship, Tomanek said.

Tomanek said the program’s aim is to place qualified science and math teachers into schools that are of high need, which is determined by the socio-economic status of the students, teacher turnover rates and other factors.

Nadia Robeson, a mathematics senior and one of the nine UA students selected for the program this year, said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to teach at a high-needs school at first, but she knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“”My friends always ask me to help them with their math homework, and they tell me I’m helpful,”” Robeson said.

The Noyce Scholars will participate in the UA science and mathematics teacher preparation program as well as a teacher support program when they begin teaching, Tomanek said.

UA Professor examines heat-related deaths

A UA associate professor published the first scientific journal article to investigate the public health issue of heat-related deaths among immigrants crossing into Arizona, officials said.

Samuel Keim, associate emergency medicine professor, examined heat-related deaths among undocumented immigrants recorded by the Pima County Medical Examiner between 1998 and 2003. Heat deaths increased dramatically during those years, with the highest number of deaths occurring from 2001to 2002. In that period of time, heat related deaths went from 50 to 99.

“”The truth is, no one had ever published a truly scientific investigation of whether or not these deaths were actually increasing or whether or not it was an illusion of statistics.””

Keim said these deaths were not related to global warming, especially in the instance of the summer of 2002, when it was not hotter, yet a death increase was still apparent.

“”I don’t think the results will surprise anyone who lives in Southern Arizona,”” Keim said. A majority of heat-related death victims were illegal immigrants, with 93 percent of deaths occurring in non-U.S. citizens in 2003.

“”From this study we are only hoping to bring attention to the issue from a scientific standpoint,”” he said.

Keim is also working on other projects related to the study, including a collaboration with the National Weather Service to release bulletins indicating an excess heat risk for Pima County areas.

The article can be found in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Vol. 8, No.2, from April 2006.