July 15, 2024 - August 16, 2024


Each summer, the UCI Ethics Center selects a few promising students for a mentoring program. We plan a full online program again in 2024, open to all qualified college, graduate, and high school students worldwide. Applications are now open, and students may apply to our online program by completing the application (below). There is no cost for this intense mentoring program. No recommendations are required. You need only to (1) complete the short form at the end of this announcement and (2) pay a small processing fee. Students for whom the fee presents a financial hardship may request a waiver by contacting Andrada Costoiu, Associate Director for the Summer Program at andradac@uci.edu.




Online program. While we initially accepted only local students, with the advent of COVID-19, we went online and quickly realized there is an international demand for the personal mentoring we provide. The 2024 summer mentoring program thus will again be online and we will accept students from all over the world for a virtual mentoring program during the weeks of July 22, 2024 – August 16, 2024. Students will meet twice a week, in groups of 15-30 students, as part of a mentoring program that will provide hands-on experience in various forms of research. The research activities will teach many different skills, from basic library research that might be used in a literature review to skill sets such as SPSS or other computational programs and introduction to data analysis of various kinds, from archival data, aggregate data, interviews, survey data, and narrative-interpretive analysis. No prior experience with ethics is required. All that we ask is that students be interested in working with a university faculty member or a graduate student mentor. (This year, we are fortunate that David Rosten will offer a module on what everyday people can do to further the cause of peace. We also are introducing a new program with distinguished faculty from around the world, most of whom are past presidents of the International Society of Political Psychology. They will focus on the different aspects in which universities can foster more productive, civil dialogue and analysis of hot-button political issues, especially those centering on how we deal with “the other.” Discussions will range from the contemporary conflict in the Middle East to racism, genderism, nationalism, homophobia, and the North-South divide.

No charge for the program, a modest processing fee. There is no charge for the program itself. To handle the increased demand and to keep the mentoring experience a high-quality one, small enough to retain its personal aspect, we have been forced to ask a modest processing fee ($250). Students for whom this fee poses a financial hardship can request a fee waiver from the Associate Director of the Mentoring Program at andradac@uci.edu. Anyone who wishes to contribute further to the Ethics Center to defray costs for other students who may have financial constraints may do so here: Donate Now We appreciate all your support, which is vital in keeping this program available at no cost.

Modules. We begin by offering six modules this year. Students will be allowed to participate in only one module but may register on a waitlist for a module that is over-subscribed. We will try to assign each student to their preferred module. We will add extra modules if demand requires it in order to keep the numbers below 30 for each module. (If demand is high for one particular module, then we will try to offer more than one session of that particular module.) We will begin reviewing applications and send out the first acceptances by January 1st, 2024. Thereafter, admissions will be rolling, with acceptances sent on the 1st and the 15th of each month until May.

Waiver. Participants in the program who are under 18 on July 22, 2024, will need to have a waiver signed by their parents before they can begin the program. Waivers will be sent out by June 1 via email and must be received before the program begins on July 22nd. In the past, Andrada Costoiu has contacted people who forget to submit their waiver. The size of the program makes this unfeasible so it is the responsibility of the students to make sure their parents submit the waiver before July 22nd. Students not yet 18 cannot be admitted to the program until the waiver has been signed and submitted.

Application form. The application process is a simple one and requires no recommendations. Please complete the application (below) and indicate your first and second choice of a module at that time. Students are allowed to take only one module.





Module 1. There is always something you can do! Citizen Peace Building Initiatives. David Rosten, UCI graduate, lawyer and philanthropist. A lawyer, independent investor and one of UCI’s first college graduates, Rosten is superbly networked and remarkable for bringing together people from all sides of hot-button issues. In this module, he brings together people to talk about what everyday people can do, from Paula Garb and the Kugelmans, who established UCI’s Citizen Peace Builders, to Gershon Baskin, an Israeli who negotiated the release of prisoners between Israel and Hamas. We will try to bring in speakers from diverse communities and help students learn how to assess their analysis of the flexibility in the situation. These might include people Rosten knows and can invite personally, from experts such as David Makovsky (the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) to Marwan Muasher (Vice-President of the Carnegie Institute for International Peace).


Module 2. Peace in the Mideast. Danny Bar-Tal, Education and Political Psychology, Tel Aviv University. Branco Weiss Professor of Research in Child Development and Education at School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Bar-Tal served as a Director of the Walter Lebach Research Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence through Education from 2002 through 2005. He was a Co-editor in Chief of the Palestine Israel Journal from 2001 through 2005 and ISPP President 1999-2000. In 1991, his paper "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Cognitive Analysis" won the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Prize of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). In 2002, his paper, titled, “Why does Fear Override Hope,” won second place in the same competition. In 2006, Stereotypes and Prejudice in Conflict received the Alexander George Award of the International Society of Political Psychology for the best book in Political Psychology. In 2006, he also received the Peace Scholar Award of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. In 2009, his paper “Reconciliation as a foundation of culture of peace” won the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Prize of SPSSI. Bar-Tal will bring his lifetime experience in this field to discuss the current conflict in the Middle East, with special attention to reconciliation after the Gaza-Israeli conflict.


Module 3. Mental Health, Resilience and Peace Building in the Contemporary Mideast. Lina Kreidie, Lebanese American University and UCI. Drawing on her 30 years of experience interviewing people involved in the sectarian conflict in the Middle East, including her work on Islamic fundamentalism, PTSD, conflict, and women’s issues, UCI Ph.D. Kreidie brings young students in Lebanon together with students in the USA to discuss what we know about how to foster peace and recover from political trauma. She presents valuable data from interviews with people who committed mass crimes, including the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, with leaders of religious movements, and with Syrian refugees. As a senior researcher for the UK-registered Intisar Foundation, founded by Kuwaiti HRH Sheikha Intisar Al Sabbah, Kreidie will also explore the impact of Drama therapy on the mental health of socioeconomically disadvantaged Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian women and refugees in Lebanon.


Module 4. Mediation Module: Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Distinguished and Chancellor’s Professor of Law (and Political Science), UCI, is a founder of the “Alternative Dispute Resolution” field and a renowned scholar, mediator, arbitrator, law professor and lawyer, author of over 20 books and 200 articles on conflict resolution, legal feminism, civil rights, socio-legal studies, negotiation and peace. Her most recent book, A Very Short Introduction to Negotiation (Oxford University Press, 2022) explores concepts and practices for world conflicts, as well as legal and interpersonal disputes. She has worked and taught in over 25 countries, including in Israel-Palestine (working with the group the Parents’ Circle, a peace group of people who have lost relatives in the conflict). Her module will focus on how mediation, both at high levels of diplomacy and person to person on the ground, can make a difference in peace seeking efforts. There will be a combination of scholarly readings and skills training.


Module 5. For the adventurous and independent: Using social media to combat hate. Kristen Monroe, Political Psychology and Ethics, UCI Ethics Center Director. Academics are not great at publicizing scholarly work. This module will attempt to do this, on the assumption that academics occasionally discover something useful that might help people decrease hate in the world. Students in this module will distill findings from scholarly works about how to combat the hate that results in prejudice, discrimination, and violence against the other. This violence may be directed against members of different ethnic, social, racial, gender groups or, indeed, against members of any minority class. Students will be asked to select 1-2 legitimate scholarly books, summarize the key findings, and discuss what those books taught them and how that changed how students think about the question at the heart of ethics: how we treat each other. If students wish to design an independent input to social media to disseminate scholarly knowledge about ethical issues, they may do so individually or working with other students. Prior reading for the module is not required but, for those who wish to know more about Professor Monroe’s work, please consult The Heart of Altruism: Perceptions of a Common Humanity (Princeton U Press, 1996), The Hand of Compassion: Portraits of Moral Choice during the Holocaust (Princeton U Press, 2004), Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide (Princeton U Press, 2012), When Conscience Calls (U of Chicago Press, 2023) and A Darkling Plain: Stories of Conflict and Humanity after War (Cambridge U Press 2016). Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. California time.


Module 6. Ethics and Economics. Sofia Franco. The price of a good or service plays an important role in how well it sells. An ethical pricing strategy goes beyond simply following the law. Similarly, not all unethical pricing strategies are fraudulent or illegal. Ethical decisions are difficult sometimes because there isn’t a defined line for morally right and wrong decisions. For the most part, producers and retailers practice ethical pricing strategies to earn profits without defrauding competitors or consumers. This module introduces students to the ethical and (anti)competitive aspects of different pricing strategies in business, using graphical analyses and newspaper articles. Topics covered include price match guarantees, price-fixing and price discrimination. Economics assistant teaching professor, Sofia Franco earned her Ph.D. in environmental science and management with a specialization in urban and environmental economics at UC Santa Barbara. She’s an applied microeconomist who has worked as a consultant to the World Bank and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education in Maryland on urban development and zoning policies. She comes to UC Irvine following a professorial post at the Nova School of Business and Economics in Portugal.


Module 7. Social Constructs that Unnecessarily Divide Us. Andrada Costoiu. Associate Director, the UCI Ethics Center Summer Mentoring Program. Monday and Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Social categories are exceedingly complex constructs transcending disciplines, coloring everything from our daily lives to policy making. In this module, you will learn how social categories are created and used to excuse discrimination against our fellow American citizens. How does public policy treat social categories, and what makes some categories more deserving than others? Do these categories change, and if so, how? In Weeks 1 and 2, we discuss how social categories are created through human interaction and scientific explanations. We focus on implicit bias and try to understand how humans socially categorize and how implicit social cognition can lead to prejudice and stereotyping. We then disentangle the scientific construction of race and discuss the development of scientific thought about human genetic diversity, social Darwinism, and the eugenics movement. Weeks 3 and 4 move the discussion to social categorization through policymaking, with a focus on United States immigration policy regarding Mexican immigrants and their treatment since 1920. Students will be divided into teams. One team will examine how Mexican immigrants were portrayed in the early years when they emerged as temporary laborers in the United States (1920-1950). A second team will consider Mexican immigrants in the context of immigration policy under Obama and Trump. Each team will write a literature review on their time frame (a simple summary of the sources and a synthesis of their main findings), and then we will compare the results. The ethical components of this module are clear and powerful. This module should increase your awareness about how social categories are imbued with meaning through scientific justifications and public policy. It should make us reflect on how we can bring people together at the micro-scale in our own communities, and at a macro scale by creating policies that would promote equality instead of difference.


Module 8. Genocide and ethnic conflict: Causes, legacies and memories. Kiyaan Parikh, with the assistance of Melissa Hua. Students will discuss generational trauma, victimhood, perpetration, and collective memory. Together, we ask how violence is remembered, how it is processed in a community, and the politics that surround and inform those processes. The goal of the module is to explore broad theories while developing writing skills, critical thinking, and contention with texts in context. This topic space will expose students to critical research skills such as hypothesis development, synthesizing theories, and putting ideas into dialogue. We will also discuss inference, research design and strengths of various methodologies in answering our big idea questions. Readings will be fairly interdisciplinary across social science and humanities, providing a sampling platter of how various traditions research, define and unpack these questions. But most importantly, we will look at not just the nature of violence, or violence as a "natural" phenomenon, but contend with the real impacts of conflict on people's lives and the long-term legacies they carry forward. Genocide is an emotionally difficult topic to research so bear that in mind as you choose your modules.

Kiyaan Parikh is a rising 5th year in the PhD program at UCI. This is his third year working as a summer mentor and we are delighted to have him back. Kiyaan’s primary research focus is on the legacies of violent conflicts, political trauma, and the persistence of hateful mobilization. Most specifically, he asks how the memory of violence is politically mobilized in subsequent generations to help nationalist political groups come to power. Kiyaan was born and raised in Long Beach, California, did his undergrad work at UC Berkeley. He enjoys cooking, board and video games with friends, and basketball. Students will also likely see Kiyaan’s cats make guest appearances during group video meetings. He is excited to work with everyone and looks forward to a great summer.




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