The 2015-16 BMI-COLA Faculty Fellows will discuss the projects they worked on during their fellowships. Speakers include Jennifer Rennels, Michael Borer, and Rebecca Gill.
Jennifer Rennels' research focuses on face perception/processing and development of appearance-based biases (e.g., positive and negative evaluations based on masculinity/femininity, attractiveness, sex, and race). She examines the cues individuals attend to when perceiving faces, how facial appearance impacts judgments about an individual, and how individual differences and situational factors influence perception and processing. In related work, she investigates the origins of biases, why biases are maintained, and the consequences of biases. Her research primarily involves working with infants so as to understand rudiments of face processing abilities and biases, but she also includes older children and adults in her research to study developmental trajectories and developmental differences in face perception and processing.
Michael Ian Borer is Interested in the dynamics of urban culture, especially the relationships between people and places. Borer finds Las Vegas to be a fertile research "laboratory" for him and his students. His specializations include urban and community sociology, culture, religion, and qualitative methods. He is primarily interested in the creative ways that people make sense of their social and physical environments their real and imagined interactions and experiences. He is the editor of The Varieties of Urban Experience: The American City and the Practice of Culture (UA Press, 2006), the author of Faithful to Fenway: Believing in Boston, Baseball, and America’s Most Beloved Ballpark, and co-author of Urban People and Places: The Sociology of Cities, Suburbs, and Towns. His work has been published in City & Community, the Journal of Popular Culture, Religion & American Culture, Social Psychology Quarterly, Symbolic Interaction, and the Journal of Religion & Media, among others journals and edited books.
Rebecca Gill is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Dr. Gill’s recent research focuses on judges and judicial institutions in the United States. She is the recipient of a multi-year National Science Foundation grant to study gender and race bias in performance evaluations of state judges. She is working on collaborative research with colleagues from UNLV’s Boyd School of Law involving judicial decision making in immigration appeals on the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Dr. Gill’s research interests also include state law, state judicial selection and comparative judicial institutions and behavior. In addition to this, she is heavily involved in issues of gender and intersectional equity on campus. She is currently working on an interdisciplinary team at UNLV to prepare a proposal to the NSF’s ADVANCE-IT Catalyst program to combat implicit and institutional bias against women in the STEM disciplines. Dr. Gill is the co-author of Judicialization of Politics: The Interplay of Institutional Structure, Legal Doctrine, and Politics on the High Court of Australia (Carolina Academic Press, 2012). Her work has also appeared in the Law & Society Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, Catholic University Law Review, Justice System Journal, and Judicature. Her work has been featured in a number of popular outlets, like the Washington Post, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, and the Empirical Legal Studies Blog.