2016 Manners Awardees

UCSUR Names Recipients of 16th Annual Steven D. Manners Awards

Each year, the University of Pittsburgh University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) awards the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards to promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus. These awards honor the memory of Steve Manners, a sociologist who began working at the Center in 1974 and served as its Assistant Director from 1989 until his death in September 2000. His research and service to the Center and the University community were dedicated to improving social conditions in the urban environment.

UCSUR made the first Steven Manners awards in 2001 and this year is awarding two Research Development Grants to support pilot research with scientific merit and a strong likelihood that the project will lead to subsequent external peer reviewed funding.

The following researchers received the 2016 Manners Award from UCSUR:

shineman_victgoriaVictoria Shineman, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh

“A Field Experiment Mobilizing Convicted Felons During the 2016 General Election.”

The proposed study would conduct a field experiment during the 2016 General Election with two primary goals: (1) identify the most effective methods of mobilizing convicted felons to vote; and (2) identify the downstream effects which occur after felons are politically mobilized. This experiment will integrate an intensive mobilization treatment within a panel survey completed by a population of convicted felons before and after the November 2016 election. A paid survey opportunity is used to recruit an attentive population of convicted felons, and this attentiveness is utilized in order to personally deliver information and assistance regarding registration and voter turnout. Subjects are randomly assigned to receive a placebo control treatment, or one of three mobilization treatments. One mobilization treatment offers a generic “get out the vote” GOTV appeal, along with assistance with registration and voting. The other mobilization treatments add details clarifying common misinformation about the eligibility of convicted felons, and information intended to shift perceptions regarding expectations of felon participation. Treatment effects will be assessed using data from official voter history records, as well as data from pre-treatment and post-election surveys.

The study aims to estimate both how convicted felons can be mobilized, as well as the downstream effects of mobilization. In particular, I predict that felons can indeed be mobilized, and that mobilization will cause felons to become more politically informed, more trusting of government, and to develop a stronger sense of political efficacy.

The results will provide theoretical significance to the research on political participation and representation, and will also directly spealc to the policy debate regarding the effects of felon disenfranchisement laws.

sufrinko_alicia kontos_anthonyAlicia Sufrinko, PhD

  • Neuropsychologist & Instructor, UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh

Anthony Kontos, PhD

  • Research Director & Associate Professor, UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh

“An Integrative Mobile Platform for Assessment of Sleep Dysfunction and Physical Activity Level Following Sport/Recreation-related Concussion.”

The proposed pilot study will use a mobile ecological momentary assessment (EMA) application to monitor post concussions symptoms and wrist actigraphy to monitor sleep and physical activity in patients with sport/recreation-related concussion (SRC). The aims of the current study are to: 1) test the feasibility of concurrently using an EMA approach to assess post-concussion symptoms and actigraphy for measuring sleep and physical activity level in a sample of patients diagnosed with SRC, and 2) evaluate the predictive utility of sleep and physical activity data on EMA post-concussion symptoms and clinical outcomes (i.e., neurocognitive test performance, total symptom scores, vestibular/oculomotor function). The proposed study represents the first effort to evaluate objective sleep and physical activity data concurrently with clinical outcomes following concussion. The study will involve a small sample (N=20) of adolescent SRC patients who will be followed for approximately one month post injury. It is our intent to use the preliminary data from this study to support an NIH R21 grant mechanism application in a larger sample. Understanding the complex relationships between sleep, physical activity, and concussion outcomes is vital to developing clinical guidelines for behavioral management strategies, including instructional sleep techniques and physical activity recommendations, for optimal recovery following SRC.