Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Xitlaly Olivera

The process of mining gold has been proven to have detrimental effects on the environment. As foreign investment towards gold mining increases in Oaxaca, Indigenous people are left to face the long-term consequences of mineral extraction. Indigenous foodways are sacred, as food remains central to the reproduction of Indigenous culture. Xitlaly’s research focuses on the impact of ecological degradation, as a result of gold mining, on Indigenous food systems and potential cultural loss in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her research will entail a collection of interviews from local Indigenous peoples in Los […]

Luis Orozco Sanchez

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Outdoor Education (OE) is a critical component in aiding environmental literacy and improving the general health of our younger generations through fostering a connection to nature. However, studies have shown OE in America is predominantly made up of male and caucasian participants. OE would theoretically benefit youth from a lower socioeconomic background the most, as these youth are deprived of access to nature to a much greater extent, yet youth from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds remain underrepresented in OE. Research on OE’s impact on youth’s connection to nature based on socioeconomic […]

Eli Martinez

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Though many aspects of the criminal punishment system have been explored in research, this project aims to address a gap in analyzing the effects that penal supervision has on kin-networks, post-incarceration. Although there are more people than ever before subject to community supervision in our communities, little is known about how this affects family life, neighborhood dynamics, and society more broadly. The goal of Eli’s project is to better understand the strains being put on the kin-networks of individuals who are under the most widespread form of penal supervision; community […]

Natalie Rosas

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The term “multi-generational punishment,” was coined by Dr. Laura E. Enriquez in 2015, to name a “distinct form of legal violence wherein the sanctions intended for a specific population spill over to negatively affect individuals who are not targeted.” Natalie’s research aims to expand on existing literature by exploring the effects that legal sanctions have on undocumented parents in the realm of healthcare — how it impacts their own access, and the unintended consequences it has on their children regardless of their own legal status. Through long form interviews with […]

Matthew Villa

Anti-trafficking organizations often acknowledge the gendered, racialized statistics of those from vulnerable communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to be trafficked; however, many organizations fail to obtain a distinct orientation towards addressing such realities in their respective services and advocation. Matthew’s project seeks to conduct an analysis of anti-human trafficking campaigns of Bay Area organizations, to see how well, and to what extent, they serve the most vulnerable communities. The methodological approach will consist of semi-structured interviews with the anti-trafficking advocates of the selected organizations accompanied by a document analysis of […]

Daisy Flores

Although incarcerated and formerly incarcerated (FI) Californians can obtain a postsecondary education, systemic barriers such as undocumented status and deportation prevent many of them from pursuing a college education. In 2018, an estimated 70,900 non-U.S. citizens were in state and private prison facilities. However, information about FI students’ access to education after deportation is non-existent. Daisy Flores will conduct qualitative interviews of FI students who are deported, along with activists and scholars who are building the prison-to-school pipeline in Mexico. This study will investigate the barriers that undocumented students face […]

Christian Burke

Parents are influential in the development of gendered language and traits early in childhood, when children begin to develop a sense of self-concept. However, children can also affect parental behaviors in reciprocal social exchanges. Gender-biased language is problematic because it may be linked to the development of prejudices and stereotyping. Neural networks research on word relations (i.e., boy is to doctor as girl is to nurse) developed from massive language corpora like Wikipedia suggest the pervasiveness of gender-biased language in our everyday communication. Christian will extend this research by using […]

Sarah Dibas

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Shame is a debilitating, self-conscious emotion associated with a number of risk factors to mental and physical health and wellbeing. Shame is experienced when an individual perceives themself to be inadequate vis-a-vis social and cultural constructs. These constructs play a significant role in how shame is both experienced and regulated, making them vital to its understanding. Still, previous studies have not accounted for the ways in which different cultural factors and intersecting identities work to produce shame and its regulation. Through the use of surveys and diverse participant groups, Sarah’s […]

Andrew Alvarez

As youth with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) transition into adolescence, they experience body dissatisfaction at higher rates than those without ADHD. Crucially, body dissatisfaction mediates the relation between ADHD and later-life depression. Previous research has shown that women experience higher rates of body dissatisfaction than men–and that such dissatisfaction is linked to depression, anxiety, increased alcohol use, self-harm, and suicidality. Better understanding of these associations and the mechanisms underlying them, especially among women with histories of ADHD, is warranted to further improve interventions. Therefore, Andrew will test the association between […]

Mehrnaz Ahrar

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The gender gap in STEM fields in the U.S. continues to be a detriment to women’s advancement. While women represent almost half of the US workforce, only 25% of STEM-related jobs are held by women. Research suggests several sociocultural factors that may account for this gap; however, there is no current research exploring the impact of the traditionally male-dominated environment in higher education within STEM departments and female students’ academic self-efficacy. Mehrnaz’s proposed research will investigate whether or not there is a connection between a graduate student instructor (GSI)’s gender […]