Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kimberly Martin

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Many people assume that racism is a binary dimension whereby people are either racist or not. However, over forty years of research indicates that not only are there several distinctive forms of racism, but that they exist on a continuum. Recent trends have shown that while blatant forms of racism seem to be decreasing, there are indirect forms of racism now prevailing. Through the collection of survey data, Kimberly’s research will investigate how these subtle and even unconscious forms of racism affect peoples perceptions of institutions associated with a particular […]

Jorge David Mancillas

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Jorge-David Mancillas will be traveling to Los Angeles to conduct research on the effectiveness of gang intervention. In Los Angeles, the so-called gang capital of the world, more than half of the yearly homicides are gang-related. Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program located in East Los Angeles, is the most successful gang intervention program in the nation, utilized by more than 10,000 community members a year. Through an analysis of in-depth interviews with gang-members and former gang-members, Jorge will be studying how Homeboy Industries operates and how/why they are successful. […]

Danny Lee

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Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a high energy molecule considered the energy currency for all species. Our laboratory has discovered that bacteria release ATP into culture medium, a novel phenomenon (Mempin et al., 2013). However, it isnt yet understood why this occurs. We hypothesize that extracellular ATP is needed for the conversion of D-amino acids and their incorporation into the cell wall, allowing bacteria to survive changing environmental conditions. Danny will investigate the role of ATP in D-amino acid metabolism and cell wall remodeling by measuring ATP release of cultures supplemented […]

Michelaina Johnson

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The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta today has a highly modified ecosystem due to historical human modification of the landscape for agriculture and development of the states water systems. Because Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP), established in 1985, has successfully conserved and restored thousands of acres of the Deltas native habitats in a way that incorporates human needs of the landscape, CRP is nationally recognized as a model for riparian restoration. Michelaina’s project seeks to reconstruct the historical landscape of CRP to understand how past land use practices and alterations changed the Deltas […]

Itago Winnie

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Historically, oil exploration in Africa has brought the resource curse: countries with more abundant natural resources have poorer development outcomes, due to corruption and environmental degradation. Itago will compare new oil producers Ghana and Ugandawhich share many similarities despite Ugandas semi-authoritiarianism and Ghanas greater democracy and transparency to understand this phenomenon. To evaluate the effect of petro-policies and public participation on environmental and socio-economic outcomes in the two nations, Itago will gather data on government policies, revenue collection, and allocations in the Ghanaian and Ugandan capitals, followed by interviews with […]

Olivia Graves

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Current Bio: After graduation, Olivia completed an MPhil in Archaeology at the University of Oxford in 2017 and she is currently finishing up a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classics at UCLA. This fall, she will begin her PhD in Classics at Cornell University. She continues to participate in archaeological excavations in Greece and England and also maintains a great passion for history and literature from all periods. Haas Scholars Project: The dating and provenance of the Old English epic Beowulf have been topics of wide scholarly debate for the past two […]

Chance Grable

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Since the 1970s, two simultaneous processes of mass incarceration and deindustrialization have transformed the US into a postindustrial society with the largest incarceration system globally. Chance’s research will explore the intertwined history of these two processes through a close study of the prison siting in Youngstown, Ohio, an extreme example of deindustrialization. Through this study, Chance will attempt to answer why prisons emerged in deindustrialized geographies and the resulting social, political and economic impacts. In addition to government documents and oral histories, Chance will examine the archive of activist couple […]

Lucian DiPeso

Pyroptosis is a poorly understood mode of cell suicide, one that functions as an alarm bell for the bodys immune system in response to infection. Though beneficial when properly regulated, the rapid immune response triggered by pyroptosis can, itself, produce disease and dysfunction. Pyroptosis has been identified as a possible contributor to cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and some neurodegenerative disorders. Understanding pyroptosis, then, could lead to novel treatments for a variety of human diseases. Unfortunately, despite ten years of research, uncovering how it precisely works has proven to be […]

Ramon de Santiago

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Objects in museums are typically categorized by chronology and geography and then further sorted into subcategories revolving around cultures, languages, and materials. Born of the legacies of imperialism and colonialism, these practices tend towards a flattening of categories and the fixing of objects into rigid structures of European and Other. But what do we do with an object that inhabits multiple chronologies, geographies, and cultures? Art objects and artifacts possess a fluidity and mobility throughout multiple categories, often occupying multiple positions and materialities simultaneously. Using Byron Hamann’s methodology of materialities […]

Victor Chen

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Actinomycetes, filamentous soil bacteria, have been the single richest source of medicinally relevant natural products, whose applications include anticancer agents, antifungal agents and antibiotics. However, actinomycetes still hold great potential for novel metabolite discovery. This is because the way they are typically grown in the laboratory fails to mimic cues in their natural environments that potentially induce the synthesis of novel metabolites. During this project, Victor will place actinomycetes in ecologically relevant contexts by reintroducing them to bacteria they would naturally encounter, in binary interactions, and subsequently analyze the metabolites […]