Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Jehan Yang

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Utilizing 27 degrees of freedom, the human hand is a complex manipulator capable of tasks ranging from fingerstyle guitar to precise surgery. To replicate the human hand would produce a highly versatile tool in robotics and prostheses. Robots in the future might perform surgery while arm amputees could perform as well as anyone in sports and arts. Current hand replications have limitations of high expense and weight, with trade-offs in precision. For his project, Jehan aims to create an inexpensive and light manipulator, with improvements for precise control. He will […]

Michael Cerda-Jara

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Michaels research investigates the role of higher education in employment prospects for people with criminal records. In 2018, Michael successfully executed an experimental audit study of job application callbacks for college-educated applicants with or without criminal records, which surprisingly, found no difference between the two. However, this still leaves unanswered whether the applicants race, or timing of the attainment of the college degree affect the number of callbacks. For Michaels Haas Scholars project, continuing to focus on college-educated men, he will add these variables to his prior audit research design. […]

Bryan Truitt

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The Incan quipu was a record-keeping and computing system based on knotted rope, encoding debt, land ownership, genealogy, and other information, but its precise meaning has been lost through colonialism. The arbitration of archival inclusion is an exercise of power, and scholarship, as practiced in the western academy, is a negotiation with or an interpretation of the archive. Yet inclusion is not enough: the organization and decontextualization of indigenous archival objects reflects the fragmentation of indigenous ways of knowing under colonialism. Using artistic production as a framework for critical inquiry, […]

Nicholas Carey

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Kaposis Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes lifelong infections and can cause a variety of cancers and proliferative disorders in immunosuppressed individuals. Recent evidence indicates that oral contact is the primary route of transmission for KSHV. The goal of this project is to elucidate the mechanism of reactivation for transmission of KSHV in the hopes of developing novel treatments to reduce the incidence of infection in the community. Nicholas will infect human oral keratinocytes with several KSHV mutants, and qPCR will be used to analyze transcription patterns to determine the role […]

Youn-Ju Suh

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In contrast to to nineteenth-century British India, which adopted English studies from the UK, and nineteenth-century Japan, which westernized itself with British and American assistance, Modern Korean authors in the 1930s learned English literature through a third, non-Anglophone country, Japan. This unusual case raises a question not only about the relationship between the adoption of English literature through Japan and the formation of Modern Korean literature but also about the relationship between empire and language of empire. Through the comparison between literary features of the selected Modern Korean literary works […]

Fallon Burner

Fallon Burner will be writing a history of the Wedat Language and Wadat dialect, showing the vital role that language plays in the Indigenous community and how its history is tied to issues of erasure and survival, as well as the role that language revitalization projects have in addressing transgenerational trauma. The Wendat Confederacy, which originated in the Great Lakes region and now spans Quebec, Ontario/Michigan, Kansas, and Oklahoma, is a matricentered society where women have played heroic roles, so Fallon expects a uniquely gendered narrative. She will conduct oral […]

Sabrina Sellers

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Ballet has largely been recognized not only as a women-dominated profession but one that is coded as feminine in which both men and women navigate. Men in ballet, however, occupy a unique position, one studied by researchers eager to understand how men negotiate and perform their masculinity. These men perform a unique juggling act, going the extra mile to assert their masculinity due to the overwhelmingly feminine ways ballet is perceived by society. Despite this being the case, little work has been done on how the construction of masculinity in […]

Alexandra Saba

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The neurodiversity movement has gained much traction with the proliferation of the internet. It is based on the premise that neurological differences such as autism are normal variations of functioning and the human genome. Alexandra Saba will explore the impact of the neurodiversity movement on the formation of identity within autistic individuals through interviews of users of online neurodiversity forums and groups, as well as analysis of current research on neurodiversity. She will consider the following questions: Can autism be seen as a form of identity rather than a disorder? […]

Hannah Raslan

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In 2018, thousands of Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, fled their home countries to seek a better life in Mexico or the US. This exodus of migrants has been met both at the US/Mexico and the Mexico/Guatemala border with hostility, violence and discrimination. Hannah Marias research will examine the motives of this migration, specifically focusing on the link between neoliberal economic reforms in Central America and economic migration. She will travel throughout Mexico to conduct interviews with migrants in all phases of their journeys. She […]

Daniel Quintana

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In mammals, detecting weak stimuli is crucial for animal survival. One way they could detect weak stimuli is spatial integration, pooling together weak signals over an area of visual space to strengthen the signal. In the cortex, vasointestinal peptide (VIP) cells are a group of interneurons that have a central role in pyramidal cell tuning and response modulation of other interneurons. However, the mechanisms behind how signals from different inhibitory interneurons affect the codification of sensory stimuli into percepts remains unclear. He will optogenetically activate and inhibit VIP interneurons in […]