Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Gavin Alle Raders

Conflicts over the control of natural resources lie at the heart of wars, violence, and terrorism worldwide. Water is the most precious resource for over 800 million farmers in India who depend on the groundwater for their physical and cultural survival, and water has been held for millenia to be the common property of all beings, to be maintained and distributed democratically at the decentralized village level. Control over water was transferred to the state during British colonial rule, and today rain and groundwater is being privatized by multinational corporations […]

Christopher Cochran

A great deal of research has recently emerged regarding the concepts of agency, intentionality, and Free Will. In The Illusion of Conscious Will (2002), Dan Wegner asserts that people believe they cause their own actions in a way that is concurrent with the theory of Free Will (Wegner, 2002). I believe that a lay theory of agency varies by culture. I describe Americans understanding of agency as purposeful and Asians understanding as adaptive. My hypothesis is based on cross cultural research that shows that Asians and Americans have different understandings […]

Amanda Pojanamat

In developing capitalist countries such as Thailand, many women migrate every day from the rural areas to Bangkok in search of the better life. I would like to explore how their understandings of the good life are influenced by modern discourses and whether their constructions and reconstructions of these modern discourses contain resistance either to oppressive conditions in the rural areas or in the urban. Do their interpretations of modernity ultimately provide them with the discursive tools they need to improve the conditions of their lives? To answer these questions […]

Zoe Wilen Brent

The growing cooperative movement in Argentina, emerging out of the economic crisis of 2001, presents an interesting opportunity to study the ways in which the cooperative is modeled and understood in the context of a capitalist economy. For two months I will look at the model put forth by the four-star Hotel Bauen. Specifically, I will examine how the cooperative is understood and how that understanding is affecting and affected by the consumer tourist market to which it caters. To this end, I will conduct a series of interviews and […]

Jobert Poblete

The Philippines has become a leader in the export of nurses. Filipino nurses are leaving by the thousands every year to take positions in chronically understaffed medical facilities in the United States and around the world. This research project is concerned with this migrant flow. Specifically, I intend to conduct ethnographic research on men doctors retraining as nurses in order to gain access to the American labor market. This practice entails a variety of maneuvers gendered, professional, and transnational. Why do these men engage in this strategy of upward and […]

Rebecca Baran-Rees

My research project addresses the important questions of how new forms of governance are emerging in response to the growing challenges of urban management in many parts of the third world. Specifically, I will investigate the newest forms of solid waste management initiatives in Argentina put forth by the World Bank, the national and provincial governments of Argentina, local cooperatives and private agenciesand the extent to which these organizational forms can actualize participatory development goals. As hundreds of thousands of Argentinos have taken to picking and sorting trash as a […]

Catherine Ngo

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in America. Hundreds of different diseases are characterized as cancer, but all have the same underlying cause. This mortal disease results from mutations in genes responsible for cell division regulation. For my project, I will positionally clone the curly mutation of Xenopus tropicalis, a defect due to alterations in a tumor suppressor gene. This summer my primary goal is to narrow in on the region in which the curly gene resides–the first step of positional cloning. After this initial step, I […]

Aeshna Badruzzaman

Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are playing an increasing role in the economic development of the global south. Bangladesh in particular is a country in which NGOs have emerged as a huge portion of the countrys source of development aid. I will be examining two particular organizations in Bangladesh. Both organizations allocate funding to NGOs. The first acts somewhat like a bank for NGOs by using loans it received from the government, to loan money to NGOs, which in turn give micro credit loans to villagers. The other organization also acts as […]

Irene Chemtai Mungo

This summer, I am interested in understanding and highlighting how a local community in Mombasa, a small coastal town in Kenya is responding to the HIV/AIDS threat that is facing its members. I want to understand the role that community support groups, gatherings, church meetings, and community celebrations such as skits and dances are playing in molding dialogue about HIV/AIDS. With an understanding of the historical role of organizing in traditional African communities, this project will study how organizing and dialogue is playing a part in the education and empowering […]

Natalie M. Avalos

I am interested in verifying the existing research on the correlations between Tibetan Buddhist sacred knowledge and Native American sacred knowledge. I will focus specifically on Hopi Indian knowledge. I intend to explore the relationship between practices, beliefs and their metaphysical understanding of the world. Additionally I will investigate the idea of being connected to all things, a belief that they share; looking at how this process manifests itself from an internal to an external awareness or vice versa. Ultimately I would like to know the significance of their correlations […]