Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Melissa Barker

Profile image of Melissa Barker

Single-mother students on welfare are a small, unique demographic in institutions of higher education. My preliminary research shows, more often then not, that social service caseworkers use discretion to impede, rather than support single-mother students in pursuit of higher education. In my Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major (ISF) thesis project, I will conduct a qualitative study of the academic trajectory of single mothers (SMs) on welfare who pursue higher education by transferring from community colleges to universities in California and Hawaii. My research question is: How are single-mothers supported or discouraged […]

Katie McCarthy

Profile image of Katie McCarthy

My project is a discourse analysis of the community-donation-based Vinyasa yoga studios of Yoga to the People (YTTP). I will explore issues of embodiment, technique and aesthetics and whether they incite, affect or create a potential space for a community to form within a individualized practice. Yoga teachers at YTTP are kept anonymous (simply, their names are not placed on the schedules) in an attempt to promote an ego-less space. Yet, I believe it is the teachers – through vibrational dialogue, vocal manipulation (timbre, tone, pronunciation etc) music and movement […]

Maia Wolins

Profile image of Maia Wolins

The 2003 war in Iraq displaced 4.2 million Iraqis, deployed over 170 thousand American troops, and changed the lives of many. Its repercussions are seen among the 40 thousand Iraqi refugees in the US, most of whom left behind successful lives as doctors, journalists, and artists. The wars aftermath is also evident among American veterans, who returned home to a community that had a shallow connection with the intense experience the troops had just lived in Iraq. For my senior honors thesis, I will examine the local effects of the […]

Kyle Barbour

Profile image of Kyle Barbour

Sevoflurane, a popular pediatric and veterinary general anesthetic, is known to cause deficits in learning and memory when administered to neonatal rodents. Since sevoflurane can trigger epileptiform activity when administered during development, and since neonatal epileptic seizures cause the formation of aberrant neural networks, it is possible that sevoflurane administered during development does the same. If present, this may contribute to the observed neurocognitive deficits. We will explore this possibility by retrovirally labeling the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway and medial prefrontal cortex in neonatal rats, then comparing the connections of […]

Halea Meese

Profile image of Halea Meese

My project will examine the effect of national health insurance on rates of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS (MTCT) in Sub-Saharan Africa. I will compare five nations of the region that have implemented national health insurance and compare their rates of MTCT to a control group of another five that have not. I will utilize data from various sources to compile a large data set on each of the ten nations and thus control for the necessary variables so that the two groups of 5 may be compared and […]

Nicole Wong Meng Lai

Profile image of Nicole Wong Meng Lai

My research project involves investigating a cytoskeletal protein named WHAMM- WASP homolog associated with actin, membranes, and microtubules. The cytoskeleton is a crucial component of the cell that facilitates protein transportation, structural support, and ultimately the movement and division of cells. It does so through actin polymerization, which is the formation of filaments using actin molecules. An important stimulator of actin polymerization is the Arp 2/3 complex. It is regulated by nucleation-promoting factors, one such example being WHAMM. My project focuses primarily on the WMD domain of WHAMM, which is […]

Alina Boltunova

Profile image of Alina Boltunova

Emmetropization is a normal developmental process in which the eyes growth is regulated to achieve a match between eye length and its refractive power. It results in the reduction of refractive errors present at birth and has been observed in all animal species, including humans, studied thus far. The guinea pig is increasingly used to model myopia (near-sightedness), but there appear to be differences between guinea pig strains in their susceptibility to myopia-inducing stimuli. To understand the origin of these differences, I plan to compare the emmetropization of different strains […]

Ariella Megory

Profile image of Ariella Megory

I am studying the Israeli perspective of the Israeli-Palsestinian Conflict as a case study to understand how personal perspectives shift in directions contrary to the dominant national discourse. I will be interviewing individuals who have shifted their perspective from the right-wing ideology common in Israel today to a more liberal (pro-Palestinian/anti-Zionist) viewpoint. My research will shed light on the types of life-histories which promote ideological resilience and curiosity, by identifying common life experiences, interpersonal interactions, and historical contexts which this small group of Israelis share.

David Yufan Yang

Profile image of David Yufan Yang

Between 2004 and 2011, China implemented the largest secondary education reform in its history. Although the reformed textbooks embody many shifts in ideology (such as perspectives on Confucius), the primary goal of secondary education remains to enforce an overt set of ideologies onto Chinese students. My research project asks: how effective is Chinas centralized education system in passing down these changed ideologies to students through the textbooks? This project consists of two major stages. First, I will quantitatively measure and compare the ideological content across different textbooks. Then, I will […]

Megan Clement

Profile image of Megan Clement

The mirror literally and symbolically reflects opposites. In medieval times, it seems that the mirror symbolized a gateway to the divine; now the mirror is more often associated with the monstrous. Spending the summer studying Dante’s Divine Comedy, I will begin my research into how the evolution of the meaning of the mirror perhaps parallels the move from a societal focus on religion to a focus on individual actions and psyches. I aim to prove or disprove the assertion that the perceived split between the body and soul mirrors the […]