Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

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 […]

Kaylee Yoshii

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Among the Cuban Revolutions socialist reforms, none has influenced daily life more than the food rationing system. Since 1962, Cubans have used the libreta de abastecimiento (supplies booklet) to obtain monthly rations from state-run stores. The system enjoyed initial success, but the libretas efficacy diminished over time and today covers only ten days of food per month. Through historical analysis of the libreta, Kaylee will research how Cubans interacted with the state through food distribution, and how the rationing system affected standard of living. In Cuba, she will conduct interviews […]

Minda Bautista

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The colonial relationship between the Philippines and the United States has shaped both migration patterns from the Philippines and Filipino community formation in the U.S. since the start of the 20th century. Minda’s research will examine this ongoing legacy through the case study of Project Manong, a 1970s housing and services project for elderly Filipino laborers initiated by youth and students in Oakland, California. Minda will use ethnographic interviews and primary sources to interrogate the role of race, space, gender, and age in shaping the need for Project Manong, and […]

Juliana Wu

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Intercropping with legumes is an agricultural practice where crops are cultivated with a legume, commonly fava, that is capable of fixing nitrogen and increasing soil fertility. Juliana’s study aims to measure the effect of crop spacing and density on facilitative and competitive interactions for nitrogen and phosphorus in an intercropping system of fava bean (Vicia faba) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) in a combined greenhouse and field experiment. The field experiment will implement varying treatments of spacing, fava density, and harvesting time. The greenhouse experiment will incorporate root barriers […]

Rhonda Armstrong

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It should not be surprising to hear that people respond to rejection in various ways. Additionally, there are several different pathways to achieving power, and people in powerful positions consistently have more adaptive responses to rejection. Rather than rejection resiliency being a product of power, Rhonda’s research seeks to show that it is actually a predictor of power attainment. By manipulating rejection resiliency, she intends to find differences across participants such that those who are primed with high rejection resiliency will achieve more power in a paired task than those […]

Tyri Watson

The Striving Black Brothers Coalition (SBBC) is a mentoring program at Chabot College in Hayward, California that offers space, peer mentoring, and staff ally support to African American males in order to transform their academic performance. In this study, Tyri Kayshawn will examine how the SBBC facilitates higher graduation rates of African Americans males at Chabot College. His study will utilize a qualitative analysis to uncover the mentoring strategies the Coalition continues to use in order to graduate these students at such a high rate. He will conduct in-depth, one-on-one […]

Rikki-Nikol Anderson

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Rikki-Nikol is researching the status of prosaic photographs in Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction, focusing on the problems of verisimilitude that arise when a solipsistic narrator refers to a supposedly objective image. In many of Nabokov’s works, the fictional reality is mediated through a highly subjective, unreliable narrator. These narrators employ ekphrasisthe verbal description of a visual object to insert photographs into their prose. Though photographs require a real subject and suggest an objective reality, Nabokov’s narrators constantly undermine the idea of objectivity. Rikki-Nikol’s research will explore the ways in which photography […]

Jesús Vásquez-Cipriano

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Impoverished communities of color (ICC) continue to lack economic self-sufficiency. This diminishes their self-governance and self-determination. However, Latino communities and other racially marginalized peoples continue to develop grassroots, community-led projects that address their need for communal self-sufficiency and political empowerment. Jess investigates: What types of organizational models are emerging within Latino projects? Are these projects using established models or are they creating distinct, uncommon models? If so, what is influencing their innovation and adaptation? Jess will work alongside a few Latino community-led projects in California, conducting qualitative research involving interviews […]

Miriam Sergent-Leventhal

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Studies of educational outcomes have focused on what prevents disadvantaged students from succeeding, leaving reproduction of educational elites in a black box. Miriams research will focus on how students from elite private schools fare in a large public university, particularly the University of Michigan and Cal Berkeley. Relying on Bourdieus concept of habitus, Miriam will interview graduates of elite high schools who now attend large, public universities. In doing so, she hopes to gain insight into how the elite maintain (or possibly do not maintain) their position of power, providing […]

Natalie Rutiezer

The sweeping gestures of the body, the symbolism, the hand movements and fast ecstatic spins of Tajik dance express a history and present reality that cannot be described in words only felt. In Tajikistan, dance is an integral part of ritual, tradition, and expression of quotidian life. Natalie will travel to Tajikistan to immerse herself in the study and practice of the different regional styles of dance to encourage awareness of and conversation about the richness and complexity of Tajik culture. Natalie will teach Tajik dance techniques and choreography to […]