Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nan Zhang

A common consensus in the political economy of development literature holds that countries whose production depends overwhelmingly on primary resources &Mac246; oil, diamonds, minerals &Mac246; tend to grow more slowly than their resource scarce neighbors, and also often fall victim to insidious politics and state weakness. In stark contrast to this consensus however stands Botswana, a country built on diamond wealth that has nevertheless managed to sustain the highest level of GDPpc growth of any nation in the world over the past 35 years. This project explores how Botswana was […]

Amy Marie Jimenez

For my senior thesis, I am studying potential neural abnormalities associated with dysfunctional emotion memory and regulation in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). This study will help elucidate the role of emotion processing dysfunctions in the maintenance and expression of the disorder. I will be utilizing previously collected, un-analyzed data for this project. First, I will determine whether individuals diagnosed with MDD demonstrate preferential memory for negative events compared to healthy control individuals in a free recall memory test of emotional pictures. Then I will analyze electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings taken during […]

Jane Yu

We are studying the role that a gene called KST245 plays in joint formation in mice. Currently, little is known about the regulation of joint development in the field of skeletal biology. However, through our research we hope to advance the field and share information that may be important in treating poorly understood joint diseases, such as arthritis. Mice that lack the functional KST245 gene (KST245 mutants) show irregular cartilage growth and misplaced joints. By examining the differences between the KST245 mutants and unaltered mice, we hope to understand the […]

Bradley Allen Hunt

‘Comedy’–as a genre, term, and concept–receives relatively little attention and academic exploration when juxtaposed with more ‘central’ fields of literary studies. Comedy is considered ‘low art’ by some, simply ‘illegitimate’ by others, and even believed to be derived from sin itself by a few literary critics. By examining the early travel writings and letters of Mark Twain, as well as the contemporary television program “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” I attempt to determine from where the marginality of the American comedic voice originates, and what effect it has on […]

Margaret Ellen Ward

Hawaii may seem like a racial paradise: rates of intermarriage are extraordinarily high, residential integration is the norm, and it lacks a history of significant racist legislation or violence. However, from the point Hawaii became U.S. territory in 1900 until the present, race has served as primary form of social vision and division. Using 1900-2000 U.S. census data, my project will analyze how race influences the distribution of economic resources in Hawaii, and why this relationship has changed over time. In doing so, I will answer whether Hawaiis racial hierarchies […]

Mariana Horta-Cappelli

Since the 1980’s our country has been fighting a “war on drugs” that is aimed at the supply side of the drug economy. Domestically this effort caused our incarcerated population to grow much faster in the past 30 years than the total population. Consequentially, a growing proportion of children experience the negative externalities of a parent’s incarceration. My research question is “How have the ‘drug wars’ affected the children of the incarcerated in California?” I’ll focus on the challenges facing families touched by incarceration and the services available to them. […]

Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk

Despite much progress that has been made, a troublesome racial hierarchy remains in the United States. How do power differences play out in cross-race friendships, where power may have unique or detrimental consequences? It has been found that cross-race friendships are less close. While some may aruge that this lack of closeness is due to race itself, I hope to discover whether an individual’s sense of power within a friendship may function to limit the sense of closeness they feel with the cross-race friend. By examining facial expressivity, hand movements, […]

Julia Elizabeth Himes

The blue ringed octopus (H. lunulata) is a highly toxic animal, secreting tetrodotoxin (TTX) as a means of defense and prey capture. H. lunulata is an important organism for studying toxicity and its role in behavior, evolution, and reef ecology. Today, these octopuses are taken from the wild for study, and few survive in captivity. The goal of this summer’s project is to design a method of rearing H. lunulata from egg to maturity. This is very difficult, as the paralarval hatchlings or this species are pelagic and require a […]

Gene Marie Tempest

My project examines the revolutionary role of the art students at the cole Nationale Suprieure des Beaux-Arts, France’s elite college of painting in Paris, and the historical significance of the posters they produced for the French student movement of May through June 1968. Of the 150,000 posters, I will primarily focus on those anti-fascist and anti-Nazi in scope, seeking to answer the question: What was the relationship between the soixante huitards (the sixty-eighters) and the memory of the collaboration years? Through oral history interviews I will engage the artists themselves […]

Monica Susana Hidalgo

The religious and phantasmagorical realms of Dantes Inferno and Hans Christian Andersens fairy tales have fascinated generations of readers to enter into a phantasmagorical realm whereby magic and metaphor camouflage a rather fanatic quest for redemption. Through physical mutilations and psychological torture, these stories have condemned fictional female subjects to punitive action as a means of depicting the omnipotence God. Through biographical and autobiographical records, textual analysis, and literary discourse surrounding Dante Alighieri and Hans Christian Andersens distinct authorships, my research seeks to further examine the ways by which these […]