Resource Conflict: Oil and the Nigerian Youth

Godwin "Ife" Aka : Political Science

Mentor: Professor M. Steven Fish, Political Science; Professor G. Ugo Nwokeji, African American Studies

The struggle of the Niger Delta people has been widely documented. The years of oil spills, unequal distribution of oil wealth, and marginalization of the people of this region both by the Nigerian state and the multinational oil companies, is known very well to those interested in this area. Because of the documentation of these conditions, academics who study this region often attribute the uprising that have emerged in the Niger Delta to some form of deprivation without studying these movements. My research explores why the Ogoni Movement of the 90’s, and the militant movements of 2005-2009, occurred at the specific times that they did. 

Campesinos Voice the Discourse of Fair Trade

Nicholas Calderon : Society and Environment

Mentor: Professor Louise Fortmann, Natural Resource Sociology

Nicholas Calderon’s project, Campesinos Voice the Discourse of Fair Trade, will take place in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, where he will investigate the degree to which Fairtrade’s purported benefits are met. He will examine the extent of grower knowledge regarding Fairtrade entitlements, and their use of the Fairtrade social premium. His methods will combine an examination of discourses about the benefits of Fairtrade, digitally interactive participant observation, and interviews conducted with small-scale growers (those producing less than 2 hectares). The significance of this research is to enlarge the consumers understanding of the global food trade. Nicholas hopes to make this contribution by publishing a free eBook that will compare Fairtrade discourse with the quinoa growing process and what a fair system of global trade means to the Bolivian campesino.

'Your Hair Wet, I Could Not / Speak:' The Self-Elegizing of the Silent Muse in Eliot

Armen Davoudian : English

Mentor: Professor Charles Altieri

The Waste Land is a metapoem that doubts whether it is a poem: a paradoxical achievement of expression through expressing an inability to express. This antithetical way of writing poetry makes new relations among different tropes possible. For instance, iron--which normally either precludes or retrospectively denies pathos--can become elegy as Eliot complains that he cannot sing, thereby singing. Armen senses a similar concern in Eliot’s other poetry, and he wonders, for example, whether the many paradoxes in Four Quartets can be explained in terms of this argument. He also wants to study Eliot’s use of self-reflexivity (e.g. in his imagery of hair) and self-allusion, both structural and thematic. Ideally, analyzing how Eliot dramatizes this anxiety in his poems should generate some theories about why he felt it in the first place.

Healthy Identities: Transgender Health Care Access and Social Disparity

Morty Diamond : Sociology

Mentor: Professor G. Cristina Mora

Morty’s research begins by asking how access to public health care has changed social conditions for the transgender community in SanFrancisco within the last 10 years. He will explore how current medical and mental health access challenges affect the physical, social and mental gender transition of transgender individuals. Beyond the importance of this research study as means of understanding the historical transgender community in San Francisco, the goal of this study is to record cultural and social differences within a nontraditionally gendered minority group. Morty will research policy changes, conduct in-depth interviews and perform an ethnography at a San Francisco transgender health non-profit. Morty hopes to reveal a new paradigm for understanding transgender experiences, one where health care plays a pivotal role in social connections within the community.

Erasing Arizona: The Purging of Mexican-American Educational Rights

Salvador Gutierrez Peraza : History

Mentor: Professor Margaret Chowning

In 2010, the Arizona legislature banned the teaching of Ethnic Studies in public schools (K-12) via House Bill 2281.  The bill specifically targeted Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies program.  According to the proponents of this bill, the MAS program was “dangerous” because it promoted ethnic, racial, and class divisions among students.  Salvador will spend the summer in Arizona investigating the historical and political factors that led to the drafting and adoption of HB 2281.  Salvador’s project will directly engage with the growing historical and political literature documenting the struggle of Mexican-American students for education rights in the Southwest.  His investigation will also document the ongoing battle to revoke or to maintain HB 2281 as a valid law.  His research will produce a senior honors thesis for the department of History.  

Ketwea Bea Nswa: Susu and Institutional Microfinance Models in Ghana

Ernest Honya : Development Studies

Mentor: Professor G. Ugo Nwokeji

Susu is a traditional microfinance scheme in Ghana that has been ignored by commercial banks and microfinance institutions in the country. Ernest’s research asks why Ghana does not have an institutionally acceptable microfinance model that is specifically designed to fit the socio-economic and cultural needs of Ghanaians. His project will first investigate the susu model to find out what makes it institutionally unacceptable. Second, Ernest will survey the socio-economic and cultural dimensions of Wale and Ewe communities in northern and southern Ghana respectively. Ernest’s goal is to propose a new model that is specifically designed to replace susu, which will be acceptable by commercial banks.

Is There an Education Bubble: Theory and Evidence from South Korea

Yosub Jung : Economics

Mentor: Professor David Card

Korean policy makers fear an impending education bubble caused by an over-supply of college graduates. Analysts point to the presence of three million unemployed college graduates as evidence that there are already too many young people with advanced education in Korea. The recent national “Half-Tuition” protests that paralyzed colleges and shut down roads suggests that students and parents are deeply concerned about the “over-education” problem facing Korea. This research project will use comprehensive schooling and labor market data, combined with econometric methods to analyze: (i) the existence of an education bubble, (ii) possible explanations of the phenomenon, and (iii) consequences on the labor market.

Early ART or PrEP? A Comparative Analysis of Effectiveness and Cost of HIV Prevention through Antiretroviral Drugs

Keng Lam : Public Health

Mentor: Professor George Rutherford

Worldwide, we have more than 33 million people living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). It remains a challenge to find the best prevention methods. Keng’s research compares two new biomedical prevention methods that have used ART (antiretroviral therapy) to prevent HIV transmission in discordant couples (one member is infected but the other is not). One method is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), where the uninfected person takes antiretroviral drugs, and the other method begins ART in the infected member earlier than is clinically recommended to prevent transmission. The clinical trials data from both methods are published and available for analysis. Keng will use meta-analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis to compare and contrast both prevention strategies for a cohort of heterosexual couples living in southern Africa.

Mic Check! (Mic Check): Tracking the Circulation and Recirculation of Protest Folklore on the U.C. Berkeley Campus (Tracking the Circulation and Recirculation of…)

Kristine Lawson : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Charles Briggs

Drawing on over five decades of folklore from U.C. Berkeley’s Folklore Archives, as well as interviews and ethnographic participant observation to be conducted at Occupy events this summer, Kristine’s project draws comparisons between the folklore of the Free Speech Movement of 1964 and of the Occupy Movement of 2011-2012. With an understanding of folklore as promoting group identity and perpetuating notions of group boundaries, Kristine will trace pieces of folklore through each movement to demonstrate these tendencies. She will also examine the significance of the UC Berkeley campus as a venue for protest. Preliminary analysis of folklore in both movements suggests a strong resemblance in the folk speech, art, gestures, and customs while also suggesting some amount of transformation between the 1960s lore and that heard today.

Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed:" (Re) becoming a rehabilitated parent in Court Mandated Parenting Classes

Jessica Lopez : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor William Hanks

In an anthropolitical and linguistic analysis that values human agency, individual thought, and community discourse, Jessica’s work explores the embodied experience of Latino parents who attend court-mandated parenting classes in East Los Angeles. Current research on minority populations shows that Latino parents continue to view state intervention as judgmental, manipulative, and oppressive. Jessica will use transcribed speech from discussion circles and testimonios of the Latino parents involved in parenting to define, nuance, and problematize currently accepted parenting ideologies. This project aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics involved in the learning to be a legitimate parent as imposed by state authorities in a way that includes the community voice as well as that of the researcher.

Tracing the Influence of Giulio Caccini's 'Le nuove musiche' on Seventeenth-Century English Composers

Alana Mailes : Music

Mentor: Professor Davitt Moroney

Alana’s project focuses on the 1664 English translation of Giulio Caccini’s preface to Le nuove musiche (1601), one of the best-known texts about ornamentation of vocal music during the Baroque period. She will investigate the unknown identity of the translator, assess whether the translation of Caccini’s words may have affected the translation of musical practices from Italy to England, and trace the text’s possible influence on seventeenth-century English composers such as Henry Purcell. She will conduct archival research at UC Berkeley, the University of Oxford, and the British Library. She will also attend a music workshop for Baroque vocal performance with Dame Emma Kirkby in preparation for recordings that she will make to accompany her research paper.

Peer to Peer Piracy: Sustained Cooperation in a Public Good Game

Seung-Keun Martinez : Economics

Mentor: Professor John Morgan

Modern day pirates are among the most seemingly altruistic collaborators in the world. At least they are in reference to sustaining a public good. In fact, these internet based pirates provide a stunning real world example of a self-sustaining public good despite strong incentives to free ride. We observe this phenomenon in peer to peer (P2P) file sharing. The crux of Seung-Keun’s research project centers upon the question: How do P2P networks form and sustain themselves, and how can this be extended to influence better outcomes for other public goods? To answer this, Seung-Keun has designed a three-treatment strategic experiment involving continuous time, varying levels of information, and endogenous entry and exit. The results of this experiment will give new insight into what policies would encourage cooperation.

Undocumented, Unafraid and Unapologetic: Development of Inclusive Activism in the Immigrant Youth Movement

Gabriela Monico : Ethnic Studies

Mentor: Professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla

An estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants live in the U.S. 2.1 million youth may attempt to legalize through the DREAM Act, if enacted. An activist movement led by eligible youth has mobilized around this legislation, which has given rise to a narrative that casts eligible youth as deserving, “othering” the 67% that would not qualify. Through interviews and participant observation of two support groups, Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education and 67 Sueños, Gabriela will explore how the DREAM Act narrative has triggered a divergent process of oppositional consciousness among ineligible youth and how new sites of activism are created in the process. Her work will provide insight into a struggle that seeks to humanize immigrants and challenges mainstream notions of who should have access to opportunities in American society.

Microcredit and the Discourse of Empowerment: A Case Study in Jinotega, Nicaragua

Kristen Norman : Interdisciplinary Studies Field

Mentor: Professor Nap Hosang

In an effort to narrow the gap in gender equality and improve public health, microfinance institutions are increasingly creating products for women in developing countries. Experts caution against assuming that women’s empowerment is an automatic outcome of microfinance, and call for accompanying “soft services” such as health education, literacy training, and discussion groups on domestic violence. Organizations offering such services have had great results. However, the majority of micro lending institutions are for-profit entities uninterested in offering these expensive social services. Kristen’s project investigates the dynamics of group lending and its ability to create female empowerment in the absence of these ideal “soft services.” She hypothesizes that the trust and solidarity created through group-oriented micro lending offers the social support needed to create women’s empowerment.

“I’m Expected to get Married for Papers”: Latino/a Undocumented Young Adults and their Navigations of Intimate Relationships

Humberto Ortiz : Sociology

Mentor: Professor Irene Bloemraad

Humberto’s project will examine how Latino/a undocumented migrant youth negotiate migrant ‚Äúillegality‚Äù in their everyday lives through relationships of love, kinship, and companionship. While a growing literature has examined how this population navigates “public” contexts of higher education and civic engagement, no scholarship has analyzed how these youth negotiate their undocumented status in their “private”, personal lives. In order to investigate how undocumented young adults develop unique attitudes, beliefs, and experiences with respect to friendships, dating, and marriage, I will interview 20 self-identified Latina/o undocumented young adults from the Bay Area and Los Angeles to answer the following question: How does migrant “(il)legal” status become a social-political power dynamic that must be negotiated by undocumented young adults in their personal relationships?

The Untold Narrative of Political Graffiti and Street Art in the ongoing Egyptian Revolution

Barira Rashid : Social Welfare

Mentor: Professor Keith P. Feldman

Since the fall of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, street art has become the most widespread form of political expression in Egypt since the Egyptian Revolution began on January 25th, 2011. As a means to proclaim the goals of the revolution and mock the military regime in power, Barira will further explore how political graffiti and street art have come to signify a powerful form of expression of social justice in the ongoing movement. Barira will travel to Cairo to document political graffiti and street art through photography and video, interview underground graffiti artists, and lead participant observations with street art collectives. Her work seeks to examine how public space and nationalism promote civic belonging and aims to preserve the disappearing artistic narrative of the struggle for civilian democratic rule in Egypt.

Among Dreams: Transcending the Physical and Subjective Constraints of Incarceration

Danica Rodarmel : English

Mentor: Professor Georgina Kleege

Among Dreams illuminates the collective, un-fixed identities of incarcerated individuals in the Bay Area by interweaving dream narratives and personal histories. The project will culminate in two publications: one book devoted to the inmates’ work and another devoted to Danica’s experiences with familial incarceration and prison work. The books will explore reoccurring or unshakable dream narratives and personal stories, along with photographic interpretations of places and images significant to the dreams and memories. Interweaving dreams through the personal stories will help illuminate points of connection between the authors’ experiences and identities by drawing attention to reoccurring themes. A primary a goal of Among Dreams is counteracting the traditionally insufficient image of offenders as criminals by highlighting their basic humanity and personal experiences through a carefully made work of art.

Illuminating Social Landscapes: unearthing life of the Mayan non-elite through household excavation and catchment analysis

Kimberly Salyers : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Rosemary Joyce

Extensive work has been done on the civic centers of Classic Maya culture. However, archaeological study of Maya commoners has been scarce until recent years. Kimberly’s research will focus on the artifacts uncovered in an excavated household at Chinikihá, Mexico. Through a catchment analysis using GIS mapping, she will assess the economic resource basis for settlement. A “catchment” is the zone from which residents of a place drew their resources. This research will allow Kimberly to consider Chinikihá within a larger context: she will look at the relation of commoner households to major Maya centers such as Palenque in order to assess how the carrying capacity of the Chinikihá area’s natural resources strengthened or weakened integration with the wider region.

Evolution of the Rostrum in Stomatopod Crustaceans

Irene Steves : Integrative Biology

Mentor: Professor Roy Caldwell

Stomatopods, also known as “mantis shrimp,” are some of the coolest marine crustaceans. They are powerful predators (for their size, at least) and are concentrated in tropical waters all over the world. The stomatopod rostrum, a segment of exoskeleton near the eyes, ranges from a simple triangular shape to something that looks more like a crown or the curved top of a palace. This summer, Irene will be looking into the evolutionary motivations of stomatopod rostrum variation. She plans to determine the function of the rostrum and the reasons for its wide variation by compiling environmental data, taking high-speed videos of stomatopod behaviors, and comparing rostrum shapes to their phylogeny.

Re-Living Latin: Understanding the Interaction between Method, Material, and Meaning

Alice Yeh : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor William Hanks

Foreign language education in a study-abroad setting is taken for granted as a means of acquiring fluency and cultural competency. But for a language without a “living” space, as Latin arguably is, what is it like to be physically situated in a concrete, historical locale without a native community of speakers? Based in an immersion program in Rome, Alice’s research will focus on the relationship between techniques of instruction and students’ acquisition and transformation of Latin. She will investigate the boundary between a more immersive approach and the method of grammar-translation, the different functions of English and Latin metalanguage, or “talk about talk,” and the challenges of “restoring” Latin. Renewed in practice and radically reframed, Latin is a language still becoming, a language whose life beyond life must be understood.

Religious Hierarchy in Ancient Mycenae: A Contextual Analysis of Figurine Production at Petsas House

Samantha Alford : Classical Languages/Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Kim Shelton

Figurines in the shape of humans, animals, and inanimate objects, such as furniture, have been found in excavations throughout the archaeological site of Mycenae, a Bronze Age settlement and palatial center. Samantha will investigate the production patterns of these figurines by analyzing archaeological data from a Mycenaean ceramics center, Petsas House. By comparing these figurines to those from other Mycenae excavation sites, she will attempt to make inferences about the distribution of figurines and the social structure of Mycenae. Previous scholarship has suggested that Mycenaean religion was socially stratified, with figurines being a main expression of “popular” religion. Samantha’s main research will determine whether Petsas House produced its figurines in accordance with an official, elite religion, or, conversely, if Petsas House produced for the “common” people and cult.

Reporters and Reforged Identities: Negotiating Narratives of Violence through the Journalistic Enterprise

Clarissa Arafiles : Anthropology/Gender & Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Juana Rodriguez

The body of the slain journalist, elevated to heroic proportions, has become indispensable in contemporary constructions of Filipino nationalism and democracy. This project will compare two episodes in the history of Philippine media that fortify the journalist’s presence in the Filipino imagination: the three-day broadcast by Radio Veritas during the 1986 People Power Revolution and the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre. Between June and August, Clarissa will engage in archival research at the National Library of the Philippines in Manila and conduct interviews with news media personnel and anti-impunity campaigners. She will examine how community efforts and legislative attempts to combat violence against media workers organize practices of Filipino citizenship around demands raised by investigative journalists for greater government responsibility and transparency.

A Political Ecology of the Citarum River: Exploring Human Dimensions of Water Pollution in Peri-urban Bandung, Indonesia

Jenna Cavelle : Conservation & Resource Studies, Geography (minor)

Mentor: Professor Nancy Peluso

The Citarum River and its drainage basin, which has been called “the most polluted river in the world”, spans 11,000 square kilometers, serves 378 industries, 25 million people, and supplies Jakarta with 80% of its water. With so many people and ecologies depending on this critical river, each with a different perspective and a distinct relationship to the river, there are many narratives about rights, access, and pollution being told. Jenna will travel to West Java to further explore what individual and collective claims are being made, which practices and narratives are mobilized to justify them, and whether claims have the potential to transform management and restoration activities aimed at mitigating deteriorating conditions.

Investigating Ecosystem Responses to Manipulated Climate Conditions at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Katya Cherukumilli : Environmental Sciences, Global Poverty and Practice (minor), Energy and Resources (minor)

Mentor: Professor John Harte

Since the early 20th century, global surface temperatures have risen 1.4°F, with the majority of the warming occurring in the past three decades due to anthropogenic activities. Significant changes in sea level, ecosystems, and ice cover are predicted to occur as a result of increasing temperatures. Katya aims to understand ecological responses to simulated and natural climate change in a subalpine meadow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. She will maintain a database for the longest-running climate manipulation experiment in the world and gather additional information about the species abundance distribution and changes in albedo over the course of the summer. Larger implications of her project are greater insight into microclimate-ecosystem dynamics and the effects of warming on landscapes, which may be useful information for agricultural and water-management industries.

The Political Economy of the Spectacle

James Gabriel Eckhouse : Geography

Mentor: Professor Jake Kosek

The entertainment business dominates many people's lives. Theorists of different stripes have been eager to understand the role it plays in modern society. However, these inquiries rarely treat entertainment as an industry. No one has thoroughly pursued the question: what kind of value is produced by the entertainment industry? Emphasizing the creation of value this project views Hollywood's film and television industry through the lens of a Marxian Political-Economist. James's focus will be understanding how the people who produce entertainment might create a particular type of value that is different from a classical understanding of value simply as labor time expended. He argues that the entertainment industry's underlying logic is the pursuit of "attention time". James will interview personnel in the industry and look at movie data-sets this summer in LA.

Sentiments of (Be)longing: Queer Undocumented Immigrants in Search of Home

Marco A. Flores : Gender and Women's Studies; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Mel Chen

Though growing rapidly, the literature on the displacement of immigrants within the U.S. rarely addresses queer undocumented immigrants. By engaging with theories of affect, Marco's project will explore the experiences of displacement queer undocumented immigrants encounter in their search for home. Through qualitative interviews, Marco will bring together two seemingly unrelated identities -- "queer" and "immigrant" -- exploring the complications of experience and sentiment driven by the dwelling that takes place in search of home; an engagement of the body in relation to a fragmented self. Ultimately, by illuminating forms of contact these queer undocumented immigrants have with their homeland, Marco hopes to provide a theoretical framework that engages in their navigation between being queer and undocumented, leading to a re-imagining of the body as a site of home.

Undocumented Latina/o Students' Struggle and Academic Resiliency in Higher Education

Geraldine Gomez : Social Welfare, Education (minor)

Mentor: Professors Irene Bloemraad and Lisa García Bedolla

An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from the nation’s high schools each year, and only 5-10% of those continue on to a two/four-year college or university (Passel, 2003 & Passel and Cohn, 2009). Their obstacles, beyond lack of federal financial aid, contribute to psychological stress and limited opportunities in higher education. Geraldine will augment the scarce research on AB540 students’ agency and resiliency by interviewing undocumented Latina/o UC Berkeley students and alumni, undocumented youth who either work or dropped out of college, faculty, administrators, and members of student organizations. She will examine the factors driving undocumented students during a time of economic downturn and strong anti-immigrant sentiment. Her research will provide a blueprint assessing undocumented students’ futures, ultimately laying the framework for effective educational and social policy solutions.

Speaking the Self: Testimony and Self-Development in Jane Eyre and Villette

Brittany Johnson Chalfin : English

Mentor: Professor Janet Sorensen

Brittany’s project will first explore the possibilities and limitations of fictional testimony to enact a process of trauma recovery. She will plumb the formal and imagerial depths of Charlotte Brontë’s novels Jane Eyre and Villette against a background of theoretical work engaged with trauma. She will narrow her critical eye upon the ways in which these two novels articulate their respective heroines’ psychological encounters with inaccessible stores of traumatic memory through narrative acts of viewing. Brittany will rely on close readings of the texts to assess how each novel views trauma, and how this correlates to the heroine’s recovery. She will then broaden her analysis to address how Brontë’s novels respond to or resist representations of the complex relationship between trauma and perception at large in the Gothic genre.

In the Path of the Three Sisters: A Future Plant-Based Food System for Ireland and Israel

Michal Karmi : Conservation and Resource Studies

Mentor: Professor Claudia J. Carr

The rising economic and environmental cost of fossil fuels will greatly affect our reliance on them for global food transportation in the near future. Michal will design crop plans for plant-based food systems in Israel and Ireland -- regions with radically different climates -- to determine the feasibility of maintaining a locally grown, healthy plant-based diet. This summer, she will conduct research in Israel and Ireland, collecting technical evidence of soil and climate conditions to determine what can be grown in each area, gathering historical data on plant foods grown in the region, and interviewing nutritionists and permaculture experts to obtain information on local sufficient diets and sustainable crop-growing methods. She intends for this case-specific data to be a starting point for a crop plan designing method in resource-limited climates.

The Road Home: How News Shapes the Reintegration of Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans to Civilian Life

Robert R. King : Media Studies

Mentor: Professor Jean Retzinger

Many breakthroughs have been made regarding the mental and physical challenges war veterans face. However, veterans face many other challenges when it comes to reintegrating back into civilian society. Robert will explore one aspect that helps create the social context that veterans must navigate upon their return. There is considerable evidence that news coverage can shape public opinion regarding many issues, one of which is the perception of soldiers and war veterans. Through a detailed content analysis of front-page newspaper stories about the wars, Robert will explore empirical truth of this matter. Additionally, he will conduct focus groups with veterans at UC Berkeley and attend a conference of Veterans Program administrators in Myrtle Beach, SC, in order to gauge veterans’ own perception of media’s affect on the reintegration process.

Reading Sites, Dropping Lines: An Investigation into Unreliable Language on the Border

Nathaniel Klein : Practice of Art, Gender and Women Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Anne Walsh

Nathaniel’s project will produce an experimental video and art show exploring the U.S./Mexico border as it is situated temporally, spatially and psychically. By living in Tijuana and crossing the border daily for six weeks; interviewing activists, architects and academics; and providing volunteer humanitarian aid to migrants, Nathaniel will investigate how the histories of the U.S./Mexico border are embodied by the people who pass through it, and by various sites along its path. Focusing his research on three primary border locations -- the San Ysidro border checkpoint, the “Friendship Park” monument that marks the starting point of the U.S./Mexico border, and the Sonoran Desert -- Nathaniel will explore the relationship between the stories and rhetoric used to describe geographical borders, and how both have shifted and/or remained stagnant over time.

Managing Type I Diabetes During Adolescence: Social Relationships and Identity

Willie Joe Marquez : Sociology, Education (minor)

Mentor: Professor Ann Swidler

Adolescence is a pivotal period for developing friendships and identity. For chronically ill adolescents, however, this developmental period may be disrupted due to the lifestyle limitations associated with carefully managing their illness. To examine the extent to which a chronic illness alters an adolescent’s social relationships and identity, Willie will conduct in-depth interviews with University of California, Berkeley students with and without Type I Diabetes about their experiences within four contexts: social networks, the family, secondary school, and self-perception. Ultimately, Willie’s study will include public health policy implications by providing an accurate portrait of the lived experiences of chronically ill adolescents, and the types of support they may need to accommodate their unique needs and be better integrated into society.

Sculpting Memory: Reading Berlin's Book Burning Memorial

Isabella Oppen : Comparative Literature/German Studies

Mentor: Professor Anton Kaes

What can a close reading of Berlin’s Book Burning Memorial offer to elucidate conflicts of remembering a turbulent past? Using libraries and archives in Berkeley and Berlin, Isabella will research the history and development of the current memorial; its public reception; and different uses of its location (Bebelplatz) over time. This research will also entail an in-person exploration of the memorial’s tactile and sculptural aspects, reading the memorial as an artwork confronting the past and processing history through its form within the city landscape. Isabella’s research will be grounded in scholarship on memory, commemoration, and making history tactile and present. Traumatic events are widespread, and this localized study in Berlin, while obviously not addressing all such events, offers a perspective on the process of healing and reconciliation within the cityscape.

Functional Characterization of Met12-MTHFR in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Jessica Nichole Pasqua : Chemical Biology

Mentor: Professor Jasper Rine

Methylenetetrahydrofolate-reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme involved in the synthesis of methionine, an essential amino acid. Due to MTHFR importance for cellular health, Jessica studies MTHFRs in yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae through analysis of paralogous genes MET12 and MET13. The Met12 and Met13 proteins are both MTHFR enzymes, however based upon biochemical results Met12 appears to be non-functional. Recently Jessica showed that Met12 has been non-functional for millions of years, since it also lacks function in yeast species Saccharomyces bayanus. Since yeast aggressively remove non-functional elements from their genomes, this result is strong and presumptive evidence that Met12 has an important, undetected function. Jessica's experiments will describe why Met12 is nonfunctional, and will test the hypothesis that physical interactions between Met12 and Met13 are important for cooperative maintenance of methionine bioavailability.

Differential Gene Expression in Old and Young Mice: Bridging Immune System and Muscle Regeneration

Novalia Pishesha : Bioengineering

Mentor: Professor Irina Conboy

The slower muscle regeneration observed in older people is due to the less supportive extrinsic biochemical make-up, which constitutes the microenvironment of damaged muscle, in older people as compared to younger people. Muscle regeneration involves an inflammation phase during which the immune cells partly architect the microenvironment surrounding muscle injury. Nova would like to decipher the mediator and pathways that might bridge the immune system and muscle regeneration. She will carry out a gene expression profiling approach, qRT-PCR array, and in vitro pharmacological inhibition/stimulation to investigate how the immune system affects muscle stem (satellite) cells' regenerative capacity. The elucidation of mediator and pathways which incorporate the immune system and muscle regeneration pathways will point to novel therapies for muscle injury by biochemically engineering the microenvironment of the muscle injury sites.

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