Carlos Almendárez

To the Nicaraguan people, Carlos Fonseca was the unchallenged leader and theoretician of the Nicaraguan revolution. In an attempt to propel Fonseca as the paragon of the revolution, the F.S.L.N. obscured Fonsecas doubts about the process of revolution itself. Through Fonsecas extant writings Carlos project will examine why the idea of Fonseca as a leader of the revolution was abandoned once the revolution was consolidated. Carlos argues that Fonsecas portrayal by scholars and propagandists has emphasized his role as a devout follower of Augusto Cesar Sandino. In doing so, Fonsecas inclination towards Sandino has been created, thereby validating a belief in the contemporary Sandinista party ideology, conveniently lining Fonseca and Sandino in a straight line leading to the FSLN. The project plans to understand how Fonsecas dissent within the ranks affects our perception of the revolution. His research, conducted in part through fieldwork in Nicaragua, will culminate in a senior […]

June L. Gruber

The primary objective of this project will be to examine the way in which patients diagnosed with schizophrenia use language to describe their subjective emotional experiences. Using a clinical interview, the Schedule for Deficit Syndrome, patients with schizophrenia will be asked to provide a brief narrative of salient emotional experiences in their lives (e.g. what makes you happy?). Trained research assistants will then transcribe and code the videotaped interview. Through the results of the study, the researcher hopes to shed light on the way in which emotion affects linguistic properties of speech in addition to enhancing our understanding of the emotional features in patients with schizophrenia.

Benjamin Goldstein

The recent growth of the Fair Trade coffee niche market in the United States suggests that consumers are beginning to concern themselves with the social conditions under which their coffee was produced. Fair Trade coffee consumers accept that the Generic Fairtrade Standards established by the International Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) provide certain de jure guarantees regarding production conditions. Yet what is the de facto situation within the coffee cooperatives? Benjamin will travel to a Fair Trade certified coffee cooperative in Guatemala this summer to investigate the grassroots application of the Standards section entitled Democracy, Participation and Transparency. Benjamin will employ a comparative analysis of the cooperative over time, focusing on pre/post FLO certification. Through extensive interviews and data collection, Benjamin intends to establish the effectiveness of international autocratic standards in the development and regulation of grassroots democracy.

Oron Frenkel

Pushed aside by a tradition of Cartesian dualism, the mystery of consciousness has recently resurfaced as a problem on the cutting edge of intellectual thought. My expanded honors thesis for Systems Biology will investigate if we can better understand what consciousness is, based on processes occurring throughout the whole organism, instead of just inside the brain. I will evaluate the ability of modern theories and experiments on brain processes to account for findings outside of neuroscience that suggest consciousness to exist on an organismal level. I hope to explore alternative grounds from which to create empirical studies about how we might investigate consciousness in other organisms. In doing so, I will achieve a deeper understanding, both for the academic fields involved, and for myself, of what conditions within living systems might give rise to the phenomenon of consciousness, and to scientifically question the distinctions we have placed between humans and […]

Shanesha R. F. Brooks

Exploring the lyrical conversation between the jazz and blues poetry of Langston Hughes and contemporary hip-hop musicians, Shanesha will analyze the musical techniques and poetic structure of Hughess poetry and the lyrics of musicians Black Star and Jazzmatazz, musical poets who contribute to what she calls the New Poetic Genre. Identifying parallels between the socio-political and historical contexts of Hughes and of these contemporary musicians, Shanesha will research the consciousnesses conjured from resistance, the search for identity, and the subsequent struggle for self-expression. As a double major in English and Interdisciplinary Studies, Shaneshas deep interests in music, poetry, and history meld her project into a treatise that will integrate musical and textual analysis, literary theory, and interviews. She will also work with archival materials at Yale Universitys Beinecke Library and at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. The results of her research will be […]

Elizabeth Bremner

Localization of biologically relevant stimuli in the world is a basic feature of sensory systems and is well studied for visual and auditory stimuli. It is well known that mammals are very sensitive to odors and can trace them to their sources, but it is not well studied nor understood whether this localization can be accomplished egocentricallythat is, with the head kept stationary. For her Senior Honors Thesis in Psychology, Elizabeth will evaluate the abilities of humans to egocentrically pinpoint odor sources in space. She will first address the behavioral question of whether humans can spatially localize different odors in a psychophysical experiment. She will then conduct a neuroimaging experiment using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand the neural substrates underlying this activity. Elizabeth hopes that understanding how humans localize odors and the neural substrates subserving this ability will contribute to the current development of a device that will […]

Saori Haigo

The coordination of cell movement is an integral process in development, affecting morphological shape as well as cell fate specification. While the importance of this process has been long realized, the molecular regulation of cell movement remains poorly understood. Saori plans to investigate the roles of two genes, fuzzy (fy) and inturned (in), in establishing cell polarity during convergent extension movements in the early frog embryo. Convergent extension is the process by which a population of cells redistributes itself by converging along one axis, thereby elongating along the perpendicular axis. In cloning and characterizing these genes through loss and gain of function analyses, Saori aims to integrate the results she collects to build upon a developing signal transduction pathway that triggers this intricate array of movements for her seniors honors thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology.

Debra Jeanne Kraus

Debra’s life experience as a caregiver to her husband throughout his terminal illness has inspired her to create an art exhibit that narrates his lifetime as a man and soldier groomed by the social effects and fears of the Cold War. Her work will investigate agent orange exposure of American soldiers who fought in Vietnam. Fiat Lux, will be grounded in the social understanding of artwork from the 1960s, moving forward in time to explore some of our current veteran health issues. Six multi-media sculptures, four paintings, and a video installation produced from archival films will look at a person who survived from multiple cancers over thirteen-years, and ultimately, will examine his death. Her artistic contribution is unique in that it uses Pop Art techniques of the 1960s as a lens to look at contemporary issues of the post-Vietnam landscape.

Olga V. Kotlyarevskaya

Olga will examine to what extent less developed countries (LDCs) and developed countries (DCs) benefited from the informal World Trade Organization (WTO) compromise in which LDCs allowed uniform regulation of intellectual property and DCs allowed uniform regulation of textiles. To do so she will compare the disputes from 1995 to 2001 between India and the United States that were referred to the WTO to those that were not. Olga will conduct archival research and interview trade officials in Washington, DC, Geneva and India. She will present her findings as her senior honors thesis in Political Science.

Eden James

Eden will examine newspaper editorials and public opinion data to determine how interest groups advance and amplify specific frameworks to influence domestic discourse on the issue of free trade. This research will combine a quantitative content analysis of editorial opinion on free trade and the recent protests against it in Seattle and Quebec City along with in-depth interviews with political actors who seek to frame debate around this important issue. Within these “framing contests” on free trade, the potential for interest groups, as well as journalists, to influence public opinion is significant due to the issues complexity, a general lack of prominent information, and a dearth of perceived personal experience with the issue. Consequentially, this study attempts to understand how diverse interest groups shape the production of mass media “opinion leadership” and the effect its subsequent consumption has on public opinion. Research will culminate in a senior honors thesis in […]