Chau Nguyen Doan

Chau’s research seeks an answer to this question: Do the business interests of an increasingly corporate media undermine the reporting of news on which the public depends? Media scholars have debated this key question for years (mostly answering affirmatively), but Chau hopes to introduce a novel approach to the analysis: using news coverage of media concentration as a case study. Her project will involve a qualitative and quantitative analysis of broadcast coverage by the major networks — specifically of media concentration — before and after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rulemaking in June 2003, a decisive period in which the financial interests of media corporations were and still are at stake. After completing the content analysis, Chau will travel to Washington, DC and New York to conduct interviews with practicing journalists, media theorists and public officials at the FCC to shed light on the reasons underlying the nature of media […]

Carolina Dallett

The Arabidopsis thaliana genome has been sequenced, allowing use of sophisticated tools for genetic studies. It is known that DME controls gene transcription, encodes a DNA glycosylase, and has homologous proteins in the Arabidopsis genome as well as orthologs in rice, wheat, and maize. We do not know, however, how this is accomplished. Carolina will investigate the DEMETER protein, essential for seed viability in Arabidopsis, using molecular tools and genetics. The project has two phases: 1) To determine if the family member proteins can replace the DME protein; 2) determine what portions of the DME protein give it its unique ability to control gene transcription. The results of Carolina’s senior thesis in Plant and Microbial Biology may contribute to understanding the general biology of DNA repair and DNA transcription of major agricultural crops.

Jacob Coakley

Jacob will write, as an independent study project in the English department, a full-length play with a double narrative. This duality of structure will allow Jacob to experiment with various forms of multi-media and digital technology available in a modern theatrical production in an effort to explore questions of human subjectivity raised by media theory. To accomplish this, Jacob will develop the script in dialogue with an actress over the summer in New York City, while observing the techniques and technology of several avant-garde theatre companies in NYC already doing this type of work. In the fall Jacob will return to Berkeley to revise and expand the draft, working with a support network of theatre professionals in the Bay Area and beyond. He will produce a semi-staged reading of the play for the spring 2005 conference.

Susannette Burroughs

The “Last Judgment” (“Golden Gate”) mosaic is located on the southern exterior of Saint Vitus’ Cathedral at Prague, a fourteenth century Gothic monument. The mosaic was a framing device for activity which occurred before and behind it: it functioned to separate and relate sacred and secular pasts and presents as a permeable barrier, one which separated and joined secular and ecclesiastical realms of functionality. This project is an investigation of the high degree to which this mosaic promoted powerful localized and international messages of imperial, dynastic, and religious power in conjunction with the ceremony and activity it silhouetted. The project at hand will explore the function of one piece of art within the multi-functional cathedral environment of Prague but also illustrate how a moment of time–historically, religiously, and stylistically–was translated into a charged representation through visual culture.

Morgan Burke

Morgan’s fascination with neurobiology led her to join the laboratory of Prof. Irving Zucker, where she has been studying the neuroendocrine basis of seasonal rhythms. Siberian hamsters, like most mammals, restrict production of offspring to the spring and summer. They do so by measuring day length. Neural and endocrine tissues decode day length by measuring the duration of nocturnal melatonin secretion. Morgan’s study, which will serve as the basis of her senior thesis, will assess whether the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus, a brain melatonin target tissue, is a necessary and sufficient component of the neural substrate that measures nightly melatonin duration and consequently day length. This project addresses a fundamental issue in regulatory biology and is of potential value in controlling and preserving animal populations.

Patricia Hom

Atrazine is the most widely used herbicide in the U.S., with over 76 million pounds of the active ingredient applied annually. Recently, atrazine has been shown to cause endocrine disrupting effects in many vertebrates. When treated with atrazine in the lab, male Rana pipiens develop pseudohermaphrotidic testes which produce oocytes instead of sperm. This phenomenon has been characterized in frogs from areas of known atrazine contamination. However, there is no evidence directly linking atrazine to these gonadal abonormalities in the wild. In this area-specific study, I will raise field-collected frogs in atrazine-contaminated water from their natal lay site, as well as clean water obtained from this site on a different occasion. I will thus be able to elucidate the differential effect of environmental atrazine contamination in a controlled setting, bridging the gap between the field and the laboratory. This project will culminate in the writing of my senior honors thesis […]

Calvin Tyi Hang

The objective of Calvin’s study is to identify the hormonal factors and their regulatory mechanisms on GPR82 expression in the intestine. GPR82 is a recently identified orphan receptor whose ligand has not been found. Although little is now definitively known about this receptor, GPR82 may play important roles in the regulation of the GI tract. Its expression in peripheral tissues is the highest in the GI tract, and its mRNA level changes in response to the nutritional status in both a cell model and live rats. Calvin hypothesizes that GPR82 is transcriptionally regulated by hormonal factors responsive to nutritional status in the body. He will identify hormones that regulate GPR82 transcription, investigate the regulatory sites of target hormones by determining the response element in the promoter of GPR82, and determine the intracellular localization of GPR82. The proposed project will be part of Calvin’s senior honor thesis in Molecular and Cell […]

Daniel Faltz

Between 1965 and 1979, action heroines appeared in over twelve different programs — five of these with both black and white heroines — a period of popularity not seen since. I am interested in the evolution of these early heroines, and their similarities and differences in character, story, and physical display of womens bodies. I suggest that these programs include complex and flawed but still important examples of female characters with strength, independence and agency. What does it mean that Batgirl and Wonder Woman pretend to be bookish women during the day? Or that Christie Love or Charlies Angels disguise themselves as prostitutes when on a case? I hypothesize that there is a female action archetype which emerged in the 60s and was expanded upon in the 70s which includes plot devices that require disguise or secret identities, being kidnapped or helpless, and the physical display of womens bodies.

Tammy Elwell

During Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1989), Chile underwent extensive neoliberal economic reforms. The regime re-structured public social services and targeted them to the poorest sectors, while introducing private alternatives for those who could afford them. With the 1990 transition to democracy, the targeted approach of the previous regime was maintained, while overall social expenditure increased. Paradoxically, while poverty has sharply decreased, income inequality has worsened. Therefore, although Chile is often said to exemplify effective targeted social spending, it is debatable whether these policies allow for a viable escape from poverty. This research projects goal is to track Chile’s welfare policy from 1973 to the present, elucidating the key factors and political agents in this evolution. Toward that end, Tammy’s project, which will constitute her senior honors thesis in political economy, will combine interviews of policymakers and academic specialists with exhaustive library research of the archives at the National Library in Santiago, Chile.

Alejandra Dubcovsky

Slave letters, a crucial source for understanding American slavery, have generally been disregarded. Alejandra’s project seeks to analyze the letters in the Wilson Library at Chapel Hill in order to uncover a code/protocol for the slave’s definition and discussion of slavery. Entirely conscious of the audience of his letter, the slave had to learn how to communicate, producing a letter that encompassed both what the master expected/wanted to receive, yet also expressing the slave’s own views. Thus, far from being neutral documents, these letters are composed of many layers that often disguise the author’s true emotion. Alejandra’s project seeks to explore the duality of these letters, which hide any effusive emotion while they simultaneously manifest resistance. This research will provide historians with a different window of analysis into American slavery, as it examines a generally overlooked source and therefore forges new questions and interpretations