Rafael Yamir Gómez-Carrasco

Rafael extends Jos Muozs queer utopian hermeneutic by synthesizing it with Henri Lefebvres theories of the quotidian and spatialization. Muozs method of analysis provides a framework for understanding minoritarian performance of futurity practices and embodiments of a world that should be. However, his analysis only briefly engages with everyday space and does not fully investigate how it performs futurity. After developing a Lefebvrian tuned queer utopian hermeneutic through literary analysis, Rafael will study urban New York City to understand how the quotidian is transformed into space, and the potential for that space to practice and imagine processes of a future world. They will investigate the performativity of public space, both alone and through its interaction with the general public.

Sydney Garcia

Everyone experiences stress to varying degrees. Past scholarship has connected awareness of the news to stress while linking stress to adverse mental and physical health outcomes. Given that minority groups are significantly overrepresented in news relating to criminal activity, and news coverage under the Trump Administration has increased negative depictions of immigrants, Sydney will travel to Californias Central Valley to investigate the impacts of such coverage on Latinx farmworkers. She will use daily diary methodology to uncover the relationship between daily self-reported awareness of the news, stress levels, emotions, and social support. Results will contribute to the broader literature and public understanding of the effects of news media on stress and overall mental health.

Michael Cerda-Jara

Michaels research investigates the role of higher education in employment prospects for people with criminal records. In 2018, Michael successfully executed an experimental audit study of job application callbacks for college-educated applicants with or without criminal records, which surprisingly, found no difference between the two. However, this still leaves unanswered whether the applicants race, or timing of the attainment of the college degree affect the number of callbacks. For Michaels Haas Scholars project, continuing to focus on college-educated men, he will add these variables to his prior audit research design. He will then carry out qualitative interviews to clarify the mechanisms that play a role in employment prospects, the experiences and stigmas job applicants with a criminal record encounter, and the strategies they employ to manage this in their employment search.

Nicholas Carey

Kaposis Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes lifelong infections and can cause a variety of cancers and proliferative disorders in immunosuppressed individuals. Recent evidence indicates that oral contact is the primary route of transmission for KSHV. The goal of this project is to elucidate the mechanism of reactivation for transmission of KSHV in the hopes of developing novel treatments to reduce the incidence of infection in the community. Nicholas will infect human oral keratinocytes with several KSHV mutants, and qPCR will be used to analyze transcription patterns to determine the role of a virally encoded G-Protein Coupled Receptor in reactivation of latent infection. If gene knockout successfully limits viral progeny production, Nicholas will test potential drug therapies for their ability to recapitulate this phenotype.

Fallon Burner

Fallon Burner will be writing a history of the Wedat Language and Wadat dialect, showing the vital role that language plays in the Indigenous community and how its history is tied to issues of erasure and survival, as well as the role that language revitalization projects have in addressing transgenerational trauma. The Wendat Confederacy, which originated in the Great Lakes region and now spans Quebec, Ontario/Michigan, Kansas, and Oklahoma, is a matricentered society where women have played heroic roles, so Fallon expects a uniquely gendered narrative. She will conduct oral history interviews with community members in Wendake (Quebec) and Oklahoma, and further her knowledge of the Wedat Language and Wadat dialect through language work, as this is vital to achieving more accuracy in historical narratives of the Wendat Confederacy.

Lupita Lúa

In 2015, Afro-Mexicans were recognized as an ethnic group in the Mexican national census for the first time in history. However, their history continues to be suppressed by the state and few studies address the role that Afro-Mexican people, especially women, played during Mexicos struggle for independence. For her History senior thesis, Lupita will travel to Mexico to conduct archival research in order to understand to what extent African-descendant peoples were active participants in the independence movement, and in what ways Afro-Mexican women embraced or resisted the ideas that the independence movement promoted. The study of Mexicos people of African ancestry is necessary because most Mexicans are unaware of the existence of Afro-descendant peoples in the country, which has invisibilized and marginalized their communities.

Angela Laureano

Angelas research will analyze the institutional and personal barriers affecting formerly incarcerated people trying to pursue higher education. This study will highlight their personal narratives, as they attempt to overcome structural barriers. Previous qualitative research on formerly incarcerated people who participate in prison college programs reveals that having access to education support is crucial for their involvement in higher education post-release. Scholars, however, call for more research looking at the effects of these academic programs in prison and their impact on participants once released. Through qualitative interviews with formerly incarcerated people, Angelas study will address why some formerly incarcerated people do not pursue a higher education, and for those that do attend college, what resources impact their ability to graduate.

Jamie Hein

Between 1977 and 2016, the U.S. womens imprisonment rate increased over 800%. In California, while the rate of mens incarceration has decreased over the past decade, the number of prisoners who suffer from mental illness has risen significantly. It is imperative to explore these numbers as they pertain to womens institutions, and to understand why racial and ethnic minority women with mental illness and substance abuse issues are more likely to be channeled into prison and jail than treatment programming. By carrying out archival research and interviews in Chowchilla, CA and the Bay Area, Jamie will examine the relationship between the dissolution of psychiatric institutions/asylums, the development of community mental health systems that were supposed to replace them, and increased womens incarceration rates in California from the 1950s – present.

Simone Matecna

Policy makers and developmental psychologists know that addressing the effects of poverty in adults often comes too late to be effective. Imagine a 30-year-old man named Sal who does not know whether or not he will be able to pay his rent or buy food for his family at the end of the month. It is not hard to understand why this uncertainty might cause Sal psychological stress on an ongoing basis. In fact, the ways in which financial stress impact mental health in adults have been well documented and studied. However, what is less understood is how Sal’s financial stress affects his four-year-old daughter’s ability to pay attention. Simone will survey families and students in East Bay public schools and use quantitative methods to understand the relationship between a primary caregivers current financial situation and their childs ability to focus. This research will become Simones Economics senior thesis.