Redefining Gender Roles After the Internal Conflict: Women in Ayacucho, Peru

Sandra Núñez Portocarrero : Sociology

Mentor: Professor Laura Enriquez

Vast academic attention characterized by a search for causality and consequences has been given to the internal conflict in Peru in the 1980s and 1990s. However, little attention has been given to women, the main victims of the conflict. Seeking to understand the redefinition of gender roles after the internal conflict, Sandra will travel to Ayacucho, a province in the Peruvian Andes considered the region most affected by the conflict. Using participant observation and in-depth interviews as her methods, Sandra will examine what roles women had to take on in order to survive and protect their space, and how the process of redefining gender roles during the conflict created women leaders in Ayacucho. An understanding of this process is important in order to sustain an effective process of national reconciliation.

Development of a Point of Care Tuberculosis Diagnostic Device

Navpreet Ranu : Chemical Engineering

Mentor: Professors Richard Mathies and Amy Herr

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that often attacks the lungs and can be spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, and other airborne means. Approximately 2 billion people are infected with TB and around 1.6 million people die of this disease every year. Navpreet will develop a point of care (POC) diagnostic device that will be able to quantify specific TB biomarker levels in serum using electrical impedance spectroscopy. His project tests the hypothesis that the limit of detection can be improved by creating a 3D gel sensor as opposed to the standard 2D sensor for electrochemical detection. The versatile, low cost POC platform technology for TB diagnosis and other antibody-based assays will address the existing diagnostic needs of patients and clinicians in underserved regions.

A Novel Mechanism of Silencing Transposable Elements

Denisse Rojas : Integrative Biology, Sociology

Mentor: Professor Robert Fischer

Transposable elements (TEs) are movable pieces of DNA that can have detrimental effects in the plant genome. When TEs are expressed, they can disrupt normal gene function. Small RNAs (siRNAs) direct DNA methylation, which signals other proteins to prevent TE expression. Previous studies show that methylation patterns in the endosperm affect silencing of TEs in the embryo, and propose that siRNAs from the central cell, a female supporting germ cell, mediate TE silencing in the egg cell. Denisse will test the idea that siRNAs move from the central cell to the egg cell and silence TE expression in the egg cell. To achieve this goal, she will generate transgenic plants that produce specific siRNA-like molecules in the central cell and will determine if they move to the egg cell.

When Hot Money Turns Cold: An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Bond Spreads in the Euro-Area

Joseph Root : Economics, Applied Mathematics

Mentor: Professor Barry Eichengreen

Since the onset of the financial crisis, many European countries have seen the financial base of their economies dissipate. Fueled largely by high levels of debt and market malaise, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and others have been forced to implement excruciating austerity measures to prevent financial collapse. Despite the ubiquity of bond markets, academic economists continue to speculate about the various forces that govern the fluctuation in market evaluation of risk. Joseph’s research will attempt to clarify the role that market sentiment plays in determining interest rates by looking at data from the most recent financial crisis. Understanding the role of sentiment will be crucial for developing international financial policies aimed at insuring against market instability.

The Interface of Epistemologies: Repatriation and Collaboration in Anthropological Inquiry

Niku T'arhechu T'arhesi : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor William Hanks

The vintage anthropological enterprise typically derived from the researcher’s gaze on a non-Western society, in turn, producing the simultaneous exoticism and denigration of the so-called “primitive”. An anthropological production of knowledge relied on the holistic gathering of data—a process many times resulting in the researcher's, the museum's, or the university’s claim to ownership of material and immaterial cultural heritage. Contemporary anthropologists seek to exorcise the vintage specter by engaging in collaborative repatriation projects with indigenous communities. One such collaborative repatriation project developed when the Warao indigenous inhabitants of Mariusa, Venezuela requested copies of shamanic chants, divine narratives, and histories from Professor Charles Briggs. Niku T’arhechu T’arhesi will conduct fieldwork in Mariusa in order to observe the collaboration process and uncover underlying power dynamics, methods of organization, and conflict resolution.

Elucidating Mechanisms of Fine Genetic Control by a sRNA in Pathogenic Bacterium Salmonella typhimurium

Elton Chan : Molecular and Cell Biology/Microbial Biology

Mentor: Professor Fenyong Liu

The bacterium Salmonella is a significant cause of food-borne disease. Its pathogenesis depends on the type III secretion systems (T3SSs) that were acquired by horizontal gene transfer; the invasion of Salmonella into the host cells requires appropriate expression of T3SSs. Recent research has identified small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) as a class of regulators that fine tune gene expression required for bacterial physiology and pathogenesis. Elton will investigate the specific interaction between one of these newly discovered Salmonella sRNA and its predicted candidate targets; he will characterize the interaction between IsrM and its cognate targets, HilE and SopA, and identify the mechanisms of these interactions. The research work on the interaction between this sRNA and its targets will contribute towards a more complete understanding of the molecular coordination of Salmonella pathogenesis.

Exploring the Mechanism of Protein Scaffolding Toward Improved Metabolic Flux

Susan Chen : Bioengineering/Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor John Dueber

Metabolic engineering has the potential to provide environmentally friendly routes for the synthesis of a variety of molecules, including therapeutics and biofuels. One way to improve the flux of metabolic pathways is the use of synthetic protein scaffolds that colocalize enzymes in the engineered mevalonate biosynthesis pathway. Susan's project tests the hypothesis that optimal scaffolds of certain architectures mimic substrate channeling and function by forming large, oligomeric complexes that bring scaffolds into close proximity. Adaptor molecules are synthesized that co-assemble scaffolds to designably control complex size. Mevalonate product titers will be measured using GCMS, and protein colocalization will be verified by fluorescence imaging. The successful engineering of this adaptor strategy can be applied to other pathways due to its modularity.

Women in a Landscape of Change

Louisa deCossy : Art Practice

Mentor: Professor Katherine Sherwood

The recent influx of modernity and opportunity into Ireland has profoundly affected the country’s social, geographical and cultural framework. In response to growing social pressure and the relaxation of the power of the Catholic Church, Ireland has changed many repressive laws regarding divorce and homosexuality and has closed antiquated institutions, such as the Magdalen Laundries. Louisa will research the effects of these changes on the social fabric of Ireland by interviewing women from different facets of Irish society regarding their newly emerging cultural identity. She will also visit historical and geographical sites that are suggested by the interviewees. Utilizing the mediums of film, photography and landscape painting, Louisa will draw on both new and old traditions to illustrate a changing portrait of Ireland and the women that live there.

Role of Peripheral Participants and Staging in Platonic Dialogues

Amin Ebrahimi Afrouzi : Rhetoric

Mentor: Professor Daniel Boyarin

Platonic dialogues usually consist of an interrogative discourse between Socrates and his interlocutor, situated in a specific setting, much like a stage, with other people present and participating somehow. Amin will investigate the role of “peripheral” participants and the staging of the dialogue in some essential texts known to be mostly concerning modes of discourse, namely Gorgias and Protagoras, as well as two early dialogues, "Crito" and "Meno". Amin will examine these texts in the light of modern theories of discourse and performance while paying specific attention to cultural significations and the spatial staging of both the ancient Athenian forum and a modern U.S. courtroom. Amin's analysis involves a comparison of the relations between the platonic characters and their relation to the staging of the dialogue.

A Specter Haunting South Africa': Cuba’s Symbolic Importance in the South African Anti-Apartheid Struggle, 1975-1991

Margaux Fitoussi : History

Mentor: Professor David Cohen

Revolutionary Cuba provided international support and financial assistance to the liberation movements throughout southern African. Cuba’s foreign policy of “international revolution” and its liberation discourse crossed boundaries erected by the apartheid state and influenced the South African emancipation movement. Despite a strong public rapport between Cuba and anti-Apartheid leaders, the majority of research on Cuba’s foreign policy towards Africa has excluded South Africa. Drawing on archival research conducted at the University of Cape Town and South African national archives, Margaux hopes to contribute to the analysis of Cuba’s symbolic significance to the anti-Apartheid struggle. She will trace the origin of Cuba’s involvement in the South Africa liberation movement beginning in 1975 with Cuba’s increase of support to African revolutionary movements and ending in 1991 with Nelson Mandela’s visit to Cuba.

The Loneliest Brides in America: Japanese War Brides and African American Servicemen After WWII

Sonia Gomez : History

Mentor: Professor Waldo Martin

Immediately following the end of World War II, the United States stationed nearly 450,000 troops in Japan. The U.S. occupation of Japan led to intimate relationships between American Servicemen and Japanese women, resulting in a large number of marriages. Between 1947 and 1975, an estimated 45,000 Japanese women immigrated to the United States as wives of U.S. Servicemen. Most scholarship on the subject focuses on the relationships between Japanese war brides and White American GIs. However, a significant number of these Japanese women came to the United States with their African American husbands; yet their stories remain largely untold. Through extensive archival research and oral histories, Sonia will re-examine gender and race relations in the post-war United States through the lens of the Japanese war bride and African-American GI.

Disability Studies, Disabled Student Services: Making the Link in Physical Education at UC Berkeley

Matthew Grigorieff : Women's Studies/American Studies, Disability Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Charis Thompson

In the spring of 2009, UC Berkeley (UCB) offered 98 courses in their Physical Education Department-- none designed for disabled students. Forty years after UCB helped forge a civil rights movement for people with disabilities, neither Berkeley nor any UC has a plan or program for addressing the fitness needs of the disabled. Matthew hopes to address that deficiency. He will create and evaluate a pilot program to create boxing opportunities for the disabled, and travel to learn the successes and limitations of several other California adaptive fitness programs, creating a documentary film and enhanced thesis with his findings. He will then initiate fundraising efforts in order to develop a sustainable plan that can be offered for the disabled population at UCB, and in time replicated at other universities.

Surveillance of Permanent Workers in a Temporary Economy

Hector Gutiérrez : Ethnic Studies

Mentor: Victoria Robinson, Lecturer

Current research on Latino masculinity is just beginning to address the rich diversity of gendered experiences found among Latino men, suggesting that Latino men, like all men, are gendered in and through various ways. Still unaddressed, however, are the various different ways in which jornaleros (day laborers) are gendered, disrupting the assertion of a monolithic “Latino male experience". Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews with jornaleros at two East Bay sites, Hector's study will add valuable insight into gender understandings. Exploring attitudes during the current economic downturn, it will reveal how gender understandings change as day laborers exist in the absence of the home family, and “domestic duties” like cleaning cooking, and washing are allocated within a street family that cushions the negative experiences of under-employment and job loss.

Workin' Man Blues: Negotiating Class and Gender in a Downwardly Mobile Timber Community

Katherine Hood : Sociology

Mentor: Professor Michael Hout

While the recent economic downturn has brought national attention to the plight of the newly unemployed, downward mobility has been a steady feature of American society for generations. For Americans, however, downward mobility means facing not only declining economic prospects, but also the stigma of violating a cherished cultural norm: the pursuit of the American dream and the achievement of upward mobility. Katherine will travel to rural Oregon to conduct in-depth interviews with people affected by the decline of the timber industry, a once booming business that offered a chance at a middle class lifestyle. Katherine will look at how the loss of both socioeconomic status and the traditionally masculine identities tied to this work shape rural residents' relationship to larger cultural expectations surrounding opportunity and success in America.

Modeling the Impact of Variations in Land Use on Carbon Sequestration Service of Atlantic Forest in São Paulo State, Brazil

Mio Kitayama : Economics/Molecular Environmental Biology

Mentor: Professor Richard Norgaard

Rapid land use transformation worldwide in recent years raises a demand for models that simulate the impacts of different land use policies on the local ecosystems and its services for human well-being. Mio will join a team in Brazil and devise a mathematical model that estimates the impacts of local land use choices on the carbon sequestration abilities of Atlantic Forest. She will integrate the devised model into “Multiscale, Integrated Models of Ecosystem Services (MIMES)”, which collaboratively simulates the impacts of different land use policies on ecosystem services provided by the forest. This research will contribute to the development of effective land management policies that lead to sustainable conservation of Atlantic Forest. Furthermore, identifying the benefits, requirements and limitations of the modeling methods will provide valuable references for future studies.

The Presence of Arthuriana in the Philippines: An Analysis of A Filipino Arthurian text

Stefanie Matabang : English/Celtic Studies

Mentor: Professor Joi Barrios

This project sets out to examine the acquisition of the Arthurian literary cycle by the canon of Filipino literature. Focusing on the only two Filipino translated Arthurian texts, Tablante de Ricamonte and Percibal, Stefanie will be doing analytical and comparative work on the texts and the Spanish counterparts from which they are derived. Traveling to Chicago and the Philippines, she will gain access to these 19th century, medieval-influenced manuscripts and in the Philippines, have the opportunity to consult with the “mother of Filipino folklore,” scholar Damiana L. Eugenio. Her ultimate goal is to ascertain what original elements of the tradition have been maintained in the translations and to determine what Filipino literature has contributed to the greater Arthurian literary cycle.

The 'Russian Geisha': Commodity of a Commodity

Ekaterina Moiseeva : Political Science

Mentor: Professor M. Steven Fish

Conventionally, the word “sex-worker” creates an image of an economically deprived, uneducated and socially isolated female who enters the sex market as a last resort to survive. The word “sex-work” is almost synonymous to “dirty” work. In her project, Ekaterina will examine Russian females who travel to Japan as hostesses and engage in the sex trade, to present a new image of sex workers who are financially secure and accepted by families and the society as they earn enormous amounts of money. Ekaterina will travel to Russia and Japan to conduct in-depth interviews and participant observation. She hopes to explain the phenomena of the new type of sex-workers by exploring Marx’s ideas of “commodities fetishism” and Soviet-caused goods inaccessibility.

Uncovering the Genesis of Omagua: A Contact Language of Peruvian Amazonia

Zachary O'Hagan : Linguistics

Mentor: Professor Lev Michael

Most languages spoken today are of roughly direct descent from other, perhaps extinct, languages. Latin is the famous progenitor of the Romance languages. However, the pre-history of some languages is not one of direct descent, but rather of contact, or mixture. Omagua is a highly endangered, pre-Columbian contact language of Peruvian Amazonia, with only two remaining speakers. Building off of previous work, Zachary will conduct eight weeks of fieldwork in Peru. With more comprehensive linguistic data, he will employ standard historical-linguistic methods to determine the languages involved in the genesis of Omagua and sketch the socio-cultural and grammatical results of contact. Zachary’s work will contribute to research on contact languages generally, as well as shed light on the interactions and movements of indigenous populations before the advent of Europeans.

Inventing a Language of Wilderness: A Cultural Study of Yosemite and Surrounding Areas

Jessica Pizzagoni : Geography

Mentor: Proffesor Paul Groth

John Muir once stated, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” California's National Parks, renowned for their beauty and history, draw visitors from around the world and reflect John Muir’s sentiment. Yet, each person has their own ideas and perceptions about the parks and their personal definitions of wilderness. Can Bourdieu's "cultural capital", or preferences associated with class differences, help explain these distinctions? With the use of ethnographic interviews, Jessica will connect how people visit these parks with their individual perceptions of nature. Her hope is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the cultural, economic and historical implications of the park system, as well as to efforts to preserve the parks.

Specific Heat Measurements of Silicon Nanowires for Improved Thermoelectrics

Jason Ross : Physics

Mentor: Professor Frances Hellman

Jason's research group has recently developed the nanocalorimeter, a membrane-based calorimeter which has ten times less addenda heat capacity than any known calorimeter, allowing for the first accurate measurements of nanogram sized samples. With this, Jason proposes to measure the specific heat of silicon nanowires in response to recent thermal transport studies. These studies have found that the thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires decreases with decreasing nanowire diameter. Such a characteristic means silicon nanowires have a big future in clean energy thermoelectric devices. But before we can properly exploit them in technology, their thermal dynamics must be better understood. Directly related to the phonon density of states, specific heat will help Jason explain the decrease in thermal conductivity by investigating phenomena such as phonon confinement and surface vibrational states.

Molecular Characterization of a piRNA Biogenesis Protein

Alison Smith : Chemical Biology, Dance & Performance Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Jennifer Doudna

RNA interference (RNAi) is a rapidly expanding field of research that promises to yield a better understanding of how cells regulate their environments through RNAi mediated gene silencing pathways. Harnessing RNAi’s transformative properties may prove to be a powerful methodology for developing effective, cell-specific drugs, thus reducing harm and unwanted side effects. Alison’s project involves reconstituting the piRNA biogenesis machinery in vitro; specifically, elucidating the role of the protein, Squash. piRNAs are a recently discovered class of small regulatory RNAs that are thought to facilitate transposon silencing through RNAi, thereby protecting the genome from the deleterious effects of insertional mutagenesis, some of which have been implicated in cancer cell life cycles. Understanding these key mechanisms of gene regulation could radically transform the treatment of many genetically-linked diseases.

Construction of a Novel, Cryogen-free, Self-contained Dilution Refrigerator

Yu-Dong Sun : Materials Science and Engineering

Mentor: Professor Irfan Siddiqi

Technologies based on superconducting quantum systems have contributed significantly to the development of high precision magnetic sensors and quantum bits. These experiments require ultra-low temperatures which are achieved by dilution refrigerators. In contrast to conventional dilution refrigerators, which generally require a continuous supply of liquid helium and complex circulation systems, the dilution refrigerator Yu-Dong aims to construct will not use liquid cryogens and mechanical pumps. This will be accomplished by integrating a 2-Kelvin pulse tube cryostat with a self-contained dilution unit prototype from Chase Cryogenics, to further lower the base temperature to 50 milli-Kelvin. This novel dilution refrigerator will be fully computer controlled to optimize cool-down and hold-time, serving as an easy to use, fast cycling system for experiments on superconducting quantum mechanical systems.

The Cerebellum's Contribution to Cognition and Learning

Tawny Tsang : Psychology, Music (minor)

Mentor: Professor Richard Ivry

Contrary to previously held beliefs, the cerebellum is not restricted to activities involving motor control. It participates in a variety of cognitive functions from attention to verbal working memory. This can be attributed to its connectivity with regions of the cortex that are involved in learning and memory. Previous research suggests that the cerebellum may be more involved in metric-based rather than rule-based or categorical learning. Tawny's project will examine that hypothesis and investigate the cerebellum’s contribution to specific types of learning as well as the role of feedback on cerebellar learning. She will use behavioral and neuropsychological methods to piece together how the cerebellum could be involved in a wide variety of processes and present a more general understanding of its role in learning and cognition.

Mapping the Non-Spectacle: A Counter-narrative to the 2010 South Africa World Cup

Jonathan Wang : Art Practice/Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Greg Niemeyer

At the edge of the city, beyond the stadiums newly built to house South Africa’s 2010 World Cup, are clusters of temporary relocation areas that have come to house tens of thousands of South Africa’s internally displaced urban peoples. Jonathan will travel to South Africa to visually document and map the dialectic relationships between these distinct spaces of exception through photography, video, and open-source mapping technologies. He will also be working with Ikamva Youth to teach mapping and photography workshops designed to create open-source maps of neighborhoods of the Delft region of Cape Town. With the collected imagery he will produce a film and multi-media art installation designed to immerse the audience in the vivid spectrum of sites and structures that fabricate such transnational spectacle events.

World War II War Crimes Trials Against Japanese War Criminals Conducted by the Chinese Nationalists from 1946 to 1949

Chang Cai : History/Business Administration

Mentor: David Cohen, Rhetoric

While there has been great scholarly interest in international tribunals such as the Nuremberg and Tokyo, little research has been done on Allied national efforts to prosecute the Japanese in the post-WWII era. Over 700 Chinese nationalist trials were conducted between 1946 and 1949 against the Japanese at twelve different locations in China. This is a wonderful example of domestic applications of an emerging body of international law. While an analysis of the trial judgments is an important part of the project, Chang will also closely examine the Chinese nationalist government's involvement in the trials. Chang will travel to London to do research at the National Archives of the United Kingdom, which house important documents on the Chinese nationalists and their influence on the tribunals.

Nor Meekly Serve My Time': Irish Political Prisoners and the Struggle for Legitimacy within the Penal Systems of the United Kingdom and Ireland, 1916-1946

Thomas Carey : History

Mentor: Professor James Vernon

In political struggle, establishing the legitimacy of a cause is the key to founding and maintaining popular support. How then, do political prisoners labeled as "criminals" and "terrorists" by the governments they oppose proceed to gain a semblance of legitimacy? With this question in mind, Thomas will examine the condition of Irish political prisoners within the context of the modern British and Irish penal systems. He will trace the evolution of governmental and institutional policies, aimed at containing Nationalist combatants and suspected sympathizers, which exploited modes of extralegal incarceration. In addition, he will examine responses by prisoners who engaged in acts of protest --both to improve their material conditions and as propaganda to further the Nationalist cause -- as part of a coercive dialogue between themselves and the state.

Kinetic Constant Determination of Multidrug Efflux Pump

Cheng Chen : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor Hiroshi Nikaido

Multidrug efflux pump, which sometimes pumps out almost all of the commonly used antibiotics, plays a major role in bacterial resistance. The design of better antibiotics which will overcome this mechanism will require knowledge of the kinetic behavior of this pumping process. Recently, Cheng participated in a study that determined the kinetic constants for one class of antibiotics, cephalosporins. In this project Cheng will be using other antibiotics as the potential competitor of the cephalosporin flux to develop a more complete understanding of kinetic behavior of the pump. The knowledge of kinetic constants for various antibiotics will allow design of more suitable compounds that will evade the multidrug efflux process and will be effective in the treatment of human infections in the 21st century.

(De)Formation of Body Protocols: Dance's Changing Ontology in the Choreography of Meg Stuart and Sasha Waltz

Lauren Crow : Dance and Performance Studies

Mentor: Professor Shannon Steen

Modernity is characterized by its inclination towards increased speed, production, and efficiency. In most commercially viable theater dance productions this manifests itself as the propensity for constant motion and the execution of virtuosic movement. However, Berlin based choreographers Meg Stuart and Sasha Waltz disrupt dance's ontology and escape the homogenizing temporalities of modernity by incorporating slower motion and stillness in their choreography. Through an analysis of their creative work, Lauren will expose discursive possibilities pertaining to the body, consumerism, and individualism in relation to both Western cultural theory and traditions of contemporary theater dance. After conducting ethnographic and movement research in Berlin, Lauren will investigate the critical distinctions between the social context of Stuart's and Waltz's work in comparison with dance practice and scholarship in the United States.

Building an Urban Wilderness

Benjamin Golder : Architecture

Mentor: Professor Nicholas de Monchaux

The fact that wilderness can be literally built is a profound one, especially in this era of ecological crisis. Wild plants and animal species are rapidly being lost due to climate change and loss of habitat. What if wildlife were built into the fabric of the city? What if the city, often regarded as the antithesis of wilderness, nurtured a variety of plant and animal life in the midst of dense urban centers? Ben will produce designs for the construction of wildlife habitat at a sample urban site, incorporating Geographic Information Systems and a variety of new environmental analysis tools and media into the design process. Ben will regularly present his project to solicit criticism from faculty and guest jurors, making numerous models and illustrations to accompany his written thesis.

Targeted Genome Modification Using Zinc Finger Nucleases

Michael Goldrich : Molecular and Cell Biology/Public Health

Mentor: Professor Sharon Amacher

Genetic work with model organisms, such as fruit flies, mice, and zebrafish, has provided invaluable insights into the mechanisms behind human disease and development. One tool for creating these models is direct modification of the genome. Michael is optimizing the use of reagents, called zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), in order to create specific and targeted modifications in the DNA sequence of a very genetically tractable system, the zebrafish. Using ZFNs, genes can possibly be directly targeted to express desired proteins, incorporate molecular tags, or can even be repaired by a corrected template. He will develop assays to quantify ZFN-mediated targeting and optimize conditions to improve targeting efficiency, with the goal of making this technology broadly accessible to and widely used within the scientific community.

Lyric in Public: Exploring Lyric Subjectivity and the Outdoor Advertisement Through Ekphrastic Poetry

Shawna Gubera : English

Mentor: Cecil Giscombe

Shawna will travel to New York and Los Angeles to collect her primary text, which will be an extensive photographic record of static advertisements displayed in public space. Using this index of images, along with personal interviews gathering individuals' responses to advertising, she will produce a collection of lyric poetry that investigates the boundary between the poetic arts and an image-oriented culture. By means of ekphrasis, an aesthetic technique traditionally used to mediate between two art forms, these poems will render the visual constituents of advertising imagery into the temporally distinct realities of linguistic and textual representation. Her research into picture theory, iconology and lyricism will contribute towards an intent to posit and express persuasive images' resonance within a poetic speaker's subjectivity, and address poetry's remarkable separation from public life.

Glocal' Biomedicine: Reformulating Expertise and Epistemology in a Yemen Hospital

Ashwak Hauter : Anthropology/Development Studies

Mentor: Professor Stefania Pandolfo

In the last 20 years, Yemen experienced a civil war, discontinued aid from the gulf countries, and reforms that cut spending towards health care. Ashwak's project explores how Yemeni doctors and lay persons view foreign western medicine in comparison to Yemen's western medicine and how they use communicative practices (Hanks 1996) to explicitly and implicitly co-construct and reproduce these views. This will give insight and space to investigate how medical discourse in Yemen influences consumption and choice of medical practices when faced with the option of local and foreign operated medical institutes. For this project, Ashwak will conduct ethnographic work supplemented by conversational analysis of semi-structured interviews with patients, the accompanying parties, the physicians, the nurses, and the nearby locals at both the Yemen-German and al-Thawrah Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen.

Electrochemical Characterization of First-Row Transition Metal Corrole Complexes for Use as Oxygen Reduction Catalysts

Brendon McNicholas : Chemistry

Mentor: John Arnold, Chemistry

Research in alternative energy has become increasingly urgent in recent years due to constantly increasing pollution and depletion of traditional energy sources. One of the most compelling devices in the field is the fuel cell, a means for converting hydrogen and oxygen into useful energy. To contribute to the advancement of the field of alternative energy, this thesis aims to further the characterization of an oxygen reduction catalyst for a PEM fuel cell. Literature has shown that certain first-row transition metal corrole complexes are active for catalytic oxygen reduction, and the project’s primary objective is to electrochemically characterize these complexes to determine which compounds are most effective in oxygen reduction catalysis.

At the beginning of this summer, I was unsure of what to expect from my research experience. This was the first time I was working on an independent research project full-time. I had a lot of ideas about what data I wanted to collect, what I wanted to learn, and what I wanted to accomplish in these three months. It was both exciting and slightly unnerving to think about the project that lay before me. I decided that I was going to give it my all and attempt to use the experience to both accomplish a significant amount on a project about which I am very passionate and to grow as a chemist and researcher.

Throughout the summer, there were many stumbles along the way. I took these issues in stride and reminded myself that this was an integral part of the research process. It was not uncommon for me to collect data for two days, only to find out that the data was incorrect due to one small parameter. In reality, these mistakes were actually a positive result. Using mistakes as a learning tool so one understands more and prevents these mistakes in the future is crucial. Also, having consistent discussions with my mentor and other advisors made mistakes even more fruitful, as talking about them with experienced researchers sparked ideas and learning.

Because of the Haas Scholars program, I was able to travel to Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I worked with our research group’s collaborator on my project. This experience was extremely beneficial due to the one-on-one interaction with an experienced electrochemist who was able to clear up all misunderstandings and confusions I had about the techniques and theory of electrochemistry. The opportunity to perform research in a different location was also extremely beneficial, as conducting research in a new environment brings fresh perspective to one’s work.

In terms of the progress that I made on my project, I am very content. Even though I did not collect every piece of data I hoped to gather, I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of understanding of theory and applications of electrochemistry I gained. As many others have said about summer research and the Haas Scholars program, the summer flies by, and one wonders where the time has gone. Being passionate and excited about my project made the summer very enjoyable. This experience has reaffirmed my desire to continue with research in chemistry and has given me a great deal of experience in what to expect from graduate school. The most important thing is to cherish the opportunity and not get discouraged when one's project goes awry. Having an open group of colleagues who are going through the same research experience as myself provides an excellent support system and outlet for discussion of issues and generation of ideas. I am very happy with how my summer turned out, and I hope the school year continues to generate exciting results!

Characterization of Fine Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms of a Bacterial sRNA in the Virulence of a Foodborne Pathogen ̶ Salmonella Typhimurium

Laura Carolina Rodriguez-Adjunta : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Fenyong Liu, Public Health

Salmonella is the leading source of food-borne diseases in the United States. Infection by Salmonella Typhimurium causesdiseases ranging from self-limiting gastroenteritis to life-threatening systemic infection, provoking around 1.3 billion cases every year worldwide. Moreover, no vaccine to prevent salmonellosis exists. Recently, 19 small noncoding bacterial RNAs (sRNAs) located in salmonella SPIs were discovered, of which IsrC is one of the newest forms. Bacterial sRNAs regulate the expression of their target genes in pathogenesis, essentially contributing to bacterial invasiveness. My research will focus on the interaction between IsrC and its predicted target, HilE, a global negative regulator of salmonella virulence genes. This research seeks to further clarify the role of sRNAs in the molecular pathogenesis of salmonella virulence as well as increase the possibility of developing new strategies against bacterial infection, thus lowering salmonella infection rates. 

HIV, Gender, Belonging, and the State: Reflections from Post-Conflict Northern Uganda

Minda Murphy : Anthropology

Mentor: Lawrence Cohen, Anthropology

Northern Uganda is in the early years of recovery following a twenty year civil war which devastated the region. For an entire decade of that war, nearly two million people from Acholiland were forcibly displaced from their homes and detained in internment camps, living as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), refugees in their own country. With the vast majority of the camps now closed, and the Acholi community working to rebuild villages, homes, and infrastructure, new challenges have arisen. Minda’s work in Acholiland will seek to identify the barriers of access to HIV treatment and prevention that former IDP returnee women are experiencing, examine how HIV healthcare is situated as a function of post-displacement recovery, and explore the discourse and practices of humanitarian and medical stakeholders.