Hakeem Naim

It is well known that the Ottoman Empire had deep influence in the Middle East and South East Europe for many centuries. However, the Ottoman impact on Afghanistan, especially in the late 19th and early 20th century, is less commonly acknowledged despite its relevance to our understanding of contemporary problems in the region. To fill this void, Hakeem will study the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Afghanistan, in which Islam was used as a political tool. Hakeem will conduct research in both Turkey and Afghanistan in order to examine documents, letters, and declassified information from various archives and libraries. His study will culminate in an analysis of the historical, cultural, political and religious concepts within the understanding of the Ottoman and Afghans in the early 20th century.

Nathan Menard

Lying hidden between the better discussed consequences of environmental degradation and destruction of the 21st century is an equal pressing issue that is receiving little attention: environmental refugee women. Grassroots Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have recently begun making concerted efforts to address issues of environmental refugee women, yet little research has been done to assess their effectiveness. Nathen’s research will address this gap in knowledge by engaging with NGOs in China, India, and Nicaragua. Nathen will spend time in the field observing the NGO and their projects and also conducting in-depth interviews with NGO personnel and NGO project participants. He hopes that the findings of this research provide policy makers, donors, and environmental NGOs and their participants with the knowledge necessary to address these issues more effectively.

Annie Lin

Past research on the service sector indicates that workers often suffer from negative psychological consequences when forced by their managers to be friendly. Workers, workers’ rights advocates, businesspeople, and scholars alike have therefore searched for ways to set up the work environment such that workers will be friendly even without management coercion. Taking this search effort into an under-researched sector, Annie will join electronics retail teams this summer to examine how companies’ encouragement of relationship-building between employees and customers affects employees’ likelihood of providing “voluntary” friendliness. Annie will sell electronic gadgets and give tutorials of computers while conducting ethnographic research and in-depth interviews.

Hillary Langberg

Hillary’s research will take her to the states of Maharashtra and Orissa in central India, to the ancient Buddhist sites of Kanheri, Ellora, Aurangabad, and Ratnagiri, among others, where the earliest relief sculptures of Tara remain in situ. In tracking the early evolution Tara’s form, Hillary’s project will examine how the goddess is increasingly incorporated into Buddhist practice in the 5th-8th centuries CE. As Tara eventually becomes the most significant female figure in Buddhism with the rise of the Vajrayana (Tantric) school, Hillary’s study asks, can these works of relief sculpture – as visual texts – tell us as much as the written word about developing Vajrayana ritual technology? An examination into the origin and early evolution of Tara in Buddhist art, she hopes, will contribute to a better understanding of how and when Tantric Buddhism developed in India (and what it looked like).

Anthony Vasquez

During the summer Anthony will be excavating an archaeological site near the UC Berkeley campus that was designated as female student housing from the 1920s to mid 1940s. Using both material culture collected during excavation and archival documents, Anthony will do a comparative study between the lives of male and female UC Berkeley students of the time period. Sites associated with Zeta Psi, the first fraternity in California, have already been excavated, providing Anthony a wealth of information on all-male living situations. Finding archaeological data on all-female situations is not as easy. Anthony hopes the excavation will unearth clues as to how female Cal students were maneuvering through a patriarchal society at a time when gender roles were in flux.

Marie Thuillier

In July 2008, the French government finally listed Cauchois, the Norman dialect spoken in Seine Maritime, as an official language of France. Until then, the very existence of a Norman language, and hence of Cauchois had been denied. Similarly, many speakers of the dialect have often and inaccurately defined the language as either “dead” or as a non-standard version of French. In recent years, however, diverse social groups have actively reclaimed and promoted Cauchois. Marie’s research will investigate the discourses and strategies used by different groups to either reject or support the recognition and preservation of Cauchois. It will further investigate the attitudes of Cauchois users from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The latter are from the Jumiges Loop, a small Cauchois-speaking area in the Northern part of the Seine Valley.

James Suchy

Within the past decade, bed bugs have made a startling reemergence in major cities throughout the developed world. Some attribute this epidemic to increasing international travel and trade, evolved pesticide resistance among bed bugs, and the banning of highly lethal chemicals, such as DDT. Nevertheless, these current conditions necessitate the creation of new, environmentally friendlier, pest-control strategies. The dispersal ecology of bed bugs is poorly understood. Studying their response to various forms of stimulation would reveal information about their behavior that could be utilized in controlling infestations. James will monitor the behavior response of bed bugs to three forms of environmental stimulation: aggregation pheromone, human perspiration, and heat. To further assess real-world application, James will work with laboratory and wild bed bug strains in both a lab and household environment.

Gregg Sparkman

While navigating the world, we must discover if either we need to prioritize ourselves first, as others will, so that we may succeed, or if people will be there for us so that we may likewise be able to support others. Gregg’s project will explore this decisive process by focusing on whether pro-social vocal bursts, like a compassionate ‘aww,’ will lead individuals to behave more pro-socially in socio-economic games. The study asks if emotional, non-word cues observed in the general social environment will cause similar cooperative (or competitive) behaviors and a physiological change accompanying this disposition. The impact of something smaller than a word on socio-economic behavior could illuminate the significance and spectrum of conveyed emotions, contributing to and bridging the growing literature on pro-social emotions, physiology, and behavior.

Ali Rathore

The resurgent interest in renewable energy within recent years has confirmed that solar energy conversion will be key to the global energy economy. However, the vast majority of modern commercial photovoltaic technology is based on expensive single crystalline silicon and does not provide a practical solution for a sustainable energy infrastructure. Modern research in thin film and nanostructure photovoltaics has been motivated by the requirement of low cost and robust fabrication techniques. Ali will be employing novel fabrication procedures to grow high density arrays of vertical nanowires in order produce cheap and durable solar cells. The objective is to exploit recent advances in applied physics, chemistry, and material science to produce inexpensive yet efficient photovoltaics with potential to stimulate further progress towards the goal of a clean, renewable energy source.

Vanessa Voss

The goal of this project is to expand our understanding of the role social status plays in the etiology of depression. In humans, there is a strong inverse relationship between social status and depression. Those at the top of their social hierarchy experience less depression compared to those at the bottom. Our laboratory has developed a basic animal model which will allow us to explore the causal relationships between social status and depression. Vanessa will be tracking rats before, during and after hierarchy formation to determine which comes first, the social rank or the depression profiles. Her work will culminate in a psychology senior honors thesis and significantly advance our understanding of the complex nature of social status and mental health.