Devouring Our History: An Inquiry into the Destruction of California Rock Art

Melissa’s interdisciplinary inquiry into the destruction of pre-historic rock art sites in California promises to shed new light on a relatively new but important field of archeological preservation. Through a combination of library research and field work in Mexico and the United States, Melissa will attempt to account for the neglect of these visual images left by ancient hunter-gatherer societies and to argue for the importance of their conservation and preservation. In addition to launching her Anthropology Senior Honors Thesis this summer, Melissa will be acquiring skills in a variety of archeological field methods in preparation for a professional career as an archeological researcher and conservator.

...Read More about Melissa Florence Baird

The Commedia Workshop

Combining rigorous academic inquiry with the living practice of theater arts, Laura will be researching commedia dell’arte , a style of masked improvisational comedy that flourished in Italy during the Renaissance. She will devote herself to historical research and practical training this summer and will develop, rehearse and produce a commedia dell’arte production during the academic year, using a cast and crew comprised of Berkeley students. Laura plans to revive this dramatic art form in a historically informed way for the benefit of the entire University community, staging her production, along with a related panel presentation, at the Haas Spring Research Conference. As a further goal, she intends that the cast of the Commedia Workshop will continue to function as a UC Berkeley commedia dell’arte theater troupe after the conclusion of her Haas research project.

...Read More about Laura Anne Brueckner

Contemporary American Utopias: Diverse Intentional Communities from a Young Feminist Perspective

Kaci’s project creatively links a study of contemporary intentional communities with the rich history of nineteenth century utopian experiments in the United States. Kaci plans a road trip this summer that will take her to five very different cooperative living communities in Los Angeles, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oregon and the Bay Area. In order to dispel the popular notion that the “commune” was born as a concept in the 1960s, Kaci will investigate our national two hundred year history of utopian experiments-both actual and literary-to place her participant-observation studies of young women’s socialization in these modern American utopias in context. Combining academic theory with personal narrative, Kaci’s Women’s Studies Senior Honors Thesis will be deeply grounded in her own personal commitments and experiences as a feminist active in the student cooperative movement.

...Read More about Kaci Faylee Elder

Thioredoxin in Bioremediation

Natalia’s Senior Honors Thesis in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology evolves out of her passionate commitment to contribute to the restoration of the environment, a matter she believes should be a priority for modern society. She will be investigating the molecular mechanisms of selenite detoxification in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, focusing on the function of the proteins thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase in toxic metal biotransformation. The results of her research will lead to improved bioremediation of selenite-contaminated soil and water and, more broadly, to a better understanding of the practical use of bacteria in bioremediation of environments contaminated by toxic metals.

...Read More about Natalia Oleg Glebova

Asian American Prisoners Oral History Project

Sora’s project promises to provide an important corrective to the stereotype of the “model minority” by giving voice to a generally silenced segment of the Asian American community. Through oral histories of incarcerated Asian Americans, Sora seeks to create a more complete and heterogeneous picture of the economic, social, political and cultural issues facing Asian Americans today. Sora will supplement her use of oral histories with more traditional research methodologies, in order to investigate thoroughly the situation and position of incarcerated Asian Americans and to improve our understanding of their encounter with the United States criminal justice system.

...Read More about Sora Yoon Han

The Irish-Mexican Connection: A Model for Coalition Building

Alison’s Peace and Conflict Studies Senior Honors Thesis will examine the specific coalition-building efforts that have taken place historically and in the present between Irish and Mexican peoples. Alison will travel this summer both to Mexico and to Northern Ireland in order to meet with Irish nationals who are involved in the struggle for indigenous people’s rights in Chiapas. In addition, she will be researching coalition work in the United States between Irish Americans and Mexican Americans, looking particularly at the San Patricios, an organization that commemorates Saint Patrick’s (San Patricios) Brigade, an Irish-American regiment in the American-Mexican War who deserted the U.S. Army to fight on the side of the Mexicans. Through this specific case of interethnic coalition-building, Alison hopes to uncover a useful paradigm for understanding how people of differing ethnic and racial backgrounds can find common ground through a strong civil society based on non-governmental organizations.

...Read More about Alison Joy Harrington

Taiwanese Aborigines and the Education Dilemma

Kabrina will undertake a field-study of the indigenous people of Taiwan, who were colonized by Han immigrants from mainland China in the late-seventeenth century, focusing specifically on their attitudes toward education. Using surveys and interviews with several targeted youth and adult populations in the city of Taitung, she will attempt to ascertain the factors that have impeded this minority group from using education as a means of improving their socio-economic status. She intends her research to provide information that will aid in the development of a new aboriginal education assistance program in Taiwan, as well as to shed light on the broader question of the factors which inhibit the integration of minority groups into modern mainstream societies.

...Read More about Kabrina Kau

Self-Elimination' in Higher Education: An Analysis of Latino High School Seniors' Decision-Making in Applying to Four-Year Colleges

Mali will investigate how Latino seniors at an inner city high school in Oakland make decisions about applying to prestigious institutions of higher education such as the University of California at Berkeley. Mali’s project has evolved out of previous fieldwork, in which she uncovered unexpected data suggesting a pattern she terms “self-elimination”: Latino students who were qualified to apply to academically stronger institutions, nevertheless elected to apply to community colleges. In this follow-up study, Mali will use qualitative, “new ethnographic” research methods to gain insight into her student informants’ beliefs, behaviors and self-concepts regarding their higher education goals. The resulting Senior Honors Thesis in Anthropology will have important implications for public policy in the State of California.

...Read More about Malihe S. Kigasari
Social Science

Antibody Catalyzed Protein Folding

Sean’s project addresses two major questions in biochemistry: what is the nature of antibody catalysis, and what is the nature of transiently formed refolding intermediates. He is investigating whether antibodies that have been shown to catalyze conventional chemical reactions can be made specifically to catalyze a protein folding reaction. His project is based on the hypothesis that antibodies can recognize, bind, and stabilize high-energy intermediates of the refolding process, thus accelerating the rate of refolding.

...Read More about Sean Poi Lee

The Influence of the Latino Caucus on the California State Legislature

A joint McNair-Haas Scholar, Maurilio will continue his research into the influence of the Latino Caucus within the California State Legislature, in order to determine its effectiveness in addressing issues that impact the constituencies of its members. Founded in 1973, the Caucus has grown from five members to sixteen members, tripling in size in twenty-five years. With the recent election of the second Latino Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, Latino political leadership has continued to grow. Maurilio’s timely study promises to provide crucial information and analysis about an increasingly important arena of California state politics and policy-making.

...Read More about Maurilio Arreola Leon
Social Science

Establishment of a Kinetic Analysis Framework for the Activity of an RNase P Ribozyme

Kwa’s Senior Honors Thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology will investigate the RNase P ribozyme, which is one of many RNA enzymes being developed as promising gene-targeting reagents to cleave specific RNA sequences. Kwa’s research will establish a kinetic framework to analyze the catalytic mechanism of RNase P ribozyme to cleave a viral mRNA. By determining the ribozyme’s catalytic efficiency, he will provide insight into the engineering of RNase P for antiviral application, with potential therapeutic use in inactivating specific mRNA sequences of infectious viruses such as Herpes Simplex Virus and HIV. In addition to its implications for infectious disease control, Kwa’s research this summer will help him develop necessary skills to pursue his career goal of becoming a molecular biologist.

...Read More about Kwa Yu Liou

Protein Crystallography and Bacterial Resistance

The goal of Shahram’s Senior Honors Thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology is to obtain a detailed picture of the structure of a novel protein, called Acr A, that has recently been discovered to play an essential role in bacterial resistance to certain antibiotics. Using the technique of protein crystallography, Shahram plans to purify large amounts of Acr A protein from bacteria, crystallize the protein, and then study the chemical structure of this protein. His intention is to identify potential weak points that can be attacked by additional drugs, disabling the process by which the bacteria are able to maintain a high level of resistance to otherwise beneficial antibiotics. By discovering the relationship between the protein’s structure and its biochemical function, Shahram hopes to contribute knowledge that will have important applications in the development of medically useful drugs.

...Read More about Shahram Misaghi
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Memory--True or False? Processing and Structure in False Memory

Current Bio: Lillian is proud to be part of the original cohort of the Haas Scholars Program. She completed her Ph.D in Psychology at UC Berkeley with Dr. John Kihlstrom, her Haas Scholar mentor, in 2005. Then she did a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, ON. In 2008, she moved to New York to become a professor of psychology at SUNY Old Westbury, where she is now the Chair of the department. Lillian and her husband are expecting their first child in September. Haas Scholars Project: Lillian will be researching the phenomenon of false recall, in which a person confidently remembers something that did not occur. False memory has been a vexing problem in psychological theory and its clinical and forensic applications. A new paradigm suggests that people spontaneously generate associatively or thematically related material while they encode memories, and later confuse […]

...Read More about Lillian Park
Social Science

Genetic Diversity Among Populations of Phellinus Swieteniae in Mangroves

Through a combination of field-work and laboratory research, Jeri’s project promises to make an important contribution to our understanding of-and our efforts to preserve-the planet’s extraordinarily rich biological diversity. This summer, Jeri will travel to Panama to collect samples of Phellinus swieteniae, a fungal pathogen of black mangroves from six spatially isolated mangrove forests located on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. While in Panama, Jeri will also have the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), one of the leading tropical ecology research institutes in the world, and to meet with leading scientists in the field of biogeography, her intended field of graduate study. During the following academic year, she will complete her research project at UC Berkeley, using modern DNA analysis techniques to determine the amount of genetic diversity that exists within and among the populations of fungi collected.

...Read More about Jeri Lynn Parrent

Orbital Revolution: An Exploration in Visual Conceptual and Physical Communication

Tamarind will create an experiential multimedia performance piece that involves viewers in exploring processes and representations of communication. Live performers will interact with video documentation, photographs and drawings of visual symbols of technological communication, such as satellite dishes, telephone wires and television antennae. In order to add a global dimension to her performance piece, Tamarind will be traveling to Mexico this summer, where she will be researching, collecting and documenting images and interviewing people in Mexico City and Oaxaca City, focusing particularly on the traditional dances of Oaxaca performed during the Fiesta Guelaguetza. “Orbital Revolution” will use images and actions that reflect each other-the dish of the satellite, the curve of the eye, the orbit of the planet, the path of the dancer-to illustrate the many forms of global communication and the human desire to connect.

...Read More about Tamarind A. Rossetti-Johnson

Researching the Recycling Industry in Israel

Ori’s project unites his interest in business with his strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Specifically, he will be focusing on the emerging recycling industry in Israel. Israel presents a particularly interesting case study, because it is a country in which industrialization and expansion continue to progress with only minimal consideration given to their environmental impact, despite generally high educational levels among its citizens/consumers. Ori will begin by studying the organizational structure, government involvement and history of Berkeley’s local recycling system in order to gain a better understanding of the factors that led to its success. He will then travel to Israel in order to do field research on effective strategies for overcoming obstacles to implementing such a model in a localized area in the state of Israel.

...Read More about Ori Adam Skloot
Social Science

Independent Cultual Production vs. the Culture Industry: Performance of Self and Creation of Value in an Eddy of the Mainstream

Using a combination of participant-observation and interview methods, Matt will study a local subculture of “indie” rock musicians, in order to theorize this marginal subculture’s relationship to the mainstream music industry. A community “insider” as both a performer and producer, Matt will be in an excellent position to analyze the community’s unique features and to determine the extent to which it may be pioneering a new type of relationship to the mass culture industry. Matt’s Senior Honors Thesis in Mass Communications will situate the data he collects in the field in the context of the theoretical debates now raging in the fields of cultural studies regarding the relationship between local and mainstream cultural production. In addition, Matt will be producing a photographically illustrated oral history that will document and give voice to this vibrant, creative community.

...Read More about Matthew Wheelock Stahl

The Biomechanics of Walking Backwards

Neil’s project will contribute to our understanding of the biomechanics of human locomotion. By studying backwards walking using human subjects on a treadmill, he hopes to discover how the inverted pendulum mechanism involved in walking is affected by reversing the direction in which human beings normally move. Through further quantitative analysis, Neil intends to determine which biomechanical factors set the metabolic cost of normal walking. The results of his research will have relevant implications for physical therapists and gait-disabled persons, for whom backwards walking is often used as a rehabilitation technique. This project will also help further prepare him for his intended career in biomedical research.

...Read More about Neil Arun Tolani

The Effect of the Turnover on the Catholic Church in Hong Kong

Patrick’s research will focus on the status of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong in the wake of the former colony’s 1997 return to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since 1949, the Vatican has refused to recognize the PRC’S Catholic Church, maintaining its only ties to China through the two European colonies on its southeastern coast: Hong Kong and Macao. Through historical research and contemporary interviews and field-study in Beijing and Hong Kong, Patrick will both examine the historical relationships between the Catholic Church in mainland China and the Vatican-sponsored Church in Hong Kong and explore the possible relationships that may now develop between the Chinese Communist Party and the Hong Kong Catholic Church. His research will also shed light on the larger issues surrounding the Chinese Communist Party’s attitudes toward religious freedom, providing another angle of perspective into the liberalization and possible democratization of the People’s Republic of […]

...Read More about Patrick Chi-Wai Tsui
Social Science

Translation of a Poetry Book by the French Poet James Sacr

Christophe will translate for publication a volume of poetry, titledViens dit quelqu’un, by the French poet James Sacr. Sacr is one of the most accomplished French poets writing today, the winner of France’s most prestigious poetry prize (Prix Apollinaire, 1988) and highest cultural distinction (Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 1987). Translated into Swedish and Spanish, Sacr’s work is still largely unknown in the English-speaking world, despite the fact that the poet has lived in the United States for the last twenty years, where he currently teaches as Smith College. A published poet in his own right, as well as the author of two article-length critical studies of Sacr’s poetry, Christophe is ideally suited to undertaking the first book-length English translation of the poet’s work.

...Read More about Christophe Marc Wall-Romana