Commuters Versus Residents: A Comparative Historical Analysis of America's Urban Freeways

In the mid-twentieth century, American cities constructed urban freeways in order to bring people from growing suburbs into the center of town. Urban freeways were a harbinger of municipalities giving priority to the needs of commuters versus city center residents. Today, one may ask: were urban freeways essential to the development of cities in a post-industrial era? What was the decision-making process for the location of freeways? Were quality of life implications part of the public dialogue? Chad plans to answer these questions by conducting a comparative historical analysis of American cities before, during, and after the era of urban freeway construction. He will also visit a handful of cities to chronicle first-hand the cultural, social, and economic impacts of urban freeways. Chad’s research will shed light on the ways in which urban freeways have changed the cultural landscape of American cities.

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Humanities

Microfluidics and Alzheimer's Disease: A Device to Study the Amyloid Beta Protein

Current Bio: After graduation, Celia spent a year researching abroad at Imperial College London, funded by the Whitaker Fellowship in biomedical engineering. In August 2016, she started medical school at UC Irvine, and is expected to graduate in June 2021. Currently, she is taking a year off to do more bioengineering research, but eventually plans to enter medical residency for pediatrics. Her passion is both for clinical practice as well as finding engineering solutions to unmet clinical needs. Haas Scholars Project: Alzheimers disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, affecting over 5 million people aged 65 and older. The disease is defined pathologically by the aggregation of the amyloid beta (AB) peptide, forming abnormal clumps of protein in the brain. Understanding the environmental conditions that cause or inhibit the aggregation of AB is crucial for developing new methods of treatment and drug candidates for Alzheimers. […]

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Sciences

Emerging Discourses in California's Solitary Confinement Debate

How does California continue to find public support for the practice of permanent solitary confinement, particularly when confronted by sustained hunger strike activity against them? Steven will examine all sides of the relevant discourses in response to the hunger strikes, paying special attention to the written statements of strikers in letters to advocates and the media, as well as the state response. In order to disrupt the dominant hyperbolic claims by the state that support solitary confinement practices, the strikers formed a multi-racial/ethnic group coalition that called out the public, inviting us to reconsider the prisoner held in solitary confinement beyond the normalized worst of the worst narrative. Steven’s project analyzes the conditions of thinking that create and support the practice of long-term solitary confinement in our state. The discourses surrounding the California prisoner hunger strike offers a critical, yet missing element of that discussion.

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Humanities

Women with Disabilities: The Intersection of Disability and Domestic Violence Services

Many people assume that women with disabilities experience domestic violence to a lesser extent than women in general, yet research indicates that women with disabilities are up to four times more likely to be victimized than their non-disabled peers. Given that women with disabilities experience disproportionate rates of domestic violence; where do they go to access domestic violence services? How does their disability status influence their decisions seeking help, and are providers meeting their needs? Anna’s work will investigate these issues through a disability studies and social work lens. She seeks to uncover whether or not disability-related service providers are asking their clients about domestic violence; if domestic violence service providers are knowingly treating women with disabilities; and finally, where the affected population of women themselves report accessing services, if anywhere at all.

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Social Science

The Gravity of the Situation: Health Access for Transgender Women In Montral and the Epistemology of Transgender Health Care

What began as an investigation into access to health care for transgender women in Montral by way of an institutional ethnography has changed into a larger query of knowledge production, preservation and dissemination. This works seeks to clarify and problematize what is research, who is the researcher, how biomedicine and transgender women are inexorably linked and how macro questions of archiving, and the lack thereof, relate to endemic patterns of burnout and knowledge loss on the micro level.

...Read More about Emma Deboncoeur
Social Science

"The Name of a Commonwealth", Theories of Statehood and 18th-Century Accounts of Piracy

Samuel will investigate ways in which English writers of the 18th century, particularly Daniel Defoe, used accounts of piracy to question standard presuppositions about the emerging nation-state and promote Enlightenment ideas about government. As stateless individuals who lived and worked together, pirates were forced to create their own independent societies aboard ship and on land. Defoe used these pirate communities to experiment with ideas of statehood, freedom, property rights, and criminal acts, and to provide a comparison with the European nation-states which questioned the legitimacy of the colonial enterprise. In the hands of writers like Defoe, fiction provided a valuable forum for these ideas that enabled them to enter the popular consciousness, helping establish the emerging novel as a literary genre that can interrogate political and social concerns.

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Humanities

Buying Black Back Then: Comparative Analysis of Black Economic Life in Compton and West Oakland.

Destinys research aims to investigate the history of Black owned businesses in Compton, West Oakland, and West Berkeley. She will focus on the ways in which a strong Black economy influenced Black solidarity culturally, socially, and politically. While exploring the different types of businesses African Americans owned, Destiny’s research will reveal a new glimpse into what the 1980s drug and gang epidemic destroyed. By examining archival records as well as conducting interviews with current and former business owners and their families, Destiny’s work will offer a richer narrative to Black history, and further dismantle negative stereotypes about Black towns.

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Social Science

Resettlement Refugee Programs and Economic Empowerment: A Case Study of the International Rescue Committee in the United States

Jennifer’s research will explore the impact of current International Rescue Committee (IRC) Resettlement Programs on female economic empowerment. Her working hypothesis is that the empowerment effect of the IRC on refugee women will vary depending on cultural norms, resettlement program type, and resulting employment. She will study female refugee populations lived experiences and the development of the IRC Economic Empowerment program development in New York City through regional and headquarters offices. She will focus on how IRC programs later affect refugee women’s perception of family life, self-sufficiency, and personal autonomy upon moving to the US. The narratives encountered in this exploratory study may point to the ways in which NGOs such as the IRC can modify existing or new resettlement programs to address the contextual needs of refugee women in the United States.

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Social Science

Meet Each Need with Dignity: Community and the Dynamics of Nonprofit Change in the Northeast San Fernando Valley

The Northeast section of the San Fernando Valley is home to one of the largest populations of Latinos in the United States, second only to East Los Angeles.In contrast to the more well-known and affluent suburbs of the west Valley, this region faces issues stemming from poverty, residential segregation, environmental racism, and divestment. Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) is a poverty relief organization that has existed for over 40 years in the area’s most vulnerable community known as Pacoima. Michelle’s research seeks to uncover how this nonprofit organization has been able to renegotiate its role in the community over the past 4 decades, enacting growth initiatives with the goal of offering relevant and continued service to the community. Drawing reference from critical periods of change, this research analyzes the significance of innovation for MEND to adapt to the needs of the community and maintain a model of client empowerment […]

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Social Science

Framing China: Congressional Commissions' Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy

The rise of China is arguably the single most important event to shape international politics in the 21st century. The United States understanding and response to Chinas ascent will shape global political stability. The U.S. Government, through legislative mandate, created two commissions, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCESRC), whose purposes are to ensure that Congress has the information necessary to make effective decisions relating to Sino-US affairs. Cristinas research project seeks to undergo a content analysis of the information generated by the bipartisan commissions to identify how their work impacts Congressional foreign policy decision making towards China. Her analysis will pay special attention to the narratives Congress utilizes to communicate on Sino affairs that have been informed by the commissions work.

...Read More about Ana Cristina Gomez-Vidal
Social Science

Making Synthetic Chemistry Greener: More Sustainable Processes via Catalysis with New Transition Metal Compounds

Catalysis, a critical field in synthetic chemistry, reduces the release of hazardous chemicals into the environment by decreasing the amount of reagents needed for chemical synthesis on industrial scales. Laurens research will investigate more sustainable methods of conducting chemical synthesis via the study of a new class of transition metal complexes based on niobium. In addition to being more sustainable than many alternate catalysts, niobium costs much less than other potential transition metals. With the collaboration of the Arnold Lab, Lauren will develop catalytic reactivity with the aim of synthesizing unique catalysts for important organic reactions while simultaneously reducing the amount of hazardous materials generated in chemical research.

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Sciences

What's Glass Got to Do With it: Glass Bracelet Fragments from Tall Dhiban

Leilani’s interest in glass bracelet fragments was sparked during the summer of 2013, when she participated in the Dhiban Archeological field school overseen by Professor Benjamin Porter. While discussing the potential for different artifacts to tell us about everyday life in the region, Leilani was intrigued by the sets of glass bracelet fragments that comprised a significant percentage of the excavated assemblage. Immediately her first questions began to form: Where were these bracelets made, how did they circulate, and come to be in Dhiban? Who wore them, and were they used by one segment of society? How were these bracelets understood within Islamic society? There is very little information regarding the bracelets of this region. Lelani’s preliminary research suggests that glass bracelet manufacturing only occurred elsewhere at this time. Therefore, the bracelets are evidence of trade patterns, and could reveal economic differences. Leilani’s study will shed new light on economic […]

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Social Science

Queering Our Performance: Examining Homosociality Among 19th Century Buffalo Soldiers

The goal of Napthalie’s project is to see if male-identified homosociality or male-to-male sexual relations within black communities is something that can be traced among men in their gendered spheres of work during the 19th century through archaeology. She will participate in an excavation in Fort Davis, Texas, where Buffalo Soldiers were stationed from 1867 to 1891. She will be looking at primary documents and artifacts to see if any material evidence of bonds/relationships or sexual relationships among the African American soldiers can be found. Ultimately, evidence of these sorts of relationships would help alleviate some of the effects of oppression in queer African American communities.

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Social Science

Away From Home: The Impact of Colonial History on Filipino Labor Trafficking in the US

In Migrants for Export, Dr. Robyn Rodriguez describes the Philippines transformation into a Labor Brokerage State in which Filipinos are actively recruited to become Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Wayne’s research examines how this system of labor brokerage has impacted the increasing undocumented Filipino population in the U.S. First, he will analyze the history of U.S. labor and immigration policies that allow for the exploitation of OFWs. Second, Wayne will study the advocacy efforts of OFWs and undocumented Filipinos to examine if these cases of labor exploitation lead to workers identifying as undocumented. Lastly, through ethnographic interviews with OFWs, he will investigate the connections between current issues within the U.S. Guest Worker Program and the undocumented Filipino population. Overall, Wayne’s research aims to uncover how current labor and immigration policies have shaped the lived experiences of undocumented Filipinos in the U.S.

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Social Science

Acre/Akka/Akko: A Chronicle of Israel's External and Internal Occupation

The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 enforced dislocation and fragmentation upon the Palestinian people. Nevertheless, while the old may have died, dense history and culture has been passed on to the youth by way of oral history. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has dramatically transformed in the past 60 years, leaving the physically divided Palestinians today with an indefinable identity: do you consider yourself Arab, Arab-Israeli, Palestinian-Arab, or just Palestinian? Reem will create an artistically compiled short film that will capture a collection of voices and stories unique to the spatially divided city of Akka. She plans to investigate how living in a city shared by Arabs and Israelis influences the open question of identity. Reems primary goal is to experiment with the oral accounts and transform the words into aesthetic narratives that will offer the viewer an intimate and unique insight of the role of identity in Akka.

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Humanities

Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: The Next Generation Transistor Materials

Transistors are the most fundamental building blocks of modern electronic devices. They perform various functions that range from logic operations to voltage regulations. Since their creation, researchers in the field have devoted significant effort to shrinking down the size of transistors, as transistor scaling provides many desirable benefits, including cost reduction and higher computational power per chip. However, the minimum feature size of modern transistors is already in the nano-scale range, and we are approaching a scaling limit that cannot be overcome with conventional transistor designs. Exploratory research is needed to develop new materials systems that can replace silicon, the most widely used material in transistors. Theoretical studies have shown that transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) could be promising candidates for next generation electronics, and Louis aims to demonstrate their electronic applications experimentally.

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Sciences

Prurient Pleasures and the Pornographic Effect of H.I.V.

Some are daily watchers, some click on a faulty URL, some start browsing during their pre-teens: most adults have seen pornography, and it is here to stay. After Porno Chic during the 1970s-1980s in which pornography was viewed in theaters, VHS pushed porn into the bedroom in the 1990s, provoking gay men to find private sexual outlets. Internet access has exacerbated this tendency, and at present, gay men in the United States encounter discourses of sexuality and H.I.V. through stigmatization and repression. For them, pornography is a social institution through which one discovers sexuality and health. How does the history of pornography present cultural anxieties surrounding H.I.V.? Given that pornography did not employ condoms until the 1980s, how does modern pornography affect viewers by means of a relationship between eroticism and health? By developing a historical eye for gay male pornography and condom usage, Matthew will examine pornographys effects on […]

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Humanities

Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Prefrontal Cortex: Examining Effects on Causal Learning

Children acquire complex knowledge about the world despite severely limited evidence available to them. While both children and adults use learned biases as a useful learning mechanism, children’s relatively small amount of prior knowledge results in fewer constraints on their hypothesis space as well as more open-minded approaches when considering possible causal relations. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is home to most executive functions that govern learning, yet the frontal lobes are the last area of the brain to fully develop. The eventual maturation of the prefrontal cortex builds and prunes neuronal synapses based on experience in an individuals life, thus constraining the hypothesis space of adult learners. Bridget’s research uses neurostimulation (tDCS) to lower activity in the prefrontal cortex of adults while they participate in a cognitive learning task to investigate whether this will reduce the biases of adults, allowing them to be more open-minded learners.

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Sciences

An Island in Transition: Examining the Relationship Between Trade Policy and Public Health Outcomes in American Samoa

Samoans have often been associated with the bulk and athleticism of professional football players, but that reputation has undergone a drastic change paralleling the transition in traditional diets. The term nutritional transition denotes a shift in dietary consumption and energy expenditure linked to a growing epidemic of obesity-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). American Samoa, a trust territory, and Samoa, an independent nation-state, have both experienced significant changes in consumption practices. Emerging research attributes this nutritional transition to economic development and the waning availability of traditional food staples. Trade policy not only impacts food consumption, it has critical implications for public health. While researchers have expounded upon the structural impacts of economic development, the effects of trade policy on everyday consumption practices remain opaque.

...Read More about Fele Uperesa
Social Science

Strategies of Literary Defiance in Tobias Smollett's "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker", William Apess' "A Son of the Forest and Other Writings, and Jos Antonio Villarreals Pocho

Dennis research seeks to expand the exploration of transculturation through an in-depth analysis of three vastly unrelated literary works that nonetheless contend with English Linguistic Imperialism, and reveal strikingly comparable strategies that defy it. Focusing on canonical texts by eighteenth century Scottish, nineteenth century Pequot Native American, and twentieth century Chicano authors, he will conduct a comparative study of strategies of literary subversion of English Linguistic Imperialism across disparate time periods, ethnicities, and geographic locations. He plans to investigate the distinct internal discourses of The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, A Son of the Forest and Other Writings, and Pocho in relation to each other, with the aim of revealing the surprising convergences that exist despite their divergent cultural contexts.

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Humanities