Healing Through Language: The History of the Wedat Language and Wadat Dialect

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.

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Social Science

The Role of ORF74 in Transmission of Kaposis Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus

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.

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Sciences

Still Marked? Criminal Record, Education, Race, and Employment in the Era of Mass Incarceration

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.

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Social Science

Not Just Words: Effects of Negative News Portrayals of Latinxs on Farmworker Stress

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.

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Social Science

World-Making Potentiality in the Spatialization of the Quotidian

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.

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Humanities

Food, Culture, and Peace in Israel

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Social Science

Caged: The Rising Use of Prison and Jail for Women's Mental Health Care

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.

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Social Science

Effective Prison to School Pipeline

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.

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Social Science

The Forgotten Afro-Mexicans: Independence and the Role of Women (1800-1830)

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.

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Social Science

Financial Constraints on Student Learning: An Analysis of How Financial Stress Influences Perception and Cognitive Function in Children

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.

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Social Science

Fictional Structures of Control: Rape in Roman Comedy

Mackhai Nguyen’s project focuses on Roman comic plays that end with a citizen man and woman being married, specifically those marriages that are generated by rape and similar forced sexual encounters. Previous commentators have examined how criticisms are expressed in these plays that resist the dominant structures of the genre and of the time: patriarchy, aristocracy, capitalism. But what would audiences that are deeply involved in these structures gain from seeing such resistances, and why would they allow these resistances to be expressed? Mackhai argues that these liberatory and critical resistances are always expressed in a way that is co-opted or contained by dominant structures; they are either twisted to benefit the dominant structures they seemed to criticize, or they are silenced entirely. Rather than being liberatory and resistant to rape in a way that is reminiscent of the progressive cultural mores of our time period, these plays can be […]

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Humanities

Further Computations on Maedas Conjecture

Yoshitaka Maeda made the conjecture in 1997: Let m be an integer greater than 1 and let F be the characteristic polynomial of the Hecke operator T_m acting on the space S_k of cusp forms of weight k and level one, then the polynomial F is irreducible over the field of rational numbers; the Galois group of the splitting field of F is the full symmetric group _d, where d is the dimension of S_k. Most recent computations via Sage have verified the conjecture for k 14000. Xiaoyus project will focus on computing via Sage for k > 14000 and/or considering bigger n than whats currently available. She hopes to either provide more evidence or to find results that disprove the conjecture. She may make theoretical attempts at the conjecture.

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Sciences

Contribution of Vasointestinal Peptide Interneurons to Visual Size and Contrast Perception

In mammals, detecting weak stimuli is crucial for animal survival. One way they could detect weak stimuli is spatial integration, pooling together weak signals over an area of visual space to strengthen the signal. In the cortex, vasointestinal peptide (VIP) cells are a group of interneurons that have a central role in pyramidal cell tuning and response modulation of other interneurons. However, the mechanisms behind how signals from different inhibitory interneurons affect the codification of sensory stimuli into percepts remains unclear. He will optogenetically activate and inhibit VIP interneurons in visual cortex in mice. The outcomes of this project might enhance our comprehension of neuronal circuits involved in sensory perception and provide new approaches to understand mental diseases that are associated with structural and functional changes in the cortex.

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Sciences

Neoliberal Transformation and Transnational Migration in the Northern Triangle

In 2018, thousands of Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, fled their home countries to seek a better life in Mexico or the US. This exodus of migrants has been met both at the US/Mexico and the Mexico/Guatemala border with hostility, violence and discrimination. Hannah Marias research will examine the motives of this migration, specifically focusing on the link between neoliberal economic reforms in Central America and economic migration. She will travel throughout Mexico to conduct interviews with migrants in all phases of their journeys. She will document the challenges these migrants face in her documentary short, which she hopes will raise awareness about the cruel conditions these migrants are faced with in Mexico and at the US border.

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Social Science

Neurodiversity and Identity Formation in Virtual Autistic Spaces

The neurodiversity movement has gained much traction with the proliferation of the internet. It is based on the premise that neurological differences such as autism are normal variations of functioning and the human genome. Alexandra Saba will explore the impact of the neurodiversity movement on the formation of identity within autistic individuals through interviews of users of online neurodiversity forums and groups, as well as analysis of current research on neurodiversity. She will consider the following questions: Can autism be seen as a form of identity rather than a disorder? How does the autistic community use the neurodiversity movement as a way to make sense of their own identity? Her thesis will contribute to a better understanding of neurodiversitys impact on identity formation and sense of self among autistic individuals.

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Social Science

The Effects of Masculinity in Professional Ballet

Ballet has largely been recognized not only as a women-dominated profession but one that is coded as feminine in which both men and women navigate. Men in ballet, however, occupy a unique position, one studied by researchers eager to understand how men negotiate and perform their masculinity. These men perform a unique juggling act, going the extra mile to assert their masculinity due to the overwhelmingly feminine ways ballet is perceived by society. Despite this being the case, little work has been done on how the construction of masculinity in ballet affects gender dynamics between men and women in a field dictated by bodies, athleticism, and the ascription of femininity. Using in-depth interviews, Sabrina will explore how masculinity performed by professional, men ballet dancers affects interpersonal and professional peer relationships.

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Social Science

How English Literature Filtered through the Empire of Japan Influenced the Formation of Modern Korean Literature in the 1930s

In contrast to to nineteenth-century British India, which adopted English studies from the UK, and nineteenth-century Japan, which westernized itself with British and American assistance, Modern Korean authors in the 1930s learned English literature through a third, non-Anglophone country, Japan. This unusual case raises a question not only about the relationship between the adoption of English literature through Japan and the formation of Modern Korean literature but also about the relationship between empire and language of empire. Through the comparison between literary features of the selected Modern Korean literary works and English literary works and research on the institutionalization of English literature in these two Asian countries, Youn-Ju will produce a meaningful comparative study of Modern Korean literature and the influence of English literature.

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Humanities

Quipu: Debt, Archive, and Amnesia

The Incan quipu was a record-keeping and computing system based on knotted rope, encoding debt, land ownership, genealogy, and other information, but its precise meaning has been lost through colonialism. The arbitration of archival inclusion is an exercise of power, and scholarship, as practiced in the western academy, is a negotiation with or an interpretation of the archive. Yet inclusion is not enough: the organization and decontextualization of indigenous archival objects reflects the fragmentation of indigenous ways of knowing under colonialism. Using artistic production as a framework for critical inquiry, Bryan will travel to Peru to visit archival collections and 3D scan quipus, repatriating the files to supporting institutions, and responding with a series of sculptures which draw from their material and knotting techniques, as well as ideas of indebtedness, memory, and cultural loss.

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Humanities

Highly-Biomimetic Mechanical Hand for Robotics and Prostheses: Utilizing Artificial Muscles with Precise Controls Integration

Utilizing 27 degrees of freedom, the human hand is a complex manipulator capable of tasks ranging from fingerstyle guitar to precise surgery. To replicate the human hand would produce a highly versatile tool in robotics and prostheses. Robots in the future might perform surgery while arm amputees could perform as well as anyone in sports and arts. Current hand replications have limitations of high expense and weight, with trade-offs in precision. For his project, Jehan aims to create an inexpensive and light manipulator, with improvements for precise control. He will achieve this by incorporating additive manufacturing and artificial muscles, along with experimentation of control algorithms and machine learning. Through engineering analyses and iteration, Jehan hopes to contribute an important tool for robotics research and custom prosthetic design.

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Sciences

Enhancing the Resolution of RNA-Sequencing to Investigate the Propagation of Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disorder, which currently has no effective treatment. The development of treatments can benefit from better understandings of how the neurodegeneration propagates in the brain. The most crucial contributor to the propagation is believed to be the transmission between neurons of the pathological protein, -synuclein. To study the unresolved transmission mechanism, Xinyi proposes an RNA-Seq study on neuronal models to measure the transient responses of cells exposed to -syn over time. RNA-Sequencing is a powerful tool for unbiased investigation of the highly coordinated responses across the whole genome. The massive RNA-Seq data, however, is often confounded by high noise level and experimental artifacts. Thus, Xinyi will develop a data analysis pipeline that improves the accuracy of signal detection and the resolution in time of RNA-Seq.

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Sciences