Diana Ramirez

The livelihood of the Poblano community’s oral histories and traditions, “desde nuestros pueblos a los estados unidos” (from our pueblos to the U.S.), is telling of my community’s ancestral resistance. The survival of our heritage allows our families to build community and identity, a home in a country that rejects and displaces both our Mexican immigrant communities and ancestral knowledge and identities. My research project is a transborder study in which I will trace my Indigenous roots in Puebla, Mexico and construct a memoir of the oral histories of my Poblano communities in Los Angeles, CA and San Bartolome Hueyapan, PU. I will identify Poblano histories and traditions that have been preserved and passed across the U.S.-Mexico border and, through this, gain an understanding of how they play a role in identity formation among returning migrants and immigrants from my ancestral homeland. My research will be a reunification with my […]

Luna Ramos

Instead of focusing on the interpersonal instances of transphobia, this project is curious about what circumstances allow for cultural shifts than transform the school experiences of transgender youth of color. By conducting interviews with transgender youth of color from the San Francisco Bay Area, this project is centered on a group that is often excluded and made invisible in academic work. Transgender youth and their allies are continually antagonized, even aside from quotidian bullying, increased risk for homelessness, and suicide. Legal protections do not translate to material safety for Trans youth, especially Trans youth of color, who are both marginalized in society and within the queer community. This project asks: How are transgender youth of color coming into their identities, and how have some been able to thrive? What can be learned directly from them, and how can this knowledge be translated to non-punitive changes in school culture and policy? […]

Tiger Schenkman

What can be said of love created under duress and continued into freedom? This question will guide my research into interracial couples who began seeing each other under slavery and continued through Abolition in Louisiana. My research will straddle the two periods immediately preceding and following Abolition, in order to pinpoint couples who weathered unsteady sociocultural and legal realities out of a commitment to their love. This project will therefore fill a lacuna of ambiguity in the study of interracial love during slavery; rather than focusing on legal history, I will specifically tackle the possibility that coerced love may have eventually grown consensual and find instances in which the two scenarios existed at once. Using primarily court cases in which interracial couples were tried, as well as manumission documents and contemporary slave narratives, I will explore the topics of consent, love, coercion, and power within these relationships, ultimately uncovering the […]

Jordan Serrano-Guedea

First-generation college students (FGCS) experience many unique familial, cultural, social, and academic challenges as the first in the family to pursue a four-year degree. Previous research has found that these extra stressors may place FGCS at higher risk for mental health problems, lower retention rates, and lower graduation rates (House and Kolb, 2020). Yet, findings in the literature on the impacts of first-generation status on FGCS mental health are mixed, and no systematic review exists on this topic to reconcile the varied findings. This summer, I will expand upon this underdeveloped research area by creating the first-ever meta-analysis of FGCS mental health outcomes. My analysis will evaluate anxiety and depression outcomes in FGCS relative to non-FGCS and identify risk and protective factors for anxiety and depression outcomes in FGCS. This promising study will identify the most poignant factors affecting FGCS mental health status and offer promising interventions by identifying potential […]

Le Sun

How do political parties influence online posting behavior? Previous research attributed an individual’s utility from posting online to two major channels: contribution to public knowledge and identity boosting. In this project, I will develop a model of demonization that analyzes how a political party, using posts on social media as signals, interacts with its supporters via these two channels. Using a set of state-sponsored posts and comments about the 2022 Ukraine-Russia Crisis from Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms, I will test how topic distributions of the comment sections, modeled using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), respond to different types of political messages from the state. This also determines how the comment section evolves if the state strategically alters from posting about the ongoing event to attacking opposing political identities, or vice versa. Furthermore, by tracking the social media profiles of commenting users over time, I hope to investigate […]

Jasper Talwani

In my research project, I will create a partial grammatical description of Highland Chontal, a highly endangered indigenous language of Oaxaca, Mexico, through collaboration with elder master speakers. I will use this information to produce pedagogical materials for use in classrooms where the language is being taught. I will also conduct a workshop to train Chontal language activists and speakers in linguistics in order for them to understand and be able to use these materials, in addition to other skills such as literacy in the language, language documentation methods, and language revitalization methods.

Charlotte Mourad

What individual- and household-level interventions are most feasible for the mitigation of air pollution exposure in underserved and disproportionately impacted communities? This is a critically important question as exposure to ambient air pollution is a globally leading cause of adverse health and morbidity. Furthermore, underserved communities are limited economically, so it is important to co-develop feasible strategies for those with fewer resources. Centering on the needs of underserved populations in the Inland Empire, with potential global applications, this project will contextualize applications for air pollution emissions data in regions that have been severely impacted by exploitative economic practices (e.g., warehousing and rail expansion for goods movement, fossil fuel mining, etc.). Working within the constraints of an under-engaged population to come up with a practical solution helps them gain autonomy over their own exposure. This project has the potential to inform other researchers in air quality engineering and apply the findings […]

Tessa Mouw

In early January 2022, I arrived in Italy for the start of my semester abroad at the University of Bologna. While exploring Bologna, I discovered that I was living in what was the city’s Jewish ghetto in the Middle Ages. I was immediately intrigued and, upon conducting further research, was convinced that this important history should be the subject of a research project. This project will carefully construct and analyze a cohesive and holistic history of the Jewish community of Bologna during the Middle Ages. By using a variety of primary sources, I aim to paint a complete picture of the social, economic, intellectual, religious, and personal history of this community. Particularly, I hope to reveal how, despite facing oppression and limitations, the Jewish community of Medieval Bologna experienced a long period of prosperity and was embraced and valued by the general Bolognese population. I thus hope to connect this […]

Ana Navidad Rayon

Undocumented students are an underrepresented group in higher education. One of their many challenges is having limited financial and academic opportunities as a result of their legal status. Institutions need to create intentional practices that expose undocumented students to resources and opportunities to dismantle inequalities in the college experience. This research study will seek to understand the degree to which community colleges assist undocumented students with navigating the education system by connecting them to opportunities and resources. I will also explore the extent to which undocumented students take advantage of these opportunities and how doing so impacts academic outcomes in terms of grades and college completion. The study will explain the importance of exposing undocumented students to productive activities that are designed to enrich their learning experiences and increase graduation rates.

Deborah Qu

I am interested in studying strategies to increase the efficacy of cognitive reappraisal, an emotion regulation strategy in which one alters thoughts about an event to modify one’s emotional response to that event. Cognitive reappraisal can be effective in down-regulating negative emotions in stressful, emotional situations. However, because cognitive reappraisal has been shown to deplete cognitive resources, implementing cognitive reappraisal can be difficult in emotional situations that are cognitively demanding. The project aims to study whether implementation intentions, a strategy known for its ability to automatize desired behaviors in goal achievement literature, can automatize cognitive reappraisal in the down-regulation of negative emotions. Over the summer, I plan to compare the emotional outcomes of cognitive reappraisal with cognitive reappraisal + implementation intentions in the presence of emotional stimuli to study whether implementation intentions will increase the automaticity of cognitive reappraisal, resulting in lower negative affect and less effortful regulation.