Louis Kang

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.

Fele Uperesa

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.

Reem Jubran

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.

Dennis Velasquez

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.

Matthew Phillip Kirschenbaum

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 […]

Wayne Jopanda

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.

Samuel Diener

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.

Naphtalie Jeanty

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.

Bridget MacDonald

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.

Michelle Gallarza

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 […]