The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) selected 21 Toro students for its Summer 2022 Research Award program. Undergraduate applicants who were conducting research with CSUDH faculty and maintained a 2.7 or higher GPA were eligible for the program, which has been held since 2020. Each of the students received up to $2,500 to help sustain their research through summer.
The selected student researchers represent a wide range of disciplines, from chemistry and biology to English and dance. “During the academic year, student research is usually limited by hefty academic obligations. But during the summer, they can devote a greater amount of time to fully engage in faculty-mentored projects,” says CSUDH Undergraduate Research Specialist Tigress Briggs-Wroten.
“This opportunity is meant to persist beyond the summer,” she continues. “Students acquire new skills and knowledge to take back to the classroom, as well as prepare themselves for graduate education and careers. Getting paid to conduct these activities is a cherry on top and alleviates some of the financial burdens students can experience.”
Below are excerpts from several of the award-winning students’ research project abstracts, followed by a complete list of the OUR Undergraduate Summer Research Award recipients.
Senior, Health Science
Faculty mentor: Enrique Ortega
Title: “Understanding the Experience of Black Women During Prenatal Care in Underrepresented Communities”
In recent years, the U.S. has seen an increase in the rates of maternal morbidity and mortality, especially in underrepresented populations. “My research will work to understand how culturally competent communication is associated with prenatal care and maternal outcomes among non-Hispanic Black women,” says Collins. “These include early evaluation of mothers for medical risk, and the need for psychosocial treatment, overcoming cultural barriers, and educational resources.”
Faculty mentor: Kerry Shannon
Title: ”A Comparative History of Mental Health Between Japan and the USA in the Twentieth Century”
Jones’ project is an extension of Jones’ ongoing research, with the goal of increasing awareness of the history of mental health treatment in the twentieth century. Jones aims to identify and compare the causes of depression and its treatment in Japan and the U.S. over this time span. “Dr. Shannon’s specialization in modern Japanese history will enable me to extend my research beyond the U.S., into an international context” says Jones.
Faculty mentor: Sarah Taylor
Title: “Historic Glass and Ceramics”
Lacey is spending her summer taking “a deep dive into the historic glass and ceramic collection” that is held in the CSUDH Anthropology Lab, including pieces from an Orange County excavation site. “I will be visiting antique shops around Southern California, speaking with people who are knowledgeable about Depression-era glassware and how pieces are valued by collectors,” says Lacey. Among the outcomes, Lacey hopes to discover the value of the pieces in the CSUDH collection, and whether the values vary according to the color of the glass.
Faculty mentor: Iara Mantenuto
Title: “Impact of U.S. Anti-Mexican Policies on Attitudes of Blaxicans’ Language Choice”
The number of U.S. citizens who identify as mixed-heritage continues to grow over time. Prince’s research focuses on the impact that anti-immigrant laws and ideology have had on the identities of “Blaxicans” – people of mixed Black and Mexican heritage. “I want to highlight the impact that anti-Mexican policies have had on the perception of Spanish among Blaxicans,” says Prince, “and how they have perceived their identity and linguistic place in U.S. society.” Prince hopes this research will help “promote inclusivity and discourage the promotion of linguistic hierarchy in a changing society.”
Faculty mentor: Amy Allen
Title: “An Evening of Site-Specific Dance by Mosaic Dance Company”
Terrell will assist CSUDH Assistant Professor of Dance Amy Allen in creating an original performance piece inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1954 thriller Rear Window. Four dancers will each be placed in separate rooms, with large windows that allow the audience to watch them—but arranged so that the dancers cannot see one another. “Dance revolves around storytelling through movement, and this piece pushes the boundaries of that idea,” says Terrell. “Due to such a unique and innovative idea, there will need to be added creative help from the dancers. We will have to understand what the piece means to us and how we can execute the idea.”
The other recipients of the 2022 OUR Undergraduate Summer Research Award are:
- Ebonie Bennett (Senior, Chemistry): “Building a Library of Fungal Natural Products for Antibiotic Drug Discovery”
- Sylvia Duvenary (Senior, History): “U.S.-Japanese Foreign Relations in the Twentieth Century”
- Marialuisa Flores-Jacobo (Senior, Biology): “Invasive Plant Species Exhibit Population Level Differences in Phenotypic Plasticity in Response to Nitrogen Availability”
- Dulce Andrea Garcia (Senior, Earth Science/Geography): “Environmental Disparity Analysis on Los Angeles Neighborhoods’ Air Quality Levels Before and During COVID-19 Pandemic”
- Melaney Garcia (Junior, Dance): “An Evening of Site-Specific Dance by Mosaic Dance Company”
- Jose Guzman (Junior, Earth Science/Geography): “Determining Flood Regimes and Identifying Overflow Zones in Tulare and Kings County”
- Isabelle Hutchins (Senior, English): “Sociolinguistic Attitudes in Tagalog Heritage Speakers”
- Jessica Ledesma (Senior, Earth Science/Geography): “Spatial Pattern of Treeline Ecotone in White Mountains, California”
- Monique Mangum (Junior, English): “Gaddang Documentation and Phonological Analysis”
- Yolanda McDow (Junior, Chemistry): “Does a Non-phthalate Plasticizer Contain Any Phthalate?”
- Kenneth Perez (Junior, Information Systems): “Should State Land in Southern California be Allocated to Warehousing Goods or Housing People?”
- David Giron Rodas (Senior, Biology): “Using Zebrafish to Investigate Skin Development and Abnormalities that Could Lead to Skin Disease”
- Berenice Rojas (Junior, Chemistry): “DIY Air Pollution Monitor”
- Carly Romero (Junior, Psychology): “Morning Versus Evening Exercise: What’s Better For Your Diet?”
- Patrick Saad (Junior, Finance): “Gen Z Cryptocurrency and NFTs Sentiment and Investment Strategies”
- Melaine Singleton (Senior, Biology): “Investigation of Skin Cell Proteins Involved in Mediation of Nerve Cell Development”