UC Berkeley Fellows
Jessica Cheung comes to UC Berkeley as a C3 fellow from Middlebury College, where she is currently a rising senior English major. She is interested in gender in early modern period plays. Her latest thesis project involves examination of the feminine ideal in scripts new and old: tracing the lineage of a modern cinematic trope to its Petrarchan origins. When she is not nose-deep in books, she is tuned to her local public radio station. Past journalism projects have allowed her to host a comedy podcast in Queens, make coffee for Francisco Ford Coppola at NPR, and get published in the New York Times.
Research Project: “The Female Death Imperative: Why the Figure of the Beloved Must Die”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Victoria Kahn, Comparative Literature
Noraida Colon, originally from Queens, NY, is a rising senior at Amherst College. As a sociology major, she is interested in urban sociology, education, race/ethnicity, and immigration. This summer, she hopes to explore the ways in which bilingual education impacts identity formation in Latino youths. Outside of the classroom, she is a student leader through the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement. She tutors elementary school girls, and is a member of two dance groups.
Research Project: “Desegregating the ‘Paper City': Puerto Rican Political Action within the Colonial Context”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Jan Mauldon, Public Policy
Manuel (Felipe) DaCosta is a BA candidate at Wesleyan University, completing a degree in Sociology and Latin American Studies. Through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, he has been formulating and pursuing a research project that investigates cultural formations of memory in response to violence with particular respect to Colombia’s battle with narcoterrorism in the 1980’s and 90’s. He hopes to articulate this research as a senior thesis that examines how this historical period has been projected through various forms of media. His scholastic areas of interest include Race and Ethnicity studies, Drug trafficking and War in Latin America, Violence and Neoliberalism and its consequences.
Research Project: “Memory, Culture and Citizenship: Reimagining El Narcotrafico in Colombia”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Mara Loveman, Sociology
Research Project: “Polynomial Approximations of Pi”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Herbert Medina, Mathematics
Michelle May-Curry of Cleveland, Ohio is a rising senior at Williams College and expects to receive a BA in English and Political Science in the spring of 2015. Her current research interests include biracialism, neoliberalism, and international identity politics, the intersections of which she will explore in her upcoming honors thesis in Political Science in the fall and spring of her senior year. As part of Williams’ 1960’s Scholar program under Vincent Schleiwiler Ph.D., Michelle conducted research last summer that primarily focused on black female vocality particularly within Blues and Jazz music, as well as Afro-Asian encounters in the early 20th century. Her research has been published in the Williams College Africana Studies journal, Kaleido(scopes): Diaspora Re-imagined, with her piece entitled “False Prophets For Prophet: Power, Truth, and Christianity in the Yeezus Tour.” Outside of the classroom, Michelle is secretary and historian of the Sankofa Step Team, tutors English at Mt. Greylock Regional High School, and is a barista at Williams’ student-run coffee bar.
Research Project: “Biracial Camelots: Mixed-Race Representation in a ‘Post-Racial’ America”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Darieck Scott, African American Studies
Miari Stephens is a Junior at Smith College where she majors in Afro-American Studies and Latin American & Latino Studies. She is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow researching Afrolatinidad in the Hispanic Caribbean as it manifests in public policy on the three islands. Miari will look at the ways in which the different political environments of Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic have distinct yet comparable perceptions of blackness.
Research Project: “Working Out the Kinks: Black Hair Symbolism in Cuba”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Brandi Catanese, African American Studies
Columbia University Fellows
Nicole Bermudez will graduate from Bates College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics, a minor in Mathematics, and concentration in Law and Society. Within her Politics major she is concentrating in Governance and Conflict and is focused on conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. She is an active member of the Bates Politics and Law Club, and pioneered an online political journal and website to publish student articles and papers. She is also an active student representative in the Bates College Student Government and is a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sister Program. In addition to working as a peer tutor for the Mathematics and Statistics workshop, Nicole earned a varsity letter in women’s outdoor track and field.
Research Project: “Movements in Latin America: How Indigenous Groups Gain Political Power in Dissimilar Contexts”
Faculty Mentor: Jack Snyder, Political Science
Eileen Lam is in the Class of 2015 at Bates College. She is a double major in politics and Chinese, and has a concentration in Japanese. She loves studying and learning about the multifaceted world of the American political system, and new languages. She started her study of Chinese in high school because she wanted to be able to speak Mandarin, the national language of China, where her parents are from. She started to study Japanese in college because she finds it very rewarding to be able to speak multiple languages. Her greatest interest outside of academia is dancing.
Research Project: “Media Consumption: A Factor for Asian-American Political Participation”
Faculty Mentor: Robert Y. Shapiro, Political Science
Gabrielle Peterson was raised in Montclair, NJ. She is now a Sociology major at Smith College and a recently admitted member of the cohort of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows on campus. Her research and independent reading interests are race/ethnicity, education, and immigration. Other interests include art, food, music, and community engagement.
Research Project: “Why Aren’t All of the Black Students Sitting Together? Intra-Racial Relations of Black West Indian College Students on Campus”
Faculty Mentor: Shamus Khan, Sociology
Spencer Salibur is a rising senior at Middlebury College and majors in International Studies with a focus in Economics and Latin America. She studied abroad for the full academic year (junior year) in Rio de Janiero, where she enjoyed taking classes in history, economics and education. She is interested in doing research on Latin American history and also economic development. Other interests include tennis, football (not american), and community service.
Research Project: “What does paternity testing in 1980s Brazil and the United States reveal about the role of the state?”
Faculty Mentor: Nara Milanich, History
Derek Walker is a junior at Amherst College. He is a philosophy major thinking about pursuing his PhD in philosophy. Derek’s interests include the branches of ethics and logic; he is especially interested in legal philosophy and how it pertains to the historical concept of race. Originally from Sacramento, California, Derek is an avid basketball spectator who even plays a little in his free time.
Research Project: “A Debate Concerning Racial Equality”
Faculty Mentor: Michele Moody-Adams, Philosophy