UEP Senior Comprehensive Projects, "Comps" as they are more commonly referred to, often stretch beyond the classroom to interact, impact and evaluate public policy issues at the local, national and even global level.
Check out the most current comps projects:
Class of 2014
Increasing Urban Affordability: An Evaluation of Seattle’s Micro Apartments Through the Lens of Low-Income Housing Development
by Marcus Brandford '14
Restoring the Right to Drive: Re-Licensing the Undocumented Community in California
By Violeta Campos '14
Pasadena Drinking Fountains and Public Water Access
By Amber Carmi-Smith '14
By Gregory Earnest '14
This project looks at the challenges that face South Los Angeles following dissolution of California’s Community Redevelopment Agencies. The goal of this research is to create a snapshot of the current state of economic development in one of South Los Angeles’ most economically depressed regions, the 9th Council District. This approach will occur by the introduction of important case studies of different redevelopment projects in the area. The goal here is to attempt to shed light on the efficacy of the redevelopment agencies in impoverished communities. This project includes interesting information collected from first-hand conversations with policymakers, elected officials, city department heads, business owners, and community leaders in the 9th District. Full Text
The Impact of Coalitions on Waste Management Systems: Case Studies of Los Angeles and New York City
By Bianca Fonseca Cervantes '14
By Stephanie Gann '14
Implementing effective water conservation policy and programs that reduce water use in Los Angeles has been a source of debate for many years. This paper explores LADWP’s outdoor water conservation programs and gives suggestions on what actions LADWP can take to achieve maximum outdoor water reductions in the residential sector. Interviews were conducted with leading water policy experts to provide a perspective of current water issues in L.A. and a framework for policy recommendations. The purpose of this paper is to inform future LADWP efforts to promote outdoor water conservation through education campaigns, permanent outdoor water use restrictions, and increased water rates.
A Head Start On Health: The Benefits and Challenges of Implementing Wellness Policies in Los Angeles Head Start Preschools
By Dani Lyons '14
By Chardonnay Madkins '14
Although there are more children who suffer from psychiatric disorders than from autism, leukemia, diabetes, and AIDS combined, only twenty percent of emotionally disturbed youth receive treatment. Youth living in poverty are at even greater risk of developing a mental disorder, but are less likely to receive care compared to their more affluent counterparts. Children living in these circumstances are invisible in society and must be given an equal opportunity at a high quality of life. As a result, we must address this issue and change the structure which restricts underserved youth from receiving mental health care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a new, key policy reforming healthcare. Congress proposes that the ACA will bring equitable, comprehensive, and coordinated healthcare to all populations by expanding access to public and private health insurance. Full Text
By Raquel Mason '14
By Morgan Mrohs '14
Glendale: Whose Life Animated? A Study of Place Branding and Social Justice
By Devon Provo '14
My senior comprehensive project studies the the goals and implementation processes of city branding initiatives, using Glendale, California as a case study. In documenting the steps of branding processes, this report seeks to determine whether branding efforts offer participatory opportunities to align with social justice principles. Research was done by conducting document analysis on city reports and records, analyzing economic census data, interviewing the key players in Glendale’s branding process and conducting site observation of urban development in Glendale. City report evidence indicated that Glendale’s intentions for branding actively promoted gentrification. Studying the steps of the branding process demonstrated Glendale’s branding initiative neglected to gather input from the public, instead catering directly to city and business interests. Exploring changes to the built environment illustrated gentrification of Glendale in action as a result of the branding campaign. Based on these results, I recommend that cities seeking to create a just society do not pursue branding initiatives, but also provide a series of recommendations aimed at making the branding process more attentive to issues of social justice.
Farm to Preschool: A Study on Teacher Support in Nutrition Education
Nutrition is a key issue right now for Americans, with 35.7% of adults categorized as obese according to the CDC. In order to reduce this percentage, nutrition education has to start at an early age, which requires curriculum in preschool classrooms. Farm to Preschool, a non--‐profit organization, is an important program at the preschool level. It fills a major gap in curriculum in order to support teachers on issues of food and nutrition. This study investigates the type of successful supports and what more can be done. Farm to Preschool focuses on getting local, fresh food into early childhood care and provides nutrition curriculum to preschool classrooms. This paper discusses the barriers for teachers and Farm to Preschool in terms of implementing nutrition curriculum in Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment’s (PACE) Los Angeles Head Start preschools. It also examines the perspectives of PACE teachers on the importance of and their experience with nutrition education in the classroom. Full Text
Campuses of the Future: The Interplay of Fossil Fuel Divestment and Sustainability Efforts at Colleges and Universities
By Lila Singer-Berk '14
Imagine a green college campus. The picture that comes to mind will likely include numerous recycling and composting bins, bikers and walkers easily navigating campus, and student clubs, environmental committees, and environmental studies departments. While envisioning the ideal green campus, the college endowment is often forgotten. The endowment is a critical element of campus sustainability that can no longer be overlooked. This report aims to understand the link between campus greening and the influence of the emerging fossil fuel divestment movement in the vast sphere of campus sustainability. The fossil fuel divestment movement, which aims to freeze and remove investments out of fossil fuel companies, is a new approach that students and administrators are taking to hold their institutions accountable to their educational values of creating a lasting and just world. Greening campuses aims at this same goal. This report answers the question of how campus greening momentum interacts with fossil fuel divestment campaigns and seeks to understand whether they can be mutually beneficial. Full Text
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