34 Invited to National Research Conference

Thirty-four Occidental College students have been invited to present at this year’s National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and showcase their original work in a wide range of disciplines.

The 2008 contingent is the largest ever to represent Occidental, topping last year’s record of 25 students.

"Faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects have been an important component in the education of Occidental students for decades," said Chris Craney, director of the Undergraduate Research Center and professor of chemistry. "This ‘signature program’ encompasses a large number of students selected from the arts and humanities as well as the natural and social sciences. The substantial number of undergraduate researchers selected to present their work at the NCUR 2008 conference distinguishes the College from many other larger institutions and testifies to the success of that effort."

The 22 nd annual NCUR will be held April 10-12 at Salisbury University in Maryland. The conference regularly hosts 2,000 students and their faculty members from colleges and universities across the country. Student presenters are involved in scholarly and artistic activities representing a range of disciplines that include creative arts, mathematics, business, social science, humanities, physical and life sciences, natural resources and engineering.

Since 2005, a total of 89 Occidental students have been invited to NCUR. This year’s group of 34 presenters includes more students than Harvard, Caltech, Berkeley, UCLA and USC combined.

Since its inception in 1987, NCUR has become a major annual event. Participants hear and discuss undergraduate research through oral presentations, interdisciplinary poster sessions and artistic performances and visual art exhibits. American Broadcasting Corporation Executive Vice President for Documentaries Rudy Bednar is set to be one of this year’s keynote speakers.

Following are the Occidental students accepted to attend (included are hometowns, majors, and titles of research projects):

  • Tervanda Ayrapetyan ’08 , North Hollywood, politics: "Turkey’s Political Identity in the 21 st Century: East vs. West"
  • Rhonesha Buford ’08 , Washington, D.C., English and comparative literary studies: "Codifying Color Through U.S. Law and Literature from Dred Scott to Contending Forces"
  • Caroline Bunnell ‘08 , Napa, history: "Negotiating Culture: Resistance and Appropriation of Modernity in 1920s Faith Healing"
  • Michael Cahill ‘08 , Eagle Rock, politics: "New Orleans Pedagogy Project"
  • Erin Conley ’08 , Long Beach, religious studies: "Exploring Punishment, Contingency and Selfhood in Hell"
  • Emma Crow-Willard ‘10 , Denver, astronomy: "Anaerobic Spore Detection by use of TB3+-DPA Luminescence"
  • Armanda Dingledy-Rodie ’08 , Eugene, Ore., Asian studies: "An Entire World in the Palm of Your Hand: Netsuke Displays in London"
  • Kendra Dority ’08 , Simi Valley, English and comparative literary studies: "’I Ache With Longing For Others’: Athenian Self-Disruption Through Tragedy"
  • Simona Gabriela Gavrila ’09 , diplomacy and world affairs, "France and the European Union: Diplomatic Relations and Tensions (2005-2007)"
  • Natalie Gonzales ’08 , Grass Valley, English and comparative literary studies, "Beyond ‘Critical Practice’"
  • Kether Hayden ’08 , Gresham, Ore., urban and environmental policy, French: "Women’s Associations in Mali: Empowerment, Leadership, and Political Mobilization"
  • Joanna Hernandez ’08 , Ontario, sociology, Spanish: "Mi Casa Es Su Casa: Representations of Family in 20 th Century Contemporary Mexican Novels"
  • Joseph Hernandez ’09 , Castaic, religious studies, philosophy, and Bernard Botz ’09 , Auburn, Wash., philosophy: "The Emergence of Capitalism and Confucianism in Post-Maoist China: A Movement Toward Interdependent Individualism"
  • Evthokia Hobbs ’08 , Portland, Ore., biochemistry: "Development of a Total Thyroxin Immunoassay to Measure Levels in a Single Dried Blood Spot as an Indicator for Thyroid Dysfunction and Thyroid Hormone Binding Abnormalities"
  • Shoshone Johnson ’09 , Oakland, critical theory and social justice: "The Metaphysic of the Cul-de-Sac"
  • Michael Kaiser-Nyman ’08 , Sacramento, economics: "The Political Economy of Reform in Developing Countries" and "Fighting Poverty Effectively: The Minimum Wage Versus the Earned Income Tax Credit"
  • Shannon Klebe ’08 , Redwood City, biology: "Exposure to Depressant Drugs Leads to Neuronal Death within the Developing Piriform Cortex"
  • Vanessa Lammers ’08 , Piedmont, psychology: "A Theory Driven Meta-Analysis of Personality Test Faking"
  • Katherine Marshall ’08 , Moscow, Idaho, biology: "Representing Small-Scale Horizon Variation in the Upper Troposphere"
  • Michelle Martinez ’08 , Aurora, Colo., English and comparative literary studies: "The Movement of Affirmation in Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man "
  • Hannah McDowell ’08 , Portland, Ore., theater: "Brazilian Youth in Control: Performance Art as a Catalyst for Social Consciousness"
  • Caitlin Peel ’08 , Tucson, urban and environmental policy, and Erica Fick ‘08 , Los Angeles, urban and environmental policy: "Investing in The Nickel: L.A.’s Homeless, Gentrification, and the Battle Over Skid Row"
  • Jennifer Phan ’09 , Fremont, biochemistry: "What is the Role of Neurokinin-B in Seizure and Epilepsy"
  • Max Read ’08 , Princeton, N.J., English and comparative literary studies: "Yoked Together by Violence: Excess and Violence in Nietzsche and Hobbes"
  • Alison Reed ’08 , Salt Lake City, English and comparative literary studies: "(I) Murder (You) in the Dark: Atwood’s Pronominal Revision of Lacan’s Mirror Stage"
  • Michael Salisbury ’08 , Tucson, biology: "Marine Snipers: Ballistic Prey Capture in Cone Snails"
  • Jessica Simes ’09 , Los Angeles, sociology and critical theory and social justice: "Japanese Horror Cinema and the Hybrid Remake Culture of the West"
  • Eric Smith ’09 , Silverado, cognitive science: "Domain and Vesicle Formation in a Partially Miscible Binary Lipid Mixture"
  • Ariana Tiziani ’08 , Seekonk, Mass., art history and visual arts: "The Politics of Swedish Design"
  • Madeline Wander ’08 , Salt Lake City, urban and environmental policy: "Transit-Oriented Development: The Building Block for Livable Places"
  • Nicole Weinstock ’08 , Simi Valley, art history and visual arts: "Family Ideology in 21 st Century Spanish Cinema"
  • Van Whiting ’08 , San Diego, English and comparative literary studies: "The Waiting Room: Death and Community"