Twenty-eight Occidental Students Invited to National Research Conference

Twenty-eight Occidental College students will present their work at the National Undergraduate Research Conference held at the University of Montana, Missoula, April 15-17.


Faculty-mentored undergraduate research is a signature program of Occidental, and has attracted national attention. In fact, the number of Oxy researchers this year is more than the number of student researchers from USC, UCLA, MIT, the University of Chicago, and Yale combined.

Over the past five years, 150 Occidental student researchers have been invited to the NCUR. The conference, which began in 1987, now hosts 2,000 students and their faculty mentors from colleges and universities across the country.

The invited students - whose majors include chemistry, economics, English and comparative literary studies, and diplomacy and world affairs -- will give talks or display posters about their research. Topics include Russian energy politics, an empirical investigation of traffic flow, and "reinforcing the Cinderella myth" through YouTube wedding dance videos.

Here are the Occidental students accepted to attend the undergraduate research conference (included are graduation years, majors, and project titles):

• Sara Amri '11, Diplomacy and World Affairs, "Sex Workers and HIV/AIDS: The Implementation of Local Models of Education and Prevention in Mumbai, India"

• Meilani Bowman-Kamaha'o '10, Geology/American Studies, "Apatite fission track dating of the eastern flank of the Queen Charlotte Basin, British Columbia"

• Emma Catherwood '10, Critical Theory and Social Justice, "Passing and Celebrity: Imagining Alternative Notions of Health and Disease"

• Richard DeMaria '10, English and Comparative Literary Studies, "Indefinite Reference: The Name of James Ballard in ‘Crash'"
• Elise Devereux '10, English and Comparative Literary Studies, "A Second Look: Perceptions of the Grotesque in ‘Frankenstein' and ‘Edward Scissorhands'"
• Megan Donovan '10, Art History and Visual Arts, "An Artist of Time: Themes of Temporality in the ‘Mirror Paintings' of Michelangelo Pistoletto"
• Anders Eliasen '10, Chemistry, "Continued Query into Chiral Chromenes"
• Lainna Fader '10, Diplomacy and World Affairs, "Russian Energy Politics in the Putin/Medvedev Era"
• Amber Fandel '10, Biology, "Wren House Rock: Vocal Signaling in Henicorhina leucosticta (Troglodytidae)"
• Sarah Flocken '10, English and Comparative Literary Studies, "Power Play: Awareness of Gender Performativity in Thomas Middleton's ‘Women Beware Women' and John Webster's ‘The Duchess of Malfi'" or "Don Juan in pre-Brechtian Hell, or Shaw the Unexpected Terrorist"
• Kathryn Griffin '10, Biochemistry, "Effects of Pentanol Isomers On the Induction of the Interdigitated Phase in Phospholipid Bilayer Membra"
• Christopher Jackson '10, Biochemistry/Kinesiology, "Outcome of Endoscopic Resection of Colorectal Tumors"
• Tiffany Kim '12, Undeclared, "Reactions of 3-Methyl-1, 4-naphthoquinone Derivatives with Nucleophiles"
Erik King 10, Biochemistry, "Choose Your Poison: Variation of Injected Venom Between Individual Conus catus Marine Snails"
• David LaPorte '10, Diplomacy and World Affairs, "Intelligence for a New Age"
• Alexander LaRose '12, Undeclared, "Culture Leads to Crisis: The Bursting of the Japanese Economic Bubble"
• Nicole Leung '11, Biochemistry, "Discovery of Novel Conus tulipa Cone Snail Venom Peptides and its Physiological Effects on Danio rerio Zebrafish Larvae"
• Brenda McNary '10, English and Comparative Literary Studies, "He Proclaims Uhuru: Understanding Caliban as a Speaking Subject"
• Carrie Meggs '10, Art History and Visual Arts, "From Here to Eternity: Breaking Down Hollywood's Self-Censoring Production Code"
• Chelsea Moore '10, Diplomacy and World Affairs, "Let the People Speak! Radio and the Right to Information, Peace and Development"
• Madison Murphy '10, Art History and Visual Arts, "Dirty Dancing Newlyweds: Reinforcing the Cinderella Myth Through YouTube Wedding Dance Videos"
• Sharon Park '10, History, "A Culture of Spectacles: Social Performances of Madness & Victorian Morality in Shakespearean Theatre"
• Mark Paulsen '10, Chemistry, "An Enantioselective Synthesis of (-)-Coniine"
• Molly Quinn '10, English and Comparative Literary Studies, "Deriving an Ethic from Aesthetics: Wallace Stevens' ‘Esthetique du Mal' and Kant's ‘Critique of Judgment'"
Elisabeth Rutledge '10, Biology, "The Reactivity of 1, 4-Naphthoquinone Derivatives with Various Thiols"
• Amy Wax '10, Psychology, "Adolescent Crowd Affiliation: A Comparison of Two Methodological Approaches"
• Anahid Yahjian '10, English and Comparative Literary Studies, "Determining Friend and Enemy in the Nationalist Moment: Raffi's ‘The Fool'"
• Zhengyi Zhou '10, Economics/Mathematics, "Risk Preferences, Irrationality and Academic Experience in Economics: An Empirical Investigation," or "Macroscopic Models of Traffic Flow under Traffic Lights Using Ordinary Differential Equations"

For more information about Occidental's undergraduate research program, go here.

For more information about the 2010 National Conference for Undergraduate Research, go to: