2018-2019 Newkirk Fellows

Kathryn Cox
5th year Ph.D. student
Department of Anthropology, School of Social Sciences
Measuring inequality: Operationalizing racism in environmental justice research

This ethnographic study asks how questions of environmental justice are operationalized in environmental science. Following researchers as they monitor environmental health disparities in the Los Angeles basin, this study tracks how scientists use categories of race, location, and toxic exposure to articulate scientific and legal concepts of justice and inequality. This project is concerned with the ways that public health science reworks relationships among race, space, the body, and the environment across Southern California landscapes.

Gabriela Gonzalez
5th year Ph.D. student
Department of Criminology, Law & Society, School of Social Ecology

This study seeks to understand how U.S.-citizen children of undocumented immigrants conceptualize and interact with the law. The main objectives are to investigate how having a parent in immigrant detention, or at risk of apprehension, shapes youths’ legal consciousness. Furthermore, how does parental detention affect youths’ community engagement and feelings of belonging in American society? Given the intensified enforcement policies the U.S. has experienced in recent years, examining how these laws shape youth’s identity, civic engagement and life trajectories is crucial in understanding the second generation’s social position, as well as surface implications about when, how and why the law matters.

Connor F. Harron
4th year Ph.D. student
School of Social Ecology Core Program
Exploring alternative pathways to food sovereignty through community based partnerships: A comparative case study

This research attempts to better understand the process of rural resistance to urbanization, and to support regenerative development and innovative approaches to agriculture.  The research considers how under-served communities seeking to explore alternative pathways, organize themselves and collaborate with external partners to develop and maintain successful initiatives and whether these small scale community initiatives represent fascinating, yet culturally bound projects that are small scale and non-replicable, or is it possible to identify scalable patterns between cases that can be used to guide agricultural and social development in larger populations?

Reza Mohammadi
2nd year Ph.D. student
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, School of Engineering
Improving therapeutic implant designs through engaging diabetic patients

Type 1 diabetes patients often have to inject insulin one or two times per day.
Researchers and manufacturers are devoting their efforts to making implantable devices for the administration of insulin safer and more efficient.  However, few if any take patient preference into account in the design process.  This study will reach out to organizations and hospitals with contact with diabetes patients, and gather data from those patients on what design they would like to see in an implantable device.

Jessica Oviatt
3rd year Ph.D. student
School of Education
Getting them ready: The association of parental beliefs, values, and behaviors around supporting the development of transition-related skills in adolescents with cystic fibrosis

The goal of this research is to gain a better understanding of what parents believe about and are doing to get their youth ready to become adults with a chronic condition.  It will examine the role parents or caregivers play in helping their children with cystic fibrosis learn the skills they will need to succeed in transitioning to an adult care center as well as become an adult with CF. Also, how youth with CF and their parents or caregivers think about the child’s abilities on a variety of health-related skills (e.g., tracking medication refills) and the importance they place on those skills.

Piper Wallingford

3rd year Ph.D. student
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences
Interactions of climate stressors on predator-prey relationships

This research  focuses on the complex ways that climate change affects intertidal communities through altered species interactions. The intertidal is the gateway to the ocean, and for many, it is the first introduction to the extraordinary biodiversity and productivity of the ocean. These coastal communities are easily accessible to people from all backgrounds, and I am actively involved in citizen science and outreach programs that strengthen investment and enjoyment for coastal visitors. This project will build on existing partnerships to foster community engagement and inspire future ocean stewards, especially among underrepresented populations.