Student Scholarship Awardees

David Nguyen

Fall 2017 - Spring 2018


David Nguyen is a senior community college transfer student. He is majoring in sociology. He is the founder and director of the Community College to PhD (CC2PhD) Association. The CC2PhD Association hosts programs, Saturday Academies, and research conferences to help community college students and transfer students conduct social science research and prepare for social science PhD programs. David hopes to pursue a PhD in sociology. His research interests include the transfer dynamics between two-year and four-year colleges, measuring and combating community college stigma, and the community college to PhD pipeline.


I will conduct an evaluation of the CC2PhD Scholars Program. My research question is “To what extent does the CC2PhD Scholars Program change participants’ self-reported 1) social science research capabilities, 2) PhD preparation knowledge, 3) interest in obtaining a PhD, and 4) internalized community college stigma?” Methods include pre- and post-intervention interviews and pre-, mid-, and post-intervention surveys.

Samantha Ong

Fall 2016


Samantha's research project involves creating a network of past and present environmental actors in Los Angeles, with the goal of illuminating the changing landscape of environmental activism as it relates to a "New Environmentalism." The objective of this network is to help viewers better visualize relationships and connections between different stakeholders involved in environmental issues, such as scientists, activists, community members, interest groups and government entities. Eventually, we hope the network will positively contribute to the field of environmental advocacy by helping to identify key relationships that have accelerated or hindered the advancement of environmental issues, and provide strategic insight on how to leverage future relationships to efficiently manage environmental policy.

Christopher Phan

Fall 2016 - Spring 2017


Christopher Phan is a fourth-year ethnomusicology major and global health minor at UCLA who enjoys playing acoustic guitar and learning about music and health practices from around the world. His current research project explores how to identify and better understand daily challenges that dementia caregivers face and how rhythmic music can be integrated to reduce stress and improve health and wellness outcomes for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.


Under the faculty sponsorships of Dr. Steve Loza of the Department of Ethnomusicology and Dr. Tara Prescott of UCLA Writing Programs, Chris is implementing an interdisciplinary research project which entails creating a music education ebook resource and developing a music & memory workshop that helps guide caregivers to practically engage with their loved ones through rhythmic music.


The interdisciplinary project’s research design utilizes a focus group session, participant observation during the workshop, as well as a post-workshop survey to monitor self-reported stress levels before and after the musical intervention. Ultimately this investigation seeks to demonstrate the importance of engaging with community partners to achieve low-cost and effective solutions to public health problems.


Chris became interested in the intersection of music and health during his third year while learning about the emerging subdisciplines of ethnomusic therapy and medical ethnomusicology. After writing his research paper “Music as Medicine,” his work became published as part of the 2016 UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research series on eScholarship.


As a staff writer and the director for the Student Wellness Commission’s Total Wellness magazine, Chris endeavors to improve student health and wellness on campus by promoting balanced lifestyles through educational resources. He also coordinates clinical research studies at the UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine as an Emergency Medicine Research Associate and enjoys performing acoustic guitar as a Mindful Musician for the Music Heals Series at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and at the hospital in Santa Monica.

Lauren Lesko

Spring 2017


Lauren grew up in the Los Angeles area and is double-majoring in Anthropology and Ecology, Behavior, & Evolution. She is graduating in Spring 2017 and plans to pursue a PhD in biological anthropology. Her research interests are broad, and include evolutionary psychology, demography, behavioral ecology, and mathematical modeling, just to name a few. Her current project examines the frequencies at which people are sexually attracted to others. The project will have two main components: surveys and modeling.

Eva Yguico

Spring 2017 - Winter 2018


Eva Yguico is conducting researrch around racial sympathy in the judicial system. Her research questions are: 1) whether a plausible understanding of impartiality is compatible with racial sympathy, and 2) the extent to which the judicial system tolerates (or does not tolerate) such sympathy in the jury. In general, it seems that racial sympathy should be excluded from the jury in order to preserve fairness of trial, but there also seem to exist circumstances in which racial sympathy should be permitted. Her project will explore relevant philosophical discourse on impartiality, and attempt to draw a connection between this discourse to Court precedence and legal practice.

Giancarlos Campos

Spring 2016


Giancarlos Campos was born in South Central Los Angeles, and is currently finishing up his last quarter of study as a Design Media Arts Major at UCLA. He thinks primarily as a designer, but believes in the permeability between design, academic research methodologies, and artistic production. He is most comfortable working in print, video, and performance.


He is currently researching the ways in which Salvadoran immigrants have constructed the Salvadoran Civil War through oral history and ephemeral objects, also considering the reasons some Salvadoran immigrants omit this history. He intends to compile this investigation in the form of a book, and is the beginning stage of a larger project. A project that aims to situate Diasporic-Salvadoran artistic production in conversation with El Salvador’s complicated art historical discourse; ultimately proposing an art historical framework for art makers from El Salvador and its various Diasporic communities. More broadly he is interested in creating an archive for contemporary Queer / Latinx subjectivity, formulating an anti-capitalist critique, bootleg culture, and in imagining a decolonial revolution.

    Dayea Kim

    Winter 2016


    Dayea Kim is a fourth-year International student coming from South Korea, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (2016) in the Art Department and a double major in Art History. She works mainly in painting and photography.


    While the idea of Museology and Photography are both recently introduced in terms of history, it is her current ambition to make a collection of Fine Art Photography in and around Art Museums in Los Angeles. The audience will be visually invited to see the corners of art-exhibiting space, often the most unnoticed and hidden spots, such as storage room and conservation lab. Throughout her photographs, the viewer is to witness art and artifacts de-romanticized, constructed narratives deconstructed, the reality confronted, and the new “museology” made.


    There have been a few photographers that worked on this theme of museum photography. Thomas Struth’s “Museum Photographs” captures individuals and crowds looking at famous works of Western art in the world’s most popular museums. Similarly yet differently, Louise Lawler’s “Cool Objectivity” focused on the presentation and marketing of artworks. To address prevailing systems of establishing art, taste, and style, her works were taken in and around museums heavily dealing with the notion of viewership in a museological space.


    Meanwhile, oddly, none of her photographs tries to identify art within an image. Audiences are not necessarily led into artist of an artwork, but drawn to a new construction of space and meaning within each frame. While the Museum presents narratives that are somewhat well-directed and resolved, her aim is to invite the viewer to navigate and to find something new—the goal of what it means. As the viewer searches for the relationship between art and everything else within the space, what to be unveiled are the multiple truths.

    Todd Lu

    Winter 2016 - Spring 2016


    Todd Lu is a third year undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (2017) in Sociology with a minor in Labor & Workplace Studies. As an aspiring data scientist, Todd wants to use his knowledge in quantitative analysis and computer programming to provide insights into socially relevant issues. He combines a commitment to applicable research with a dedication to student organizing. He is a leader in Fossil Free at UCLA, a climate justice group that organizes around ethical investment policies for public institutions. Throughout his undergraduate career, Todd has committed his research to issues immediately relevant to his campus community. In Winter 2015, he presented to the UC Student Association and informed student leaders what tuition raises meant in the context of the UC budget. In Fall 2015, he collaborated with University-Council American Federation of Teachers, a labor union representing UC lecturers and librarians, to provide insights in the employment relations of adjunct faculty, a subject that remains relatively unexplored due to a lack in reliable empirical data. As a key component of this research, Todd successfully converted publicly available UC payroll data and UC-AFT’s employee data into comprehensive and analyzable formats. To develop further his analytical skills, Todd intends to pursue a Master’s Degree in Data Science. He intends to apply his research towards institutions that help empower underserved and underrepresented communities.


    Todd’s research project studies the effects of state funding cuts on the employment distribution in the University of California in order to suggest austerity’s broader impacts on UC shared governance. His research builds upon the works of UC faculty such as Michael Meranze, Christopher Newfield, Robert Samuels, and Charles Schwartz, who have written extensively on the negative structural impacts to the UC due to the state’s austerity policies. Working with his faculty mentors, Dr. Tobias Higbie and Dr. Goetz Wolff, Todd will transcribe print sources of UC employee and student data tables since 1964, the earliest year in which data is available, into online and analyzable formats. Todd intends to make this data publicly available for future research use.

    Regina Napolitano

    Winter 2016 - Spring 2016


    Regina Napolitano is senior at UCLA and majors in gender studies. She is currently writing a thesis about the intersection of the internet and contemporary feminism. Specifically, her research looks at the nature of feminist content and organizing on the social media website, tumblr.

    Noemi Ruiz

    Winter 2016 - Spring 2016


    Noemi Ruiz's research question will examine the notion of assimilation as it pertains to body dissatisfaction among the Mexican-American, women population during college. She hypothesizes that generational status does affect body dissatisfaction. Her investigation will study a UCLA sample size of 150 Mexican-American college women (75 first generation and 75 second generation, respectively). The question guiding her research methodology will be: does immigration generation status influence the propensity of body dissatisfaction among the Mexican-American women population in college?

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