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Every year, Pitzer College celebrates its annual Academic Festival, a celebration of the excellent independent research and creative projects students have been engaged in throughout the year. Our students pursue a wide range of research interests, including the American education system, political legitimacy in African nations, sustainable state energy plans, and the implications of gender, race, and class throughout the liberal arts college environment. We hope you enjoy reading more about how our students pursue knowledge through research projects, both on and off-campus!


Marco Abbruzzese, Mathematical Economics & Psychology Advisors: T. Jusus, L. Yamane Consumption Beliefs and Processing Types The way in which belief systems affect our decision-making is likely moderated by the speed with which we make our decisions. Studies exploring environmental attitudes show a disconnect between beliefs and behavior, but few studies have explored this phenomenon through a cognitive processing model. This study explored the extent to which environmental beliefs affect decision-making regarding environmentally friendly products when decisions are made more quickly versus when they are made more slowly in a simulated shopping environment. The results of the study indicate that, contrary to findings in the previous literature, environmental beliefs affect consumer decisions-making only when the decisions are made more quickly. Research on this topic is necessary to advance our understanding of the dual-processing model and its impact on decision-making. Tori Arnau, Asian American Studies & Biology Advisors: T. Honma, E. Ferree Vulnerability and Susceptibility of Filipinx Americans to Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases Hypertension affects one in three adults in the United States (65 million people; Kennedy, 2009) and is the most common chronic medical condition (MacGregor et al, 2010). Clinic-based studies on hypertension prevalence among different ethnic groups have demonstrated that Filipinx Americans have higher rates of hypertension prevalence compared to other Asian American subgroups (Ma, 2017). Studies that report high rates of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes suggest that lifestyle interventions targeting diet and physical activity, in addition to health education, are needed in this population (Bhimla et al, 2017). However, current literature does not explore susceptibility


of Filipinx Americans to hypertension, or analyze certain historical, cultural, and/or behavioral factors (in regards to food, health, stress, and trauma) that leave Filipinx American communities vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. This review of literature necessitates the importance of disaggregating data within different ethnic groups, especially among Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Madeline Bennet, Psychology Advisors: N. Rodriguez, L. Light Perception of Healthfulness Based on Macronutrients in College Varsity Athletes and Non-Athletes Nutrition is critical for college students and college athletes’ performances in academics and athletics, though little is known about what athletes and non-athletes take into account when judging the healthfulness of foods. Sixty students from The Claremont Colleges, 27 of whom were varsity athletes, participated in a study on healthfulness on cereal products. A 2 (saturated fat: low, high) (added sugar: low, high) x 2 (sugar: low, high) x 2 (protein: low, high) x 2 (student: athlete, non-athlete) mixed-factorial research design was conducted, in which sugar, fat, and protein were within-subjects factors and students status was a between-subject factor. Mixed-factorial ANOVA’s showed no significant differences in what varsity athletes and nonathletes take into account when judging the healthfulness of food products. Both athletes and non-athletes ranked the low fat, low sugar, high protein product as the most healthful and the high saturated fat, high sugar, low protein as the least healthful. Future research should clarify whether athletes lack motivation or whether they truly have poor nutrition knowledge.

Adriana Ceron, Sociology & Chicano/a-Latino-a Studies Advisors: R. Espinoza, A. Junisbai


The Educational Opportunity Structure and Stratification of College Counseling at Southern California Public High Schools This study documents how organizational strategies underlying college counseling departments modify counselors’ ability to perform their academic and college advising duties. 15 semistructured, in-depth interviews with public high school counselors in Southern California were conducted. A district’s commitment to college access and opportunity and parents’ expectations for maintaining a college-going culture shaped the nature of college counseling and the organizational habitus in a school. Counselors reported that access to different forms of institutional support and resources diminish or exacerbate the structural constraints known to surface in public schools. This influenced when and how counselors advised students, which offered different views of the educational opportunity structure. Additionally, findings indicate that both college preparation programs and culturally sensitive counselors worked to remedy educational disparities and increase the college enrollment rates of working-class minority students. Sloan Cinelli, Biophysics & Spanish Advisors: S. Gould Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Telescope Innovation has furthered our Understanding of Dark Matter Paralleling Moore’s Law, scientific discovery about the cosmos has evolved exponentially. From the early Ptolemic paradigm, heliocentricity and primitive telescope technology to the use of adaptive optics, the scientific community has witnessed the ability not just to see further into the galaxy, but to observe with passion, precision, and reason. I compiled and synthesized literature that has altered the general perception of the most abundant ingredient in the cosmos – dark matter. This paper chronicles a heuristic journey, chartered by the minds of Galileo, Copernicus, Planck, Einstein and Hubble. I explore this scientific


progression in the wake of applied religiosity transitioning through the Age of Enlightenment. I trace the rudiments of Aristotelian aether to the discovery of dark matter through the lens of telescope technology. While current understanding may be proverbial light years from what it was initially, recent explorations suggest we have much further to travel, both literally and figuratively. Elijah Falk, Sociology & Sarah Keller, Environmental Analysis Sowing a Field of Dreams: Huerta del Valley’s Community Organizing Strategies in Jurupa Valley Huerta del Valle has employed various strategies to cultivate community involvement at their new Jurupa Valley site, such as canvassing, hosting community meetings, and connecting with other local organizations. These strategies succeeded in cultivating early engagement, but sustaining that engagement has been challenging, prompting Huerta del Valle to reevaluate its strategies and explore alternatives. Kimberly Ha, Human Biology & Asian American Studies Advisors: S. Doan, E. Feree The Impact of Stress on Health and Well-Being: Hidden Implications for First-Generation College Students This study investigates the impact of stress on the health and well-being of college students, specifically first-generation college students. In this study, first-generation college students were defined as students who do not have a parent with a 4-year college degree. Existing literature has demonstrated that parental educational attainments as a salient predictor of student success within higher education. Coming from working class backgrounds, first-generation college students lack social, cultural, and financial capital that otherwise enable their peers to


excel within highly classed environments like university. Through administering surveys and interviews to college students residing in Southern California, this study reveals that first-generation college students were more likely to be students of color, have lower household incomes, and in turn demonstrate significantly higher levels of stress in comparison to their continuingeducation peers. This research also found positive correlations between stress and indicators of poor health such as dampened sleep quality, subjective well-being, mood, and overall health. In conclusion, this research validated the complex and often invisible ways in which first-generation students perceive and struggle with stress at the cost of their health. This work reiterates the dire need for greater, reformed, and culturally competent support for first-generation students that ensures their well-being and success in higher academia. Madeline Hauenstein, International Political Economy & International/Intercultural Studies Advisors: L. Tongun, P. Englebert Internal Political Legitimacy and the State Building Process in Africa This thesis looks at the role internal legitimacy plays in the statebuilding process of Somaliland, Botswana, and Mali through an interdisciplinary, constructivist methodology. In Somaliland, internal legitimacy and stability were built through grassroots peace-building conferences which utilized traditional Somali forms of mediation. In Botswana, the traditional hierarchical structure of Setswana culture was preserved through indirect rule and was transferred into the post-colonial state through Seretse Khama, Botswana’s first president. Mali, meanwhile, has a degree of internal legitimacy within southern ethnic groups which does not include the northern Tuareg. Thesis examples challenge the current philosophy and approach to state building and development within Africa and call for further research and examination into the pockets of stability within the African context.


Jennifer Kaku, Anthropology & Asian American Studies Advisors: T. Honma, C. Strauss Challenging Nihonjinron: Transnational Women Redefining Japaneseness My research explores the reconstruction of Japanese identity by Japanese women who lived in the United States for 8+ years and returned to Japan. I interviewed 6 women over the age of 35. They all currently live in Japan and have lived in Japan for approximately 10 years since they returned. I begin by explaining Nihonjinron, which is a theory of Japanese homogeneity. Nihonjinron is the basis for all my participants in their understanding of national identity. My paper argues that going abroad allows Japanese women to challenge commonly-held perceptions of “Japaneseness,” Nihonjinron. They create transnational identities in a limited space that creates a new “Japaneseness,” or new Japanese identity. Living in the United States has allowed my participants to see another way of viewing their identity and the society they live in. They are able to adopt other practices, or ways of living, instead of conforming to a single narrative. As women, I argue that challenging Nihonjinron is an act of resistance due to the traditional and restricting standards of Nihonjinron. They have created a new Japaneseness in America allowing them to adopt a transnational identity. This “Japaneseness” compromised with traditional barriers, resists conformity, ad allows national identity to go beyond the boundaries of the nation state. The reason my participants are challenging Japaneseness is because this new Japaneseness no longer excludes the foreign, but rather is cognizant of foreign identity and incorporates it to create an individual Japaneseness. They also de-center Eurocentrism and are realistic about the faults of the West, thereby allowing them flexibility to center multiple cultures or the culture that best fits the situation. Instead of identity based in the nation state, their ethnic identity is based on their experiences, allowing them to create transnational identities that are unique to their experiences. As more and more people go abroad as part of their youth experiences, individuals are forced to reassess their definitions of national identity and


realign them to match their current identity formation. Transnationalism has become an increasing reality as young professionals move out into the world to gain global experience and knowledge. Moving forward, countries will have to be more flexible in their definition of national identity because citizens will have seen other ways of being and may aspire to claim those ways. Arley Knizek, Psychology Advisors: T. Justus, L. Light Expressions of Closeness as a Predictor of Linguistic Differences in Women and Men According to difference theory, women and men come from different sociolinguistic subcultures; as a result, they produce unique linguistic measures at different frequencies to achieve their different goals for language. Ten same-gender women pairs (WW), 10 same-gender men pairs (MM) and 10 cross-gender pairs (WM) engaged in a task-oriented conversation. The total number of backchannels, questions asked, hedges, interruptions, and instances of self-disclosure produced at both the individual and pair level were counted; backchannels were positively correlated and interruptions were negatively correlated with selfreport measures of self-disclosure and feelings of closeness in the friendship. As hypothesized, results indicated that WW pairs produced significantly more backchannels than both MM and WM pairs, WM pairs produced significantly more hedges than both WW and MM pairs, and MM pairs produced significantly more interruptions than WW and WM pairs. In WM pairs, women produced more hedges, more instances of self-disclosure, and fewer interruptions compared to men. These results were consistent with prior findings that speakers use more gender typical language when speaking to a member of the same gender, but shift their speech in mixed-gender dyads to avoid miscommunications.


Carlisle Micallef, Chinese Language Advisors: A. Barr Confucianism Through Correspondence: An Analysis of Zeng Guofan’s Family Letters and Instructions My senior thesis examines Zeng Guofan as a father, family head, military strategist, and thought leader through the lens of his family letters. What emerges is a statesman who, while struggling with the ideological threats to Confucianism presented by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, reached for Neo-Confucian values and practices to guide his sons and brothers into adulthood. As he pushed his sons to learn from their family role models and become men of virtue, he reveals his culturally entrenched views on family structure, familial success and decline, modes of learning, and the importance of diligence and frugality. My thesis also explores parallels between his approach to family leadership and his military/scholarly career. Anjuli Peters, Sociology & Legal Studies Advisors: A. Groscup, A. Junisbai, S. Phillips Trial by Media: Racial Disparities in Crime Media Coverage The presumption of innocence is a foundational principle within the United States criminal justice system. Yet, when it comes to pretrial publicity, conflict arises between two conflicting constitutional rights: freedom of the press and a defendant’s right to a fair trial. While previous Supreme Court rulings have generally favored the media, extensive research suggests that prejudicial media coverage has the potential to undermine a defendant’s right to a fair trial. These findings raise questions that extend beyond a trial setting. As nearly three-quarters of the public say that they form their opinions about crime from the news, any sort of media representation has the potential to feed directly into public opinion and policy decisions. Therefore, this paper examines whether the defendant’s race influences the presence of prejudicial information by United States news media. To


answer this question, this paper analyzes print coverage on defendants Jonathan Jackson and Matthew Muller in order to example the frequency of prejudicial information as defined by the American Bar Association. Is Freedom for Sale? Experiences of Indigent Defendants within California’s Money Bail System Within California, 63% of the state’s jail population remains in pretrial detention as they await trial or sentencing. Considering that un-sentenced defendants make up a majority of the jail population, this raises questions about how pretrial release decisions are made. While academic engagement in pretrial detention exists, little work has thoroughly examined the arbitrary nature of California’s money bail system. My research works to remedy this gap by analyzing the experiences of indigent defendants within California’s money bail system. This paper will first contextualize California’s current bail system by drawing upon social science and legal research to demonstrate systematic disadvantages for poor defendants. Then, based on fieldwork conducted within Los Angeles County, I draw upon interviews, courtroom observation, and detailed field notes to demonstrate how California’s bail and pretrial detention system discriminates against defendants based on their ability to pay. Sophie Reingold, Sociology & Studio Art Advisors: P. Zuckerman, E. Steinman “You are a Slut!” The Implications of Gender, Race, and Class in Slut Discourse at a Liberal Arts College This study examines 11 female-identified liberal arts students’ contemporary and past experiences with slut discourse, focusing specifically on the role of gender, race, and class. This research takes the form of a graphic novel, and demonstrates the complexity and importance of slut discourse and how it functions as a method of social control for women in our society. Altogether, this work aims to clarify misconceptions about slut


discourse and demonstrate the significant impact it has on women’s lives. Benjamin Rigby, Environmental Policy & Organizational Studies Advisors: B. Sarathy, S. Phillips The Stormwater Capture in the Built Watershed: Examining Small-Scale Methods for Harvesting Runoff In response to California’s changing climate, water supply and flood control agencies are paying more attention to the benefits of replicating natural hydrologic systems to manage stormwater. This approach is known as low impact development and it intentionally employs natural devices, such as vegetated swales, which mimic nature’s efficiency in removing pollutants and percolating stormwater. This project examines the feasibility of installing vegetated swales in the Chino Basin as a means of increasing local water supplies while reducing reliance on imported water. Riki Robinson, Sociology & Asian American Studies Advisors: A. Junisbai, Hung Cam Thai Building Identity: Multi-Heritage Students Negotiating Racial/Ethnic Identity at a Liberal Arts College This qualitative study examines how transracial transnational Asian American adoptees construct and negotiate racial/ethnic identity and how that compares to multiracials. Through 17 semistructured in-depth interviews with undergraduate students who come from multiple heritages or racial/ethnic backgrounds, I found that there are three key avenues to explore racial/ethnic identity: social, workplace, and academic settings. This research illustrates how the two groups relate in terms of hybridized racial/ethnic identity, and how they differ, specifically in regards to physical presentation of race/ethnicity and (dis)connection to


birth culture. The racialization of adoptees and multiracials contributes to racial identity formation by demonstrating how racial/ethnic identity is socially constructed and changes based on context such as social and political environment. This study is theoretically significant because it contributes to the gap in the research exploring transnational adoptee identity formation, especially positioned within the context of mainstream multiracial experiences. Alison Rollman, Sociology Advisors: T. Hicks Peterson, R. Espinoza, A. Junisbai Self-Compassion among College Students and Senior Citizens: A Sociological Study My research is a quantitative analysis of self-compassion among a sample of college students and senior citizens. Participants completed a survey which is comprised of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) and demographic questions. Participants’ selfcompassion scores are analyzed in relation to age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and education. Findings demonstrate the need for further research bridging the gap between sociological and psychological discourse on self-compassion, and an understanding of self-compassion as internally cultivated by externally influenced by societal structures from a sociological perspective. Emily Sender, American Studies Uncovering the Invisible Workforce: Warehouse Workers in the Inland Empire The Inland Empire contains the largest concentration of warehouses in the world, and a majority of the people who work in these warehouses are immigrant workers who are subject to exploitation because of the nature of the logistics industry. This


research explores the conditions in warehouses, especially the role that language plays in the lives of warehouse workers, and the work of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a local organization that provides resources and advocacy for warehouse workers in the Inland Empire. Terriyonna Smith, Africana Studies & English and World Literature Advisors: L. Harris, B. Armendinger Letters from a Lost Girl, book of poetry My upbringing stemmed from everything I could not be, and that’s how my character was formed. I learned how to repress myself early. I used to receive pops to my mouth almost religiously because I spoke too much or out of turn at any moment. When I was finally able to create my own identity, I was determined to find that inner me that was punished out of me during my childhood. I wanted to become my full, open, queer, loving, emotion-full, vulnerable self – without limitations. Achieving this in a largely white space, however, has been a challenging battle – in the worlds of Langston Hughes’ mother, life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. As a result, Letters from a Lost Girl will reflect my journey to achieve personal liberation and self-identification. It will mark an excursion in which nothing is stereotypical – something the reader should keep in mind while reading. There are no limitations here – nothing is cliché, too much, or not enough. It is a book of revelations – good and bad, big and small. Austin Zimmerman, Environmental Analysis: Environment & Society Advisors: T. Spezio, S. Phillips Sustainability-Efficiency Paradox: The Efficacy of State Energy Plans in Building a More Sustainable Energy Future


For too long, efficiency has been allowed to serve as an end on its own, rather than a means of achieving an overall more sustainable planet. Focus on reducing the rate of energy usage, however, does not necessarily translate to a reduction in total usage. This means that, even while our buildings, cars, and cities become individually less resource intensive, we are not making the progress necessary to avoid the worse effects of climate change. Sustainability must be taken in a context that is beyond the generational view often quoted to students. It is not enough to leave a world that is livable for the next generation – we must also ensure that they have the tools to ensure the same for their offspring. The current political reality, one of weak federal leadership on climate issues, gives the states every opportunity to lead the way on this project. State energy plans will be a critical indicator of market trends such as the future market share of goal, natural gas, and renewables. If the future of energy in the United States is to be remotely sustainable, low-carbon policies must headline state plans. While the state energy plans in question engage with sustainability at varying levels of strength, they deal mostly in weak sustainability by failing to commit to renewables. Historical reliance on energy efficiency and its accompanying theories of growth has created a climate in which state energy plans do not generally realize their enormous potential to lead the nation as it transitions away from fossil fuels.


Student Research Abstracts 2018  

Every year, Pitzer College celebrates its annual Academic Festival, a celebration of the excellent independent research and creative project...

Student Research Abstracts 2018  

Every year, Pitzer College celebrates its annual Academic Festival, a celebration of the excellent independent research and creative project...

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