Funded Grants 2015-16

Research Grants

Lindsay Mulcahy, Race and Education in the Borderlands

I received a SAAB Research Grant to spend a week in Arizona visiting archives, libraries and museums in four different cities across the state. My research will be supporting my yearlong Honors History Thesis and my presentation at the Ray Warren Ethnic Studies Symposium this fall, which examines how U.S. popular and legal rhetoric sought to define national identity and categorize race in the context of imperialist ventures at the turn of the twentieth century. My trip to Arizona allowed me to access primary sources about an African American man named Charles Smith who served in the Spanish-American War and on the United States-Mexico border just before the Mexican Revolution, who then became a vocational teacher for American Indians at the Phoenix Indian School. The diverse and heterogeneous space Smith occupied provides me the opportunity to ask larger questions about how nationalism and racism manifest in “contact zones,” where different peoples and ideologies interact and shaped by one another. The contrasting roles that Smith occupies as a soldier, educator, and African American man is a unique opportunity to look at how different forces of oppression interact and also conflict with each other.

Lydia Bleifuss, The Effect of the Chilean Water Management System

Chile is currently attempting to navigate tremendous dilemmas in terms of water management. I will be traveling through Chile to personally conduct as many interviews as possible from a variety of perspectives. The general goal is to gain a greater understanding of how large hydro developments have altered/attempted to alter Chile’s rivers, and the resulting impacts. I will specifically be looking into how such a privatized water management system has impacted the Futaleufú, Bío Bío, and Maipo rivers and how it has sparked both national and international responses. I will be basing my ENVS senior thesis off of this research.

Molly Wyman, The International Buddhist Women’s Ordination Movement

I am researching the international Buddhist women’s ordination movement. The ordination movement is mostly composed of the Sakyadhita (Daughters of the Buddha) organization and the international ordination ceremonies they hold. I will be interviewing several significant contributors to the movement in Taipei, including the former president of Sakyadhita. I will also be visiting the Lotus Buddhist Ashram shortly following their ordination ceremonies in December and I will ask the newly ordained nuns about their decision to become fully ordained and what significance that holds to them.

My research project will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of Religious Studies, showing how it econompasses history, anthropology, sociology, rehetoic, and East Asian and Gender Studies. I hope that by sharing my research at the Gender Studies Symposium and at the Religious Studies department thesis presentation, I will engage other students interested in the same topics.

Hannah Swernoff, Poverty and Progress: Perceptions of Rural White Appalachian Poverty in Postwar America

I received a SAAB grant to study for my honors History thesis. While government and media sources portrayed 1960s Appalachia to be a helpless region of backwardness and apathy in “modern” America, individuals and communities perceived potential and hope. I am studying real people’s lives and learning their stories of heartbreak and triumph, abjection and hope, as they try to create a place for themselves in history. It is my moral obligation as a person to do so. The Appalachian people and their contributions to history are vital parts of the historical narrative. By not exploring uncharted terrain and simply ingesting information given to us at a face value, we fail to serve the world and increase our shared knowledge.

Angie Epifano, From Guinea to Lithuania: Art and the Making of Nations

I received a grant to do Art History research in Lithuania for my senior honors thesis. My thesis is entitled “From Guinea to Lithuania: Art and the Making of Nations.” It is a comparative analysis of postcolonial Guinean art with post-Soviet Lithuanian art, in order to understand how art influences the development of nationalist discourse in postcolonial nation-states. I have been unable to find any literature or documentation of contemporary Lithuanian woodcarving, which is the focus of my Lithuanian analysis for the Spring semester. In order to rectify this gap, I will travel to Lithuania and photograph sculpture parks across the country that were carved during the independence period.

Dan SizerGunbei! Academia and Entrepreneurship in Korean Rice Beer

Like Portland, Seoul is in the middle of a craft beer craze. But Seoul’s craft beer isn’t made from hops or barley, and isn’t even beer except in name. It’s made with nuruk (a fermentation starter), water, and rice. That’s all. The drink is called makgeolli. It is Korea’s oldest alcohol, and for nearly 1000 years it has been known as “the farmer’s drink.” But that’s changing. The explosion of “craft” and “premium” makgeolli brews has created a new consumer of makgeolli: the wealthy urban elite.

SAAB is allowing me to return to Korea this winter to continue half a year’s worth of research on recent developments in the makgeolli industry. I will be interviewing the “traditional” consumers of makgeolli, those who drink makgeolli street side, at home, and in restaurants, as well as this newly emerged class of high-end consumers and producers. Academically, my research will culminate in my senior thesis for East Asian Studies and hopefully a Fulbright down the road. However, I also plan to bring makgeolli across the Pacific to Portland, where its milky effervescence will be sure to tickle taste buds. Look for a brewing workshop next semester.

Hannah Rempel, Parrotfish & the Future of Caribbean Coral Reefs

Parrotfish are the dominant marine herbivore in the Caribbean, and play a key role in regulating establishment and growth of fleshy macroalgae that may otherwise outcompete coral. As desirable predatory fish stocks in the region are depleted fishing pressure on parrotfishes increases, indirectly threatening the coral-algae balance on the reef. In the past few decades many reefs have begun to shift from a coral dominated ecosystem to one overgrown by algae. This shift in reef composition has widespread detrimental repercussions, threatening both marine biodiversity, as well as Caribbean coastal communities that rely on fishing, marine tourism, and other reef ecosystem services. The fringing reef of the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire is among the healthiest and most intact in the Caribbean. Yet, between 2003 to 2009 Bonaire’s parrotfish population “plummeted” and percent coral cover declined noticeably, while percent algae cover on the reef increased dramatically. This is especially troubling as the island’s economy primarily relies upon marine- based tourism.

My study will address the following question: what are the repercussions of changes in the Bonaire’s parrotfish population on coral-algae dynamics 1) over the past two decades, 2) due to overfishing and habitat degradation? I will do this by measuring: 1) algae-coral ratios on the reef substrate, 2) rate of grazing by parrotfishes, 3) rate of algae growth, and 4) abundance and population structure of parrotfishes. I will compare two sites, on near the capital and one remote. I will compare data from the remote site to a series of 1990’s studies conducted at the same location to measure how the ecosystem has over time. Robin Gropp, a senior biology major with passion and experience in marine biology will help me conduct this research, and gain valuable experience in scientific diving.

I plan to continue this research in graduate school; I am fortunate to live in a community that values the benefits of such foundational undergraduate research. I am excited to be able to share my passion for tropical marine ecology with the school community in the spring, both through a weekend Coral Reef Conservation course, and through research presentations to share the specific findings and implications of this study. I would like to thank SAAB and the school community for supporting such crucial research.

Carmel Yang, Looking at the Greek Refugee Crisis

The European Migrant Crisis, which formally began in 2015, has been one of the most visible signs regarding the ongoing civil strife in the Middle East and Africa. While asylum seekers have been crossing the borders to reach Europe for over three decades, Greece received an unprecedented swell of refugees in 2015; the number of refugees recorded surpassed the 2014 count within the first sixth months. With such staggering numbers and still recovering from the 2008 Economic Crisis, Greece is unsurprisingly struggling to provide for and process the thousands of people. As I have been studying abroad in Greece for the past semester, my goal is to gain a better perspective on this politically and emotionally charged topic. Primarily, I hope to see how the Greek Refugee Crisis (as it is more commonly known) has affected identity formation among both Greek and non-Greek communities. More specifically, I will be looking at both local and foreign responses, as well as the different spaces that have sprung up due to these events.
I will be studying “guest houses” for refugees and interviewing several volunteers in Athens for a week before returning to the island of Lesbos to continue my prior research on volunteerism as well as continuing to work in various refugee camps, specifically PIKPA, a state-run institution which formerly hosted handicapped children but which has since been turned into a makeshift refugee camp. Camps are an extremely temporal, in that their size swell and decrease rather sporadically. Also, apart from government,United Nation, and NGO-sanctioned areas, there have been informal, moveable “camps” organized by independent volunteers that have been popping up. This SAAB grant will allow me to work as an “independent volunteer”, which gives me the freedom to travel to different sites, depending on whichever one needs additional help on that day.
Apart from the refugee crisis being an extremely politically relevant, it is also a very emotionally-charged discussion.  I plan to incorporate my observations into my senior SOAN thesis, an ethnography which will hopefully be able to show a less sensationalized report on the refugee crisis. Additionally, I plan to include photos of several of the spaces I will be visiting in order to provide a different face to the refugee crisis.

Arts & Expressions Grants

Ellie Olitsky & Tess Haratonick, Art Week Pop-Up Student Gallery

As Art History and Studio Art majors we are using our Arts and Expression Grant to go beyond what we’ve learned in the classroom and gain experience in a field we are passionate about.  Our grant will allow us to create a temporary exhibition, a Pop Up Gallery, which will showcase Lewis & Clark artists to the Portland community.   We are pushing ourselves to learn more about the industry of art in many forms including events, marketing, and curating.  We hope to bring this experience to the student body, as they are able to participate in a group exhibition by submitting their artwork and presenting a celebration of art.  This event is to showcase artists, expand the exposure of Lewis & Clark art, and give an opportunity to express creativity to a new venue.  The result of this grant will be an art opening and reception on March 30th!

Program & Conference Grants

Mayana Bonapart, 2015 Building Resilient Communities Convergence: Creative Arts & Academic Zine Project

My name is Mayana Bonapart aka May…. I am a 4th year undergrad SOAN major. My SAAB grant will be used to attend the Building Resilient Communities Convergence at the Solar Living Institute (SLI) in Hopland, California. This four-day convergence is packed with different workshops, skill shares, and speakers all discussing, teaching, and learning the most cutting edge issues in environmental sustainability and community organizing. I not only have the opportunity to attend this convergence but I will also be an active participant, as I will be running an interactive zine-making booth. I will be able to share my own zine making skills through my prior projects and photography while also teaching others how to create their own projects on topics catered to their personal interests and/or based on the convergence itself as a way to process all the information that we will be learning.

Lani Felicitas, Fillipina Leadership Global Summit

My name is Lani Felicitas and I am using this SAAB grant to attend the twelfth annual Filipina Leadership Global Summit in San Francisco. It’s a summit just for Filipino women, which I think is important because Asian Americans are often lumped together into one category, even though we have different experiences in this nation and on this campus. For me, I don’t really have role models on this campus except for Anna Gonzalez, who never has time for me (laughs) and Angela Buck … I feel like I need to hear stories about what [Filipino women] go through because right now, being in a place of higher learning, I’m living out my story but I’m not exactly sure how the story goes. There have not been many Filipino women in leadership before. If I go to the summit, I can hear everyone’s stories, their challenges and their successes. Stories about what it means to carry your Filipino ancestry to higher learning. That’s the game plan!

Eileen Muller & Maia Samerjan, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

We applied for a grant to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computer Science Conference in Houston, Texas. We applied to SAAB because we felt that this conference was extremely important to attend, not only for us as individuals, but for the larger Lewis & Clark community as well. We hope to bring back the experiences and knowledge of successful women in the industry in order to help support the women in computer science at LC and inspire more female students to take interest in computer science. Currently, there is a huge gap between the number of men and women who are in the computer science field. In 2013, an NPR report stated that out of all of the United States computer science programmers, only 20 percent were women. We are planning a spring colloquium for next semester to convey what we learned at the conference and that there is a large and growing community of support for women in computer science.

Sara Fetterly & Aspen Johnson, Society for Visual Anthropology Visual Ethnography Film Festival

Hi! We’re Sara and Aspen, and earlier this fall we applied for a conference grant to go to the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Our intention was to go to the Society for Visual Anthropology’s Film and Media Festival to check out what is trending in the world of ethnographic film currently. We both are SOAN students, and find the bridge between SOAN and art to be an important step to make. Creative expression of sociological ideas not only is more natural and creative, but it is also more widely accessible to those outside traditional academia. For these reasons, we are committed to fostering this bridge at Lewis & Clark during our final years here. Next semester, we hope to bring our experience in Denver to the Portland community by hosting an ethnographic film series, and include creative elements to our thesis projects. Shout out to SAAB for encouraging us to follow these passions and support us along the way!

Kristina Dill, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

I’ve received a SAAB Program and Conference grant to attend an intensive five-day workshop at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.  The Alda Center is a multi-disciplinary organization, based at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism.  Scientists have both a need and an obligation to deeply engage with others about their work; successful communication is necessary in order to collaborate with scientists in other fields, teach effectively, secure funding, convey findings to the media, and empower both politicians and the public to make informed policy decisions.  The organization’s mission is to increase the public’s understanding of science by teaching scientists to communicate more effectively with those outside of their disciplines.  This is accomplished through courses utilizing the unique Alda Method, in which scientists improve their communication skills through studying improvisation.

Grace Melfhaff, 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition
Organophosphate pesticides are some of the most effective, but also the most toxic pesticides used in commercial agriculture. In 2008, 33 million pounds of organophosphate pesticides were applied to U.S. farms alone. Acute exposure to these pesticides can cause death due to respiratory arrest, while prolonged low-level exposure has been linked to neurologic defects which often present symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. Due to the high toxicity of these pesticides and the fact that they have become ubiquitous in our food and water supplies, efforts are being made to dispose of these pesticides cleanly and efficiently before they reach our food and water. The research I am conducting for my BCMB Honors Senior Thesis seeks to investigate how to degrade these pesticides more cleanly and efficiently, building off of contributions made by past research students in the Kuo lab. Specifically, my research employs the use of molybdenum oxides and an ion exchange resin to promote the methanolysis of organophosphorous pesticides, yielding non-toxic byproducts.
I received a SAAB Conference Grant to attend and present my research at the 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, California. ACS is the world’s largest scientific organization, and its biannual meetings are some of the most highly attended scientific conferences in the world. During the week-long conference, chemists from around the world, representing a variety of chemical disciplines, convene to present new and exciting research in the field of chemistry. In addition to attending several such presentations, I will also be presenting the research that I am conducting for my BCMB Honors Senior Thesis. Attending this conference will not only give me the opportunity to represent the Lewis & Clark science departments and share my research with scientists from around the world, but also to gain their feedback on my thesis project.
Matthew Wong, Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit
I received a SAAB Conference Grant to attend the 2016 Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit from April 8 – 10. The conference aims to deepen the understanding of China and China-US relations among undergraduates who are interested in Chinese politics and Sino-American relations. This year’s conference has a special resonance in that it will be discussing soft power and China’s use of soft power. Soft power is one of many forms of power. Rather than coercive means or using material incentives to persuade people or states to do something, soft power relies on the attractiveness of culture, values and conduct to change an entity’s preference. Speeches and panel discussions by leading US-China relations experts and former US ambassadors to China and student research presentations will provide an opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex US-China relations and to facilitate exchange of views. More centrally, the examination of China’s soft power use (such as the proliferation of controversial Confucius Institutes and China’s increasing economic engagement with developing countries in Africa and South America) will discern features and conditions that make soft power effective or ineffective. I am looking forward to sharing my experience with LC community members.

Visiting Scholars Grant

Archived Funded Grants

(by Academic Year)

2014 – 2015

2013 – 2014


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