Summer 2012 Undergraduate Research Internship Program
Congratulations to our participants, we look forward to next year's program!
The Center is pleased to conclude our our 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program. Congratulations to the awardees! Students received graduate-level research experience, and one-on-one mentoring from faculty and graduate students. Read more to learn about the faculty/student pairs, the projects and how this internship benefited the students involved.
Look for next year’s call in Spring 2013.
Lisa R. Pruitt & Jerika
Heinze (Cultural Anthropology)
This internship research investigated the links between poverty, child neglect, and state intervention in the family in the form of either child removal or termination of parental rights. Work included surveying the fifty states’ laws on this topic with the goal of identifying trends in state laws that may render particular states’ laws more or less hostile to families living in poverty or otherwise lacking adequate material resources to raise children.
I hope to use the knowledge [gained from this internship] to influence law and policy reform related to children and families, while also helping to achieve widespread recognition of the faces, conditions, and realities of poverty.
Marianne Page & Justin
This internship focused on the long-run impact on children of growing up during a recession, as well the causes of test score disparities across income groups, with particular emphasis on parental inputs. Work included assembling data, calculating summary statistics, conducting literature reviews, running simple regressions in stata, creating tables of results and creating power point slides.
This position is an important gateway into the research environment, which is naturally the next step in achieving my career goals. – Justin
Jonathan London &
Nivedhitha Balasubramanian (Int’l
This project applied three multi-indicator indices to analyze cumulative environmental vulnerabilities in the Eastern Coachella Valley, one of the most impoverished regions of California. Work highlighted and analyzed the status of children and youth in the region, and the well-being of special populations such as indigenous Mexicans (e.g., Purépecha), southern California tribes, and undocumented immigrants.
I hope to gain first-hand experience of analyzing and developing public policy briefs and tools that affect the environmental and economic health of the region. – Nive
Gail S. Goodman & Mayra
This project focused on developing a short screening measure for low-income Spanish-speaking adults to determine those at risk for learning problems, so that assistance may be provided to access traditional safety net programs. Work included eligibility screening, screen administration, scoring, and data entry vital to identifying low-income Spanish-speaking adults with learning disabilities who apply for welfare funds.
This project addresses a great need for educational assistance among learning-disabled Latinos who qualify for welfare and my career and research goals will be highly enhanced by this internship. – Mayra
Michal Kurlaender & Reginne
This project focused on access to postsecondary schooling, taking into consideration rising tuition costs along with decreasing federal financial aid. Work focused on analyzing current policies regarding access to education.
This internship will provide valuable analytical skills that will be essential in performing quantitative research.
Ross Thompson & Alberto
This project examined the influence of economic risk on multiple indices of social competence when children are 4 years old and again approximately 18 months later. Work included behavioral coding; entering and preparing data for analysis; running statistical analyses; and preparing reports of the findings. Alberto presented earlier findings in this project at the Undergraduate Research Conference.
Research in these subsets is lacking and I hope to fill that niche. – Alberto
Ming-Cheng Lo & Irene
Through in-depth interviews, this project examined the structural and cultural constraints faced by immigrant medical assistants and nurses who work with low-income co-ethnic patients in primary care. Early findings indicate that, while policy makers have promoted the increase of co-ethnic medical staff as a useful measure to facilitate patient-centered care for immigrant patients, providers’ and patients’ experiences question the rationale of this policy. Work included transcription of interviews, vital to the progression of the study.
As an aspiring physician, I am excited for the promising implications of this study and how it can better inform future health policies in providing culturally sensitive care. I will be able to leave UC Davis prepared to be a better social scientist, and hopefully, a better physician. – Irene
Ann Huff Stevens & Aileen
This project explored how the alternative poverty measure announced by the Census Bureau this year affects our estimates of how long individuals remain below the poverty line. While a rich literature exists on poverty dynamics and poverty spells, little work has been done to adapt the poverty spells literature to these new measures of poverty.
Work included gathering data to estimate medical expenses, taxes, and in-kind benefit receipt with available data from 1970 through 2009.
I hope to employ the methods used to analyze and acquire data in a more practical, less theoretical way than I would have the opportunity to learn in a class. – Aileen
Keith Widaman & Jester
This project investigated how poverty and migrant worker family lifestyles in early childhood affect educational experiences in Hispanic families. Work included completion of an annotated bibliography of research published to date regarding the possible impact of mobile parenting and poverty on children’s development.
This internship, and researching factors of poverty and migrancy in Hispanic populations, will allow me to develop cultural competence in assessing and treating such populations when I enter the field as a clinical psychologist.
Lucia Kaiser & Olivia
Hernandez (Chican@ Studies)
This internship explored the potential of economic incentives and educational interventions to improve the nutrition of immigrant children. This project is part of a community-based, five-year quasi-experimental intervention Niños Sanos, Familia Sana (Healthy Children, Healthy Families), which is funded to prevent childhood obesity in a Mexican-origin population in Central Valley. The intervention is designed to address economic determinants of childhood obesity by providing fruit and vegetable vouchers and family night nutrition education to 300 families in Firebaugh.