UCEAP is pleased to announce the results of the 2012-13 UCEAP Undergraduate Research Award
competition. This year, four awardees were selected from a range of disciplines and study sites around the world. We believe these students' research exemplifies the kind of powerful learning outcomes from education abroad that UCEAP seeks to promote.
Both first place winners have been nominated by UCEAP to compete in the Forum on Education Abroad's national Research Award competition. We hope that one of them will make the final cut and be invited to present his or her work at the next Forum Conference and have their work published in their journal, Frontiers. We wish them both luck in that national competition. Marina Mautner
(UC Berkeley, major in Civil and Environmental Engineering) attended the National Autonomous University
(UNAM) in Mexico City and studied the biodegradation of pharmaceuticals in water used to irrigate agricultural land in the Tula Valley. Her experiment compared soil characteristics and pharmaceutical degradation rates from different sites and provided suggestions for future directions for study. Christopher Medeiros
(UC Santa Barbara, major in Global Studies) was a participant in the Field Research Program
in Mexico working in Chiapas. In his legal ethnography of a small Tsotsil-speaking municipality, he tested theory associated with "legal pluralism." His conclusions suggest that the local legal processes emanate solely from the state, rather than multiple sources.
Two additional researchers were selected to receive awards from UCEAP. Felicia Lau
(UC Davis, major in Civil Engineering) spent a semester in the Frontier Lab of Osaka University
in Japan. Her research sought to lessen the potential impact of natural disasters on expressways by incorporating unsaturated strength in the evaluation of slope stability. Using each site's soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC), effective regulation standards can be set to prevent disasters. Lisa Levin
(UC Berkeley, major in Comparative Literature) studied for a year at the University of Bordeaux
, France where she focused on Georges Perec's W ou le souvenir d'enfance. Her research compares this work to that of Mishima Yukio's Confessions of a Mask, and explores the manner in which their respective representations of trauma, memory and identity in the aftermath of war break down the distinctions between autobiography and fiction to recount the reactions of two very different cultures.
Applications were reviewed for quality of research concept and execution, integral and innovative use of resources at the study site, quality of presentation, distinctiveness of the research, and quality of faculty support. Each of the four winners receives $1,000 from UCEAP. Congratulations to all!