Six Sophomores Selected for Prestigious Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

May 2, 2014
New MMUF scholars

Front, left to right: Jasmine McAdams, Kristina Lee, Jacqueline Rice, Hector Peralta, Aanchal Saraf, and Maria Garcia.

Credit: Peter Goldberg

The Dean of the College office is pleased to announce the 22nd cohort of Brown Mellon Mays Undergraduate scholars. Maria Garcia, Kristina Lee, Jasmine McAdams, Hector Peralta, Jacqueline Rice, and Aanchal Saraf will conduct research under the guidance of faculty mentors, and receive funding during their junior and senior years to support their research and preparation for graduate school.

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mellon Mays Program aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in faculty positions at colleges and universities. Successful applicants demonstrate exceptional intellectual ability and motivation for graduate study. Fellows continue to receive support in graduate school and throughout their academic careers. Each scholar’s area of study is described below.

Maria Garcia is an anthropology concentrator interested in material culture in the Mexican-American borderlands. In preparation for her research on immigration narratives in the region, Maria will spend the summer at an archaeological field school. Professor Paja Faudree will supervise her research. Maria will pursue a PhD in anthropology upon graduating from Brown.

Kristina Lee is an anthropology concentrator who hopes to pursue a PhD in bio-anthropology. Kristina plans to conduct osteological research to learn more about the Tiwanaku civilization of South America. Her interest is in ritual violence, mortuary practices, and relations of power. Professor Andrew Schecter will serve as her faculty advisor.

Jasmine McAdams is a geological sciences concentrator working with Professor Warren Prell in the area of estuarine oceanography. This summer she will conduct research in Narragansett Bay on the fluctuating dissolved oxygen levels. She hopes to pursue a PhD in geology.

Hector Peralta is an education and ethnic studies concentrator interested in examining the relationship between public school curricula and academic achievement among Chicana/o students. His research, conducted under the mentorship of Professor Evelyn Hu-Dehart, will examine representations of Mexican/Mexican-American history in the San Diego Unified District's secondary curriculum. Upon graduating from Brown, Hector wishes to pursue a PhD in American or Ethnic Studies.

Jacqueline Rice is concentrating in Comparative Literature and brings an interest in the connections between European literature in the Western canon and literature by African-American and other writers of color. Her research will read Derek Walcott's Omeros alongside Virgil's Aeneid to interrogate constructions of empire and ideas of homeland and selfhood. Jackie's advisor is Professor Meera Viswanathan.

Aanchal Saraf has been working in Professor James Kellner's tropical forest lab learning to combine environmental remote sensing with field studies, quantitative methods, and modeling to address ecological research questions. Her own research will bridge biophysical and ethnographic methods in a study of the endangered Palila bird on Big Island, Hawai'I, which will also consider native Hawai'ians' relationship with scientists and with conservation approaches.

For more information about the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, contact Dean Besenia Rodriguez.