Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1995-1996 index

Distributed May 9, 1996
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

Inaugural Royce Fellows reception honors 25 student scholars at Brown

Twenty-five Royce fellows were honored at a private reception at the home of President and Mrs. Gregorian on Thursday, May 9. Program founder Charles Royce was present to congratulate the recipients and award the certificates.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A private reception to honor the 1996 Royce fellows was held today (Thursday, May 9) at the President's House, 55 Power St. Approximately 100 people, including the 25 Royce fellows, faculty sponsors, senior administrators and members of Brown's governing boards, gathered to hear Brown President Vartan Gregorian and Charles Royce, trustee and founder of the fellowship program, offer congratulatory remarks and award the certificates.

The Royce Fellows Program was established earlier this year by a $3-million gift from Charles Royce, a 1961 graduate of Brown and parent of two Brown graduates. Royce, president of the Royce Funds, served as a University trustee from 1989 to 1995 and was an active member of several committees, including CAFA (Committee on Admission and Financial Aid), which he chaired in 1994-95. He remains active with CAFA as a trustee emeritus.

Royce fellows will receive awards of up to $4,000 that will support a proposed research or curricular project or a public service project during the summer or academic year. The award includes a small stipend and additional support to meet such project expenses as travel to conferences, purchase of books, acquisition of software or research equipment and so forth. The program celebrates exceptional academic performance, creativity, leadership and community service by undergraduates. It will support research and other educational enrichment projects of each fellow's choosing and will confer lifetime membership in the Society of Royce Fellows.

S. Kristi Abrams, Class of 1998
Concentration: Philosophy/Neuroscience
Abrams proposes to study the philosophy and science of a group of thinkers living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Kant, Mach, Einstein, Schlick and Russell, to investigate whether objective scientific knowledge is possible given the subjectivity of individual experience.

Kirstin E. Aschbacher, Class of 1998
Concentration: Independent/Ethnomusicology
Aschbacher's project focuses on her interests in a new philosophy of improvisational, rhythmic music education. While taking classes at the New England Conservatory, she will continue to work on her current ethnomusicological research project on the relationship between educational methods and improvisational ability.

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Class of 1998
Concentration: English/Program in Liberal Medical Education
Beach-Ferrara proposes to continue a creative writing project that she began as an independent study, exploring the cathartic potential of creative writing for both doctors and patients dealing with grief. It is her hope to submit the finished work for publication.

Timothy W. Brennan, Class of 1997.5
Concentration: Computer Science
Brennan will continue his research on parallel and distributed debugging. He hopes to develop and present strategies which help computer programmers debug nondeterministic parallel programs and to implement a real production level version of the tool he has been researching.

Jorge G. Casimiro, Class of 1998
Concentration: Human Biology/Organizational Behavior
Casimiro's project involves research at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Office of the Medical Director for the City of Houston. He will use the knowledge gained from his summer research and collaborate on revising "Biology 83: Environmental Health" to include more case-based work.

Julie Sunhwa Chee, Class of 1997
Concentration: Independent/Deaf Studies
Chee proposes to develop an American sign language dictionary prototype to be submitted for her honors thesis. Her project consists of the systematic reorganization of an existing ASL dictionary to make it more accessible to deaf people with little to no knowledge of the English language.

Steven A. Corcelli, Jr., Class of 1997
Concentration: Chemistry
Corcelli will build on his previous research work in theoretical chemical physics and proposes to investigate the effects of quantum mechanics on the theory of instantaneous normal modes (INM's). The theory of INM's can capture the short time classical behavior of atomic and simple molecular liquids and is at the core of a number of active research areas in both materials chemistry and solid state physics.

Liz Cottrell, Class of 1997
Concentration: Geochemistry
Cottrell's project involved continuing her research of the Minoan eruption of the Santorini volcano in Greece. Her goal is to establish the conditions in the magna chamber directly prior to eruption, as this information is vital for understanding what triggers explosive eruptions. The final phase of her project includes submitting an abstract to the American Geophysical Union for publication.

Franklin A. Cruz, 1999
Concentration: Public Policy/American Civilization
Cruz will research recent changes in special education policies in public schools. Specifically, he will investigate current legislative and legal efforts to include special education students in general education classrooms. Additionally, Cruz will look at trends and implications of this movement by focusing on policies in New York, Boston and Providence.

Justin A. Driver, Class of 1997
Concentration: Public Policy
Driver's research focuses on evaluating African American male academies. His work includes examining the academic performance of academy graduates as well as interviewing education experts who have spoken in support of and in opposition to the academies. He will also spend time developing a case study through firsthand interviews with students, teachers and administrators of an academy in Milwaukee, Wis.

Alexandra Freidus, Class of 1998
Concentration: American History
Freidus' project will establish a mentor program for teen-age girls which will pair young women with community mentors whose interests and careers are complimentary. The program will also engage the teen-age girls in a series of interactive discussions with the goal of creating a space for them to further develop their voices and visions.

David Goldberg, Class of 1998
Concentration: Engineering/Neuroscience
Goldberg will be researching and developing neural network models (computer simulations) of the visual cortex that provides information about how groups of neurons represent and process information. The aim of these models is to predict and explain the computational processes that underlie perception, learning and memory.

Benjamin E. Kafka, Class of 1998
Concentration: Modern Culture and Media/History
Kafka's thesis research will explore how conspiracy propaganda works with history, and how it works in history, as part of American pop culture. He is also interested in studying the use of conspiracy histories in propaganda as a formal problem, in the texture of its language, in its styles and techniques. Kafka's work will focus on the 15 years following World War II.

Rebecca LeGrand, Class of 1997
Concentration: Biology
LeGrand will continue working as part of a research team studying the foraging and fitness attributes of the crab spider Misumena vatia. Her research will focus on the mating behavior of male crab spiders since there exists a large base of knowledge on the ecology and behavior of the females. LeGrand hopes that her research findings will culminate in a senior honors thesis.

Katherine Lim, Class of 1998
Concentration: English/History of Art
Lim's project involves revising and recasting "English 44 - King Arthur: From Modern Fantasy to Medieval Text." Lim's research involves studying texts that illustrate the Arthurian myth from the period 1500-1800, determining what part of the course should incorporate modern fantasy, and devising ways to raise issues regarding the formulation and evolution of myths.

Dimitrios Mitsouras, Class of 1998
Concentration: Physics
Mitsouras will be involved in research that will numerically study, with the use of computers, the predictions of different models of structure formation as applied to a new liquid mirror telescope survey, and to carefully model the uncertainties in the observational results. In particular, he will work as part of a team investigating inflationary universe models, cosmic string models and global texture models.

Benjamin F. Moser, Class of 1998
Concentration: History/Portuguese Moser's research focuses on examining immigration to Brazil in the first half of the century, with a focus on understanding the experiences of the Jewish people who settled there. He is particularly interested in preparing a thesis studying the community's process of self-definition in the period of 1930-1945. Moser's research will involve both archival research and primary research this fall when he studies in Brazil.

Ned Presnall, Class of 1998
Concentration: Religious Studies Presnall will study monasticism in the Christian tradition, looking at its origins and development, focusing on its theological foundations and its social and religious contexts. He will also examine contemporary monasticism and consider the tension of monastic life, defined by a rich and ancient tradition but challenged by modern cultural values.

Bianka Ramirez, Class of 1997
Concentration: Women's Studies
Ramirez has proposed a three-part project addressing domestic violence in the Latino community. Her work will involve doing thesis research examining the socialization process of women and gender role prescriptions as leading factors in domestic violence. As a service component, Ramirez will help provide support for Latina survivors of domestic violence and design an educational program to raise awareness in the broader Latino community.

Robin Romm, Class of 1998
Concentration: English/Women's Studies
Romm will continue her work with the women's division of the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution. She will facilitate and organize theater art, creative expression and reading workshops with women inmates, compile a book of written and visual art by participants and document her experience with the inmates and prison administration.

Jason Ross, Class of 1998
Concentration: American History
Ross' project proposes to establish a partnership with the Rhode Island School for the Deaf. Specifically, he will continue and build on his experience working as a classroom aide for children who are deaf and will involve more Brown students in this unique opportunity to assist the children in reaching their academic goals.

Rebecca Stark, Class of 1998
Concentration: Comparative Literature/English/Russian
Stark' s work will take her to New York City where she will investigate the work of New York performance artists and continue taking acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Her research and course of study will culminate in the development of her own script for a solo performance piece.

Dzung Vo, Class of 1998
Concentration: Psychology
Vo's project focuses on the experiences of Southeast Asian Americans living in the San Francisco Bay area concerning issues related to cultural adjustment, spiritual and religious development, and intergenerational relationships. He will conduct personal interviews, gathering oral histories from which to construct narratives in the form of short stories. The aim is to develop a collection of stories to be published as a book.

Wei Mun Wang, Class of 1998
Concentration: Physics/Economics
Wang will be working on enhancing the problem sets for the graduate course "AM 256 - Applied Math: Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations II." Wang will be responsible for solving a series of problems from a new text using a matrix-oriented software program that uses iterative methods in solving partial differential equations, a common requirement in engineering and the physical and social sciences.

Dayla Watson, Class of 1997
Concentration: Organizational Behavior/African American Studies
Watson will develop the Sisterhood Teen Empowerment Program (STEP) targeted toward high school-age, young women of color from Providence. The program's goal is to provide an open space for young women that will allow for self-expression and interaction. Her vision is to foster creativity, leadership and sisterhood among the participants by engaging them in designing and producing a video documentary dealing with issues the young women are facing in their lives.