Distributed May 10, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

The 2000 Royce Fellowship Program

Twenty-four undergraduates receive fellowships for research, public service

Twenty-four Brown University undergraduates will receive Royce Fellowships, which will enable them to advance their research and public service projects locally, nationally and internationally.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Twenty-four Brown University undergraduates have been selected to receive Royce Fellowships – awards of up to $4,000 that will help them complete proposed research, curricular development and public service projects locally, nationally and internationally.

From India and Haiti to New York and Washington, D.C., this year’s recipients will research their chosen topics in the fields of medicine, physics, technology and the arts and take on social, political and environmental projects.

The Royce Fellows Program celebrates exceptional academic performance, creativity, leadership and community service by undergraduates. Recipients are awarded lifetime membership in the Society of Royce Fellows, which supports reflection and inquiry by inspiring Fellows to connect their scholarly work with that of their peers and faculty. This year’s contingent brings the Society’s membership to 124.

The Royce Fellowship Program was established at Brown in 1996 by Charles Royce, a 1961 graduate. Royce, president of Royce Funds, is also a University trustee.

This year’s recipients are:


Wayne Leighty, Class of 2001, of Juneau, will estimate the total amount of carbon held in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest by synthesizing forest inventory data and stand-level carbon budgets. By estimating changes in this forest inventory, he will project carbon flux under several possible forest management scenarios.


Adelia Barber, Class of 2001, of Los Gatos, will pursue a set of experiments designed to improve the management of the Santa Cruz tarplant, a highly endangered wildflower that grows in the rare coastal prairies of California. She hopes to identify the cause of the plant’s low reproduction rates and facilitate its restoration and survival.


Roger Turner, Class of 2001, of Littleton, intends to study the social and legal reaction to weather modification. He will use on-site research, personal interviews and participant observation to compare two cases – one historical, the other contemporary – to examine how the legal system has reacted to attempts to impose cloud seeding projects on rural communities.


Conor Evans, Class of 2002, of Newton, plans to construct a complete quantum mechanical and geometrical characterization of a chemical reaction by combining the three complementary techniques of free jet spectroscopy, pump-probe electron diffraction and photoelectron spectroscopy.


Sushma Sheth, Class of 2001, of Miami, will engage youth-led grassroots AIDS organizations this summer in India in a three-day capacity building conference. The conference will be designed to offer student leaders tools to enhance their programs and provide them with the opportunity to build a stable peer network.


Mahasin Jullanar Abuwi, Class of 2001, of Savannah, plans to investigate the transformation of Nation of Islam under the leadership of Warith Deen into a fast-growing interracial, religious, political and economic movement. He will examine the change through interviews with converts to Nation of Islam ideology.


Anna Galland, Class of 2001.5, of Evanston, will conduct primary historical research on African American legal activism in Reconstruction-era Chicago, an early and largely unexplored episode in the struggle for black civil rights. She plans to use this research as the basis of her senior thesis and for an educational Web site.


James Battat, Class of 2001, of Bethesda, will study the characterization of infrared and sub-millimeter wavelength filters to facilitate the analysis of the radiation from the furthest known objects in the Universe. He will measure the optical transmission properties of these filters, repeating the calibration tests from room to cryogenic temperatures.


Douglas Martland, Class of 2001, of Duxbury, will use primary documents to examine a series of disease initiatives implemented in Providence in the late 19th century and their unexpected outcomes. His final analysis will present local history in three forms: a history honors thesis, a Web site and an exhibit.

Samuel S. Seidel, Class of 2002, of Cambridge, will travel to Haiti to explore the cultural boundaries between Haiti and the United States to better understand the experiences of Haitian immigrants. Upon his return, he will collaboratively produce a performance piece for schools that will describe the experiences of a Haitian child who immigrates to the United States.

Irene Tung, Class of 2001, of Lexington, will collaborate with a research partner in Mexico to gather oral histories of the 1968 Mexican student movement, La Liga 23 de Septiembre, and an affiliated, historically undocumented guerrilla movement. Her interviews will also capture the activists’ life histories and their impressions of the current student movement in Mexico.

New Jersey

Pavani Reddy, Class of 2001, of Sommerdale, will research the economic impact of information technology (IT) development in the city of Hyderabad, located in the rural state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Her research on this global IT hub will be the basis for her senior thesis in economics, in which she intends to propose policy for using IT to benefit low-income populations.

Craig Suthammanont, Class of 2001, of Jersey City, plans to establish The Awakening, a summer leadership institute designed to improve Jersey City by training its future leaders. Students in the program will hear speakers, debate issues and carry out volunteer projects organized to foster the knowledge and attitude of strong, positive leaders.

New Hampshire

Nick Rutter, Class of 2002, of Lebanon, will investigate the history and current practices of sweatshops in New York City. He will use his research to produce an educational 32-page comic book designed to bolster the efforts of human rights groups and draw attention to sweatshop practices.

New York

Kimberly Beil, Class of 2002, of Schenectady, plans to write the story of Providence’s Phantom Boxing Club, a place where trainer Artie Artwell teaches life lessons along with punches, inspiring his boxers to have confidence in themselves. Beil will tell Artwell’s story from the perspective of a Brown student, but also as a boxer and one of his devoted students.

Stephen Flynn, Class of 2001, of Pearl River, will investigate the psychological and sociological issues faced by testicular cancer patients after the loss of a malignant testicle. He will compare patient concerns at the time of diagnosis with patient concerns two years after cure to determine how testicular cancer patients incorporate their illness into their lives.

Mohsin Malik, Class of 2001, of New York City, will create a computer simulation of a technically difficult laboratory experiment to enable undergraduate students to examine virtual neuronal cells, using virtual syringes and chemicals to reveal connections in the nervous system. He will incorporate this simulation into the laboratory section of a neuroanatomy course at Brown.

Akanksha Mehta, Class of 2002, of Scarsdale, will study the significance of chronic diarrhea as an opportunistic infection among HIV-positive patients in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He will examine the history, clinical presentation and causative pathogens associated with chronic diarrhea in an in-patient hospital setting.


Julie Bacon, Class of 2002, of Dayton, plans to document new work by contemporary American choreographer Bill T. Jones. Using film and video, she will record the process through which Jones’ material and emotional subject matter evolves into movement. She hopes to illustrate the relationship of his choreography, which begins with the study of real objects, people and human emotions, to contemporary society.

Lee Panich, Class of 2001, of Athens, will research three homesteads in Hidalgo County, N.M., built circa 1900 by American and European pioneer families. Utilizing interviews, archival research and archaeological mapping to uncover the story of this region’s frontier heritage, he will create a record of the buildings and the forces that governed their use.


Tom Pepinsky, Class of 2001, of Camp Hill will continue his involvement with the Lao American community in southeastern New England. Based at the Watlao Buddhovath Buddhist Center in Smithfield, R.I., he will build community awareness of Lao American refugee issues through both scholarship and public service to ensure the continued viability of the Lao American community in the region.


Heather Goldsmith, Class of 2001, of Salt Lake City, is continuing work on a project demonstrating the benefits of using a tissue adhesive as an alternative to suturing for closing wounds in microgravity. Her ultimate goal as the project leader is to design, build and test a tissue adhesive applicator, leading to the development of a prototype for use on the space shuttle.

Washington, D.C.

Lauren Anita Arrington, Class of 2001, plans to coordinate the expansion of the Liberation Summer Project (LSP), an African American internship project based in Selma, Ala., to a new site in Washington, D.C. She will serve as the Washington project’s principal advisor, overseeing four to eight interns in the development of programs to meet their community’s needs.


Daizaburo Shizuka, Class of 2001, of Ashiya, will conduct an ethnobotanical documentation of the medicinal plant garden of Don Carlos Sancho, an expert horticulturist at the Cerro de Oro community in Costa Rica. He hopes his documentation will preserve Don Carlos Sancho’s expertise for the local community and serve as a reference for further studies in ethnobotany.