Brown University shieldBrown University

Six Sophomores Selected for Prestigious Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

April 20, 2016
New MMUF scholars

Front, left to right: Hassani Scott, Zoila Bergeron, Daniela Carrasco, Adityar Kumar, Lovinia Reynolds, Phoebe Young.

Credit: Peter Goldberg

The Dean of the College office is pleased to announce the 23nd cohort of Brown Mellon Mays Undergraduate scholars. Zoila Bergeron, Danii Carrasco, Aditya V. Kumar, Lovinia Reynolds, Hassani Scott, and Phoebe Young 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.

Hassani Scott is an Africana studies concentrator interested in exploring the contemporary legacies of the Jim Crow South on black psychology and cultural memory. Under the guidance of historian Françoise Hamlin, Hassani will begin her research in the archives at Tougaloo College. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in African American Studies.

Lovinia Reynolds is a Geology-Biology concentrator. Her research examines the effects of soil quality on the restoration of the Mata Atlantica in northeastern Brazil. Working in collaboration with her mentor Professor Stephen Porder, Lovinia will assess how carbon stocks and nutrient cycling vary based on stages of reforestation. She will begin this research this summer in Brazil and extend her stay into the fall with a global independent study on soil and forest restoration. 

Aditya V. Kumar is a History concentrator interested in examining the history of Afro-Indian transnational solidarity. His project seeks to recover narratives of collaboration between prevalent African American and Indian organizations. Adi is working with Professor Naoko Shibusawa. He intends to pursue a Ph.D. in history. 

Zoila Bergeron is concentrating in Literary Arts and Hispanic studies. Her faculty mentor is Professor Sarah Thomas. Zoila will be researching the history of the Premio Nadal, a literary prize instituted by the authoritarian regime of Francisco Franco in Spain.  Her research questions the political stakes of this prize. Zoila plans to pursue a Ph.D. upon graduating from Brown. 

Daniela Carrasco is concentrating in Geology-Biology and is interested in the analysis of dinosaur tracks. With mentorship from Professor Stephen Gatesy, her research asks how anatomy, motion and substrate interact to form the preserved dinosaur tracks analyzed today. She plans to pursue a PhD in paleontology. 

Phoebe Young is an Ethnic Studies and Public Policy concentrator. Her research looks at the erasure of Native land settlements in Rhode Island alongside the simultaneous founding of Brown University, as well as Brown’s involvement in the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Phoebe’s faculty mentor is Monica Martinez. Like her mentor, she wants to pursue a PhD in American Studies. For more information about the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, contact Dean Besenia Rodriguez.