Current Scholar List

Marisa Carino - LMU
Project Title: Empower HER - Show Summary
Empower HER seeks to increase the number of school girls in attendance at school in Africa by providing proper menstruation care resources. Increasing school attendance increases the girls’ quality of education and opportunity to pursue professional goals. One of the main threats to quality education for young African women is the lack of resources and knowledge of proper care during menstruation. In fact, only 10% of girls stated that they had a place to manage menstruation at school. Of the remaining 90%, over 40% admitted that they had missed school because of menstruation. Empower HER actively works with the non-profit organization called End Malaria Now (EMN) to identify the schools with girls at highest risk in Sierra Leone and seeks to eliminate this threat through three key steps. First, Empower HER helps girls in Sierra Leon develop relationships with students at LMU through a pen-pal program with LunaPads, a company which will provide feminine products and raise awareness about this urgent matter. Second, the project will educate girls on proper hygiene, and add feminine products to care packages previously constructed by EMN, called Massada kits. The final step is the result of the previous two, to develop project sustainability. While the Pen-Pal program establishes life-long relationships between students on tw separate continents, it will also provide motivation for continuing fundraising and awareness for women’s health. The legacy of knowledge will be passed down to the next generation, eliminating this obstacle to education for girls.
Cecelia DiMino - UCB
Project Title: Chords For Progression - Show Summary
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Pythagoras appreciated these hidden potentials. Thinking in mathematical and musical concepts opens up a new understanding of the world. For adolescent Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) coming from countries where poverty, disaster, civil unrest, persecution, or gender restrictions have affected their development of literacy and opportunities for education, the need to access this understanding is especially critical. Chords for Progression is an after-school program for Oakland area Castlemont High School refugee/asylum-seeking immigrants that fuses math with musicianship. Music increases both the surface area and volume of the brain and promotes emotional healing; basic math is essential to academics and daily living. This project offers an accelerated learning capability – let’s unlock their hidden potentials and see them thrive, academically and socially.
Areian Eghbali - UCSD
Project Title: Educational Advancement Program - Show Summary
Educational Advancement Program is a student-run outreach effort that will start at San Diego High School and expand to other high schools in underserved areas of San Diego. With an established support system here at UCSD and at San Diego High School, the goal of this program is to show students that they can pursue their passions regardless of the circumstances. Executed in the three phases of Exposure, Immersion, and Presentation, EAP strives to walk students through learning by exposing them to the possibilities in STEM, teaching them about the applications of what they learn in STEM, and enhancing their ability to present their work in a professional setting. Throughout this year-long process, EAP mentors will be in constant communication with students to ensure that the maximum level of learning and impact takes place. Furthermore, data will be collected on student progress throughout the program and future cycles of the program adjusted based on the feedback received. My ultimate goal for this program is to be implemented in all under-served high schools in San Diego and empower students to realize their potential and pursue their goals with optimism and confidence.
Phong Hong - UCR
Project Title: Project 51- The Refugee Empowerment Project - Show Summary
Named after the UN Refugee Convention of 1951, Project 51 aims to empower refugee women through two approaches. (1) Addressing the women’s need to learn English, Project 51’s Language and Cultural Immersion Course will offer a conversational partner program, which pairs refugee women with UCR students or Riverside community members to practice English and exchange culture. (2) Addressing the need of health literacy, Project 51’s Learning Circle will offer group discussions among refugees and community members to talk about topics concerning refugee’s well-being such as managing health and coping with race-related stress. In collaboration with on-campus academic departments and off-campus nonprofit organizations, Project 51 will cultivate strong relationships between the refugee community and local community. As the first UCR refugee support program, the project hopes to provide the resources needed for refugee women to empower themselves and their families as they start their new lives in the United States.
Aanchal Johri - Stanford
Project Title: Paperfuge: A Low-Cost, Electricity-Free Centrifuge for Point of Care Diagnostics in Low-Resource Communities - Show Summary
Parasitic diseases such as malaria are pervasive diseases that affect over a billion people worldwide each year, with especially high fatality rates throughout Africa and parts of South Asia. The current approaches for diagnosis are ineffective and inaccessible to many resource-limited communities around the world, where these diseases are most prevalent. Working with MacArthur Genius Fellow Dr. Manu Prakash, I helped develop the "paperfuge," a 20-cent, 2-gram, electricity-free centrifuge that achieves the same results as conventional centrifuges. I have demonstrated that the paperfuge can be used to diagnose diseases such as malaria, filariasis, and anemia. These results have encouraged me to share the device with the global community. My goals going forward are threefold. First, I would like to bring the device to a new community (namely, Ifanadiana,Madagascar). Second, I aim to train community health care workers in how to use it and will work with them to implement this device in their standard medical protocols. Finally, I will collaborate with other doctors and medical workers, so they can implement the device in their own community studies as well. Ultimately, I hope that this low-cost paperfuge opens up more opportunities for point-of-care diagnostics in resource-limited communities.
Pranuthi Kanneganti - UCM
Project Title: Stepping Into Science - Show Summary
Stepping Into Science is an innovative program that aims to educate and encourage young, female and minority students to pursue the sciences. By empowering and encouraging their intellect and skill development, students will be able to overcome barriers to their success in science education. Regardless of their socioeconomic status (SES), race and ethnicity, and gender,students will learn that they can be successful in the sciences if they work hard and maintain their dedication. Through academic and enhancement hands-on activities and the program’s curriculum, eighty sixth-grade students at Peterson Elementary School in Merced will have an opportunity to learn about the natural sciences in a way that they cannot without this program due to a lack of funding.
Ioannis Kournoutas - UCD
Project Title: Inspire to Aspire: Mentorship Services for At-Risk H.S. Students in Underserved Populations (Shared Project) - Show Summary
In our own academic aspirations, Sina and I have been blessed. New Americans, and new to the education system, we doubt we would have ever gotten this far without the great mentors we’ve had in our lives. We want to pay it forward. In collaboration with Dr. Jordan Peterson (U. of Toronto), and Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (Stanford), we aim to enact a holistic college-prep mentorship program that assists at-risk and first- generation youth. Utilizing these professor’s successful programs, we will match high school students with UC Davis Mentors who will guide them through the college application process, ensuring they reach their max potential.
Jason Li - Stanford
Project Title: Theatrical Vignettes as an Educational Tool to Improve Communication and Wellbeing in Asian-American Families - Show Summary
In response to the disproportionate representation of Asian-American in suicide clusters in high school students in the Bay Area, this project aims to provide practical tools for Asian-American families to address difficult and often stigmatized topics in mental health through theatrical vignettes and audience engagement. Surveys have shown that Asian-American parents and their children identify stigma against mental health as well as open communication between family members as significant barriers to accessing mental health services. From eating disorders to self-harm, from talking about depression to showing affection for the first time, the vignettes guide audience members by simulating difficult, real-life scenarios that families face—with specific emphasis on the cultural expectations and challenges that arise in Asian-American households. By partnering with educators, psychiatrists, community organizers, and families themselves, this project will expand its reach through other vulnerable areas in the Bay Area and beyond, with the aim of developing educational materials and a curriculum through which schools and organizations throughout the country can host their own vignettes to confront this deep, urgent, and underserved need within the Asian-American community.
Sara Murphy - Pomona
Project Title: Music Education in Pomona - Show Summary
This project will establish a music education program for low income youth at the dA Center for the Arts in the city of Pomona. Volunteer teachers from the Claremont Colleges will teach weekly group lessons for students ages 8-13, who will use violins owned by the dA Center. The goal of the program is to provide the opportunity for a musical education, foster a sense of community, develop a sense of confidence and identity in the participating youth, and create a mutually beneficial relationship between students at the Claremont Colleges and the surrounding community. This program is an expansion of initial programming that has been done at the dA in response to community requests for additional opportunities for musical education access.
Marcus Myers - LMU
Project Title: Empowering Young Indigenous women Through Healthcare Education - Show Summary
In Northern Guatemala, in the region of Alta Verapaz, 90% of the rural indigenous population lives below the poverty line. This leads to great inequalities which disproportionately affect the most vulnerable population in the region- indigenous young women. This population is at three times the risk of maternal mortality. They have 50% higher malnutrition rates where malnutrition is astoundingly high. In a region of astonishingly low education rates, the indigenous young women are at the highest risk of dropping out of school, and only 11% enroll in secondary school. This project aims to address this by partnering with the St. Louis University’s College of Nursing and a local educational center for the advancement of women run by nuns. The aim of this project is to train the teachers at the center in healthcare delivery and community health work. These teachers will train the young women at the center in specific health care necessities of that region. We will be constructing a building which will be dedicated to the life sciences, where the teachers of the center will receive their training from health care professionals and will conduct their own classes once they have been trained. Our aim is to make this program a sustainable education program that will promote the United Nations’ right of Human Security and encourage these women to be change-makers in their community and beyond.
Bhavesh Patel - UCI
Project Title: Towards A Healthy Future: A Youth-Based Community-Wide Tobacco Intervention in Rural India - Show Summary
The villagers of Dabka, Gujarat, India endure many public health burdens, isolated from the reliable sanitation and quality health education available in cities. Lack of health literacy and socio-economic disadvantage in rural villages like Dabka, where there is a critical shortage of health workers, are closely linked to adverse health outcomes. Tobacco-induced diseases have been particularly detrimental. More than 19% of 13-15 year old boys and 8% of girls in rural India use tobacco, due to ease of access from nearby farmers, lack of local preventative measures, and ultimately, low health literacy. In order to effectively combat this fundamentally preventable health crisis, I propose to design and implement a youth-based community-wide tobacco intervention program to innovatively engage community members themselves, including local students, teachers and village leaders, as agents of change supplemental to external health workers. This program will not only help to combat tobacco, but it will also advance a long-term goal of empowering villagers with a foundation of general health literacy and advocacy skills to assess and improve all aspects of their well-being.
Catherine Rivas - UCD
Project Title: Esperanza Project: A Women's Health Initiative to Bring Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Services to Yolo County - Show Summary
Among Hispanic/Latino women, breast cancer will be the leading cause of cancer death. However, only 58.8% of Hispanic/Latino women over 40 have had a mammogram within the last two years, a much lower rate than other populations. This can be attributed to a variety of factors. Knight’s Landing is a small agrarian community in Yolo County where women at high risk for breast cancer have little access. The Esperanza Project is a community-based women’s health initiative created in partnership with the community clinic, Knight’s Landing One Health Center. The Esperanza Project will work to promote breast cancer prevention by increasing the access to breast cancer screening services, enhancing awareness of breast health , and empowering the women of the community to take active roles in their own health. By accomplishing these goals, we hope to provide breast cancer services to a population that would not otherwise receive them, thus detecting breast cancer early and increasing the overall health and well-being of the community.
Teofanny Saragi - Pomona
Project Title: SEEDS: Seeking Educational Empowerment, Diversity and Solidarity - Show Summary
I am proposing the creation and implementation of SEEDS (Seeking Educational Empowerment, Diversity, and Solidarity). SEEDS is a semester-based ethnic studies program that will be conducted at Prototypes, a Southern California center that provides health and rehabilitation services for women recovering from the trauma of incarceration and poverty. Through SEEDS, the women at Prototypes will gain a breadth of cultural literacies, learn transformational knowledge, develop leadership skills, and cultivate a passion for civic engagement and social responsibility. The course will involve collaboration and engagement between students from the Claremont Colleges and community students at Prototypes. Coming out of the course, both Claremont and Prototypes students will be newly inspired and energized to work for a more just society.
Akhila Yechuri - UCM
Project Title: Civic Education In the Central Valley - Show Summary
I will implement a multi-part civic education program in Golden Valley High School in Merced. The program, known as Civics in the Central Valley (CICV), will consist of student-led development projects, civics lessons, and meetings with local officials. I have secured relationships in each of the program’s respective components to ensure that this expansive and holistic Strauss Foundation project can be implemented successfully. CICV aims to provide underserved students in Merced with a sustainable outlet for civic innovation and education.
Sina Zarandi - UCD
Project Title: Inspire to Aspire: Mentorship Services for At-Risk H.S. Students in Underserved Populations (Shared Project) - Show Summary
In our own academic aspirations, Sina and I have been blessed. New Americans, and new to the education system, we doubt we would have ever gotten this far without the great mentors we’ve had in our lives. We want to pay it forward. In collaboration with Dr. Jordan Peterson (U. of Toronto), and Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (Stanford), we aim to enact a holistic college-prep mentorship program that assists at-risk and first- generation youth. Utilizing these professor’s successful programs, we will match high school students with UC Davis Mentors who will guide them through the college application process, ensuring they reach their max potential.

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