SDSU Master’s Research Scholarship Awardees 2021/22

19 Graduate Students from CAL Awarded Scholarships

Graduate students from anthropology, big data analytics, creative writing, geography, Latin American studies, history, linguistics, rhetoric and writing studies, political science, and women’s studies were selected to receive Master’s Research Scholarships. Students were each awarded $10,000 to contribute toward continued research in their chosen field.

"I am thrilled that so many CAL graduate students received these awards,” said Dean Monica J. Casper. “ Our M.A. students are top-notch and reflect excellence across many disciplines in CAL. I'm proud of these students – and their faculty mentors – and I look forward to witnessing their continued intellectual and professional growth."

The scholarships from SDSU’s College of Graduate Studies are designed to provide direct, much-needed financial support to master’s students who contribute to research, scholarship, or creative activity in their particular area of academia. 

The scholarship directs institutional funding to support recruitment, retention, and timely degree completion for graduate students who are engaged in work that advances the university's goals for research and creative activity. 

Read more about each student’s area of focus.

HarnEirein Gaile Harn’s research aims to extend onomastics (the study of names) into the field of rhetoric. She will explore names as rhetorical sites of meaning by considering the rhetorical strategies people use to navigate the relationship between their names and their cultural identity. Specifically, she seeks to understand the role names play in cultural identity development.

Drzewiecki Catherine Drzewiecki's research aims to bring attention to the Filipino Amerasian population born during the Cold War era. From the Vietnam War to the end of the 1980s, the Philippines had a significant American military presence and as a result thousands of Amerasian children were born. Through analyzing the cultural and political environment in which they were born and grew up in, she hopes to understand why this population was excluded from U.S. legislation benefiting other Amerasian ethnic groups in the 1980s.

CookDaniel Cook's research seeks to understand both the ideological and sociopolitical factors associated with political violence during the Cold War. His current research focuses on the Shining Path in Peru, its ideological foundations, its connections to the global Cold War, and the strategies employed by the organization to achieve its goals.

GarciaRyan Garcia’s research revolves around studying Sino-American relations during the Cold War. Through analyzing the influence of domestic politics, gender and race on American and Chinese policymakers, he aims to build a more comprehensive understanding of the Cold War dynamics between the two nations and how the Sino-American rapprochement occurred. Moreover, he hopes that this research will serve another function of showcasing and emphasizing the multi-polarity of the Cold War, through the incorporation of often unheard voices.

ChimaHarmit Chima has always been inspired by big-scale issues. During her first year of grad school, she teamed with a non-profit organization called the Metabolism of Cities Living Lab, led by Dr. Gabriela Fernandez. Their underlying mission of achieving the 2035 Sustainable Development Goals at a localized level, allowed her to assist with data-driven decisions that support disadvantaged communities. Thus, supporting her overarching goal of advocating for underprivileged populations. 

AndersenTimothy Andersen’s research aims to develop helpful tools and visualizations for text analytics.  His current focus is on topic models: statistical models that generate and assign topics to documents based on their contents.  He is researching ways of making topic models easier to use and visualize.

WellsDylan Wells is in the MFA for Creative Writing - fiction, as well as the LGBTQ+ Studies Graduate Certificate programs at SDSU. His work attempts to reveal poverty/wealth inequality and the toxic effects of normative cis/hetero-patriarchy by illuminating characters largely ignored in mainstream artwork, as well as the deep indoctrination of speciesism by challenging the exploitative/violent relationship between humans and non-human animals.

MichaelGiovan Michael’s research meets at the crossroads of desert ecology and hedonistic sustainability in the form of an experimental road trip novel. Giovan’s writing explores the many million miles of road that connect across the continental U.S. and aims to show how they bring the harmful doctrine of manifest destiny into the 21st century. Giovan’s writing also aims to tell the stories of the cultures, fauna, and flora that have been displaced in the name of progress.

RoystonArnisha Royston aims to extend the understanding of poetry and its relationship with the African American community. As both a writer and student, Arnisha will use her experience to explore how form, expression, emotion, and vulnerability are interwoven into black narrative. She is interested in exploring the work of authors such as Jericho Brown, Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, and Kwame Dawes to identify key poetic devices, forms and elements used in their poetry.  

BastideJamie Bastide's area of research focuses on the gender identity of Nathan "Nate" Harrison. Harrison was the first African American homesteader in San Diego County and one of the most photographed San Diegans of his time. Through historical documents, oral and written histories, and the archaeological record, as well as current gender and feminist archaeological research, Jamie will be looking at how Harrison performed his masculinity within the larger hegemonic masculine ideals.

FarnsworthShannon Farnsworth’s MA thesis focuses on The Lost Murals of San Diego State. These student-created pieces of art were meant to be permanent and lacked individual ownership, serving as the people’s art. The lost and newly restored murals can give insight into the campus and community attitudes during significant events in the past. Despite the fact that the study of murals and mural preservation is lacking within the historical archaeology discipline, Shannon will argue that it fits well within the scope of the field.

TrinidadJosh Trinidad's research aims to examine the behavioral ecology of moor macaques (Macaca maura) in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Specifically, he will explore how the provisioning (i.e., feeding) of macaques shapes human-macaque interactions and macaque movement patterns. Ultimately, he aims to use this research to help inform conservation efforts and the mitigation of human-macaque conflict.

GormanKayla Gorman’s research focuses on elephant ecotourism in Thailand. Specifically, she is interested in the human-elephant interactions that take place at these experiences and how they relate to ecotourism project success. Kayla is fascinated by solutions that work to benefit all stakeholders, both human and non-human alike.

EmburyJessica Embury will employ geographic information science (GIS) and geocomputation techniques to study health geography. She will conduct geospatial data analysis and modeling to investigate the impact of COVID-19 health disparities on neighborhood communities. Her research is expected to contribute to geocomputation education through curriculum development and the creation of software tools that bridge geography and computer science.

LoronaIvette Lorona’s  living experience as a transfronteriza (transborder person) drives her research interest in providing insight to how binational social structures shape health disparities among transfronterizos  (im)migrants, and fronterizos (borderlanders) residing in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. Ivette aspires to advance the field of transborder health research and set the groundwork for binational collaborations to address the existing structural inequalities and provide bidirectional resources for communities in the California-Baja California transborder region.

BahenaNancy Bahena’s storytelling film project seeks to narrow the gap in the feminist documentation of low-income Latina’s participation with informal economies (unregulated labor) from Central and South San Diego during the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaborative project will expand beyond the scope of monetary sustenance and build upon how their labor shapes and influences dynamics these businesses create for them personally, in familial relations, and their communities.

AdeedFarah Adeed is interested in studying the dynamics of the rise of the right-wing populist movements that have challenged Western democracies and that have had impacts on political regimes in the non-Western world. Recently, such Western democracies as the United States, Hungary, and Italy came under the relentless attack of populism and far-right politics. The challenges democrats are facing in developing as well as the developed world now appear to have the same structural base; economic stagnation, failed institutions, and the absence of a shared political identity. Within this context, Adeed plans to ask the following question to examine politics in Pakistan in comparative perspective: To what extent the problems of economic stagnation, institutional failure, and national identity crisis that have challenged Pakistan are similar to the problems that have challenged certain Western democracies?

CoccoGabriele Cocco is interested in all areas of linguistics, and his research focuses on the analysis of death row inmates’ last words in order to gain a deeper understanding of the link between the structure of a text and its communicative purpose.

Learn more details about the scholarship.