Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center
N e w s l e t t e r | J u l y / A u g u s t 2 0 2 1
Welcome Back from UROC
From the Desk of Buck
Zoom screenshot of John Banks
Welcome back, Otters! I hope your summer was restful, productive, and fun---and that you all remain in good health and in good spirits. As we begin the start of a new academic year, I want to take a moment to extend a warm welcome back to CSUMB, whether you are back in-person or working remotely.  

UROC celebrated another successful summer of undergraduate research, and we wrapped up our summer by hosting the 8th Annual Summer Research Symposium in which 65 students presented their research results in fields ranging from applied environmental science to the cinematic arts. New to the symposium format this year was the ability for students to share their research on Instagram Live -- visit our Instagram page at uroc_csumb to check it out! 

As the campus community comes back together, we at UROC remain more committed than ever to providing critical academic and support services to the campus community. If you’re on campus, stop by the UROC office to say hello!   

Go Otters!

John “Buck” Banks, Ph.D.
UROC Director
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Baldock & Butler Award Recipients
Congratulations to UROC Scholar Spencer Winter, Biology & Human Development and Family Sciences, and UROC McNair Scholar, Saray Garcia, Business Administration, for being awarded the 2021 Baldock and Butler Scholarship.
The Barbara Baldock and Phillip Butler Scholarship awards one UROC Scholar $5000 to support undergraduate research and graduate school application endeavors. The award is based on academic achievement, undergraduate research interests, financial need, graduate school aspirations, and a commitment to serve the community through research, outreach, and service.
Thank you Dr. Butler and Ms. Baldock for your continued support of undergraduate researchers.
Spencer Winter
Spencer Winter
Saray Garcia
Saray Garcia
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CSU Pre-Doctoral Sally Casanova
Award Recipients
We are proud to announce that UROC McNair Scholars Lily Amador and Jesus Orozco, both Humanities & Communication, have been named as 2021-2022 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. Orozco and Amador will each receive an award of $3,000 to support graduate school and professional development research endeavors for the upcoming 2021-22 year. 

UROC McNair Scholar Mariana Duarte was recognized in the honorable mention category for a second year in a row. 

The CSU Pre-Doctoral program is designed to increase the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of California State University students. The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at one of the University of California institutions. For the 2021-22 year, 76 scholars, both undergraduate and graduate students, were selected from 18 CSU campuses. 

Interested in learning more about this scholarship? Pop into an information session this fall. Sign up on MyRaft. The 2022-23 scholarship application cycle will open in December 2021.​
Jesus Orozco with text in the corner that says I am a Sally Casanova Scholar
Jesus Orozco
Lily Amador with text in the corner that says I am a Sally Casanova Scholar
Lily Amador
Mariana Duarte holding sign that says honorable mention
Mariana Duarte
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Reflections from our Summer REU Participants
Mariana Duarte, McNair Scholar - Penn State Nuclear Engineering REU
Mariana Duarte working on her computer
I first heard about nuclear engineering through a research article that discovered how children born after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, when a nuclear power plant in the Ukraine exploded, had germline mutation if their parents were exposed to radioactive material. This amazed, shocked, and intrigued me, --and it inspired me to write a research paper about nuclear power. During this process I discovered how powerful and important the role of nuclear energy is in the future. I want to partake in ensuring a carbon free power that does not negatively impact climate change. 

I'm eager to start this new career path in grad school! Additionally, thanks to this REU experience my network has grown and I have new mentors. I can't wait to bring what I've learned in this REU back to CSUMB!
Saray Garcia, McNair Scholar - Iowa State University Urbana-Champaign
Saray Garcia working on her computer
This summer, I was a research assistant at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign working with Dr. Ishva Minefee, Assistant Professor of Management at the Gies College of Business. Our summer research project focuses on the Business for 2030 initiative, which aims to accomplish United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Put in place by the United States Council for International Business in 2016, 17 SDGs partake in three important initiatives companies are tackling now: economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Similarly, under the scope of the project, the SDGs are designed to highlight business past and continuing contributions to sustainable development. Specifically, we are looking into the statements provided by multinational corporations (MNCs) on their sustainable development goals and how they meet them to meet stakeholder expectations. 
I have learned that many firms have made a significant difference to the goals that they commit to, others employ initiatives in the ways they are working towards them. The most notable SDG being tackled by firms is Climate Action, action to combat climate change and its impacts. It's insightful to note the 2030 projections of each firm, as they are specific to the company and possibly the industry. The adoption of SDGs only started in 2015, but since then researchers have yet to see how multinational corporations specifically address or investigate the “how” they are being implemented and communicated. With 12% of firms not having any connection with the SDGs, it becomes interesting since there’s so much information we do not know yet.

Jocelyn Chavez Diaz, McNair Scholar - UNC-Chapel Hill Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program
Jocelyn Chavez-Diaz showing her computer screen
This summer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, under the guidance of Dr. Lamar A. Graham, I worked on a project titled Bilingual Heritage Speakers and Their Formed Ethnic Identity in the United States. I presented the research during a Tuesday Seminar and answered questions from the mentors, staff, and my cohort. Through content analysis research, my research interests have narrowed to bilingualism and heritage speakers in the United States. At UNC, I was able to identify potential mentors and graduate school programs in this area. I have a goal to apply to Hispanic Linguistics doctoral programs in the future. UNC-Chapel Hill has provided me with a strong background in all things research in the humanities and social sciences, and I’m excited to continue researching at CSUMB.
Annabelle McCarthy, LSAMP Rising Researcher - 
Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station
Annabelle McCarthy surveying butterflies in the field
My summer as a resident mentor/undergraduate researcher at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station has been outstanding. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to build a community among the summer interns, and I’ve made many amazing friends. I was very skeptical of Michigan’s weather upon arrival, but now that I’m used to the mild humidity it’s going to be hard to return to California.
Annabelle surveying butterflies
It was a totally new experience for me — one day we were out in the field surveying for dragonflies at the LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) site, and all of a sudden a huge thunderstorm rolled in and rained us out! This summer, I learned to identify many butterflies, and I’m excited to put my identification skills to the test when I return to Monterey this fall!
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Mark Your Calendars!
UROC is excited to host the 7th Annual Fall Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity Competition on Thursday, November 18, 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at the Alumni & Visitor Center! At the moment, this event is scheduled to be in person, but is subject to change due to pandemic-related safety concerns. 

Applications for the Fall Research Competition are now open! Due: September 16th at 3pm. Students with research projects in any discipline are encouraged to submit their abstract for consideration. A maximum of 10 students will be selected to present at this event. Winning presenters will be encouraged to apply for the statewide CSU Student Research Competition which will be hosted by San Francisco State University in the spring of 2022.

We hope to see you there!
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Celebrating Writing
In this brand new section of our newsletter, we celebrate UROC undergraduate and alumni publications. Have a publication to highlight and share? Email us at uroc@csumb.edu

Congratulations to the following newly published UROC alumni and their research faculty! 

Cameron Battersby, Psychology, UROC Scholar & Dr. Jennifer Dyer-Seymour, Professor, Psychology:

Randi Barton, Marine Science, UROC Researcher:

Poor data stewardship will hinder global genetic diversity surveillance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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The Professor's Corner
by Chrissy Hernandez, Associate Professor, Service Learning Institute
Whose voice counts? How do we center embodied knowledge? Who tells our stories? Who acts on them? These are some of the questions that guided the new Participatory Action Research (PAR) courses (SL490 and SL492S) offered through the Service Learning Institute in the Fall of 2020 and that continue to guide our current project. PAR is an approach to research that centers the questions that are on the hearts and minds of communities who are usually the
objects of, rather than the drivers of research. In other words, the people and communities most impacted by an issue hold a core role in investigating and acting on said issue in Participatory Action Research.

During our first iteration of these courses, students designed action research projects in partnership with the community organizations MILPA Collective and Baktun 12. The projects focused on issues these organizations are deeply involved in, including reimagining community safety, decolonizing place names, and challenging deficit narratives of Salinas. After a successful first year, Xago Juárez (Baktun 12 and Building Healthy Communities), Cesar Lara (MILPA), and I reached out to Mark Gomez with the Salinas Union High School District (SUHSD) to design a long-term project to further bridge education and community organizing in Salinas. With the support of our amazing UROC students, we have designed a project to investigate and support the localization of Ethnic Studies curriculum in SUHSD through the integration of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), archival research, and the mentorship of powerful community organizers. This will be the central project of the SLI PAR courses in Fall 2021.

Creating bridges between CSUMB service learners and UROC students, SUHSD students and teachers, as well as with community organizations, take significant time and commitment. These connections have been supported by a number of stellar, passionate, and inspiring UROC students, including Korina McKinley (Koret Scholar and former PAR student), Jenny Lopez (Koret Scholar and former PAR student), Xenia Enriquez (McNair Scholar), and Lily Amador (McNair Scholar). Here’s just a sampling of what these incredible mujeres have been up to:

● Korina McKinley has collaboratively designed an interactive YPAR handbook for SUHSD Ethnic Studies teachers and students that will be used this Fall.

● In addition to supporting the archival research for this project, Jenny Lopez has been designing and implementing an exciting study of abolitionist social work.

● In the Spring semester, Xenia Enriquez supported by identifying the research literatures that will guide this project.

● And last but not least, Lily Amador is developing an alternative and youth-friendly rubric for use by SUHSD teachers and students based on Tolteka Cuauhtin’s double helix of Ethnic Studies.

We are all so grateful for all of the work and love they’ve put into this project so far! With the unfounded and deeply problematic attacks on Critical Race Theory and the exciting expansion of Ethnic Studies in colleges and K-12 education settings, it is an important time to support Ethnic Studies and education that centers the voices of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC), systems impacted, and from other marginalized experiences. With so much misinformation, it is increasingly urgent to continue to center the knowledge of those most impacted by systems of oppression, to ask, “Who tells our stories,” and to use our positions of power to support our communities as we affirmatively answer, “we do.”
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All UROC events and workshops will be available on MyRaft.  While most of our fall offerings will be virtual, several workshops and events will be in-person for the fall. Be sure to register in advance if you’re interested in joining us for any of them. 

New Workshop Series open to all CSUMB students! Just in time for graduate school application season: UROC is offering the newly curated Select, Apply, Accept!: Writing Your Graduate School Application 5-part workshop series, funded by the CSUMB METAS grant.  Learn the ins and outs of applying to graduate school.  Topics include: personal statement writing, letters of recommendation, graduate school funding & more!  Register for all 5 in the series, or drop in as needed.  We look forward to working with you on your graduate school applications!
October 29, 11 AM - 12 PM

October 29, 2 - 3 PM

November 2, 12:30 - 1:50 PM

November 4, 4 - 5 PM

November 5, 11 AM - 12 PM

November 8, 12 - 1 PM

November 8, 3 - 4 PM

November 9, 12 - 1 PM

November 9, 4 - 5 PM

December 1, 4 - 5 PM

December 9, 3 - 4PM
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Chat with us!
Want to get involved in research but don't know where to start? Set up a virtual consultation on the UROC website!