Overview

Public Impact Fellowships highlight and support doctoral students whose current research has the potential for substantial impact in the public sphere. Ideal candidates will be involved in research designed to significantly improve or enrich the lives of Californians and/or national and global communities.

All schools are eligible to nominate students to compete for a total of up to 15 fellowships.  Each of five full awardees from any discipline will receive $10,000/$20,000 and ten honorable mention awardees will receive $1,000.  Public Impact Fellowships are intended to supplement, not replace, any funding students may already be receiving.

The Public Impact Fellowships call for nominations is available here.

Award Info

Graduate Division Public Impact Fellowships: $10,000  (full award) or $1,000 (honorable mention award) to be used as a stipend.

All schools are eligible to nominate students to compete for a total of 13 fellowships. Each of the three full awardees will receive $10,000. Ten honorable mention awardees each will receive $1,000. Students may choose to accept the award during winter, or over both quarters, at their discretion.

UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowships: $20,000 (full award) to be used as a stipend.

All schools are eligible to nominate student to compete for 2 donor funded $10,000 awards matched by the Graduate Division, for a total award amounts of $20,000 each. Stipends will be awarded during winter and spring 2015.

Eligibility

For UC Irvine Public Impact Fellowships, nominees must, at minimum, meet the following criteria:

  1. Maintain UCI GPA of 3.7 or higher through spring quarter 2014.
  2. Be a current, full-time doctoral student who has advanced to candidacy.
  3. Conduct research that has critical public impact. (Examples of relevant research include studies that aim to improve economic opportunity and well-being, health care, social justice, political participation, cultural engagement, and scientific or technical solutions to pressing social issues.)
  4. Be willing to have research spotlighted/featured on both the Graduate Division’s and UCI’s website, brochures and social networks, and be able and available to effectively communicate and discuss their research in lay terms with prospective donors, legislators and/or their staff, and the media sometime during Winter and Spring quarters.
  5. If selected as a finalist, students must be available to give a brief presentation to the selection committee, with no visual aids, immediately followed by a brief interview. Interviews will be held on Monday, November 24th.

For the UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowship, additional criteria apply as follows:

  1. Be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Have financial need.
  3. Students must be conducting cutting-edge research in one of the following areas: innovative medical therapies, social justice, global politics and religions, sustainability, or 21st century manufacturing.
  4. In addition to being available for a presentation and interview on Monday, November 24th, finalists may also be required to attend a brief interview with the donor(s).
  5. Must be willing to be interviewed and/or meet with the donor(s) and provide donor(s) with periodic updates.

Application Process

Schools are asked to collect nominations from each department and then forward the most promising nominees, based on merit and the potential public impact of the student's research. There is no limit to the number of nominations each school may submit. The final selection committee will consider several factors when choosing the awardees, including the student's presentation, interview and their ability to convey their research to a broad audience; academic record, letters of recommendation, degree progress, and research impact. 

DEADLINE to submit nominations to the Graduate Division: 12:00 p.m. (noon), Friday, October 24, 2014. Late or incomplete nomination packets will not be reviewed. Please note that Schools and Departments typically have earlier internal deadlines for fellowship submissions. Please contact your School or Department for details.

Student Information Forms (to be completed by the student):
  1. Students may apply using the fillable/savable Microsoft Word form from the Graduate Division Website: Public Impact Fellowship Student Information Form
  2. Students must complete and submit the Student Information form as a Microsoft Word document via e-mail to their department (including the Student Profile and Student Research sections)
    1. Student Information forms must be saved in Microsoft Word as "IMPACT APP - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT APP - 12345678.doc"
    2. Students must also provide the following items to their department:
      1. A printed/signed copy of the Student Information form (including the Student Profile and Student Research sections)
      2. A current, printed curriculum vitae
      3. A letter of recommendation from the student's faculty advisor
Nomination Forms (to be completed by the department):
  1. Departments will nominate students via the fillable/savable Microsoft Word form from the Graduate Division website: Public Impact Fellowship Nomination Form
  2. Nomination forms should be saved in Microsoft Word as "IMPACT NOM - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT NOM - 12345678.doc"
  3. Print the nomination forms and gather original signatures for each form
  4. Once forms are final with signatures, scan documents to a single PDF file for each nominee in this order:
    1. Nomination form (signed by the Faculty Advisor and Associate Dean)
    2. Student Information form (signed by the student)
    3. Curriculum vitae
    4. Faculty advisor letter of recommendation
    5. Save the new PDF file as "IMPACT - SID#.pdf", e.g. "IMPACT - 12345678.pdf"
    6. When all documentation is complete, e-mail the following items separately for each student to Kate Triglia:
  • The original Microsoft Word (.doc) nomination form
  • The original Microsoft Word (.doc) Student Information form
  • The PDF file (.pdf) with the packet (to include all items listed above)

DEADLINE to submit nominations to the Graduate Division: 12:00 p.m. (noon), Friday, October 24, 2014

Late or incomplete nomination packets will not be reviewed.

 

Contact Information

Questions should be directed to Dr. Sandra Loughlin, (949) 824-5179 or Kate Triglia, (949) 824-9031.

Deadline

The deadline for e-mail receipt of completed/signed nomination packages is 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Friday, October 24, 2014.

Notes

  • Students receiving any Public Impact Fellowship may be employed as TAs and/or GSRs.  Students who receive $1,000 honorable mention awards may be hold any appointments. 
  • For students already receiving financial aid, acceptance of a Public Impact Fellowship may affect his or her overall financial need-based support package.  In such cases, students are encouraged to consult with the UCI Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. 
  • Previous winners (full awardees and honorable mentions) and current ARCS scholars are not eligible for this year’s competition.

Current Fellows

Jennifer Wu

Jennifer Wu

UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellow

Degrees:

  • UC Irvine School of Medicine, MD, 2017 expected
  • Biomedical Sciences, UC Irvine, PhD, 2015 expected
  • Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in Saint Louis, BS, 2009

Research

Cortical Connectivity Biomarkers and Predictors of Motor Learning and Motor Recovery After Stroke

Biography

Jennifer Wu is an MD/PhD student obtaining her PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology. Jennifer attended the Washington University in Saint Louis where she received a BS in biomedical engineering. Her graduate work is focused on developing probes of brain function to understand inter-individual variability in motor training and response to rehabilitation after stroke. She has been invited to present her work at the Society for Neuroscience, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, the American Heart Association, and the International Stroke Conference. She has also received a Dean’s Prize at the Associated Graduate Student Symposium and fellowships from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Engineering.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

This fellowship is a tremendous honor that gives me encouragement to continue pursuing research that improves how we understand the brain and treat brain injury. In addition, it will help support me during the remainder of my training at UCI.

Menglu Yuan

Menglu Yuan

UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellow

Degrees:

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology Ph.D., UC Irvine – 2015 expected
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B.A., Boston University – 2009

Research

Sensitization of cocaine reward after adolescent nicotine or antidepressant exposure

Biography

Menglu Yuan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Pharmacology. Her dissertation investigates how tobacco and antidepressants create maladaptive changes in adolescent brain development. She has found that nicotine (main psychoactive component of tobacco) and the antidepressant Prozac enhance sensitivity to cocaine reward during adolescence. Menglu is working to identify neurochemical changes mediating these drug effects, which may have long-lasting consequences for mental health and addiction. As a graduate student, she served as the Pharmacological Sciences Program Student Representative and led diversity efforts with DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) to improve campus climate, access, and inclusion.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

Receiving the prestigious UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowship is a tremendous honor and will be invaluable toward achieving my career goals in science policy. I believe the fellowship will cultivate my insights in science policy through the unique opportunity to meet lawmakers. As a Fellow, this experience will provide an exciting platform for incorporating public outreach with my pharmacology background to help shape and impact public policy.

Sally Geislar

Sally Geislar

UCI/Distinguished Fellow

Degrees:

  • Planning, Policy, and Design, PhD, UC Irvine, 2016 expected
  • Demographic and Social Analysis, MA, UC Irvine, 2010
  • Sociology and Spanish, BA, Southwest Minnesota State University, 2007

Research

Understanding and leveraging social-psychological behavioral tools for household food scrap separation in municipal curbside organics collection programs.

Biography

A Doctoral Candidate in Planning, Policy, and Design at the University of California, Irvine, Sally earned an M.A. in Demographic and Social Analysis from UCI and a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish from Southwest Minnesota State. As the Founding Director of the Food Works Lab in the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, Sally's current research examines the role of household behavior in successful curbside organics collection programs. In Sally's previous community-based scholarship she collaborated to establish food scrap separation infrastructure in on-campus apartment communities at UCI in which she studied the food-related practices of 30 households. Her research has focused on sustainability issues including environmental justice, public lands planning, and transportation policy. Sally also worked as a consultant in statistical analysis and community-based curriculum development to non-profit organizations and philanthropy consultants.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

This fellowship is a great honor. It has encouraged me to continue working with communities to understand how human behavior and the built environment depend on each other to make systems related to food, waste, energy, and water more sustainable and integrated. Beyond this inspiration, this fellowship will also allow me to devote time to this public-scholarship at the crucial point of data collection.

Mark Ocegueda

Mark Ocegueda

Public Impact Distinguished Fellow

Degrees:

  • UC Irvine, History, Ph.D., 2016 expected
  • History, California State University, San Bernardino, B.A., 2010

Research

A multi-faceted history on the city of San Bernardino’s Mexican community and their pursuit of civil rights from 1900 through 1960.

Biography

Mark Ocegueda is a Ph.D. candidate in History with an emphasis in Chicana/o Latina/o studies. His dissertation documents San Bernardino's Mexican American people and their quest for civil rights. Citrus and Santa Fe railroad workers, as well as Mexican middle class business owners, organized defense committees, baseball teams, mutualistas, and within the local the Catholic Church, to counter discrimination. Mark’s research also explores popular race-based conceptions of juvenile delinquency and their use to uphold the segregation of public parks and pools. Mark showcases the Mitla Café, one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in the United States, as a centerpiece of community life that reveals the untold history of a prosperous Mexican business community along Route 66. Mark’s work has been featured on NBC and National Public Radio’s The California Report.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

I am very honored and grateful to receive this fellowship. It will allow me to complete my dissertation in a timely manner and has motivated me to continue my public work by inspiring me to pursue an historic preservation project for San Bernardino’s Mexican community.

Riccardo Cappa

Riccardo Cappa

Public Impact Distinguished Fellow

Degrees:

  • PhD, Civil Engineering, UC Irvine, 2015 expected
  • MS, Structural Engineering, UC Irvine, 2012
  • BS, Architectural and Building Engineering, University of Bologna (Italy), 2011

Research

Development of a novel integrated framework that enables a performance evaluation of levees during seismic events, with an emphasis on the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta levee system.

Biography

Riccardo Cappa is a PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UCI. After pursuing a B.S. in Architectural and Building Engineering in Italy (2011) he completed a M.S. in Structural Engineering at UCI (2012), where he got passionate about earthquake-related hazards and disasters. He is currently working to characterize the seismic response of water-diverting structures such as levees through innovative numerical simulations and complex testing at the NASA-donated 30 feet diameter centrifuge facility in Davis. His project was fully funded by the National Science Foundation with the purpose of advising the contentious water policy decisions facing California law-makers. He has already presented his work for the Association of State Dam Officials, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the California Geotechnical Engineering Association, and his publications include papers at respected conferences in the country and several manuscripts currently under review with leading journals in the field. Riccardo’s public impact extends beyond his research as an active and leading member of many chapters such as EERI, CalGeo and AGI, which aim at preventing major disasters and improving the design and safety of mega infrastructures.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

I am thrilled to receive such an outstanding award that recognizes the importance of my work for the public. This fellowship is an incredibly motivating acknowledgment for young students, and I believe it will tremendously encourage all the awardees to pursue their career goals. Besides the public exposure, I am also very proud and thankful for the valuable support UCI provides to the anteaters every year.

Janahan Arulmoli

Janahan Arulmoli

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine, PhD, 2016 expected
  • Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine, MS, 2014
  • Chemical Engineering, UC San Diego, BS, 2009

Research

Injectable Biomaterial Matrices for Neural Stem Cell Transplantation to Treat Central Nervous System Disorders

Biography

Janahan Arulmoli is a doctoral candidate in Dr. Lisa Flanagan’s laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UCI.  Upon finishing his undergraduate studies at UCSD, he worked at Biogen Idec Inc. in San Diego, CA where he developed an interest in stem cell tissue engineering.  He currently studies the influence of biomaterial matrices and the mechanical microenvironment on neural stem cell (NSC) behavior.  He has received an NIH T32 training grant for his work investigating injectable biomaterials for NSC transplantation to treat stroke and has presented this work at international meetings for which he has received research merit recognition.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

The Public Impact Fellowship is a great honor that has helped reinforce my determination to share academic research with the general public.  This motivating award will not only help support the rest of my doctoral journey, but will also serve as a constant reminder that advances in the novel field of tissue engineering can be given public awareness as a potential future therapy for numerous unmet medical needs.

Jeremy Braithwaite

Jeremy Braithwaite

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Department of Criminology, Law & Society, PhD 2015 expected
  • Criminal Justice, Illinois State University, MA, 2010
  • Psychology, Illinois State University BA, 2006

Research

Sexual Violence on the Tundra: Toward a Cultural Understanding of Rape in Rural Alaska

Biography

Jeremy Braithwaite is a PhD candidate in the Department of Criminology, Law & Society in the School of Social Ecology. He studies sex crimes and sex crime policy, with a particular interest in rural sexual violence. His project examines the contextual factors, both at the cultural and community levels, that explain the disproportionate levels of sexual violence in Alaska, particularly among the indigenous Native Alaskan populations. Jeremy has published his research in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment and has presented his work at the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and the American Society of Criminology (ASC). He has also consulted on a federally-funded project assessing the impact of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training program for the U.S. Air Force.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

I am both honored and humbled to have been selected for the Public Impact Fellowship. This award has given me the encouragement to steadfastly pursue my academic and professional goals. More importantly, this award signals the willingness of the academic community to join the movement toward recognizing and ultimately remedying the plight of a very vulnerable and voiceless population.

Stacy Calhoun

Stacy Calhoun

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Criminology, Law and Society, UC Irvine, PhD, 2015 expected
  • Medical Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University, MA, 2000
  • Anthropology, UCLA, BA, 1997

Research

Understanding why some mentally ill offenders do not adhere to their psychiatric treatment regimens and how that relates to their offending behaviors.

Biography

Stacy Calhoun is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. Before coming to UC Irvine, she worked on several projects at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs that aimed to improve the mental health, drug use and criminal justice outcomes of individuals involved in the criminal justice system. She has directed several research and evaluation studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the California Endowment, the National Institute of Justice and the LA County Department of Public Health. She has also co-authored several peer-reviewed articles on gender responsive treatment for female offenders and re-entry planning for prison inmates.  She is currently the literature editor for the Offender Programs Report and the Impaired Driving Update where she writes a column for each publication that highlights current findings from the literature for a practitioner audience.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

Receiving this fellowship is a huge honor that provides me with the financial support I need to conduct the research for my dissertation. In addition, this fellowship is a great source of motivation to continue to conduct research that not only has the potential to improve the lives of those who become involved in the criminal justice system but to increase public safety as well.

George Chen

George Chen

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UC Irvine School of Medicine, PhD, 2018 expected
  • Human Biology, UC San Diego, BS, 2009

Research

Regulation of Wnt signaling in invasive colon cancer

Biography

George Chen is a PhD candidate in the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UCI. He holds a B.S. in Human Biology with a minor in Healthcare and Social issues from UCSD. His research interests are focused on solid tumor biology, cancer stem cells, and the Wnt signaling pathway. Currently, George is studying the relationship between Wnt signaling and progression of cancer to colon metastasis – the most lethal and incurable of colon cancer stages. Results from his research have been presented at multiple scientific conferences and one of his studies has recently been submitted for publication. In addition, George’s public outreach includes serving as a scientific mentor for two robotics education programs for the past eleven years. He has volunteered for the Vex and FIRST robotics competitions as a judge, emcee, referee, and announcer for events across the United States, including multiple world championships. He has served in leadership roles for various STEM nonprofit efforts across Southern California. George has also served as a Teaching Assistant for a combined eight quarters between UCI and UCSD.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

I am tremendously honored to receive this award, which will help support my efforts to discover and develop new therapies to help colon cancer patients. The ability to communicate breakthrough research is an incredibly important skillset to develop and nurture, and I am thrilled that UC Irvine recognizes this with this awards program.

Joshua Clark

Joshua Clark

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Anthropology, UC Irvine, PhD, 2015 expected
  • Anthropology, UC Irvine, MA, 2011
  • Latin American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, MA, 2007
  • Political Science, Butler University, BA magna cum laude, 2003

Research

International human rights framework for combating discrimination based on race, color, descent, and national or ethnic origin.

Biography

Joshua Clark is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology.  He has ten years of experience in academic and applied research on international- and domestic-legal strategies for advancing racial/ethnic justice in the Americas.  His current research uses ethnographic methods to study how procedures for evaluating and improving government compliance with international human rights treaties play out in practice.  Clark conducted 12 months of fieldwork with policymakers, census officials, and Afro-Costa Rican and indigenous civil-society leaders in Costa Rica, and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.  This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, and UC Irvine’s Graduate Program in Anthropology.  Clark hopes to use his findings to inform new state and local government initiatives in California to fulfill commitments under international human rights treaties ratified by the United States Federal government.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

I am honored to be recognized for my research on international human rights instruments – important tools for fighting discrimination that are often overlooked and under-utilized in the United States.  This acknowledgement encourages me to continue seeking to use my research to support state- and local-level human rights compliance projects in California.

Jiawen Li

Jiawen Li

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine, Ph.D., June 2015 expected
  • Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine, M.S., Dec. 2012
  • Optical Engineering, Zhejiang University, China. B.S., July 2010

Research

Miniature integrated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) system and catheter for in vivo identification of high-risk heart attack patients

 

Biography

Jiawen Li is a PhD candidate in UCI’s Biomedical Engineering department. She got her bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University in China (2010). After that, she started her PhD research in UCI. Her research interest is imaging techniques for the diagnosis of high risk cardiovascular disease patients. She has published eight papers in high-profile journals (three first-author papers), filed two US patents and given over 10 impactful presentations at international conferences. Her research was featured by OCT news, OSA news, USC, UCI Graduate Division, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, and Beckman Laser Institute websites. She also received the Associate Graduate Students (AGS) community award for her dedicated and pioneering work for international students at UCI. She co-established the international student committee for AGS, advocated for more services and organized events for international students, and has served as a Graduate InterConnect peer mentor for three years.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

This fellowship acknowledged the public impact of my previous research and encourages me to promote state-of-the-art medical engineering techniques to more physicians and patients. With this honorable recognition, I will continue searching for cures to deadly diseases by engineering methods enthusiastically.

Sophia Lin

Sophia Lin

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • UC Irvine Henry Samueli School of Engineering, PhD, 2015
  • Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, UC Irvine, PhD, 2015 expected
  • Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, UC Irvine, MS, 2011
  • Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA, BS, 2010

Research

Silica Structures for Enhanced Fluorescence Detection with Applications in Point-of-Care Diagnostics

Biography

Sophia Lin is a PhD student obtaining her degree in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Her research is in the biomedical engineering field and is focused on engineering technologies for improved disease detection capabilities.  She is a NSF-funded Biophotonics, Energy, Space, and Time (BEST) trainee. Sophia is highly involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) outreach, leading hands-on student workshops and co-founding A Hundred Tiny Hands, which develops educational STEM toys based off technology developed in the laboratory. She also leads the ChEMS GSA student group at UCI. She holds an M.S. from UC Irvine and a B.S. from UCLA.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

This fellowship motivates me to continue to do impactful research and to share this research with the public.

Jessica Lauren Perez

Jessica Lauren Perez

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • UC Irvine School of Social Ecology, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Psychology, University of Central Florid, B.S., 2009

Research

The provision of social services to marginalized groups, namely the homeless; bringing together various stakeholder groups, including the homeless, to improve the quality of and access to social services.

Biography

It was at the University of Central Florida where Jessica began volunteering with the homeless.  These experiences inspired combating homelessness as a lifelong pursuit.  Her research focuses on enhancing the quality of and access to needed social services for the homeless.  Jessica’s practice of community based participatory action research encourages multiple stakeholder groups to come together to improve homeless service provision.  She has received several honors for bridging the divide between academia and community stakeholder groups, including the Dean’s Award for Community Engagement, the inaugural Dean’s Diversity Research Award, and now a Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention.  Jessica is also involved in local policy and research around homelessness including the O.C. Commission to End Homelessness and Orange County’s Point-In-Time biannual homeless counts.  Jessica hopes to continue engaging in applied research that affects public policy addressing homeless services design and delivery.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

It is my sincere belief that research should be conducted in direct service of those in need. I am passionate about working alongside community members to solve community problems. I feel deeply honored to be recognized by this award, which recognizes the importance and need for this kind of research. This award will support my efforts to continue engaging in research that encourages just and effective solutions to homelessness.

AJ Purdy

AJ Purdy

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Earth System Science, UC Irvine, PhD, 2017 expected
  • Earth System Science, UC Irvine, MS, 2014
  • Watershed Science and Policy, CSU Monterey Bay, MS, 2012
  • Industrial & Systems Engineering, University of San Diego, BS/BA, 2008

Research

Evapotranspiration in California

Biography

AJ is a PhD candidate and a Graduate Student Representative in the Department of Earth System Science. He researches evapotranspiration using NASA satellites over farmland in California. AJ graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A./B.S in Industrial and Systems Engineering and earned a M.S. in Watershed Science and Policy from California State University Monterey Bay. Previous to attending UCI, he gained experience includes working on a NASA project measuring soil moisture and evapotranspiration on farms in California’s Central Valley. After graduation he plans to continue researching the human influence on the earth system in relation to water resources availability for the western United States.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

This fellowship provides a boost of confidence while continuing my pursuit of better understanding anthropogenic impacts on the water cycle and the necessary motivation to continue applying my research toward improved regional water resource management.

Cathy Tran

Cathy Tran

Degrees:

  • Education, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Technology, Innovation, and Education, Harvard University, Ed.M., 2009
  • Biopsychology, UC Santa Barbara, B.S., 2005

Research

Designing for Productive Persistence in Education

Biography

Cathy Tran is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education. Her research focuses on promoting persistence after errors when learning math and science. She received a B.S. in biopsychology from UCSB, where she volunteered extensively with their chemistry outreach program for fifth graders. She then became a science writer for the journal Science, Scholastic’s Science World, and The Orange County Register. As news migrated from print to online platforms, she became interested in how interactive media can explain science in captivating ways and completed her Ed.M. in educational technology. She later joined a team to produce Math 180, software designed to motivate students who are retaking Algebra. Her research-practice partnerships to study and develop motivating learning environments have been supported by the National Science Foundation, Norway Research Council, and National Academy of Education.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

The public impact focus of this fellowship is especially special to me because I entered graduate school with a strong desire to do research that can be applicable to improving educational learning products and environments. Being recognized for doing publicly impactful work and for being able to communicate research to the public is really meaningful to me.

Anaid Yerena

Anaid Yerena

Public Impact Fellowship Honorable Mention Awardee

Degrees:

  • Planning, Policy, and Design, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Urban and Regional Planning, UC Irvine, M.U.R.P., 2009
  • Architecture, Universidad de Monterrey, B.Arch., 2004

Research

Advocacy in Action: Understanding the Influence of Advocacy Organizations on Local Affordable Housing Policy in the U.S.

Biography

Anaid is an architect, planner, and researcher who investigates public participation processes and activities related to housing and community development. Her research has a strong community-based component that provides knowledge to advocate for and empower disenfranchised groups. As an undergraduate at the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM), Mexico, she coordinated the development of the first Master Plan for the City of Montemorelos. She worked on the technical aspects of the Plan and set up a forum and interviews with local residents, these activities were crucial to building support for the Plan’s approval and implementation (received UDEM’s 2004 Excellence Award). While completing her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at UC Irvine, she conducted research for the Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation assessing potential housing sites for extremely low-income households in Long Beach, California. The report resulting from this research was named Best Professional Report in 2009. As a Ph.D. student she has received numerous accolades for her research (Haynes Dissertation Award; Dean’s Community Engagement Award), teaching (UC Irvine Pedagogical Fellow), mentoring (Planning, Policy, and Design Mentor Award 2012), and service (Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Student Representative 2012-14). These honors are a testament to the impact and quality of her work.

What this Fellowship/Award Means:

This fellowship brings me one step closer to defend my dissertation and meet the dissertation-filing deadline of Spring 2015. This timeline allows me to be on the job market this academic year and be prepared to start a faculty position in Fall 2015. Obtaining a faculty position will bring me closer to my goal of growing as a researcher and mentor that contributes through research, teaching, and engagement to the dialogue and actions concerned with social justice in communities around the globe.

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Public Impact Fellows