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2008 - 2009 Site Archive



Summer Research Opportunities


Opportunities 2009




As part of our recruitment efforts at Temple University to increase the number of students receiving doctoral degrees in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBES) from underrepresented population groups, three major undergraduate audiences will be targeted.  They include the students at:

  1. Temple University.
  2. Historically Black colleges in our home region.
  3. Hispanic-serving institutions in our home region.

The available pipeline at Temple University is promising, both in terms of numbers of students and academic talent.  Thus, it will be a goal of our AGEP work to reduce the sizable gap between the number of underrepresented minorities (URMs) who attend Temple to earn an undergraduate degree and the number of URMs who continue their education at the graduate level at our university.  To accomplish this goal, we have increased the number of summer research opportunities (SROP) available to promising URMs in their junior year.  Monies from the National Science Foundation allowed us to sponsor 11 SROP attendees in the first year of AGEP-SBES funding.  In 2007, SROP participation increased to include 16 URM sophomore and junior undergraduate students and four URM graduate students.

In future years, we envision extending the SROP experience to prospective URM graduate students from the historically Black and Hispanic-serving colleges in our home region.  Further, we anticipate that the SROP experiences in research and quantitative analyses offered by Temple University will serve to promote students’ interest in pursuing their graduate studies at our university or at one of our partner schools in the Great Lakes Alliances for SbeS (GLASS).  We will, as part of our evaluation efforts, monitor the mentoring of SBES students exposed to SROP opportunities; the number of submitted grants by SBES or SROP students; and the placement of talented undergraduate students with SROP experience into graduate programs.




Fatima Abbas

Geography and Urban Studies

Fatima's summer research was sourced through the bITS Program, under the supervision of Associate Professor Michele Masucci. Fatima focused on promoting technological and community empowerment for underrepresented minorities in the context of geography education, blogs, and the creation of a community GIS. Her analysis was presented as "The Blog: A Tool in Youth Technology Instruction and GIS Development" on November 1, 2006, at the Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference of the Association of American Geographers held at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

UPDATE 2/14/07 — Fatima gained admission to two programs of study: (1) University of Edinburgh, "MSc Global Health and Public Policy," in the School of Health in Social Science, which is part of the Centre for International Public Health Policy; and (2) London School of Economics, "MSc International Health Policy," in the Department of Social Policy.  She plans to attend the London School of Economics.

UPDATE 4/10/07 — Fatima was named "Honorable Mention" in the 2007 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship competition.  Her award carries with it a stipend of $350.  The Udall Foundation offers scholarship monies to future leaders in environmental fields related to business, economics, education, engineering, health, justice, policy, science, and urban planning and renewal.

Marcella Aramburo


Under the guidance of Professor Sherri Grasmuck, Marcella spent the summer examining the racial/ethnic identities and parental expectations of second-generation immigrant college students in a racially diverse university context.  Her work focused on the analysis of interviews with four Vietnamese females with varying backgrounds.  She presented her work as "Finding Your Place at 'Diversity University' " at the Association of Black Sociologists Annual Meeting held in Montreal in August 2006.

LaToya Burden


LaToya worked with Assistant Professor Peter Marshall on a behavioral and neurophysiological experiment with preschoolers.  She was responsible for measuring "interference" in the children's ability to execute a specific action and for running statistical tests.  LaToya will present the results of her summer work as "Behavioral and Neurophysiological Assessment of Perception-Action Interactions in Preschool Children" in a poster session at the Society for Research in Child Development 2007 Biennial Meeting in Boston on March 30, 2007.

Melissa Correa


For her summer project, Melissa worked under the guidance of Michelle Harmon, Project Coordinator, and assisted in preparing the first draft of the final foundation report for the Family and Children's Policy Collaborative.  Melissa's exemplary work on the project led to her hire as a research assistant on a study of early child care and youth development with Professor Marsha Weinraub. Melissa is a May 2006 graduate of Temple.

Nicole Finnie


Nicole engaged in summer research with Professor Kevin Delaney.  Her work focused on the commonality among whites to identify and reinforce specific racial ideologies of covert domination and privilege despite attributing negative traits to the meaning of whiteness. She analyzed in-depth interviews with three self-identified white students. Nicole presented her findings in a paper entitled "Understanding Whiteness: A Qualitative Analysis of White College Students’ Perceptions of Racial Identity" at the Association of Black Sociologists Annual Meeting held in Montreal in August 2006.

Christina Jackson


Christina's summer work resulted in the co-authoring of a paper with Assistant Professor Dustin Kidd entitled "DuBois and the Art of Propaganda."  The paper has been accepted for presentation at the 10th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences to be held in Las Vegas, NV, on February 8-9, 2007.  Christina and Dr. Kidd are also the recipients of the Iris and Eugene Rotberg Undergraduate Research Humanities Award from the Temple University Center for the Humanities.  The award will fund their continued work together in the 2006-2007 academic year.

UPDATE 7/10/07 — Christina plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara in Fall 2007.

Labaron Palmer

Geography and Urban Studies

Labaron undertook his summer research through the bITS Program, under the guiding hand of Associate Professor Michele Masucci.  The product of his work was presented as "Perceptions of Disease, Geography and Healthscape among Minority High School Students," on November 3, 2006, at the Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference of the Association of American Geographers held at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

Amy Yeboah

Sociology (Ph.D. Student)

Amy was provided with AGEP funding to attend the Association of Black Sociologists Annual Meeting in Montreal in August 2006. She presented her paper entitled "Who is to Blame for the Educational Gap?"  Her work argues that minority students do care about their educational and occupational future and want to graduate high school as much as their white counterparts do—and that to close the racial gap in the high school dropout rate, society needs to provide better job prospects for minorities. At the meeting, Amy was also presented with the 3rd-place award in the Undergraduate Student Paper Competition.

Lina Zapata


Lina worked with Associate Professor Donald Hantula in the development of a project related to evolutionary theory and online personal advertisements. She collected information from Yahoo personal ads in hopes of finding support for the theory of sexual selection strategies in human mating.  Lina is extending her summer work and expanding it for her Honors project.  For the latter, she will use Facebook to analyze how pictures might provide support for the evolutionary model of human mating.  Lina will make a presentation of the results of her summer work in a poster session at the Eastern Psychological Association's annual meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia in March 2007.