BSOS Welcomes 2017 Summer Research Initiative Scholars

Founded in 1999, the Summer Research Initiative (SRI) was created by the Office of the Dean in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and is supported by the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the College. The program is designed to encourage and enhance the diversity of scholars working in the social and behavioral science fields.

2017 SRI Scholars and Mentors

AddoChristine Addo is a senior at the University of Maryland who is pursuing a B.A. in psychology, with a minor in military studies. She is a student member of the American Psychological Association and of Maryland’s Multi-Ethnic Academic Excellence Society. Ms. Addo’s research interests include the impact of various identities such as race, gender, sex, and religion on goals and missions. She is interested in how identities affect hiring or personnel selection processes, and how these processes impact individuals and organizations.

Ms. Addo will be mentored by Dr. Angel Dunbar, post-doctorate associate in the Department of African American Studies, during the SRI.

Mirza Azam Baig is a philosophy and African diaspora studies double major at the University of Texas, where he is a Mellon Mays Fellow. Mr. Baig’s interest in the philosophy of race focuses on the treatment of Muslim Americans in the post 9/11 era. Mr. Baig has presented papers on the philosophy of race and continental philosophy at SIUE Edwardsville, Marist College, San Diego State University, and the University of Toronto. His publication “And From Then On They Called Us All Osama” is forthcoming in Polymath.

Mr. Baig will be mentored by Dr. Rashawn Ray, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the director of the Critical Race Initiative, during the SRI.

BarrettKrista Barrett is a senior majoring in speech and theatre at Albany State University, an HBCU located in Albany, Georgia. Her research focuses on speech language pathology and communication strategies. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree and focused on speech disorders in children who are members of minority groups.

During the SRI, Ms. Barrett will be mentored by Dr. Jan Edwards, a professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences.

Chen

Daniel Chen is a senior at the University of Maryland majoring in sociology with a minor in business and sustainability. He is a member of the Honors College and is a recipient of the President’s Scholarship. Recently, Mr. Chen has conducted research on social activism and civic participation, and is also interested in family, race, and social inequality. He plans to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in sociology.

Mr. Chen will be mentored by Dr. Rashawn Ray, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the director of the Critical Race Initiative, during the SRI.

CostaJordan Costa is a rising senior at the University of Maryland and is a psychology and criminology and criminal justice double major, with a minor in Spanish language and cultures. Ms. Costa is a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, and of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. She is also president of the La Familia Peer Mentoring Program, an organization that seeks to provide incoming Latino students with the resources to succeed at the university level. Ms. Costa’s research interests include prison inmate reintegration, violation of prisoners’ rights, and the negative effects on inmates’ success after release due to felony disenfranchisement.

Ms. Costa will be mentored by Dr. James Lynch, Professor and Chair in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

LamarreAshley Lamarre attends Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., and is a philosophy and African American studies double major. Her research interests include the portrayal of Black aesthetics in the media, particularly the perception of womanhood in hip-hop. Ms. Lamarre has participated as a peer teacher for courses such as African American Philosophy and Spike Lee and the Black Aesthetics, and has also worked as a student admissions specialist in the admissions office at her college to develop a greater understanding of what colleges look for when admitting students and to deepen her understanding of how educational disparities affect college admissions. She serves as the programming chair of the United Black Association at Lake Forest.

During the SRI, Ms. Lamarre will be mentored by Dr. Sharon Harley, an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies.

Opoku-AgyemanAnna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring in mathematics and minoring in economics. She is working with the Institute for Global Health at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine to better understand malaria among school-aged populations in southern Malawi. At UMBC, Anna is a member of the M.A.R.C. U*STAR and McNair Scholar programs. Her ultimate goal is to teach students about economic issues in Africa, work with supra-national organizations, and influence policy.

For the SRI, Ms. Opoku-Agyeman will be mentored by Dr. Judith K. Hellerstein, a professor in the Department of Economics.

PelaezNora Pelaez is a psychology and English double major with a minor in creative writing at UMD. Her research interests include cognitive development, counseling theory and sociology. Currently, she works as a research assistant for an early social cognition lab studying child development. Ms. Pelaez ultimately intends to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling or in cognitive development.

During the SRI, Ms. Pelaez will be mentored by Dr. Jonathon Beier, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.

Zainab SheraniSherani attends the University of Maryland and is a computer science and geographical information sciences (GIS) double major, with plans to pursue an advanced degree in GIS. She has been involved with No Taboo. Period, a group on campus that collects feminine hygiene products to donate to homeless women in D.C. She is also a facilitator for the Maryland LEAD (Leadership, Education, and Development) program.

Ms. Sherani will be mentored by Dr. Matthew Hansen, a professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences, during the SRI.

SorensenAshley Sorensen is a senior at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisc. She is a political science and critical identity studies double major. Ms. Sorensen is focused on researching the feminization and racialization of rural poverty. Her time working with the Young Elected Legislative Leaders, the South Dakota Legislature, NARAL (National Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League) Pro-Choice SD, and the Center for Responsive Politics has led her to a concentration in American politics. Her research focuses on intersectionality of poverty. 

Ms. Sorensen will be mentored by Dr. Irwin Morris, a professor in and the chair of the Department of Government and Politics, during the SRI.

YangKatarina Yang is a junior at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. She is a sociology major with keen interest in social stratification. Recently, she was part of a team of UMD researchers, led by Dr. Dana Fisher, who surveyed participants at the March for Science and People’s Climate March. Katarina hopes that the Summer Research Initiative will provide a rigorous, hands-on research experience that will ultimately prepare her for graduate school. After volunteering with Peace Corps, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in sociology. Katarina’s research interests lie in the process of negotiating identity among second-generation Asian Americans experience. Furthermore, she is interested in how the intersection of race and gender affect future life outcomes.

During the SRI, Ms. Yang will be mentored by Dr. Julie Park, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology.

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