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Building Belonging Student Showcase 2023

May 17, 2023 @ 3:00 pm 5:30 pm

UC Santa Cruz Cultural Center at Merrill 

Building Belonging Student Showcase event banner

The Institute for Social Transformation is excited to host an end-of-year celebration and student showcase event to honor the work that has been accomplished in the Building Belonging program. Students who have been involved in the program in 2022-2023 will present their contributions to research projects. The event will take place in person, at the UCSC Cultural Center at Merrill.

This event will provide Building Belonging Fellows an opportunity to share their research with the community. All are welcome to attend including students, faculty, staff, family and friends. If you can’t be there the whole time, you are welcome to pop in and out. Following the talks, there will be a reception with light refreshments.

Sponsored by: The Institute for Social Transformation and the Division of Social Sciences.

Location: UCSC Cultural Center at Merrill (map) with parking available in lot 119

Student Presentations


Intersectionality, Close Relationships, and Sense of Belonging in First-Generation College Students
Kayla Mendoza (Sociology & Legal Studies)
Isabelle Vo (Psychology)     
Faculty Mentor: Margarita Azmitia, Psychology Department

Educational Equity in Agroecology    
Paradyse Oakley (CRES / CMMU / POLI) 
Faculty Mentor: Damian Parr, Center for Agroecology

Intersections of Race, Affect and Environmental Action
Paradyse Oakley (CRES / CMMU / POLI)   
Faculty Mentor: Flora Lu, Environmental Studies Department

Asian American Environmentalisms 
Laura Galanos (Critical Race and Ethnic Studies)    
Faculty Mentor: Flora Lu, Environmental Studies Department

Hurricane Devastation in Nicaragua
Lilith Guzman (Environmental Studies and Legal Studies)  
Faculty Mentor: Ravi Rajan, Environmental Studies Department

Impacts of Global Trade Relationships: A Case Study of Jalisco, MX
Maya Mendoza (Environmental Studies)    
Faculty Mentor: Ravi Rajan, Environmental Studies Department


Assessing Habitat Use by Mammals and Birds in Restored Tropical Forest 
Selma Ruiz (Environmental Studies)    
Karla Vaca (Environmental Studies/Biology)    
Faculty Mentor: Karen Holl, Environmental Studies Department

Drought Resilience in Joshua Trees
Azarely Bedolla (Environmental Studies/Environmental Sciences)
Faculty Mentor: Michael Loik, Environmental Studies Department

Social Influences on Memory Conformity
Gavin Provencio (Cognitive Science/Linguistics)   
Faculty Mentor: Jeremy Yamashiro, Psychology Department

Lucinda Veloz (Intensive Psychology)   
Faculty Mentor: Jeremy Yamashiro, Psychology Department

Black Muslim Worldmaking: Race, Religion, and Gender in the Lives of Black Muslim College Students 
Zina Hamrouni (Psychology/Education)
Jade Goree (Education/Intensive Psychology)
Theresa Bostic (History/Sociology/Black Studies Minor)
Faculty Mentor: Saskias Casanova, Psychology Department

Kelp RISES: Kelp Restoration for an Integrated Social Ecological System 
Carly McCaw (Intensive Psychology)   
Faculty Mentor: Carrie Pomeroy, Coastal Science & Policy Program


Black Farmer Resilience in the Face of Ongoing Land Dispossession
Marielena Benavides (Sociology/Legal Studies)   
Faculty Mentor: Madeleine Fairbairn, Environmental Studies Department

Building Diversity in Sociology and Science and Technology Studies:
UC-HBCU Pathways Initiative

Dimitri Cardona (Sociology)   
Faculty Mentor: James Doucet-Battle, Sociology Department

Digital Enclosures and the Digital Divide
Sophia Partida (Psychology/Sociology)
Arianna Fabian (Education/Psychology)
Faculty Mentor: Roberto de Roock, Education Department

School Youth, Restorative Justice, and the Dilemmas of Structural Violence    
Lizeth Peña Sanchez (Education, Democracy, and Justice/LALS/Sociology)
Elizabeth Peña Sanchez (LALS/Sociology)   
Faculty Mentor: Rekia Jibrin, Education Department

Chimpanzee Video Coding Team    
Halena Soto (Anthropology/Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)   
Faculty Mentor: Vicky Oelze, Anthropology Department

EEG Replication Project 
Mia Laskan (Cognitive Science)
Lupita Mercado (Cognitive Science)
Ángel Sánchez (Psychology)
Faculty Mentor: Liv Hoversten, Psychology Department


Lived Tensions of Institutionalizing K-12 Ethnic Studies: Learning from the Political Dreams & Struggles of Teachers of Color
Autumn Montez (Intensive Psychology)
Juli Sofijski (Sociology)
Faculty Mentor: Josephine Pham, Education Department

Harm Reduction For All    
Rafael Revolorio Keith (Global & Community Health/Critical Race & Ethnic Studies) 
Faculty Mentor: Carlos Martinez, Latin American & Latino Studies Department

Language Comprehension and Cognitive Control    
Lea Toledo (Cognitive Science)    
Faculty Mentor: Megan Boudewyn, Psychology Department

Education’s Surveillance Quandary: Exploring the Cost vs. Convenience of Post-COVID Technology Application
Maria Cecilia Soto (Applied Linguistics & Multilingualism: TESOL and Linguistics)
Alex Santos (Education, Democracy & Justice)
Luyue Zhang (Education/Sociology)
Joshua Garcia (Education, Democracy, and Justice)
Faculty Mentor: Nolan Higdon, Education Department

Gen Z, Social Media, and Visibility: Navigating the Intersections of Gender and Sexuality in the Context of Whiteness 
Gabriella Garcia (Intensive Psychology)    
Faculty Mentor: Adriana Manago, Psychology Department

Family Planning Incentives and Child Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment    
Sanjana Dukkipati (Business Management Economics)    
Faculty Mentor: Ariel Zucker, Economics Department

We Belong: Community Initiated Student Engaged Research
Alysia Leon (Sociology)
Crystal Alvarez Castillo (Sociology)    
Faculty Mentor: Steve McKay, Sociology Department

For more information, please contact the Institute for Social Transformation at UC Santa Cruz at transform@ucsc.edu.