Mher Arutyunyan
Field(s) of Study: Political Science
Mentor: Richard Anderson

Mher Arutyunyan is a fourthyear Political Science major and Russian Studies minor. He is currently working on a senior thesis as part of the Political Science Departmental Honors Program under the guidance of Professor Richard Anderson. His work investigates Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy strategy with particular emphasis placed on the relationship between his decisionmaking and his domestic political goals. The research also devotes close attention to the Russian Orthodox Church, scrutinizing its role as a key support system for the incumbent regime. He hopes that his research conclusions will contribute to a better understanding of the Putin regime by US academics and policymakers, offering key insights which can be generalizable to other contexts. Mher is also heavily active in the ArmenianAmerican student community at UCLA and in the broader Los Angeles area, serving as the Executive Chair of the AllArmenian Student Association and the Political Committee Chair of the UCLA Armenian Students’ Association.

Natalia Casio-Lara
Field(s) of Study: Anthropology
Mentor: Norma Mendoza-Denton
Natalia Casio-Lara is a fourth-year undergraduate who is majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Digital Humanities. She is a first-generation college student from Los Angeles, and her research focuses on the cultures that emerge from video-game communities of first-person shooter games. Her intent with this research is to shed light on the discrepancies and differences between how men and women are enculturated into these communities. This research will be conducted by interviewing and observing players, engaging in participant observation, and conducting fieldwork to ultimately culminate into a video game ethnography. With this, she aims to help solidify the concept of video game/virtual communities as being legitimate, cultural spaces to conduct anthropological research. The ultimate goal is to take this research to video game studios and help them in their mission of improving safety in their communities and diminishing negativity and toxicity; an issue that permeates first-person shooter game environments.
Yue Chen
Field(s) of Study: Linguistics and Psychology
Mentor: Catherine M Sandhofer
Yue Chen is a fourth-year Linguistics and Psychology major and Comparative Literature minor with an interest in language acquisition and speech perception. Her thesis focuses on naturalistic observation of how 2-year-old children acquire reflective pronouns through an environmental input perspective and argues that reflective pronouns are not purely syntactical; they are also context-dependent and influenced by pragmatics. After graduation, she intends to pursue a graduate degree in the field of linguistics with the aim of distinguishing what is innate and what is learnable in terms of language acquisition.
Nicole Angelle Demurjian
Field(s) of Study: Global Studies
Mentor: Roger Waldinger
Nicole Demurjian is a fourth-year Global Studies major with an International Migration Studies minor at UCLA. Her research focuses on the racialized process of refugee deterrence. In comparing international responses to the Ukrainian and Syrian refugee crises, she hopes to understand the role of race in affecting refugee admission decisions. Beyond her research, she is a coordinator for the Bruin Ambassador Program under UCLA Undergraduate Admissions and is involved in UCLA Panhellenic. Post-graduation, she plans to attend law school and work in immigration law.
Duke S. Fishman
Field(s) of Study: Political Science
Mentor: Daniel Thompson
Duke Fishman is a fourth-year Political Science major with a concentration in American Politics. His thesis analyzes how changes to early voting policies affect voter turnout, with a specific emphasis on how changes to Sunday voting affect turnout. His research utilizes large voter files from multiple general and midterm elections to compare which demographic groups are most affected by decreases in the number of early voting days. Following Shelby County v. Holder (2013), where the Supreme Court ruled that states were no longer required to preclear voting laws with the federal government, many changes to voting laws have been appearing in states across the US. Looking at categories such as race, education level, age, and distance to the polling location, the goal of the research is to uncover which groups are disproportionately affected by these administrative policies. Duke is also currently the captain of the UCLA hockey team and the co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of the Bruin Political Review. He intends to study law after college.
Audrey Nazmi Glosson
Field(s) of Study: Pre Psychobiology
Mentor: Michelle Craske
Audrey Glosson is a fourth-year majoring in Psychobiology with a specialization in Computing. With the support of the Keck Foundation, Audrey will be completing her thesis through the Psychology Departmental Honors Program under the faculty mentorship of Dr. Michelle Craske. Audrey’s research explores psychopathology and the implementation of evidence-based treatments for anxiety and depressive disorders. Her thesis examines the effects of augmented behavioral activation therapy on anhedonia, which is a common symptom of depression. Following graduation, Audrey plans to attend a Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology. Beyond academics, Audrey enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with animals.
Renee Grange
Field(s) of Study: Human Biology and Society
Mentor: Nicholas Shapiro
Renée Grange is a fourth-year student at UCLA, majoring in Human, Biology, and Society and minoring in Latin American Studies. Renée is a part of the Carceral Ecologies Lab, which researches the environmental injustices of the prison industrial complex. As a part of this lab, Renée works as a student researcher for an Oral History Project that aims to memorialize and understand the experiences of families who have lost loved ones in LA County Jail. The research is a community-generated and collaborative process that is done in partnership with Dignity and Power Now, a Los Angeles community organization that works with those who are incarcerated, re-entering, and their families. Through this partnership, Renée works directly with organizers, such as Helen Jones, who has been leading efforts for justice in LA for many years. In this project, Renée asks how feminized care work and masculinized law enforcement violence have gendered the work of racial justice-seeking in LA. Furthermore, she examines how this work affects women’s physical and mental health. Outside of research, Renée is passionate about health justice, works as a mentor for youth in Santa Ana with ALMA Science Academy, and writes for La Gente Newsmagazine.
Shira Lee Gratch
Field(s) of Study: Sociology
Mentor: Bemmy Maharramli
Shira Gratch is a fourth-year Sociology major and Community Engagement and Social Change minor. Her research focuses on homeless service organizations in Los Angeles (LA) County and how they manage constraints and navigate obstacles to meet their aims and provide support. The growing number of people experiencing homelessness in LA County increases the demand for support services. Although county-level policies attempt to address associated factors and social disparities contributing to homelessness rates, rapidly changing and conflictual city ordinances exhaust resources and inhibit effective practice. By understanding our community’s specific challenges to assist this population, Shira hopes her research can reveal incongruities between policy and practice to determine constructive solutions. Moreover, bringing awareness and advocating for improvements can facilitate LA County’s collective ability to support community members experiencing homelessness. After completing her undergraduate studies, Shira plans to pursue a Master of Social Welfare, emphasizing social policy and community advocacy, and, as a social worker, join the collective effort to end homelessness.
John Ha
Field(s) of Study: Precomputational and Systems Biology
Mentor: Chien-Ling Zeleny
John Ha is a third-year History and Computational Biology major from Irvine, California. His thesis examines the relationship between quack medicine and antiintellectual sentiment in America at the turn of the 20th century. Specifically, he wishes to understand the framework, practices, and ideological contexts that made “WM. Radam’s Microbe Killer”, a nearly useless nostrum that claimed to cure all diseases, so successful for nearly five decades. John’s research seeks to understand the desirability of false medicine and pseudoscience; to examine the historical ways that medicine has failed us; and to use this case study to shed light upon frameworks that might even be used today to identify false medical “messiahs”. He also works avidly on biochemical research at a microbiology lab and enjoys long-distance running. In the future, John hopes to pursue an MD and work as a medical policymaker.
Yarin Heffes
Field(s) of Study: Physics
Mentor: Mark Johnson

Yarin Heffes is a fourth-year student majoring in philosophy and physics. His creative inquiry project is a long-form written work entitled “Circular Botany.” The project experiments with literary style toward a work that feels deeply philosophical as well as emotional and captivating, except without presenting or imposing philosophical ideas or tracking a plot of any sort. The project in its completion will serve as a dense and rich, yet passive, extension of reality through which a reader may contemplate and arrive at ideas about the world from within themself. The work is not meant to teach or to persuade, and it is not meant to distract. Instead, it will simply be there for you to read in the same way that a trail in a forest is there for you to walk upon.

Cyrus Ho
Field(s) of Study: Economics
Mentor: Roy Bin Wong

Cyrus is a fourthyear student from Hong Kong who studies Economics with a minor in History. He is primarily interested in the urbanrural relationship and economic growth in the PRC. For his history senior honors thesis, he is studying the interactions between the littleknown ‘Small Third Front’ defense program in Hebei province and the local rural economy from the 1960s to the 70s. Using historical data and local gazetteers, he demonstrates that the establishment of heavy industry and supporting infrastructure in the countryside in the ‘Small Third Front’ create a special case of economic transfer from the city to the countryside in a period when urban and rural areas were socially and institutionally divided. He investigates what the implications of that transfer were for the growth of rural townshipvillage enterprises, which expanded exponentially in the following decade. After he graduates, he wishes to pursue graduate studies in economic history.

Eleanore Heather Hoffmeyer
Field(s) of Study: History
Mentor: Robin Davis Gibran Kelley
Eleanore Hoffmeyer is a third-year History student with a Global Studies minor pursuing college and departmental research. Her research focuses on the relationship between neoliberalism and evangelicalism, examining the persuasive power of neoliberalism to motivate evangelicals in their political activity. Her research questions consider what has driven evangelicals, whose identity lies within their religious beliefs, beyond the religious sphere and into the forefront of politics. Her studies focus on two powerful players of evangelicals in America today, being (1) conservative evangelicals and (2) mega-evangelicals, most widely associated with the rise of the megachurch. In tracing the chronological history of these two groups starting in the 1980s, her research evaluates and characterizes their relationship to neoliberalism and tracks its political consequences. Through her studies, she intends to shed light on evangelicals’ status as a diverse and powerful political voting bloc and understand the motivation behind their voting tendencies. Additionally, she hopes her research will reveal the pervasive dangers of neoliberalism in its ability to influence different sectors of the American populace. Beyond her research, Eleanore serves as a JusticeCorp member helping litigants in Los Angeles courthouses and is involved with IGNITE and RUF on campus. She plans to attend law school and pursue a career as an attorney or become further involved with public policy.
Gloria Ji Yoon Kim
Field(s) of Study: Education and Social Transformation
Mentor: Jason Dorio
Gloria Jiyoon Kim is a senior transfer student double majoring in Education & Social Transformation and Psychology. She is a proud first-generation immigrant from South Korea where she was born and raised. Gloria is a transfer student from Cerritos College, which sparked her current research interests in the role of community engagement among underrepresented community college students. This study researches the diverse educational pathways of the community college student population in order to better support the various needs of these students. Outside her work with the Keck program, Gloria is a research assistant in a clinical psychology lab. She is also involved with the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) as a Peer Advisor for AAP’s Center for Community College Partnerships to support community college students transfer to four-year universities. As a big transfer advocate, Gloria has also worked as a Peer Learning Facilitator for the AAP Transfer Summer Program this past summer. Moreover, she is passionate about mental health and is involved with the RISE Center as a student ambassador to promote daily strategies to foster everyday mental health in the UCLA community.
Audrey Lai
Field(s) of Study: Cognitive Science
Mentor: Jennifer Ashley Silvers
Audrey Lai is a third-year Cognitive Science major with double minors in Applied Developmental Psychology and Community Engagement and Social Change. She is particularly interested in utilizing neuroimaging techniques to study cognitive and emotional development. As a Keck Fellow, Audrey is investigating the role of social reappraisal and relationship quality in emotion regulation and memory. She combines analyses of behavioral and fMRI data to improve understanding of how humans regulate emotions to decrease negative affect in everyday life. She aspires to a career at the intersection of law and psychology. Outside of research, Audrey is involved in Bruin Partners and UConsulting.
Ella Belle Moore
Field(s) of Study: English
Mentor: Marissa Katherine Lopez
Ella is a fourth-year English major and Geography minor from the Bay Area who is interested in studying the intersection of literature, history, and landscape. She is currently completing a Departmental Honors Thesis in the English Department which seeks to understand the roles of genre and geography in the construction of systems of power, namely race and gender, in two contemporary works of Western fiction, How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang and The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin. Through a comparative analysis of Zhang’s and Lin’s works, she hopes to gain a better understanding of the way that literature interacts with history and its consequences, and how fiction can operate as a counterbalance to harmful normative narratives of the past. Ella is excited to continue conducting research after UCLA in graduate school and beyond.