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The Scholarship Recipients 1997

In June, 1997, we were pleased to award 15 scholarships of $3,000 each to the following outstanding students. A brief discussion of their outstanding research is linked to each name.

From UC Berkeley:

Matthew Baerman (Slavic Studies)
Danielle Lussier (Music)
John Randolph (European History)
Linda Sawyer (Civil Environmental Engineering)
Daniel Rolde (History)

From Stanford:

Sean Connolly (Biological Sciences)
Mizuko Ito (Anthropology/Education)
Kenneth Shotts (Political Science)
Jeffrey Zacks (Psychology)

From UC Santa Cruz:

Linda Tropp (Social Psychology)
James Bullock (Astronomy/Physics)
Jason Merchant (Linguistics)

From UC Davis:

Bridget Ford (History)

From UC San Francisco:

Stephen Lai (Medicine)

Serena Volpp (Medicine; Elizabeth B. Reed Scholarship)

is the 1997 winner of the prestigious Elizabeth B. Reed scholarship. She received a degree in biology and women's studies from Harvard and Radcliffe and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1992. She is now a medical student at UCSF. Serena is working "to promote equal and appropriate access to health care . . . focusing on the public health concerns of the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) community in the Bay Area". Her goal is to practice medicine in a community health clinic while performing research and teaching in a medical school. She has a deep concern for the health needs of API people and has done considerable research in Hong Kong and the USA on various facets of their health problems, physical and mental.

Matthew Baerman

is a candidate for the PhD degree in Slavic studies at UC Berkeley. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale University and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. He is now a candidate for the PhD degree in Slavic Linguistics at UC Berkeley and is presently in Macedonia. His dissertation is entitled "Free to Fixed Stress in Slavic". The reference here is to study the evolution of fixed stress (accentual) systems in the three branches of Slavic: East, West, and South. As one of his faculty puts it "All languages have accent. In some the place of the accent in the word is predictable or 'fixed' in others it is unpredictable or 'mobile' ". Matthew is researching the question "How does a fixed accent system develop from an originally mobile system?". He has also been a tireless worker in the field gathering extensive data from village informants and making scholarly reports on his findings.

James Bullock

received the bachelor's degree in physics and math from Ohio State University and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1993. He is now a candidate for the PhD degree in physics and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. He is working with others in his department to study the evolution of galaxy formation in the universe. New technology and telescopes, including the famous Hubble Space Telescope, have provided large masses of data by looking deep into the universe and back in time. According to James this is a particularly good time for this research because of the technology which is available.

Sean Connolly

graduated from Earlham College in Indiana with a degree in biology and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1993. is now studying for the PhD degree in biological sciences at Stanford University. He describes his primary academic goal as documenting regional patterns of abundance of intertidal invertebrates and to determine whether physical oceanographic processes are responsible for these patterns. He adds that an ecological understanding of coastal marine systems is important because of their high productivity and proximity to land. They are heavily harvested leading to questions of depletion. Entire economies rely upon harvesting of fish and invertebrates from these systems.

Bridget Ford

graduated from Barnard College with a degree in history. She was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1991. She is now a doctoral candidate in history at UC Davis. Her dissertation is entitled "At Slavery's Edge: Religion, Race, and Society in the Urban West 1820 - 1860". She is studying the status and role of "African-Americans and white women . . . who worked towards emancipation" in two cities, Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky. She explicitly reviews the role of religion in this process and uses a "community study" of both cities as a research tool.

Mizuko Ito
received her BA degree in East Asian studies from Harvard and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1990. She is now a candidate for a double degree PhD in Education and Anthropology at Stanford University. This will require the writing of two separate PhD theses. It is a tribute to her skill and ability that the University approved this endeavor. We are told that she is the first and so far only graduate student to have received permission to do this in these departments at Stanford. Her long term objective has been an ethnographic study of culture with focus on cross-cultural relations and social and cultural change. Currently she is studying "the use and consumption of computer games by children in several sites in the nation". She will also examine the social, cultural, and instrumental logic embedded in the games. She is an outstanding teacher and productive and creative scholar.

Stephen Lai
graduated from Stanford University with a BS degree in biological sciences and an AB degree in economics. He was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1991. He is now a candidate in the joint MD and PhD program at UC San Francisco. Stephen is an innovative and skillful researcher. He has a remarkable record of accomplishment in medical research on cancer, aids, alcoholism, retinal diseases and the impact of pediatric disease on the human immune system — all related to some of the most basic and widespread diseases known to man. He has won many honors and awards and published many articles and papers. He is an outstanding teacher. There seems to be little doubt that he will play an important role in understanding and alleviating major diseases.

Danielle Lussier
graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in music and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1991. She is now a candidate for the PhD degree in music at UC Berkeley. She holds that after World War II musical aesthetics in Eastern Europe and Western Europe turned in radically different directions. She has studied the western and eastern responses to music of Bela Bartok to demonstrate this point. She describes the politics of involvement by the state (Hungary) which brought about his posthumous fall into disfavor. He was charged with writing "unacceptable, formalistic music" which he was accused of composing for “politically suspect bourgeois audiences”. It seems for a while he could not satisfy anyone as the French criticized him as having been "compromised by writing expressive, accessible music". Danielle examines these views in her dissertation “Bartok on Trial 1945-1955".

Jason Merchant
received his undergraduate degree in linguistics from Yale University. He was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1989. He is currently a candidate for the PhD degree in linguistics at UC Santa Cruz. We are told that “he ‘discovered’ ellipsis, an area of syntax and semantics that is now currently very much in vogue”. His dissertation will deal with the syntax and semantics of ellipsis in several languages including English, German and Greek. He has received an impressive number of awards and honors and has authored publications and has given presentations. He is also an excellent teacher. His faculty predicts that he will make significant contributions to linguistic theory.

John Randolph
graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in history and Russian studies and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1989. He is studying for his PhD degree in late modern European history at UC Berkeley. His dissertation is entitled "The Bakunins of Tver Province: Family, Estate and Society in Imperial Russia 1780 -1870". His dissertation "provides a unique portrait of Russian noble family life during the last hundred years of serfdom". His interest is in 19th century "Russian social thought". He uses descriptions of members of this noble family and life on their estate, Priamukhino, as a focus of his research. John sent this thank you note....

Daniel Rolde
received his bachelor's degree in history from Yale University. He was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1991. He is now a candidate for the PhD degree in history at UC Berkeley. Mr. Rolde is interested in the millions of Germans who were expelled from their homes in the East after the end of World War II. They were forced to flee to West Germany as Russia and Poland moved west. He wants to examine how these refugees originally integrated into the new German society and the problems associated with this process. There are significant economic, social, and political implications to this topic.

Linda Sawyer
received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Stanford University and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1990. She is a candidate for the PhD degree in civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. She plans to use her training in engineering to assist and support her work and inquiries in the field of ecology. She has designed waste water treatment facilities and is now studying biofilms, a matrix of bacterial and cellular products attached to a surface. They are found in soils, aquatic systems and drinking water systems where they can cause contamination. A better understanding of biofilms is necessary in order to control them for beneficial use.

Kenneth Shotts

received his BA degree in political science from Stanford University and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1993. He is a candidate for the PhD degree in political economics at Stanford. His long term interest within the field of American politics is the study of legislative institutions, particularly the U.S. Congress. His dissertation “examines the effects of racial gerrymandering on national policy”. This is a topic that has been in the national news in recent years. He has won praise from his faculty for his research in this field.

Linda Tropp
received a double degree in psychology and Spanish from Wellesley College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1992. She is now a candidate for the PhD degree in social psychology at UC Santa Cruz. Linda is an experienced and capable researcher and is highly respected by her faculty. She is working on projects and subjects in the field of social psychology. She has a history of directing or working with others in projects such as "the effect of identification with the college community on white females and on women of color". She is very interested in questions of self-identity and self-esteem.

Jeffrey Zacks

received his bachelor's degree in psychology at Yale University and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1992. He is now a candidate for the PhD degree in cognitive psychology at Stanford University. He has an "ongoing interest in the intersection of cognition and technology". He is researching event perception and cognition, for example, the threshold between experiencing something and turning it into a memory.


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