Keck Current Fellows

Current Fellows

Stephanie Angus '12 

Advisor(s): Dr. Kozek and Dr. Chabran

The goal of Stephanie’s project is to examine why the genre of mathematical fiction has favored using characters that are experts in number theory over colleagues in other fields. Stephanie will gain insight into this pattern by focusing on how such characters pose as prime examples of the insane genius stereotype. By reviewing literature and films such as Sylvia Nasar’s A Beautiful Mind, Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, and Apostolos Doxiadis’s Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture, she plans on critiquing the accuracy of the mathematics and the author’s background in the field of study in order to gain a better understanding of how the authors portray their mathematician protagonists as a source of conflict through the insane genius archetype.

Alex Gast '12

Advisor(s): Dr. Cinzia Fissore and Dr. Dan Duran 

Alex’s research uses a multi-scale approach into the best management practices (BMP) for preserving water through xeriscaping. The first stage of his project will include an evaluation of current policies, strategies and recommendations at the city level, water district level, and on a residential scale. This information will then be combined with an analysis of the most up-to-date data on water saving in addition to a field study that involves measuring the changes in soil characteristics following xeriscaping in order to validate its success in lowering over-irrigation by preserving soil quality. Alex plans on using his research as the basis for a business venture that will help provide homeowners, municipalities, and water districts with the means to build a more sustainable living environment.

Courtney Jackson '12
Major: Whittier Scholar with a minor in French

Advisor: Dr. Ria O'Foghludha 

Courtney’s project seeks to explore the political principles of Augustan Rome through the examination of three religious pieces of art, specifically the Ara Pacis, the Prima Porta, and Augusta as Pontifex Maximus. By finding connections between the political imagery and religious art, she will be compiling a more comprehensive understanding of how Augustus used art as a means of interdisciplinary propaganda. This will reveal evidence of how Augustus was able to influence an empire to follow his ideologies through strict religious expression. Courtney’s research will also take into account the transformation of Augustan imagery through various Roman provinces in order to recognize how each province was influenced differently by his ruling.

Brianne O'Doherty '12

Major(s): Whittier Scholars Program- Marketing and Visual Communication and Humans in Environment

Brianne’s research project seeks to develop a new design for RecruitU2’s (RU2) website in order to build a more lucrative resource for high school student athletes to be paired to colleges that can provide reasonable recruiting packages for them to pursue higher education as they continue athletics. She will be creating an improved marketing strategy and website by producing a comparative analysis of the strengths and weaknesses amongst RU2’s competitors and by conducting a survey-based field study that will gain insight into opinions on the website’s functionality as well as the dynamics of the recruiting process. Through her current connections to RU2, she will also be providing recruiting packages to a sample of high school students taken from Whittier High School and La Serna High School, in order to track the progress and success of the program. Brianne will be traveling to Chicago to showcase her new strategy with the hopes of reaching out and successfully helping more student athletes reach their academic and athletic potentials.

Kallia Wade '12

Major(s): English 
Advisor(s): Dr. Andrea Rehn, Dr. Jose Ortega and Jennifer Holmes
Kallia’s study of Post-colonial identity through Jamaican-based poetry, specifically works written by Louise Bennett, focuses on the influence and interpretation of performance. The findings of her research will stem from two events, the first one taking place at Whittier College in celebration of Jamaican culture which will be utilizing students to portray specific poems from Louise Bennett’s collection Jamaica Labrish. The second event will take place in Jamaica with performers, critics and professors who will also assess and discuss the cultural literature. Kallia hopes that these events will shine light on controversies that surround national and international viewership and how poetry can be reflective of the Diasporic identity.

Hannah Whitehurst '12

Major(s): Environmental Science

Hannah is studying the effects of non-native earthworms on plant growth in southern California. Specifically, the project examines the relationship between earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), as earthworms are known to consume some fungi in the soil. AMF grows on the roots of native plants, establishing a symbiotic relationship of nutrient exchange. Thus, the presence of earthworms may affect the ability of native grasses to grow if the earthworms feed on the mycorrhizal fungi in large amounts.