2020 Presentations

Note from the editor

As we all know, the year 2020 CE will go down as one of the most unusual years in recorded history. Our modern worlds got turned upside-down due to the CoVid-19 Pandemic. So many lives were either lost or altered, and every one of us have felt the impact in some way.

The Bay Honors Consortium (BHC) Proposal Committee met in March of this year to do the work that we always do: review the proposals that our amazing honors students have submitted, and select the best ones to be presented at that year’s Bay Honors Research Symposium. Out of 209 proposals submitted, we accepted 93 (~45%), which is about our usual number. The Committee felt satisfied, but anxious about what was looming.

As it turned out, the Committee met the weekend before most all of our campuses were to be put in an online-only education format. Within 2 weeks of the Committee’s work, the BHC had to make the very hard but very real decision: that there would be no physical Symposium that year. At the same time, the BHC wanted to continue to honor the work of the students who did this amazing work. Our goal is always to showcase our students, to let the world see their amazing work. To that end, it was decided that we would continue to publish Think You?! for 2020, even though no Symposium was held.

Normally when I put together each edition of Think You?!, I use the Symposium schedule as the guide. It allows people to find the work quickly, and there is a theme to each group. Since that couldn’t be done for 2020, my decision (in consultation with the others in the BHC) was to organize this edition as you see below: there are five thematic groups based on broad discipline, and then each discipline group has sub-groups with the specific disciplines listed out. These discipline designations are based on what the students self-reported; frequently that is based on whichever course they took for their project, or the work of the professor with whom they worked. There have been minor tweaks made only when a student listed more than one discipline; I reviewed the abstract/methodology that were submitted in the proposal, and made the best placement possible.

As always, Think You?! is open for late submissions. Please click on the Past Call For Papers tab for the latest information. Additionally, 2020 Presenters will have the chance to present their work in the 2021 Bay Honors Research Symposium; at the time of this writing/publication, no decision has been made yet on how that will look, but information will be forthcoming.

Thank you to every single student and their mentor(s) for their hard work, their resilience, and their brilliance. You make editing this journal easy.


Sarah Harmon, Ph.D.
Proposal Committee Co-chair
Editor of Think You?!
September 2020

2020 Edition of Think You?!

Arts and Humanities

Art History

  • A dark-skinned young male wearing glasses and a black shirt. (Bruin) Acuna, Cabrillo College. “World of Cannibals: Implications of the Post-Race Generation as Seen through the Avant-Garde.” Mentors: Heather Gray and Letitia Scott-Curtis (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Aja Bond, Cabrillo College. “Inheriting Bias: Visual Culture of the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.” Mentors: Heather Gray and Stan Rushworth
  • Renalyn Ejada and Jeison Velásquez, Cañada College. “What Responsibility does Public Art Have to the Public?” Mentor: Denise Erickson
  • Rachel Peterson, Cabrillo College. “Holy Genocide: Resilience through Art, the Odawa Artist’s Tabernacle as Record of Cultural Identity.” Mentor: Heather Gray (Published 30 September 2020)


  • Sofia Abolfathi, Irvine Valley College. “Woven Women: An Analysis of Greek and Achaemenid Heroines.” Mentor: Chris Hurst-Loeffler

English and Literature

  • Juliet Beglaryan, Los Angeles City College. “The Destructive Power of Bourgeois Society on Family Values in Shirvanzade’s Chaos.” Mentor: Danielle Muller
  • Fiona Evans, Orange Coast College. “Catastrophic Colonialism: An Examination of Masculinity in Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of this World.” Mentor: Laura Wagner
  • Charles Foster, Saddleback College. “With a Little Power, Comes Great Responsibility: How Hobie Brown’s The Prowler Gives New Meaning to Mythic Heroism.” Mentor: Gary Luke
  • Antonio Mendoza, American River College. “Insight into an Instagram Poet: An Analysis of Yesika Salgado’s Trilogy of Poems.” Mentor: Cathy Arellano


  • Sarayna Gandhi, Saddleback College. “Slavery, Hermeneutics, Sin, and a Series of Letters.” Mentor: Margot Lovett.
  • Makenna Morris, Los Medanos College. “The Bernhardt Formula: Sarah Bernhardt and the Making of the Modern Celebrity.” Mentor: Jennifer Saito


Social Sciences


  • Jonathan Broberg, MiraCosta College. “Gender and Dominance: A Study on Captive Hamadryas Baboons and Ring-tailed Lemurs.” Mentor: Lynne Miller
  • Margaux Hingey, MiraCosta College. “Prehensile-tail Use and Positional Behavior in Wild Mantled Howler Monkeys (Alouatta palliata) and White-Faced Capuchins (Cebus Capucinus).” Mentor: Lynne Miller
  • Anisha Patwardhan, Foothill College. “Jjeoreo! An Exploration of the K-Pop Proliferation amongst Bay Area Youth.” Mentor: Kathryn Maurer


  • Humberto Mejía, Reedley College. “Architecture that Embodies Education.” Mentors: Kate Watts and Doug Halderman


  • Janessa Paez, Reedley College. “Dive Deep: Has the Media Become More Convincing that Ever?” Mentors: Kate Watts and Lina Obied


  • Pragya Dhoot, Cypress College. “Rent, Return, Repeat: The Impact of Clothing as a Service (CaaS) on the U.S. Economy.” Mentor: Parwinder Sidhu
  • Toby Fuchs, Mariana Cordero, and Melissa Pinkner, Foothill College. “We Are Wasting Money on Girls Education: How Modified Conditional Cash Transfers Can Break the Cycle.” Mentor: Brian Evans
  • A brunette young woman wearing a blue plaid shirt. Jana Gaskin and David Chabra, Cañada College. “Ignorance in the Age of Information.” Mentors: Paul Roscelli and Patty Hall (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Manraj Gill, College of San Mateo. “Greed and the China Syndrome: The Downfall of America’s Finest Corporations.” Mentor: Steven Lehigh
  • An Asian American young woman wearing a creme-colored blouse. Elena Thai, Cañada College. “The Price is Not Always Right: How Offline and Online Pricing in Drugstores Impact Retailers and Consumers.” Mentor: Paul Roscelli (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Vishala Thiagarajan, De Anza College. “Adoption Rail Plus Property for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).” Mentor: Judith West
  • Nathan Venier and Ferdaws Rashid, Glendale Community College. “Green Money: The Fiscal Future of the Green New Deal.” Mentor: Jeremy Talaoc
  • Kaisen Yao, Cañada College. “Conflict and Resolution: The 2007-08 Financial Crisis.” Mentors: Rebekah Sidman-Taveau and Paul Roscelli (Published 30 September 2020)


  • Christian Burke and Richard Luu, Pasadena City College. “Increasing Hispanic Student Success and STEM Completion through Active Learning within a General Chemistry Course Sequence.” Mentor: Jared Ashcroft

Ethnic Studies (including Gender Studies, Queer Studies and Religious Studies)


  • Dana Brenklin, Los Angeles City College. “Yemoja to the Virgin Mary: The Evolution of a Black Goddess from the African Diaspora to the New World.” Mentor: W. Gabriel Selassie I
  • Maia Gelerter, Sacramento City College. “The Othering of Antebellum Womanhood: Bound by Race.” Mentor: Sherri Patton
  • Alexander Hein, Saddleback College. “The American Anti-Imperialist League: Fighting Imperialism through Rhetorical Appeals.” Mentor: Margot Lovett
  • Zaria Henderson, Los Medanos College. “The Continuity of Exclusion: The Black Woman’s Burden throughout Political Movements.” Mentor: Courtney Goen
  • Paignton Howarth-Dunn, College of San Mateo. “’People like You Are Not for this World’.” Mentor: Tatiana Irwin
  • Valentine Kofler, West Valley College. “Silencing the Boom.” Mentors: John Hannigan and Janine Gerzanics
  • Cassandra López, West Valley College. “PANTHERESS: Women in the Black Power Movement.” Mentor: Tim Kelly
  • Jesse Traskin, Reedley College. “Damming Up Traditions.” Mentors: Kate Watts and Eileen Apperson

Legal Studies and Criminology



  • Marianna Berntsen-Perez, Los Medanos College. “Let’s Get Real: A Closer Look at the Function of Intimacy on YouTube.” Mentor: Edward Haven
  • Noah Connolly, Cosumnes River College. “The Lived Experience of Mind-Body Dualism.” Mentor: Richard Schubert
  • Alisha Nesslage, Modesto Junior College. “Moving from the Haidt Place to the Good Place: A Critique of Johnathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind.” Mentor: Bill Anelli
  • Felero Smith, Los Medanos College. “Authorship from Within: Centering Black People and Spaces to Allow Them Freedom to be Authentic Away from the White Gaze.” Mentor: Edward Haven

Political Science

  • Dawn Fore, Las Positas College. “Mediatization and Agenda-Setting.” Mentor: Paul Torres
  • David Lee, Fullerton College. “A Look Inside California’s Homelessness Boom 2020.” Mentor: Jodi Balma
  • Cheyenne Loftus, Cabrillo College. “Polyarchy, Partisanship, and Political Participation: Observations on the American Voter.” Mentor: Nick Rowell
  • Niklas Yoho-Murguía, Cabrillo College. “The Health of Democracy: The Forgotten People.” Mentor: Nick Rowell


  • Erik Bach, Foothill College. “Virtual Items, Real Money: How the Virtual Economy Has Perpetuated Gambling in Young Gamers.” Mentor: Brian Evans
  • Hanat Balimuttajjo, Modesto Junior College. “Defibrillating Female Mental Health: A Culture Shock on Uganda Values.” Mentor: Cheryl Williams-Jackson
  • An Asian-American-presenting young woman wearing glasses and a blue blazer with a black blouse. Angela Chow, Sacramento City College. “Homelessness Understood through the Lives of American War Veterans.” Mentor: Makeba Rangel (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Jacob Friesen, Reedley College. “Psilocybin: The Natural Tool to Combat Mental Illness and Psychiatric Disorders.” Mentors: John Heathcote and John Terrell
  • Sierra Heuer, Los Medanos College. “Meet Cute: How LGBTQ+ and Straight Romantic Comedies Portray New Love.” Mentors: Jennifer Saito and Daniel Beaver
  • Trinity Joseph, Los Medanos College. “When Beauty Becomes the Beast.” Mentor: Jennifer Saito
  • Ellie (Bing) Nguyen, Mission College. “The Vicious Cycle of Poverty: How Student Loans Adversely Affect Students’ Choice for Upward Social Mobility.” Mentors: Jeff Cormier and Joanna Sobala
  • Johnny Pérez, Fullerton College. “The Effect of Cellphone Presence on Learning and Nomophobia Correlation.” Mentor: Brian Lopez
  • Kara Regan, Fullerton College. “The Effect of Interrupted Memory on Accuracy and Confidence in Eyewitness Recall.” Mentor: Brian Lopez


  • Kayla Fanning, American River College. “Ball Culture Realness in Society.” Mentor: Michael Crowder
  • Nigel Hawkins, Cañada College. “They’d Rather Us Dead: Racism, Drugs, and Oppression in 1950’s Harlem.” Mentor: Lisa Palmer (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Susy Morales, MiraCosta College. “Undocumented American Dreams: Stop, Go, Stop!” Mentor: Thao Ha
  • Marwa Nouristani and Saina Saifzadeh, Irvine Valley College. “The Influence of Social Media and Culture on Personality Traits and Beauty Standards.” Mentor: Benjamin Mis
  • Andrés Ochoa, City College of San Francisco. “’Who Are You?’: Unraveling the Dissonance Surrounding POC Identity Development.” Mentors: Rebecca Ancheta and Lisa Harrison
  • A Middle-Eastern-presenting young woman wearing a head scarf Hedieh Sorouri, Irvine Valley College. “Invisible Scars: A Glimpse into Mental Health Issues Faced by Refugees.” Mentor: Shaunté Caraballo (Published 30 September 2020)
  • An East-Asian-presenting young woman wearing a pink sleeveless blouse. Kelsey Takaha, College of San Mateo. “The Development of Children in America’s Foster Care System.” Mentors: Sarah Mangin-Hinkley and Minu Mathur (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Yuliha Vásquez, City College of San Francisco. “’Dance Around Issues’: An Ethnographic Study of Race, Gender Inequality, and Power in Dance Spaces.” Mentor: Rebecca Ancheta

STEM: Biological Sciences


  • Hoang Tran, Mt. San Antonio College. “Delivering Copper from Hemopexin to Mammary Epithelial and Hepatic Cells.” Mentors: Teddy Kidane and Herbert Axelrod


  • Arnold Arroyo, Reedley College. “From Styrofoam to Fertilizer: Using Zophobas morrio Worms to Recycle Polystyrene More Efficiently.” Mentors: John Heathcote and Andrew Strankman
  • Spencer Churchill, Irvine Valley College. “Heterozygote Advantage in Highly Variant Environments.” Mentor: Chris Hurst-Loeffler
  • Jenesis Méndez, Reedley College. “Vaccines: What does the Research Really Say?” Mentors: Emily Berg and Veronica Andrade-Romeo
  • Kylie Necochea, MiraCosta College. “Bittersweet Memories: Implications of Processed Sugar Consumption on Immediate Cognitive Function.” Mentor: Lynne Miller
  • Arshan Ommid, Kevin Zou, and Sina Azzizi, MiraCosta College. “A Novel Quantitative Approach to Desease Modeling and Treatment: Integrating Systems Biology, Chaos Theory, and Deep Learning to Characterize and Resolve Hair Loss Pathologies.” Mentors: Lynnie Tross and Thong Nguyen
  • Kokoro Yamada, Foothill College. “New Pillow Algorithm Save the World: An Investigation of Pillow Conditions to Improve Sleep Disorders and Neck Pain.” Mentors: Laurence Lew and Robert Hartwell


  • Natasha Skidmore, Erica Dao, and Rory Greenhalgh, American River College. “Analyzing Microbial Genetics to Fight Climate Change.” Mentor: Adam Tellen

Environmental Science

  • Nilufar Kayhani, Las Positas College. “Betta Fish Aquaponic Systems and their Effects on Crop Yield.” Mentor: Michal Shuldman
  • A South-Asian-presenting young woman with long hair Megan Mehta, Las Positas College. “Reconsidering How Deforestation and Climate Change Affects Us.” Mentors: Dana Nakase and Jeremiah Bodnar (Published 30 September 2020)
  • Yolanda Reyes, American River College. “Does My Water Glow?” Mentors: Kakhashan Shaukat and Jordan Meyer
  • Jasmin Ruíz, Cabrillo College. “The Implications of Microplastics to Human Health and the Necessity of Community Advocacy.” Mentor: Nicole Crain
  • Courtney Sánchez, Los Medanos College. “The Shirt Off Your Back.” Mentor: Jennifer Saito
  • Ilya Vasey, Skyline College. “The Urbanization of Belmont and Los Gatos Creeks.” Mnetor: Christine Case
  • Luc Wu and Kate Lyn Nordstrand, Orange Coast College. “The Climate Crisis and its Effects on Corporations and Consumer Behavior.” Mentors: Lisa Snyder and Bret Savage


  • Anna Novoselov, West Valley College. “Phenol-Chloroform Extraction.” Mentor: Johan Sosa

STEM: Physical Sciences


  • Jana Gaskin, Cañada College. “The Truth about Vaping.” Mentors: Paul Roscelli and Patty Hall
  • Jacqueline Villalobos, Los Medanos College. “Branching Out: Can Grape Stems Be Used to Treat Contaminated Water?” Mentor: Mindy Capes


STEM: Computational Sciences

Computer Science

  • Makara Pen, College of San Mateo. “Using Knuth Morris Pratt Algorithm to Predict Tennis Shots.” Mentors: Jessica Masters and Christopher Walker
  • Tristan Collis, MiraCosta College. “Boolean Satisfiability and Machine Learning.” Mentor: Isabel Luengo


  • Addison Ankrum, Reedley College. “Feasibility of Installing Smarter Traffic Signals: An Economic Standpoint.” Mentors: John Heathcote and Liz Adams