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Cultural Studies Archived Connecting Experiences Spotlights

Merav Katz

Major: Communication/Human Relations
Type of Experience: Research
Mentor: Josh Gunn, Communication

Merav completed a research project exploring religion and cultural identity. Her goal for this research was to gain knowledge about religion and popular culture. Through directed readings, she studied the rhetoric of religion and its influence on a number of factors including cultural identities, cultural norms and behaviors, and new religious beliefs.

Albert Palacios

Major: Architecture and Anthropology
Type of Experience: Internship in Austin
Mentor: Mariah Wade, Anthropology

Albert’s interests in cultural anthropology and historic artifacts sparked his investigation into an internship at the Texas State History Museum. During the summer of 2008, Albert worked on exhibit research, artifact acquisition, and exhibit development. This internship also allowed him to learn more about museum management and development.

Dustin Villarreal

Major: Public Relations
Type of Experience: Research in Austin
Mentor: Brian Bremen, English

In the spring of 2008, Dustin conducted his own research project where he investigated Chicano and Chicana culture and literature. His work allowed him to work closely with Dr. Bremen through archiving related media sources to be used in Chicano/Chicana literature courses.

Charlette Matts

Major: Radio-Television-Film
Type of experience: Internship in Austin
Mentor: Mary Kearney, Radio-Television-Film

Charlette’s internship focused on how adolescent girls, predominately Black and Latina, characterize themselves as consumers and understand their consumer power, and on the effects of popular culture on their personal growth and interactions with others. Charlette targeted middle school and high school-aged girls who were all participants at the South Austin YWCA. After conducting her research, one of the most interesting points Charlette noticed is that these young women never discussed what they saw as problems with how Black and Latina women are portrayed in the media, simply because they thought that others saw no problem with the portrayals. As a result of this new awareness and mentoring, Charlette hopes these young women will help influence change in the media and in their communities. Charlette presented her research on young women and the media at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in California in Spring 2007.

Eliseo Jacob

Major: Spanish and Latin American Studies
Type of experience: Research at UT
Mentor: Sonia Roncador, Spanish and Portuguese

Eliseo explored his interests in the performing arts and Latino culture through Connecting Experiences for his BDP in Cultural Studies. In Spring 2006, he conducted original research under the supervision of Dr. Sonia Roncador on Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art. He also completed an internship at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in the 2006-2007 academic year. In fall 2007, Eliseo will begin the graduate program in Spanish and Portuguese at UT, focusing on Afro-Brazilian cultures and literatures.