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Where Are They Now?

Laura Enriquez '08, sociology major

Summer Undergraduate Research Projects often lead students into new areas of research that become passions, either for their senior projects or for futures in research and academia. Here is a sample of what some of our alumni accomplished after completing SURP research. If you'd like to add your story to this page, email your name, major, class year, SURP title (or description), who you worked with and where you are now to Laura Tiffany.

Vivek Charu ’09, molecular biology major

SURP: “Reducing Neonatal Mortality Rates by Improving Overall Nutritional Status: Water Quality and Sanitation”

Worked with: Pardis Mahdavi, associate professor of anthropology, and affiliates of the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health
Today: M.D./Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University

Kimberly Chau ’10, biology major

SURP: “Assessing the Function of Gint3 Using RNAi Gint3 Drosophila and in Situ Hybridization”

Worked with: Clarissa Cheney, associate professor of biology
Today: post-baccalaureate research training fellowship program at the National Institutes of Health; clinical research on rare genetic disorders at the National Human Genome Research Institute

Jacqueline Chen '07, psychology major

SURP: "The Nature of Controlled Prejudice"

Worked with: Raymond Buriel, Harry S. and Madge Rice Thatcher Professor of Psychology and professor of Chicano Studies
Today: PhD candidate in the Psychological and Science Department at UC Santa Barbara
Chen says: "Receiving the SURP afforded me the opportunity to cultivate graduate-level research skills and dramatically increase the competitiveness of my applications to graduate school."

Justin duRivage ’05, history major

SURP: “The Age of Federalism and Jacobin Fear”

Worked with: Helena Wall, professor of history, and Gary Kates, professor of history
Today: Ph.D. candidate, Yale University

Paul Del Piero ’07, international relations and politics double major

SURP: “A Statistical Evaluation and Analysis of Legislative and Congressional Redistricting in California: 1974 – 2004”

Worked with: David Menefee-Libey, professor of politics
Today: In third year of the J.D./M.B.A. dual degree program at USC

Laura Enriquez ’08, sociology major

SURP: “Educating the Academic Elite in Systems of Inequality: The Hidden Curriculum of Academic Programs”

Worked with: Gilda Ochoa, associate professor of sociology and Chicano/a-Latino/a studies
Today: studying for doctorate in sociology at UCLA

Kristen (Skovbroten) Gorman '06, linguistics/cognitive science major

SURP: "Spilling the Beans on Aging & Idiom Comprehension: Does Processing the Literal Meaning Increase in Old Age?"

Worked with: Deborah Burke, professor of psychology
Today: Fourth year Ph.D. student at the University of Rochester in Brain & Cognitive Sciences; awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2008; before starting grad school, served as an AmeriCorps member at Admission Possible, a non-profit organization in Minnesota that assists low-income high school students gain access to college.

Charles Hummel ’06, chemistry major

SURP: “Characterizing the Unique Oxidative Stress Response in Hyperthermophilic Extremophiles”

Worked with: EJ Crane, associate professor of chemistry
Today: M.D./Ph.D. in the Medical Scientist Training Program at UCLA

Miriam Krause ’00, geology major

SURP: "The Altitude Distribution of Uncategorized Intermediate Volcanoes on Venus"

Worked with: Eric Grosfils, professor of geology
Today: Completing dissertation in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota; will join faculty this fall in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University
Krause says: “I didn't realize how unusual it was to have such wonderful research opportunities for undergrad students until I went to grad school and found out that Pomona was exceptional in this regard—as in so many others. Even though I haven't continued working in geology, those undergraduate research opportunities, including the SURP, set me up really well to succeed in graduate-level research. And one of the things that attracted me to BGSU is that they encourage professors who want to get undergrads involved in research, something that I value highly based on my own experiences as a student.”

Jason LaBau ’04, history major

SURP: “One Du Bois, Indivisible: Connections Between Autobiography and History in the Writings of W.E.B. Du Bois”

Worked with: Helena Wall, professor of history, and Gary Kates, professor of history
Today:
awarded Ph.D. in U.S. History in 2010 from USC

Sylvan Long '07, geology major

SURP: "Finite Element Modeling of Magma Reservoir Failure"

Worked with: Eric Grosfils, professor of geology
Today: Senior Hydrogeologist at Leggette, Brashears & Graham, a professional groundwater and environmental engineering services firm

Elizabeth Orgega ’07, neuroscience major

SURP: Set up the lab and ran a test pilot on the relationship between stress and sex hormones

Worked with: Nicole Weekes, associate professor of psychology
Today:
graduating this year from medical school at USC; beginning a family medicine residency in July at California Hospital in downtown Los Angeles

Julia Ornelas-Higdon ’06, history major

SURP: “Pomona and Claremont: A Reversal of Fortune”

Worked with: Professor Jill Grigsby, professor of sociology
Today:
Ph.D. candidate in the History department at USC

Elizabeth Volkmann ’04, neuroscience major

SURP: investigated the relationship between stress and health in young adults

Worked with: Nicole Weekes, associate professor of psychology
Today: Internal medicine resident at UCLA
Volkmann says: “The SURP was one of my most worthwhile experiences at Pomona.”

Research at Pomona