About MMUF at Brown University

MMUF Class of 2016. Left to right: Jasmine McAdams, Kristina Lee, Jackie Rice, Hector Peralta, Aanchal Saraf and Maria Garcia.

MMUF Class of 2016. Left to right: Jasmine McAdams, Kristina Lee, Jackie Rice, Hector Peralta, Aanchal Saraf and Maria Garcia.

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MMUF) is a long-term independent research grant awarded to under-represented minorities who are interested in pursuing advanced research.  The goal of MMUF is two-fold: to increase diversity in the academy by preparing Fellows for the rigor of doctoral research; and secondly, to contribute original and under-studied scholarship to the academy. You can learn more about the Mellon Fellows at Brown below!

All contributions in this blog are made by the fellows below, as well as Brown Mellon Advisor, Dean Besenia Rodriguez and Graduate Student Mentor, Lilian Mengesha.

MMUF Class of 2016

Maria Garcia is an anthropology concentrator interested in material culture in the Mexican-American borderlands. In preparation for her research on immigration narratives in the region, Maria will spend the summer at an archaeological field school. Professor Paja Faudree will supervise her research. Maria will pursue a PhD in anthropology upon graduating from Brown.

Kristina Lee is an anthropology concentrator who hopes to pursue a PhD in bio-anthropology. Kristina plans to conduct osteological research to learn more about the Tiwanaku civilization of South America. Her interest is in ritual violence, mortuary practices, and relations of power. Professor Andrew Schecter will serve as her faculty advisor.

Jasmine McAdams is a geological sciences concentrator working with Professor Warren Prell in the area of estuarine oceanography. This summer she will conduct research in Narragansett Bay on the fluctuating dissolved oxygen levels. She hopes to pursue a PhD in geology.

Hector Peralta is an education and ethnic studies concentrator interested in examining the relationship between public school curricula and academic achievement among Chicana/o students. His research, conducted under the mentorship of Professor Evelyn Hu-Dehart, will examine representations of Mexican/Mexican-American history in the San Diego Unified District’s secondary curriculum. Upon graduating from Brown, Hector wishes to pursue a PhD in American or Ethnic Studies.

Jacqueline Rice is concentrating in Comparative Literature and brings an interest in the connections between European literature in the Western canon and literature by African-American and other writers of color. Her research will read Derek Walcott’s Omeros alongside Virgil’s Aeneid to interrogate constructions of empire and ideas of homeland and selfhood. Jackie’s advisor is Professor Meera Viswanathan.

Aanchal Saraf has been working in Professor James Kellner’s tropical forest lab learning to combine environmental remote sensing with field studies, quantitative methods, and modeling to address ecological research questions. Her own research will bridge biophysical and ethnographic methods in a study of the endangered Palila bird on Big Island, Hawai’I, which will also consider native Hawai’ians’ relationship with scientists and with conservation approaches.


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