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School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Brenda Ortiz

Nobile Named Pew Innovation Fund Investigator

UC Merced Professor Clarissa J. Nobile has been named a 2022 Innovation Fund investigator by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Nobile and University of Missouri Professor David G. Mendoza-Cózatl have formed one of six interdisciplinary teams chosen for the prestigious award.

The duo is combining expertise from Nobile’s research in microbial communities and Mendoza-Cózatl’s work in plant biology to study how plants and microbes interact in the context of iron uptake and utilization.

Fellowship Advances Student’s Research into Arab American Smoking Behaviors

Public Health doctoral student Sarah Alnahari was awarded a UC Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) Predoctoral Fellowship to continue her community-driven research examining tobacco use among Arab Americans in the San Joaquin Valley.

The TRDRP is an initiative created through tobacco taxes and administered by the Research Grants Program Office at the UC Office of the President.

Ph.D. Student Gets to the Root of Health Disparities Facing Hmong Farmers

Chia Thao was a teenager when she arrived in Fresno with her family to begin a new life. She was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, where her Laotian parents had fled after the Vietnam War.

“Our parents brought a skillset to the U.S., found a home in the Central Valley and began farming,” Thao said. “This connected them back to their homeland.”

Over the years, she witnessed the challenges small-scale farmers faced and it prompted her research interests. Now, she is using her cultural knowledge of her community to help improve health outcomes.

Undergrad Research Fuels Opportunities for Grad School, Careers

The opportunity to participate in cutting-edge scientific research as an undergraduate is one of the most exciting aspects of a UC Merced education.

One of the best preparation opportunities for graduate school is to engage in research as an undergraduate, but at many universities, it’s not until you’re in graduate school that you conduct research. 

Grad Students Vie for Spot in UC Grad Slam Finals

UC Merced’s Graduate Division will host its Grad Slam competition on April 18 with graduate scholars presenting on topics ranging from Valley Fever immune response and antibiotic resistance to computer vision and mathematical methods for thermal collection. This year’s competition started in March with 30 graduate students in the qualifying round, from which the judges narrowed the field to the top 12.

The campus’s 2019 Grad Slam semi-finalists are:

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