Graduate Scholar Recipients

Rafael J. Burgos-Mirabal Judy Tang
Maurya Delgado Lisette Torres
Heidi Pina-Gasca
Faseeha Sheriff

Graduate Scholar Winners

Rafael J. Burgos-Mirabal
I am currently a doctoral cadidate at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, USA. I study inter-organizational dynamics among organizations belonging to different institutional and societal realms of activity: academe/education, industry, and government. My current, (dissertation) work, focuses specifically on the phenomenon of the commercialization of university science research at the Massachusetts state level, ca. 1970-present. I have broader interests having to do with combining sociohistorical, philosophical, political-science, and sociological perspectives to the observation, data analysis, and understanding of the current transformations that the ecology of postindustrial institutions are undergoing.

Maurya Delgado
Maurya is an anthropology masters student at the University of Louisville. Her emphasis has been in medical anthropology and bioarchaeology. During her undergraduate career she studied forensic science which led to study in physical anthropology. As a graduate student she began investigating bioethics and the human body. Her initial question was how physical anthropologists should work with human remains; essentially what ethical guidelines should be in place for her profession. This work has grown into a masters thesis on the commodification of human remains over time and the change in human understandings of the body. Part of this work will be presented at this conference. Outside of class she has been a volunteer at the University of Louisville Archaeology Laboratory and has been planning her late September wedding.

Heidi Pina-Gasca
Heidi is doing a PhD in Sociology within an interdisciplinary research project called “Energy Cultures” at the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CSAFE).With a background that comprises anthropological sciences and education, her research interests fall into three areas: Tertiary Education Research – particularly interested in the local configurations of internationally applied socio -constructivist pedagogical models; Societal implications of energy transitions; and multi-level adaptive governance of environmental initiatives.

Faseeha Sheriff
My name is Faseeha Sheriff. My academic background includes a B.Sc in Science Honors Specialization Genetics from University of Western Ontario, B.A in Arts Honors Specialization Political Philosophy from University of Western Ontario, B.A in Arts Honors Specialization Political Science and Ethics also from University of Western Ontario and M.A in Arts from Memorial University Specialization Political Philosophy.

Judy Tang
Judy Tang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire (specialized area: Curriculum & Instructions/Teacher Education). Her dissertation will focus on student academic engagement in intellectually demanding classroom environments and its relation to student achievement on mathematics/science assessments. Her research interests include student achievement motivation, student engagement in classroom contexts, and the socio-cultural nature of student academic identity. Judy also performs secondary data analysis on national and international large-scale data sets examining relationships between various student-level variables (i.e. demographics, attitude about school, course-taking patterns), school-level variables (i.e. school climate, socioeconomic status, availability of resources), and achievement. She holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University.

Lisette Torres
Lisette Torres is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education with a concentration in Social Justice in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) at Iowa State University. She received her B.A. from Lehigh University, double-majoring in Religion Studies and Earth and Environmental Science. She obtained her M.S. in Zoology from Miami University, where she conducted research on animal-mediated nutrient cycling in a Midwestern reservoir and climate change in freshwater lakes. Witnessing inequities in the sciences and in academia in general spurred her interest in issues of social justice. As a former ecologist and as a woman of color, she is especially passionate about research regarding (1) gender and racial equity in academia, (2) scientific culture and socialization, (3) the recruitment and retention of students of color in higher education and the sciences, and (4) the history of access to higher education for Puerto Rican women. She hopes that her research will shed light on how scientists, institutions of higher education, and funding agencies can change organizational culture and behavior and can construct diversity initiatives that truly promote equity.