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Select a field to read a short excerpt from the student's proposal.


Agitart »

"My field of study combines the concepts of art and agitation and explores how traditionally marginalized groups in the United States, particularly women and people of color, utilize art to convey their agitation and bring about change to the world..."

Animal Consciousness »

"...I hope to explore the cognitive, communicative, and emotional capabilities of animals in an effort to understand the nature and extent of animal consciousness."

Animals in Human Society »

 "...I will examine how animals have shaped culture through evaluating their place in literature, science, law, and ethics. I am primarily interested in understanding how a specific culture surrounding animals is developed as well as how animals are used to shape an already existing culture."

The Art and Science of Coaching »

"...I intend to study how coaches utilize motivational techniques and advanced fitness training to maximize athletic performance from their players. This would involve finding which methods are best for motivating and training athletes, along with figuring out how a player’s psychology affects performance."

Art, Behavior, and Affect »

 "Creative visual expressions possess a certain power to access and affect one’s emotions and behaviors in ways that words cannot -- a power to stimulate ideas, to change attitudes, to galvanize action. To what extent can, for example, a school building actually stimulate learning? To what extent can a painting of previously marginalized groups change one’s emotions and perceptions regarding American identity? These are areas I hope to explore in my field of study."

Biopsychosocial Model of Health »

"Biopsychosociology is the theory that emotions, social interactions, feelings, and mental health could have significant effects on physical health, and could help shed more light on the causes of conditions such as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. I propose to study the Biopsychosocial model of health (BPS) as a new field, one that explores the relationship between emotions, mental health, and physical health to possibly improve health care methods."

Black Identity and Psychology »

"There is a plethora of information on the mental functions and behaviors of people in America. However, the vast majority of psychological studies have focused on Caucasian subjects and as a result there is a relative lack of information regarding people of African descent..."

The Business of Medicine »

 "...I plan to explore health care economics and the financial management skills required by medical professionals that are typically neglected by medical schools and authors of pre-med curricula."

Class and Public Education in Texas »

 "...I propose to examine the discrepancies in funding and educational outcomes in Texas and the socioeconomic factors that cause these differences."

Collegiate Mental Health Reform »

"The most recent statistics indicate that one out of four college students suffers from some form of mental illness and 44 percent of that is depression alone.  Of that pool, 75 percent do not seek treatment. And for those who do,  traversing the mental health services on campus can be nightmarish."

Culture in Eastern Africa »

"The question I would like to answer through my research is simply this: How can this culture that is so attractive to me -- one that is full of life, one that oozes optimism, one that is passionate, one that is unfailingly hopeful -- exist surrounded by immense hardship, political corruption and what seems at times an indifference to life?"

The Culture of Beauty »

 "It is no surprise many women want to be beautiful. What is surprising are the lengths to which they will go and the risks they deem acceptable in that pursuit..."

Deaf Culture »

 "...I propose to examine how deaf people live as a community by looking into the ways they communicate with each other and with those who are not deaf, and how society influences their social, educational, and professional lives."

Decoding Mental Imagery »

"In 2011, the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley published research in which subjects were shown a series of video clips while an fMRI snapshot was taken of their brain activity every one to two seconds. This information was then fed into a computer, compared with previously gathered brain activity of the subject watching video, and reconstructed into very blurry but strikingly recognizable versions of the clips they had been viewing..."

Disease and Poverty in India »

 "...I propose to examine the origins and treatment of neglected tropical diseases, their impact on society, and the reason for their persistence."

The Economics of Green Energy »

 "Renewable energy is capital intensive, meaning it will require large investments for production and research. Which renewables are the most likely to bring profits to companies within the next twenty years? Should some of the government funding for renewable energy research be allocated instead for new fossil fuel technologies such as fracking? Is renewable energy really the way to go?"

Eastern vs. Western Medicine »

"Those who believe in Eastern medicine claim that it addresses underlying issues rather than symptoms. They also argue that Western practices focus on the illness, not the patient. Practitioners of Western medicine, however, are skeptical towards Eastern medicine because of the lack of scientific evidence supporting it. Western physicians believe that if patients seek Eastern practices over Western ones, then their illnesses will not be effectively treated and could worsen. Given the different approaches of these two disciplines today to patient healthcare, I want to know: . . .Are there instances of medicine in which the two disciplines have been effective synergistically?"

The Empowered Nonprofit »

 "...I propose to examine the relationship of the nonprofit sector with both the for-profit sector and the public, with an emphasis on the conditions that determine the viability and sustainability of nonprofit organizations."

Ethnobotany »

 "...Initially, [spices'] antimicrobial and preservative properties are what gave them their value; however, as technologies such as refrigeration developed throughout the world, spices became a residual and enjoyable supplement rather than an essential preservative. It is changes in ethnobotanical relationships such as these that I wish to study."

Leadership, Ethics, and Motivation »

 "...I propose to study the myriad strategies that modern and contemporary leaders have utilized to persuade groups to pursue a course of action, and to examine the morality of these strategies. I plan to focus on leadership in business, government and other social realms, and look at ineffective as well as effective, and unethical as well as ethical leaders."

Medical Illustration »

 "...I intend to study the creation of illustrations as they pertain to medicine, human biology, and anatomy. I also intend to investigate the field’s current movement towards more digital-dependent means, most prominently achieved by computer imaging and animation."

Mental Healthcare in the United States »

"...I propose to examine the current state of the mental healthcare system in the United States as well as the attitudes towards mental health that inhibit millions from seeking help."

Music Therapy and Dementia »

 "I am particularly interested in the power of music and how and why it triggers familiar associations, heightened awareness, feelings of security, and memories."

Neuroeconomics »

"I intend to use neuroscientific studies and methods to comprehend the interchange between economic behavior and neural mechanisms. My focus in the field will be primarily based on trying to link the studies of higher cognitive functions like decision making with the conceptual side of economics."

Philosophy of Justice »

 "[Socrates] equates a just soul with a just city and comes to the conclusion that justice exists in tandem with wisdom, moderation, and courage. I am interested in studying different schools of political thought to better understand how they might be applied to governments today. How has philosophy shaped the evolution of government through history? Can ideas from antiquity apply to the challenges of modern society?"

Poverty in the U.S. »

 "...I plan to explore the growing economic gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country and examine possible contributing factors. By wealthy and poor, I refer to those in the top 5% income bracket and those in the lower 20%."

Prostitution and Sexual Trafficking »

 "I hope to bring light to the sex trade and how it affects those who participate in it, as well as examine its influences on society. My ultimate goal is to use this information to analyze the current laws on the sex trade in developed countries and how these laws help or hurt prostitutes and victims of sexual trafficking."

Psychology of Politics »

 "I plan to use language analysis in conjunction with social psychology to hone in on election campaigns from their beginning, with volunteer mobilization, to the end, with voter persuasion and turnout both up to and on election day."

Public Education in America »

 "...I hope to examine education policy in the US, study the differences between underperforming schools versus schools that exceed the Department of Education's benchmark standards, and pinpoint practices that consistently accompany higher performance."

Public Health and Epidemiology in Latin America »

 "...I propose to examine the causes and characteristics of neglected diseases in Latin America and find ways to prevent their current spread. I hope to do so by studying the origins of particular diseases and sociocultural demographics unique to each developing country."

The Science of Sleep »

"While many creatures need sleep, the exact reasons are not well-understood. For my area of study, I propose 'The Science of Sleep,' an in-depth analysis of what happens during human sleep and why we and other organisms have evolved to require it."

The Sociology of Mental Health »

"...I propose to examine historical and contemporary social attitudes toward mental health, as well as how the current mental health system addresses modern needs. I intend to focus on how different populations in the United States--such as those defined by gender, age, and ethnicity--regard mental health, and how those attitudes influence their willingness to accept and seek treatment."

Spirituality and the Self »

"I propose to examine the relationship of faith, in both religious and nonreligious senses, to the development of spirituality in individuals’ lives. By spirituality, I refer to the original etymology of the word 'spiritualitas,' which means 'being driven,' having a center of meaning and purpose. This locus of purpose is usually connected with God, but this broader and older conception of spirituality does not require religious faith. In this definition, spirituality is an unqualified good for everyone who seeks to live a life of purpose."

Sports in America »

 "America’s preoccupation with professional sports dates back to at least 1871 with the first professional sports league in history, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players. Collegiate athletics dates back even further, to 1852, when the Harvard and Yale rowing teams competed for the first time. Today, both collegiate and professional athletics draw in billions of dollars annually and generate twenty-four-hour media coverage. I want to explore why America, to a depth unparalleled in any other nation, involves itself with sports."

Technology, Surveillance, and Privacy »

 "Opposing mass surveillance implicitly affirms privacy and other individual rights. Surveillance on today’s massive scale is only possible with new communication technologies like the World Wide Web. If this technology necessarily leads to surveillance, computer scientists (such as myself) who work for surveillance powers are morally culpable for infringing on individual rights. I will study this technology-surveillance relationship from technical and social perspectives."

Tribalism in Eastern Europe »

 "...I intend to examine the origins of various ethnic groups in Eastern Europe, as well as to develop a better understanding of inter- and intra-tribal relationships. By “tribalism,” I refer to the shared bonds and identities that connect people while distinguishing them from others. This sense of sameness and otherness can involve ethnicity and race, religion, and cultural heritage as well as nationalism among the countries of Eastern Europe."

The Underprivileged in the Developed World »

 "...I propose to examine the factors that have led to the growing inequality gap in a number of developed countries and how social mobility has declined in the last 40 years."

Usability and Human-Computer Interaction »

 "Currently, we have come to a moment of profound change in the way that we interact with technology. We are now outnumbered by our devices and must be able to adapt to this technological proliferation."

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