Announcing BCNM's Spring 2024 Undergraduate Research Fellows

25 Jan, 2024

Announcing BCNM's Spring 2024 Undergraduate Research Fellows

Each year, the Berkeley Center for New Media pairs undergraduates with a graduate student mentor, offering them the chance to complete real, graduate level research while at Cal. We are thrilled to announce this semester's Fellows.

Violeta Ubadiah

Co-creating Public Health Communications on Social Media

Violeta Ubadiah is a public health candidate. Violeta is not only fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, but is the President of the Women of Color Association. In this capacity, she co-directed the "Reclaiming Identity, Strength, and Empowerment" (RISE) event during Mental Health Awareness Month. This event sought to destigmatize mental health issues and provided essential resources for underrepresented students to access therapy. She is also the Marketing VP for the Developer Student Club, where she executed strategies that catapulted membership and social media presence by a staggering 200%. While at UCSF, she was also involved in designing and conducting a neuroscience experiment.

Violeta will work with Wan Nurul Naszeerah. As a transdisciplinary public health intervention researcher, Wan is working on a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) research project that aims to test the effectiveness of social media-based short-form educational videos in addressing the issues of vaccine confidence and vaccine mis/disinformation in the Malay-speaking communities of Southeast Asia.The second phase of this research project focuses on collaboratively designing these videos -- imagine TikTok and Instagram Reel -- through a series of online human-centered design thinking workshops. Violeta will help develop training materials using Canva and other tools and provide technical assistance to workshop participants.

Mariana Vasquez

Interactive Learning Board to Help Children Learn Digestive Education with a Multimodal Approach

Mariana is a Computer Science major who has had experience in computer vision projects, including in the classification of medical image data, object detection, and generative modeling. Mariana is familiar with machine learning frameworks such as TensorFlow, Pytorch, Keras, Scikit-learn, and more, and is well versed in various computer languages (mainly Python, Java, and C). Mariana is excited to learn more about augmented reality and virtual reality.

Mariana will work with Dongho Shin to create an interactive learning board specifically for children in the 8–12 age range to learn about nutrition by integrating cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI). The design product will also take the form of a construction kit. This initiative aims to reframe conventional learning strategies with the goals of increasing engagement, reducing educational inequities, and enhancing overall learning effectiveness.

Annika Tamte

State of Mind | State of Mine

Annika is a Media Studies and Sociology major. Annika is part of a dual degree program between UC Berkeley and Sciences Po Paris Campus de Reims. While at Sciences Po, they studied “political humanities” - an interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences major focused on examining political theory, history, arts and literature, anthropology, and sociology. During their second year at Sciences Po, they conducted quantitative and qualitative sociological research on right-wing populist rhetoric in France and Italy, examining the primary issues they stressed through main themes (the “nation,” critique of the elite, globalization, etc).

Annika will work with Alexis Wood on documenting the scale of state secessionist movements through time using primary and secondary sources. The broader context of this project is a study of the co-creation of space at the intersection of rural right-wing sociopolitical movements, climate collapse, and social media. This is with the intention of rethinking how we theorize the creation of space, and more specifically, how we may or may not conceptualize distance/proximity with the idea of better explaining the dynamics of right-wing movements, the rural-urban divide, online communities, and how all these things intersect.