Five Institute students win research awards
Yuling Wang tied for one of seven Undergradatue Research Awards conferred by UCLA Library in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Ms. Wang.)

Five Institute students win research awards

International Institute students won five awards during Undergradaute Research Week in late May 2020.

By Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications

UCLA International Institute, June 12, 2020 — Several students in International Institute academic programs recently won honors for superior research during Undergraduate Research Week in May. 

Yuling Wang, a third-year Bruin with a double major in global studies and economics, tied for the 2020 UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research Award in the arts, humanities and social sciences category for her research paper, “Privacy and its Discontent: The Evolution of Privacy Protection in China.”

Wang, who wrote the paper under the guidance of Professor Steve Zipperstein of the Global Studies Program, received a $700 prize and recorded a video for the UCLA Library for the occasion. As she notes in her paper summary:

Privacy protection was hugely diminished in the Maoist era due to the radical communist reforms at that time. In the post-reform era, changes have resulted in different levels of privacy protection: while people started to enjoy more privacy in the private and intimate sectors, the discussion of individual privacy versus national interest still remains somewhat taboo, and together with the increasing authoritarianism in China under Xi’s regime as well as the strategic tactics the party-state has adopted during the coronavirus crisis, the suppression of privacy in this sphere is likely to sustain and even intensify in the future.

In addition, four Institute students won the Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Research Award for outstanding pre-recorded research presentations at the virtual Undergraduate Research Showcase.

Two of the students, Hannah Elizabeth Barrett and Christine Tran, are graduating seniors majoring in international development studies, and two, Rucha Modi (UCLA 2021) and Jason Vu (UCLA 2021), are majoring in global studies. (Both Tran and Vu are also double majoring in Asian American studies). In addition, Tran recently won a Fulbright award to teach English in Vietnam.

The papers of the four students covered a wide range of topics: "From Heimat to Vaterland: Political Constructions of Spatial Identity and Nationalism in Germany, 1930–2017" (Barrett), "Moving Beyond Asian Culture: Narratives and Perspectives of Domestic Violence from Asian American Women" (Tran), "'My Faith Does Not Discriminate': Media Visibility of the Religious Left in the Movement for LGBTQ Equality" (Modi) and "'We Have Heart': Memory, Diaspora, and Refugee Resistance in Lan Nguyen's 'Fighting for Family.'"

The faculty mentors who worked with our Dean’s Prize winners were Professors John Agnew (Barrett), James Desveaux (Modi), Grace Hong (Tran) and Thu-Huong Nguyen-Vo (Vu).

The UCLA International Institute warmly congratulates its students on their outstanding research and thanks their faculty mentors for guiding them to success.