2009 Research Projects

2009 Graduate Student Summer Research Grants

Elias Meyer: Community Banking, Conflict and Cooperation in Nicaragua (International Studies)
A small community in Nicaragua

Mr. Meyer will examine the role community banking groups play in affecting the dynamics of political conflict and cooperation in two Nicaraguan communities.  The community banking groups will not be analyzed as tools of development, but rather, as forms of associational engagement. Through interviews with members of community banking groups, this project will shed light on how participation in these groups contributes to identity construction. This project will also explore the relationship between banking groups and the dynamics of conflict and cooperation.

Faculty/Community/ Group Grants

Gabriela Martínez (Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication), Sonia De La Cruz (Ph.D. Student, School of Journalism and Communication), and Guadalupe Quinn (CAUSA): Latino Roots in Oregon. A Documentary

This project entails the production of a 52-minute documentary that will intertwine a narrative of the history of Oregon as a state with the history of early Latin Americans and Latinos (late 19th century to mid-20th century), and the more current presence and growth of these populations (1970s to the present). The target audience will range from scholars, policy-makers, social service providers, and students interested in immigration, the history of minorities in the U.S., and Latin American and Latino studies to a more general audience. The final product will include a mix of in-depth scholarly research with an entertaining narrative in order to make the documentary appealing to different audiences of different ages and backgrounds.

Pedro García-Caro (Assistant Professor, Department of Romance Languages), Edward Olivos (Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education), and Robert Davis (Associate Professor, Department of Romance Languages): Being Latino at the UO: A Survey

This project focuses on a university-wide survey of cultural and linguistic identities, ideas, and attitudes found among Latinos at the University of Oregon. Currently many of the discussions about Latinos at the University of Oregon are based only on a vague sense of the importance of the growing number of Latinos in Oregon with little or no reference to the actual cultural and social make up of this population from their perspective. This survey will assess the diverse backgrounds of Latinos at the University of Oregon in order to create a more accurate sociological, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic picture of this group. The results will be published in the form of a web-based report that can be used in discussions about the place of Latinos at the UO now and in the future. This project is part of the university-wide ongoing discussion about reshaping the institutional position of Hispanic cultures and minorities and will allow other units across campus to acquire vital information regarding our student population which will in turn contribute to policy making decisions, academic restructuring, and Latino student access and success at the University of Oregon.

This project will shed light on how institutions of higher learning might create a student experience conducive to Latina success. This project is in response to the very low rates of retention for Latinas in college. Through surveys and in-depth interviews, Ms. Garrison will answer the following questions: 1) How do Latina students successfully navigate the first year transition process? 2) How does family impact the first year transition process for Latina students? 3) How do peers and friends impact the first year transition process for Latina students? 4) What advice do Latinas have for universities in creating an inclusive learning environment in the first year of college? This project will focus on the first year transition period among twenty-five Latinas at a predominantly white university in the Northwest.

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