UCLA Gender Studies students win Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Pursuing Undergraduate Research in Gender Studies Three Gender Studies awarded the Undergraduate Research Fellowship 2022-23

Congratulations to three Gender Studies students who were selected for the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program this year! The URFP provides $3,000 in scholarship and a mentoring structure to support students pursuing independent research or creative inquiry. After working on their projects in the winter and spring quarters, student fellows typically present their work during the Undergraduate Research Week in May.

UCLA Gender Studies students win Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to Georgia, Yaying, and Tracy, three Undergraduate Research Fellows this year from Gender Studies. (Photo by Shreya Kollipara)

Tracy Hurtado is a double major in Gender Studies and Chicanx and Central American studies and a transfer student from Santa Monica College. Drawing from her work experience in the fashion industry, Tracy’s URFP project is about how race, class, and gender play a role in creating popular fashion trends on TikTok. She is interested in how certain looks and styles—through clothing, hair, makeup, and jewelry—become either marked up as “high end” or devalued as “cheap.” Tracy plans to engage with Chicanx feminist theories to make sense of working-class Black and Brown Latina aesthetics.

Georgia Lavery Van Parijs is a second-year student double majoring in English and Gender Studies. From Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Georgia is co-founder and president of the Western Equestrian club at UCLA and works as the legislative chair of the policy committee for IGNITE, an advocacy organization on campus that works to build women’s political leadership. Her URFP project focuses on the ways in which abortion was portrayed and discussed during the late 19th and early 20th century, a period following the nationwide abortion ban in 1910. Keeping in mind the contemporary attacks on reproductive justice, Georgia is interested in conducting historical research to see how the ban in 1910 affected representations of cultural attitudes toward abortion and women’s activism.

Yaying Wu is a sophomore majoring in sociology, with interests in Gender Studies, education, and digital humanities. She is from Shenzhen, China, and plans to draw from her own experiences as an international student and language skills to conduct research on transnational education migration. Yaying’s URFP project raises questions about gendered expectations and body image, focusing on the experiences of Chinese international students attending American private high schools. She will be conducting interviews with high school students to find out about the cultural shifts and pressures they face regarding body weight, beauty standard, and health, issues that become especially heightened around their return trips to visit family in China.

All three students this year are mentored by Professor Ju Hui Judy Han, who is currently the Vice Chair of Undergraduate Affairs in Gender Studies.

The URFP application is due in the Fall and consists of three components: research proposal, personal statement, and confirmation from the applicant’s faculty mentor. Students interested in applying for the URFP are strongly encouraged to reach out to faculty early on—even as early as the summer—and seek mentorship from faculty who can offer expert advice on research design and methodology that best suit their project.

For more details and help with undergraduate research, please visit the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and the Undergraduate Research Center – Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Please stay tuned for Gender Studies URFP student panel discussions and workshops as well.