Undergraduate Student News
Undergraduate history majors Roza Petrosyan and Jasneet Aulakh have been awarded USC Discovery Scholar Prizes for the Academic Year 2012-2013. This honor, presented to only ten undergraduate students per year, recognizes outstanding and creative undergraduate academic achievement. The two students will join other outstanding USC scholars at a ceremony during Commencement Week and be greeted by University President C. L. Max Nikias at a reception for the award winners.
Undergraduate history major Roza Petrosyan has won first place in the research category at the USC Undergraduate Writer's Conference with her honors thesis in history "Voiceless Heroes: Female Resistance During the Armenian Genocide" (2012).
Undergraduate history major Jasneet Aulakh has won a Fulbright fellowship for India.
The History Department is proud to announce the extraordinary achievements of Jasneet Aulakh, who will be graduating this May as a triple major in History, Philosophy and English. She has been selected as one of USC’s two recipients of the Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Award for 2013. The award recognizes excellence in liberal arts studies as expressed through creativity, scholarship, and leadership in the community.
Jasneet’s History Honors thesis, “Blood for Blood:1984 India,” was completed in the fall of 2011 under the direction of Prof. Wolf Gruner. It was based on more than fifty interviews and archival research in Great Britain, India and the United States. History Department and Dornsife College scholarships supported her research. Her 110-page thesis analyzed the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom following Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, which left more around 3,000 people dead and devastated Sikh communities in Delhi. The thesis received “Highest honors” and won the 2012 Banner Award for the best honors thesis in the History Department. Jasneet also received honors in her Philosophy major, finishing another thesis on India in which she explored issues of whether the sovereign loses legitimacy in its promotion of violence and failure to protect its minority citizens, and the rights and moral implications of citizens fighting oppression.
Jasneet was further honored this past fall with invitations to international conferences in India (which she had to decline) and Hungary. In December, she presented her historical research at an international conference hosted by the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. The paper she presented, “Stolen Girls: Sexual Violence in the 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom,” argued that sexual violence was a brutal manifestation of patriarchy among Indian men, a behavior that gained worldwide attention as a result of recent events in Dehli.
Jasneet plans to pursue a Ph.D. in History, and has been accepted to graduate programs at Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCLA.
Prof. Rorlich's "Problems Without Passports" course brings History majors to Kazakhstan to research the building of national identity
The New Banner Awards presented at Celebration of History Event on September 11, 2012: Emily Levine won the Best Undergraduate Paper Award for “The Legacy of Public Discourse on the Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793.” Jasneet Aulakh won the Best Honors Thesis award for “Blood for Blood: 1984 India.” (see below, Spring 2012)
Sanndy Teran, B.A. History 2011, has been accepted to the London School of Economics, King's College, and University College London.
Jasneet Aulkah received the first annual Banner Award for the best honors thesis, “Blood for Blood. 1984 India.” The thesis is based on research she conducted in India and London last summer with the support of a History Department Roberta Persinger Foulke Endowment Fellowship. (See below, Fall 2011).
Joyce Feinman graduated with honors. She will be participating in the Teach for America program in San Antonio.
Samuel Goldenberg graduated with honors. He has applied to the London School of Economics for MA in political science.
Jenna Ross graduated with honors. She is moving to Italy and will be working as research assistant for Professor Carole Shammas.
Jackie Swaidan graduated with honors. In the fall, she will begin the M.A./Ph.D program in Early Modern Studies at Claremont Graduate School.
Crispin Collins, McNair Scholar, graduated with honors. He is working in the Orange County DA’s office and will apply to law school in the fall.
Alex Hofmann graduated with honors. He has been named a Discovery Scholar ($10,000 award) for his History Honors thesis. He will be working for the Disney College Program.
Greg Woodburn graduated with honors. He has been named a Discovery Scholar for his honors thesis, and has also been named a Renaissance Scholar (with a $10,000 award). He is planning to work full time as President of the charity he founded, "Give Running" www.ShareOurSoles.org (see below, Spring 2010).
Cody Nelson graduated with a double major in History and Biological Sciences and has been named a Renaissance Scholar. In the fall, he will attend Duke University to begin an MD-Ph.D program.
María Francisca Sandoval, B.A. History and Latin American Studies, 2010, has been accepted to the University of Chicago, Master’s Program in History and Latin American Studies.
Maria-Itzel Siegrist, B.A. History, 2002, has been accepted to the UCLA, Ph.D. Program in Theater and Performance Studies
Roza Petrosyan, History major, received the Spring 2012 Provost's Research Fellowship for her project "Resistance of Armenian Women During the Armenian Genocide".
Ashley Meyer was selected as a participant of the 2011 Seminar for Advanced Undergraduate, M.A. and Early Ph.D. Students: Introduction to Holocaust Studies through the Records of the International Tracing Service Collection at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. For her research on humor as a coping mechanism of Jewish victims during the Holocaust she received a SURF grant and did research last summer at Yad Vashem Archives in Israel and the USHMM archives in Washington.
Jasneet Aulakh, departments of English and History, was awarded a Summer 2011 undergraduate research grant from the 2020 dornsife research cluster “Resistance to Genocide” for her study of militant resistance and the point at which the victims become perpetrators themselves, particularly with regard to Hindu-led anti-Sikh riots in 1984 and the Sikh resistance. She also received a Summer 2011 USC Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship and and a Foulke grant for her research on the state discrimination of Sikhs in India, especially the riots in 1984. She did research in London and in various places in India during the last summer, visiting archives and conducting interviews.
Roza Petrosyan, departments of History and Psychology, was awarded a Summer 2011 undergraduate research grant from the 2020 Dornsife research cluster “Resistance to Genocide”, as well as a Foulke and Surf grant, to research the role of women in resisting the Armenian Genocide. The research involved travel to Toronto, Canada to conduct archival research at the Zoryan institute.
Amy Shilit received honorable mention in the Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. It was a such a good experience she wishes to share nformation about the essay contest with other undergraduates for next year:www.eliewieselfoundation.org/2011prizewinners.aspx
Amy will be returning to Israel in June to work as a counselor for American high school students on tour and then plana to stay.
Stephanie Yee graduated in December, 2010, after which she moved to New York and began working as in intern in the Development Department of t Aperture Foundation, a photography arts non-profit magazine, book publisher and gallery space. In fall 2011, she will begin a Master's program in Library Science.
Joyce Fienman has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa and is currently studying abroad in Paris. Last summer, she received a SURF grant for research at the Massachusetts Historical Society and a Roberta Persinger Foulke Travel Award to begin research for her thesis on seaside resorts in Southern California.
Stephen Lamb has been accepted to Ph.D. programs at the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the summer of 2010 he received a SURF grant, and in the fall of 2010 he received a Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship, both of which he used to complete research for his is Honors thesis. He has also been selected to present a paper at the Phi Alpha Theta regional conference this April.
Cynthia Vidana was recently featured in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences magazine for her impressive work with JEP. Please see the story at the following link:http://dornsife.usc.edu/news/stories/820/double-duty/
Jasneet Aulakh received the USC Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the fall 2010. She will conduct research on the 1984 pogrom in Deli against the Sikhs.
Barbara Swensied, who graduated last year, was admitted to USC law school.
Ashley Meyer was accepted to the competitive Middlebury languge summer school (for German) this last summer.
Lauren Alderette participated in the Problems Without Passports program and did research on economic/international policy in Mexico City/Zacatecas, Mexico. She also received a research grant from the College Undergraduate Summer Research Fund to travel to France last summer (Paris and Bretagne, France) to conduct research on Paul Gauguin — his life, artistic career, and historical influences.
Natalie Bermudez, a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society and Phi Sigma Theta National Honors Society, made the Dean’s List (as she did in 2008) and was the recipient of the Melbourne Endowed Continuing Student Scholarship in 2009.
Maureen Lenker, a USC Presidential Scholar, has been named Outstanding Older Member of the Silk Section in the Trojan Marching Band.
Molly Underwood, a Trustee Scholar, presented a work for the Thematic Option Research Conference: Dreams, Illusions, and Other Realities (2009).
Natalie Bermudez is the recipient of the Melbourne Endowed Continuing Student Scholarship (2009) and made the Dean's List for 2008 and 2009.
Gregory Woodburn, a recipient of the National 2007 Jefferson Award for volunteer work and public service and of the Congressional Award Gold Medal for public service, self-improvement, physical fitness, and exploration, is the Founder and President of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization “Share Our Soles” (S.O.S.). Share Our Soles collects, cleans, and then donates new and used (but still in good condition) running and athletic shoes to underprivileged youth to promote a love for running and spread its many benefits. To date, S.O.S. has distributed more than 3,400 pairs of shoes to impoverished towns and orphanages in Mexico; the Dominican Republic; Liberia, Mali, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya in Africa; as well as inner-city Los Angeles. Share Our Soles has chapters active on both the East and West Coast, including official student organizations at the University of Southern California and the College of the Holy Cross. www.ShareOurSoles.org
Tina Barvarian (former history major) will enter USC Law School this fall.
Elizabeth Cook (history honors, 2007; theatre 2008) has been selected as one of the University’s 10 Renaissance scholars. She will enter the doctoral program in early American history and archaeology at the College of William and Mary in the fall.
Amara Edblad (history , 2008) has been acepted to law school at Arizona State University.
Margaret Esser (history, 2008) will be attending the UC-Santa Barbara history program in early modern European intellectual and cultural history.
Elizabeth Dahill (history, 2008) will be going to the University of Ghana to get a Masters in Political Science with a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.
Emily Lerner (history, 2007) has been admitted to Boston University and to an interdisciplinary program at the University of Chicago .
Nicholas Polk (history, 2008) will enter the doctoral program in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.
Archana Prakash (history honors, 2007) has been accepted to the doctoral program in middle-eastern history at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.
Haley Ryan (history, 2008) will be attending the International Scholar Laureate program for Archaeology/Anthropology to China in May.
Melissa Shimizu (history, 2008) will enter Cornell Law School in the fall. She recently received honorable mention in the humanities division of the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Symposium for a poster board on her forthcoming honors thesis, “The American Fertility Decline in the Nineteenth-Century: A New England Focus.”
James Skee (history honors, 2007) has been accepted to the doctoral program in history at UC-Berkeley where he will pursue his interest in the history of technology. During his time at USC, James not only distinguished himself as a student but also as a very valuable assistant in the History Lab.
Congratulations to graduating Phi Beta Kappa members Megan Baaske, Elizabeth Dahill, Katherine Gibelyou, Elisabeth Goodenough, Megan Ashley O’Dell, Nicholas Polk, Amy Rutherford, Angela Vimuttinan.
New Phi Beta Kappa members of the junior class are Eric Ambler and Rory Gallagher.
Rory Gallagher and Richard DeVoe have been selected to attend a one week history seminar in New York at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York. This fellowship is part of a nationwide competition in which over the past three years the History Department at USC has sent an outstanding student.