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University Names Inaugural Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows

Scholars Will Take Part in Summer Research Programs
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Last winter, Cal State Fullerton was selected to receive a $444,319 grant  from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program.

The focus of the funding is to increase rigorous academic opportunities and provide financial support for students who will pursue a doctorate in the humanities immediately after completing their bachelor’s degrees.

Last week, four fellowship recipients were named. The recipients will participate in summer programs, be paired with a faculty mentor to develop a research plan, initiate research – and with the guidance of their mentors — spend four weeks conducting research for their first academic year as Mellon Mays Fellows. 

The inaugural fellows, all sophomores, and their majors, are:

  • Ileana Perez, Spanish
  • Danielle Rieza Narciso, linguistics
  • Vivian Phong Ngo, comparative literature
  • Daniella Camacho, American studies

Perez hopes to analyze and study literary works from Spain and Latin America. “When analyzing different works of literature, I like to see how the history of that particular time relates to the stories, poems, plays and essays,” she said.

Narciso is interested in researching the effects of language on personality.

Ngo is studying comparative literature and hopes to conduct research on the positive effects of literature in helping young children learn a second language.  

Camacho’s interest in American studies, she also has a history minor, has led her to research interests in race representation in film and theatre, and the evolution of the internet and social media as a societal tool.

Students selected for the program also will meet with top scholars, curators and archivists, community planners and other humanities professionals to present their research and learn more about specific programs, centers and community needs.