New OQ covers undergrad research in humanities, sciences

Zoom meeting on laptop

Undergraduate researchers who examined the Bracero guest worker program, Netflix and Hulu, Black protest at the University of Oregon, and more are featured in the autumn Oregon Quarterly, available now.

Research projects enable undergraduates to examine topics that fascinate them, working independently or with a faculty member and applying knowledge and skills gained in the classroom.

Junior Odalis Aguilar-Aguilar, a double major in Latin American studies and Spanish, teamed up with history professor Julie Weise to investigate the impact of the 1940s-era Bracero farm worker program on the Mexican wives, women and children whose husbands, fathers and brothers went north seeking better-paying work on U.S. farms.

“I find their stories fascinating,” Aguilar-Aguilar said, “and believe immigrant workers, whether documented or not, deserve much more recognition for their great contribution to this country.”

Donna Hooshmand, a junior in computer science and mathematics, is collaborating with computer science professor Reza Rejaie on an analysis of video streaming providers, including Netflix and Hulu. Using captured data for traffic exchanged between the Internet and UOnet, the university’s campus network, Hooshmand is exploring Internet usage by the UO community.

Desirae Brown, a 2020 sociology graduate and Ronald E. McNair Scholar, spent her senior year developing a paper on the history of Black student protest at the UO. She focused on demands made in 1968 by the Black Student Union and those pushed in 2015 by the Black Student Task Force, following protests against racism at the University of Missouri and the growing Black Lives Matter movement.

Other student projects featured in the issue include an investigation of the work of philosophers Albert Camus and Immanuel Kant as an alternative to addiction; characterizing surface conditions of organic molecules, which contributes to knowledge in the electronics industry; and use of Twitter to explore the response to the coronavirus pandemic by officials in populous Los Angeles County.

The autumn OQ also includes Kim Johnson, assistant vice provost for advising, and her new book, “This is My America”; a Duck Tale on a student’s uncommon bond with her puppy; and profiles of UO alumni doing important work: uncovering promise in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods, or favelas, of Brazil; studying public health effects of wildfires; and developing new approaches to cybersecurity.