Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship

  • For entering doctoral students who are interested in a career in college or university teaching and research
  • Individuals from cultural, racial, linguistic, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in graduate education are especially encouraged to participate in the program. The intent of this fellowship is to provide access to higher education for students who might otherwise find it difficult or impossible to successfully pursue graduate study.
  • Applicants must be nominated by their home department
  • Minimum of four years of funding from the Graduate Division and awardee’s home department
    • Year 1: Graduate Division $25,000 stipend + fees/tuition + non-resident supplemental tuition (if applicable)
    • Year 2: Department funding (at same level as highest Graduate Division stipend) via stipend, teaching assistant or graduate student researcher (GSR) position+ fees/tuition
    • Year 3: Department funding (at same level as highest Graduate Division stipend) via stipend, teaching assistant or GSR position+ fees/tuition
    • Year 4: Graduate Division $25,000 stipend + fees/tuition (Cota-Robles 2)
  • If awardee is in a professional degree program, the professional degree supplemental tuition is not provided by this fellowship.
  • Fellows may not work in the first term of the fellowship.
  • Master’s, MD, DDS, or JD degrees not eligible
  • Eligibility
    • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students who qualify for nonresident supplemental tuition exemptions under AB 540
  • Apply
    • The deadline is the same as the deadline for your admissions application. Contact your prospective home department for any exceptions.
    • Review the Eugene Cota-Robles Application Instructions and complete the appropriate sections within the online admissions application, including the Personal Statement.

Say hello to some Cota-Robles Fellows

Juan Pablo GaticaJuan Pablo Gatica
Physics and Astronomy

Research Interests

I am interested in studying particle physics. In particular, I am interested in the search for beyond the standard model physics at the Large Hadron Collider. I also find the study of Neutrino masses and flavor change very intriguing as well as the study of their sources.

Brief Biography

Born in Miami, Fl, I studied violin and viola performance throughout my entire pre-college life until a wonderful chemistry teacher opened my eyes to the beauty of physics in my sophomore year of high school. Soon after, I dived into this interest head on, reading any book I could find that would teach me more about the world of particles. I entered Columbia University in 2014 under the Questbridge scholarship, which provides full financial aid to low income students, studying physics with a concentration in mathematics. While there, I participated in different research endeavors including the attempt at the direct-detection of Dark Matter with the XENON collaboration, the upgrade of the vacuum system to the accelerator at SLAC, and the calculation of radiative corrections for the MARATHON experiment which will measure the distribution of quarks in protons and neutrons at high energies.

If stranded on a deserted island with only one type of meal to eat every day, what would you want it to be?

I would definitely have to go with my go-to breakfast meal: English muffins toasted, topped with peanut butter and sliced banana with water and black coffee. It’s the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy!

If you did not pursue a graduate degree what would you have pursued?

I probably would have joined some sort of aerospace firm or gone toward an entrepreneur or finance route.


Brenda WangBrenda Wang
English

Research Interests

I focus on early 20th-century artistic and literary practices in order to understand how women historically have been represented, and why they have been represented that way. Especially interesting to me are so-called “minor” forms of media such as newspapers, popular novels, photographs, and scrapbooks. My research seeks to productively place these works in conversation with more canonical works and traditions, as well as sociopolitical issues of their time.

Brief Biography

I studied English and creative writing for my undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, I became invested in finding interdisciplinary ways to think about the relationship between feminism and literature. This, and my interest in archival research, led me to pursue an M.Phil at the University of Cambridge. My dissertation on the political dimensions of Virginia Woolf’s photographic practices received a distinction. Outside the academy, I have been involved in the publishing industry and am interested in getting involved in the LA small press world.

If stranded on a deserted island with only one type of meal to eat every day, what would you want it to be?

Ramen

If you did not pursue a graduate degree what would you have pursued?

Uni diver and/or marine biologist!


Nylsa MartinezNylsa Martinez
Spanish and Portuguese

Research Interests

I’m interested in literature produced in the border of Mexico and United States. In particular, I would like to work with the literature affiliated to Noir, detective or criminal fiction.

Brief Biography

Prior to graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering, I started teaching Chemistry and eventually, became a faculty member. I sought to change my career field to Humanities by actively participating in the cultural affairs of my city, and doing work in the field of creative writing. As a result, in 2010 I was admitted to commence Post Graduate studies in Written Culture.  From 2011 to 2014, I did research on the presence of Jesuit missionaries during the 18th century in Baja California.  My thesis hinged on the unusual testimonial writing entitled Noticias de la península americana de California by Juan Jacobo Baegert. Lately, I’ve been working on my own creative writing and participating at different conferences about Noir Literature, and the nature and direction of narrative work produced in the north region of Mexico.

If stranded on a deserted island with only one type of meal to eat every day, what would you want it to be?

It would be definitely tacos. As being a Mexican, sounds predictable, but on a deserted island, tacos can be a source of happiness. Since I´m from the north of the country, flour tortilla and beef duly grilled are a must. For accompaniments, of course, would it be a delicious guacamole with tomato and onions, and a couple of homemade hot sauces.

If you did not pursue a graduate degree what would you have pursued?

It’s very hard to think about at different pursuit, since this, has been my dream for a very long time and finally, is becoming true.


Hannaneh HojaijiHannaneh Hojaiji
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests

I love to explore the new ways in improving personalized medicine by developing wearable and non-invasive devices. This interest has provided me with lots of opportunities to interact with students and professionals with different backgrounds and ideas, and helped me realize how much I love to lead teams and share my ideas with students interested in this field. Moreover, I am excited to become a professor, and with my team, lead the way in making new generation of biosensors.

Brief Biography

I have graduated from UCLA in the field of Electrical Engineering with a great research interest in biomedical devices and will pursue a PhD degree through my four-year fellowship at UCLA. My undergraduate research studies involved developing embedded systems, wearable and wireless environmental and health monitoring biosensors, which have been tested on children with asthma, applied in environmental studies and more. I have published the results of my research studies in seven high impact journals and conferences. Moreover, at I2BL lab, IEEE-HKN and Supermileage Electric Vehicle student organizations, I have been actively involved in mentoring high school and undergraduates from minority groups to perform high impact research using electrical and computer engineering concepts and promoting STEM education. Consequently, I have won several awards such as engineering scholarships, ECE Outstanding Student Award, and the 2018 Engineering Achievement Award in recognition of my research findings and my contributions to the community.

If stranded on a deserted island with only one type of meal to eat every day, what would you want it to be?

I would choose Caesar Salad, as it has a combination of vegetables, proteins, and carbs, so I could pick and choose the portions of the meal suitable for my daily diet and nutrition plan.

If you did not pursue a graduate degree what would you have pursued?

Since I have been exposed to independent study, research and teamwork at UCLA, I think wherever I go and whatever I do I will find the resources suitable for developing my wireless health monitoring devices, so if I did not pursue graduate school, I would be able to start my business in this field.


Jeanette CharlesJeanette Charles
History

Research Interests

How are Black-led movements across the African Diaspora calling for abolition and reparations in the twenty-first century? What relationship do these contemporary movements have to earlier anti-colonial movements? And, as a scholar, educator, and organizer, what is my role in documenting and advancing popular struggle across the African Diaspora? These are some of the foundational questions framing my academic inquiries and pursuits.

Brief Biography

Over the last decade, my background as an organizer, popular educator, and journalist have coalesced with my academic endeavors leading to exchanges with grassroots movements and people’s historians across the Americas. I have accompanied struggles led by African and Indigenous peoples such as: the Garifuna and their fight for ancestral territories in Honduras, Afro-Venezuelans and their constitution of contemporary cumbes (maroon societies), as well as the Haitian people’s historic determination to build a truly democratic society.

As an undergraduate, my thesis contextualized the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras within a historical trajectory of popular resistance. My research spanned the political contributions of the Garifuna and Lenca nations, LGBTQ community, feminist groups, youth organizing, media collectives, and communities rooted in liberation theology. I documented the resistance as it unfolded by analyzing independent and alternative media coverage from Latin America and the Caribbean, participating in human rights solidarity delegations, as well as interviewing organizers in Honduras.

My current academic work considers Haiti, the First Black Republic of the Western Hemisphere, and Venezuela, a twenty-first century socialist revolution, as two critical processes necessary for our historical understandings of African Diasporic resistance against European colonialism and US imperialism. As such, I situate my research within broader academic and political questions regarding solidarity, internationalist struggle, and how we can “build a world where many worlds fit”.

If stranded on a deserted island with only one type of meal to eat every day, what would you want it to be?

Given my love for the Caribbean and African Diaspora, my meal would incorporate typical fruits, vegetables, grains and meat from the region. My hypothetical meal would include: curried goat, plantains, rice and beans, and mamey fruit juice. If dessert were possible, I would include any sweet combination of coconut and cacao.

If you did not pursue a graduate degree what would you have pursued?

The decision to continue graduate studies at UCLA is a natural progression in my life’s work toward becoming a people’s historian. The opportunity to research and contribute not only to my academic field, but also, grassroots movements across the African Diaspora is an incredible honor and motivates me daily. This next step as a graduate student will ensure I acquire and refine the tools necessary to capture these important conversations and movements in Black radical history.

Zoe PierratZoe Pierrat
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in remote sensing and atmospheric science. At UCLA I am using a specialized instrument to measure solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence. Essentially, the light that plants emit when they do photosynthesis. This information will then be used, along with satellite data, to better understand plant productivity and carbon exchange in a changing climate.

Brief Biography

I have been interested in science for as long as I can remember but I really figured out where I wanted to go during my undergraduate at Colorado College. I took an intro class in every science department on campus and ultimately settled in the Physics Department because I felt like it explained what was going on in the other sciences. The summer before my senior year, I did an REU program in solar physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. I was using solar spectral data from satellites to study the exosphere (the last layer of the earth’s atmosphere). At CU I really fell in love with doing research and knew that graduate school would be the logical next step. Instead of going after solar physics however, I wanted to study something a bit more “down to earth” and started looking at programs in atmospheric science. Now that I am at UCLA, I am still looking at spectra, but this time from ground-based instruments looking at plants. Science is a passion that extended to my extracurricular activities as well. As a student at Colorado College, I was a peer tutor in physics and chemistry and was involved in founding the women in STEM club on campus. I look forward to continuing this science education and inclusion work at UCLA.

If stranded on a deserted island with only one type of meal to eat every day, what would you want it to be?

Red chile sweet potato or green chile veggie enchiladas with an obscene amount of avocado.

If you did not pursue a graduate degree what would you have pursued?

Realistically, I would probably do some type of engineering, but my pipe dream would be some type of wilderness travel guide or something that involves a lot of traveling.