The UCLA Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (Bouchet Society) recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. The Bouchet Society seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. In the spirit of Bouchets commitment to these pursuits both within and without the academic realm, inductees into the honor society bearing his name should also exhibit these qualities.
2017-2018 UCLA Bouchet Society Scholars
Molly Bloom is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology with a concentration in linguistic anthropology. Her research focuses on language use by people with physical disabilities. Specifically, she is conducting an ethnographic study of peer mentors with spinal cord injuries at a public rehabilitation hospital in South-East Los Angeles. For her doctoral research, Molly received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Disability Research Consortium Dissertation Fellowship and the Dr. Ursula Mandel Scholarship. Additionally, she was granted the Society for Linguistic Anthropology Graduate Student Paper Prize for a forthcoming article in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. Molly’s doctoral research builds on her Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of Arizona and Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Colorado. Molly believes in fostering a strong sense of disability community through research, advocacy and as a volunteer. She served for three years as a steering committee member for the Disability Research Interest Group, where she helped establish accessible presentation guidelines for the American Anthropological Association. She also helped found and manage the only women’s wheelchair basketball team in Los Angeles. In her future career, she hopes to combine disability studies and anthropology as a professor and researcher. Ultimately, she endeavors to strengthen the sense of community for the disabled people she encounters.
Cristina M. Echeverria Palencia
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Cristina Echeverria Palencia is a doctoral candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research focuses on the fate and transport of antibiotic resistance genes and exists at the nexus of environmental science, engineering and public health. Cristina is a first-generation college graduate as well as a Central American migrant and has used her lived experiences to create increased accessibility to higher education. She has created workshops to guide marginalized students through the graduate application process, a fellowship to fund students denied a documentation status, and has mentored dozens of students of backgrounds that have historically been denied access to higher education. Prior to graduate school, Cristina engaged in grass roots organizing and continues to lend her voice to the migrant rights movement, understanding that the barriers faced by many marginalized students are larger and deeper than solely academic institutions. Cristina is a recipient of the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. She holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Cinema and Media Studies
Adrien Sebro is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of California Los Angeles. His research interests navigate the terrains of Film and Television Studies, African American Studies, and studies of gender and identity formation. He graduated with his Bachelors in Women’s Studies from UCLA, his Masters in African American Studies from Columbia University Institute for Research in African American Studies. At UCLA he won the Independent Research award for his honors thesis and was also awarded the Zora Neale Hurston Award for Best Thesis in the Social Sciences while at Columbia University. Adrien also dedicates his time to a national foundation that advocates for foster youth rights and education. He is currently working on his dissertation, with support from the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, which focuses on a production history of Tandem Productions and the politics of representation of their Black sitcoms.
Hafifa is a candidate for the Ph.D. in nursing at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research focuses on socio-cultural factors on preventive screening behaviors among Afghan refugee women. Hafifa has been recognized as a Eugene V. Cota Robles Fellow, T32 Vulnerable Populations Research Pre-doctoral Fellow and received the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society Gamma Tau Chapter Research Award and UCLA Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship. As well, she earned a Master of Science in nursing from Charles R. Drew University (CDU), where she was awarded a pre-doctoral scholar grant through the Bridges to Doctorate program in partnership with UCLA, which enhances master’s prepared students from underrepresented backgrounds to become trained and available to participate in NIH-funded research. Hafifa is dedicated to advocating for marginalized and underserved communities through her research, teaching and volunteer work. She has been an avid volunteer with UMMA Community Clinic delivering free health education and screening among diverse homeless and uninsured populations in South East Los Angeles. Hafifa is currently an active member of San Diego Refugee Forum and Student Liaison for the Caucus on Refugee and Immigrant Health of American Public Health Association (APHA). As a health advocate, Hafifa believes in addressing the complex needs of underserved communities within the context of their values and lives. Ultimately, Hafifa aspires to improve nursing practice in addressing health disparities facing underserved populations, especially forced migrants locally and internationally.
Lucas Shaw is a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at UCLA. His thesis work focuses on applying optical 3D printing techniques to create new types of materials. Lucas was the first graduate student in the Flexible Research Group and was responsible for the setup and maintenance of the lab. He is passionate about STEM education and has mentored more than a dozen students in the lab, ranging from high schoolers to junior PhD students. In addition, Lucas served two summers as a graduate program facilitator for UCLA Engineering’s eight-week intensive High School Summer Research Program, where he guided over 120 students through independent research projects by leading journal clubs and poster workshops. Lucas also co-founded Bruin Shelter, the nation’s first shelter specifically for housing insecure college students. As the president of the organization, Lucas helped secure physical space, funding, and a volunteer base to provide long-term beds, two meals per day, and peer-to-peer case management services in a supportive environment of mutual respect. In its inaugural season, it guided eighty-five percent of its UCLA and Santa Monica College student residents to their own stable and independent housing. Lucas received his BS degree in mechanical engineering from UC Santa Barbara in 2013, where he received the Tirrell Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Research.