2010 Honorable Mentions

Jessica Clark The Chaco Allure: 150 Years of Archaeological Fascination with Pueblo Bonito 
Lilian Fabela The Legal Construction of Racial Identities through Anti-Miscegenation Laws and Court Cases in Arozona, 1865-1962 
Miriam Paula Rubenson ’The Purity of the Ballot Box’: How Ex-felons Won the Right to Vote in California, 1966-1974 
Alexandra Title A comparative study of Scleractinian coral diversity in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia 

Jessica Clark
The Chaco Allure: 150 Years of Archaeological Fascination with Pueblo Bonito
Architecture 1760A
GSI Sharone Tomer

Jessica Clark's historiographical research project is an exploration of Pueblo Benito, an ancient Anasazi settlement nestled deep within Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. As Clark notes, “our interpretation of the ancient people and architecture is an ever-changing potpourri of thoughts and ideas applied by a variety of sources throughout time and space… leading to varying conclusions about the site and the inhabitants based on technology, methods of study, and contemporary contexts.” Her research led her, likewise, to a potpourri of library resources, both ancient and contemporary, spanning across the campus, and nestled deep within the stacks of the Environmental Design, Anthropology, Native American Studies, and Main libraries. Her skillful and elegant use of maps, aerial photographs, architectural diagrams, and other primary sources resulted in a strikingly rich and beautiful paper. Her G
SI remarked that it “may represent original research not documented elsewhere.” In her own words, Clark’s perspective of the library evolved during the course of the project, changing from “a formidable army of infinite stacks” into “a gold mine of untapped potential.”

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Lilian Fabela

The Legal Construction of Racial Identities through Anti-Miscegenation Laws and Court Cases in Arozona, 1865-1962
History 101
Professor Brian Delay

Racism and the meaning of “whiteness,” marriage rights, the legal and social status of the “other” in Arizona: timely topics that are all touched upon in this History 101 paper. As Ms. Fabela’s advisor notes, her original contributions to the study of race and law are twofold: First, most existing scholarly work on miscegenation law focuses on the South; this paper’s focus on Arizona brings a unique regional context to this subject, addressing the impact of the laws on persons of Mexican descent who were assumed to be “white” in Arizona. Secondly, miscegenation laws in Arizona, rather than serving to police intermarriage, were in fact little more than a tool used by ordinary people for their personal interests in matters of divorce, inheritance, and the like. Fabela’s research took her to Arizona State University’s Law Library and Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records. She also utilized the Bancroft and numerous electronic resources provided by the UC Berkeley Library. The resulting paper, her advisor notes, is “original, deeply researched, and important.”

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Miriam Paula Rubenson

’The Purity of the Ballot Box’: How Ex-felons Won the Right to Vote in California, 1966-1974
History 101
Professor Robin Einhorn

Rubenson's senior thesis explores the legal and political situation in California leading up to the passage of Proposition 10, which restored voting rights to convicted felons who had completed their prison terms. She made extensive use of primary sources in her research, traveling to the California State Archives in Sacramento on a History Department grant and studying materials from the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute archives at Bancroft Library. Through these primary sources, Ms. Rubenson is able to demonstrate that, unlike in other states and contrary to popular belief, the abolition of felon disenfranchisement in California was achieved not through an appeal to racial equality, but via a surprisingly legalistic debate about equal protection and uniformity before the law. In high praise of her work, Prof. Einhorn writes that "Only a sensitive, flexible, and intellectually alert approach to her primary sources could have produced this original and interesting finding."

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Alexandra Title

A comparative study of Scleractinian coral diversity in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
ESPM 107
Professor Brent Mishler

Ms. Title’s project studies “island biogeography in the Pacific showing a biodiversity level that decreases from west to east.” Having “an increased knowledge on coral diversity patterns and dispersal can help focus conservation efforts to preserve maximum biodiversity and protect coral reefs from adverse human impact.” She did most of her library research from the field, using proxy connections on remote, tiny islands in the Pacific to access online databases. According to Prof. Mishler, “Alex was one of the very top students in this class, and that is saying a lot because it is a very select group chosen based on their records and interviews… Alex showed unusual creativity and perseverance in eventually finding excellent comparison studies [in an area where it is] difficult to find comparable data in the literature.”

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