The RAISE Program (Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience) was created last summer to fill the void left when the Summer Undergraduate Research Program was canceled due to the pandemic. Through stipends of $2,500 or more, RAISE supports a broad array of research projects, with more than 400 Pomona students participating last year and a similar number expected to take part in 2021. As a sample of the research being done, here are three stories of RAISE students at work:

Makeda Bullock Floyd ’22, an environmental analysis major, studied wild plants growing on Windermere Ranch in Santa Barbara, cataloging and reporting on the plant life at the ranch in an accessible guidebook. This collection of case studies contains personal narratives, Western science, Indigenous knowledge and community experience, explains Bullock Floyd. She adds that it highlights a mix of native, invasive, edible and nonedible plants, each with unique strengths and properties explored in detail.

Lerick Gordon ’22, a history major, reviewed 60 years of military history to analyze factors leading to a growing number of Latinos in the U.S. Armed Forces. “I conducted my research primarily by searching through online databases, historical archives, oral history interviews and various books and scholarly articles on Latinx U.S. military history/service,” he explains. “I was even able to conduct my own oral history interview, where I interviewed my dad, who is currently an active-duty soldier in the U.S. Army.”

Alexandra Werner ’22, a cognitive science major, used prior studies on speech bilinguals to examine the interaction between emotion and bilingualism in decision-making and offered insights on how her research might translate for an overlooked group: bimodal bilinguals or bilinguals who know both a signed and a spoken language. “The inclusion of bimodal bilinguals offers valuable insights into how signed and spoken languages interact across modalities at the lexical and conceptual levels,” she explains.

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