2021-2022 Ph.D. Integrated Interns

MARIA CARRERAS | Department of History

Maria Carreras is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History. Her higher education career began in Long Beach, Ca, where she was born and raised, and received an BA and MA in History from California State University, Long Beach. Carreras has TA’ed for the Making of the Modern World writing program, served as the program’s Academic Support TA, and will be a lecturer for the program in the summer teaching a course on 20th century world history. She was awarded the Don Tuzin TA excellence award for 2019-2020. As a Summer Graduate Teaching fellow, Carreras taught a course on the History of Childhood, emphasizing how ethnic and racial identities are forged and transmitted, how gender identity is constructed, and how social class is passed on from one generation to the next. Her dissertation, “A Local Affair: ‘Civilizing’ Barcelona’s Children during the Franco Dictatorship, 1939-1975” looks at the way in which the people of Barcelona challenged the Spanish state’s efforts to unify and homogenize the nation by organizing and conceptualizing modernity at the local level. By using childhood as a category of analysis, it looks at way in which the urban sphere can be used as a space to establish new forms of governance, challenging the national political structure. Recently, Carreras published an article in the peer- reviewed journal The International Journal of the History of Sport.  Lastly, given her interdisciplinary research focus, she has been able to include a series of theoretical and methodological approaches from disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to her teaching.

Carreras has a keen interest in helping students develop passion, pride, and confidence in their work. As a Fellow, her aim is to serve San Diego’s diverse community, particularly the city’s binational community, who face additional challenges on their path to academic success, by working directly with students to develop study habits in a collaborative environment by drawing connections between what they already know and their classwork. 

THOMAS CHAN | Department of History

Thomas Chan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He completed his BA in History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities before coming to UCSD in 2015. His dissertation, “Public Sacrifices of the Living Dead: Creative Violence and the Pathologization of Drug Criminals in Twentieth-Century China” analyzes how 20th century Chinese governments used historical memory, international medical studies, and communal anger to dehumanize drug users and traffickers from 1906 to 1953. His research has been supported by national and international organizations and foundations such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the Esherick-Ye Family Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the China National Scholarship Council, the UCSD Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratory, and the Institute of Arts and Humanities at UCSD. He contributed a project on the precarity of migrant workers in Taiwan films to the edited volume Locating Taiwan Cinema in the Twenty-First Century in 2020. He teaches Chinese and East Asian history, with a critical focus on histories of science, violence and policing in the UCSD History Department, and has taught in the Dimensions of Culture College Writing program at UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College as a teaching assistant. He has also served as the History Department’s Graduate Diversity Representative.

YOUNGOH JUNG | Department of History

Youngoh Jung is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department and the Critical Gender Studies Graduate Specialization Program. He specializes in Asian American history with a focus on transpacific militarism during the Cold War. His dissertation, Unsettling Militancy: Rethinking the Korean Diaspora in the Militarized Transpacific, examines the history of diasporic Korean militarism and alternative identity/community formations in the Korean diaspora beyond the realm of the US Military Empire in the Asia-Pacific. Before starting his doctorate program at UCSD, Jung received his M.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto where he specialized in the history of authoritarian militarization in South Korea. His work in Korean history has been published in the Trans-Humanities Journal in 2014. Jung served as the teaching assistant for the Race and Oral History in San Diego course for the last three years, the course component of the larger Race and Oral History in San Diego project. This course focuses on fostering community knowledge and voices over extractive academic methodologies through empathetic forms of oral history as well as building relationships between institutions of higher education and local communities. Jung is an alumnus of San Diego Mesa College, transferring to UCSD in 2008, and have been involved with youth initiatives in the San Diego Korean American community. As an IFI fellow, he is interested in learning more about how SDCCD meets the needs of its diverse student body and how more resources could be provided to both guide potential transfer students and assist transfer students transition to a new setting.

ALEXIS MEZA | Department of History

Alexis Meza is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at UC San Diego. She is from the San Fernando Valley and received her bachelor’s degree in History and Latin American and Iberian Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Her dissertation research examines the politics of historical and collective memory of the Salvadoran diaspora. In her work she centers migrant and refugee oral history, memory, and epistemologies. As a graduate student Alexis has worked with the state-wide organization the Unión Salvadoreña de Estudiantes Universitarios and UCSD’s Student-Worker Collective. Alexis has previously taught courses on Latina/o Studies, Immigration and Refugee Studies, and the U.S.-Mexico Border in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego. She has also taught in the Chicana/o Studies Department at San Diego City College as part of the Concurrent Enrollment College and Career Access Pathways program. As part of the IFI program, she hopes to support initiatives that cultivate equitable pedagogical practices and educational pathways that prioritize the needs of underserved student communities. In the San Diego community, she is active in transborder migrant and refugee justice and solidarity movements.

HEATHER PAULSON | Department of Literature

Heather Paulson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Literature at UCSD. Her research examines the ways that feminist communal communities help create healing spaces for working-class people of multiracial backgrounds during periods of environmental and economic crisis. Heather was the first in her family to attend college and is an alum of San Diego Miramar College and UC Berkeley, graduating with the highest honors in English and Gender and Women’s Studies. She taught various educational levels predominantly in low-income schools for nearly a decade while also earning a Master of Education degree at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa before returning to get her Ph.D. at UCSD. Both her experience as a first-generation college student and her research on labor, gender, and race continue to influence her pedagogical philosophy centering social justice and equity.

IVANA POLIĆ | Department of History

Ivana Polić is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History in the History Department at University of California San Diego, where she also works as a Teaching Assistant for Eleanor Roosevelt’s well-regarded Making of the Modern World Program. Her research focuses on the history of childhood and youth. She explores the importance of these generations in large scale processes such as modern nation and state building. Her dissertation project, “The (Re)Making of Young Patriots: Children and Nation Building in Wartime Croatia (1990-1995),” looks at the centrality of children and childhood in 1990s Croatia, where nation building took place in the midst of an ethnic conflict unseen in Europe since the Second World War. This dissertation research has been supported by the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Research Grant, Association for Women in Slavic Studies Graduate Research Award, UC’s Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program fellowship, UCSD’s International Institute Research Grant, and Friends of the International Center Fellowship. She was born in Rijeka, Croatia, where she also received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History and English, both teaching-oriented majors. After moving to San Diego in 2014, her capacity as an international student at UCSD as well as engagement with the (South)Eastern European immigrant community in wider San Diego area allowed her to gain some insights related to the concerns of students attending the city’s community colleges. While a fellow of the Mellon Integrated Initiative, she is interested in learning more about the educational needs of immigrant and refugee students within the wider student body of San Diego community colleges.

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