Graduate Profiles

Wendy Bravo - Health and Minority Communities

After graduating in December 2012, Wendy began working full-time with Brown & Toland Medical Group in San Francisco. Her work mainly focuses on analyzing the implementation of accountable care organizations (ACOs)–a new payment method for doctors, where payments are determined by the overall health of a patient, rather than by how many tests or exams a patient received. Wendy has also continued her volunteer work in community health and soon hopes to become a certified Covered California counselor to help people sign up for health insurance through the states health exchange. Wendy plans on returning to school to complete the requirements for medical school and pursue a career as a primary care doctor.

Integrative Biology 137: Human EndocrinologyChicano Studies 176: Chicanos and Health CarePublic Health 150E: Introduction to Community Health and Human DevelopmentNutritional Sciences 166: Nutrition in the CommunityPublic Health 150B: Introduction to Environmental Health SciencesESPM 163 AC: Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment

Thesis Wendy Bravo : - "Growing Justice, Cultivating Change: Food, Race, and the Mandela Farmers' Market In West Oakland, California" (Class of 2012)

In light of the growing support for local food movements, led by proponents such as Michael Pollan and Alice Waters, Wendy Bravo utilizes the existence of a unique West Oakland food organization–known collectively as Mandela Marketplace–to explore the historical connection between racial discrimination and the current food injustices seen in many African American neighborhoods. In “Growing Justice, Cultivating Change,” Wendy discusses the role of race and privilege in explaining how institutional policies have decimated the food sovereignty of low-income Americans and also examines various cases of food activism in African American communities throughout the country.

Yi-Ning Chiu - Race, Nation, and International Relations, 1945-Present

After graduating in 2012, Yi-Ning worked briefly for an online education startup before returning to the American Studies department, where she was a section leader for American Studies 10: “Hollywood: The Place, the Industry, the Fantasy.” After continuing to work as a Reader for American Studies courses and co-pastoring the college fellowship of Ark Ministries of Berkeley, a local non-denominational, multi-ethnic church, Yi-Ning joined the team at Year Up, an award-winning national 501(c)3 organization striving to close the Opportunity Divide by equipping urban young adults ages 18-24 to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. She works there as an Internship Services Specialist.

International and Area Studies 115: Global Poverty
History 137AC: Repeopling America
History 132B: Intellectual History of the United States since 1865
American Studies H110: American National Character
Political Science 144B: Korean Politics
Sociology 131AC: Race and Ethnic Relations: U.S. American Cultures

Thesis Glory and Honor of the Nations: The Promise of Multicultural Theological Formations in Evangelical America

Yi-Ning Chiu’s thesis outlines the experiences of evangelical Christians of color living in the United States between 1950 and the present, and situates their experiences within the broader narrative of evangelical Christianity in America. Using interviews with ethnic evangelical students at UC Berkeley, writings on spirituality produced by ethnic evangelical communities, and a study of historically significant interactions between ethnic and white evangelicals in America, it paints a portrait of evangelical Americans of the past half-century. With this portrait, it challenges the pervasive notion that evangelicalism equals whiteness and conservatism, and then traces the ways in which ethnic believers have occupied and shaped America’s religious landscape alongside their white counterparts.

David Swatt - Environmental Management and Policy

Since graduation in 2012, David returned to Los Angeles, and began a full-time career selling residential real estate with the highest grossing office in the United States, Coldwell Banker-Beverly Hills North.

Geography 130: Food and the Environment
ESPM 155: Sociology of Natural Resources
American Studies 101: The Birth of Consumerism
American Studies 101AC: Age of the City
American Studies 102: Theming America
ESPM 169: International Environmental Politics

Thesis From Cornfields to Cadillacs: The Evolution of Beverly Hills

David Swatt’s senior thesis presents a cultural history of one of the world’s most famed cities. Among central questions examined concerns how land values between Santa Monica Boulevard and Benedict Canyon gained seemingly instantaneous value. David suggests that a spike in land values can be attributed to the development of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Pickfair. Also addressed is whether the City’s premier amenities followed the wealth or existed prior to the infiltration of society’s elite. David argues that such amenities followed the wealth, and that their purposes was to reinforce the dominant narrative and valuable myth of Beverly Hills as a sanctuary to reside, vacation, and shop. In comparing past and present-day Beverly Hills David counters the historian Walter Wagner’s suggestion that Beverly Hills is a shadow of its former self, contending that its glamorous celebrity residences and exorbitant home prices demonstrate its improvement. The epilogue uses Lake Forest, Illinois and Great Neck, New York as a comparative lens by which to argue that the trend of premium developments existed throughout America and also to suggest how these communities contributed to a unique narrative of residential elitism.