Two social sciences graduate students are among recipients of UCI endowed fellowships awarded by the Graduate Division. Fabrizio Almeida Marodin, economics, is one of six Miguel Velez Scholarship winners, and Breauna Spencer, sociology, is one of four recipients of the Brython Davis Fellowship. The awards cover resident fees in spring quarter and include a $6,000 stipend. Learn more below about Marodin and Spencer’s research and awards, and congrats to all 17 campus fellowship award winners.

Fabrizio Almeida Marodin, Economics
Miguel Velez Scholarship

I am Brazilian and I took my undergrad studies at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, in the city of Porto Alegre. This is a federally funded research university located in the south of Brazil. I came to the U.S. in 2016 – along with my wife and two young kids - to pursue my Ph.D. in economics. My research focuses on consequences of financial regulation and credit policies, as well as its broad macroeconomic effects. In my dissertation, I study how changes in macroprudential regulation brought by the post-crisis reforms agenda interfered with risk-taking and prices in the mortgage market. Besides that, I have ongoing projects which analyze other episodes in United States financial history where credit policies played an important role. I am very grateful to have won the Miguel Velez Scholarship. It will definitely help me to concentrate my work on writing up my dissertation and pushing my research forward.

The Miguel Velez Scholarship provides financial support to graduate students who demonstrate outstanding past academic achievement as well as future promise, have financial need, and are citizens of a Latin American country. 

Breauna Spencer, Sociology
Brython Davis Fellowship

I attended UC Irvine as an undergraduate student and majored in sociology and education sciences. My research interests are tailored to understanding the academic, social, and psychological factors that both encourage and hinder the overall achievement and success of undergraduate and graduate students majoring in computing and engineering disciplines. Some of the current research projects I work on include an in-depth examination of the psychological effects of code-switching amongst Black women doctoral students while other research studies explore the experiences of men of color in STEM doctoral programs, and the strategies that help them persist to degree completion. I also have a manuscript that was recently accepted to a sociology journal that explores the psychological costs of racial discrimination amongst Black men enrolled in STEM doctoral programs across the United States. Ultimately, my work is grounded in ensuring that higher education institutions support and uplift historically marginalized students, and subsequently providing them with access, equity, and inclusion. Overall, receiving the Brython P. Davis Fellowship is a tremendous honor as it will support me in being able to focus more on my research, writing manuscripts for publication, and presenting at national conferences. 

The Brython Davis Fellowship provides financial support to graduate students who demonstrate outstanding past academic achievement as well as future promise, have financial need, are U.S. citizens, and are the child of a service member or veteran of the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. 


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