The Sunrise Rotary Club of Davis recently honored two Da Vinci High School students as Students of the Month for May. They are:
* Mariah Farris, nominated by internship coordinator Susan Kirby, who wrote, “Mariah has spent the 2012-13 school year working at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain. This facility is a UCD research initiative bringing together world-class scientists with the latest technology to learn how the human mind works and teach these tools and techniques to the next generation of researchers.
“Mariah is working in the lab of Dr. Amanda Guyer. Her research focuses on the behavioral and neural mechanisms that may underlie the way adolescents think and feel. She spent the fall learning about the research process, working with human subjects in research, and learning about the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. She spent a lot of time entering data gathered from surveys given to the subjects of their various projects as well as data gathered by computer programs. She also worked on the codebook for the lab, which helped her understand the significance of all the numbers she dealt with.
“This spring she has begun testing participants in the lab’s behavioral studies. One of her most educational experiences was being put through an experiment as though she was a test subject. She said it let her experience the experiment from the subject’s point of view.
“Dr. Guyer has nothing but praise for Mariah: ‘She is so reliable, professional, detail-oriented and mature. She is a great asset to our lab.”
* Ariane Farris, also nominated by internship coordinator Susan Kirby, who wrote, “Ariane has always had an interest in history and that only grew stronger when she visited the Smithsonian museums on the Close-Up trip to Washington, D.C. It probably doesn’t hurt that her father is an archeologist, too. During this last school year, Ariane spent her internship working in the Anthropology Museum at UC Davis.
“You may not know about this museum in Young Hall because the bulk of the collection is not on public display but is used mainly for research. The museum has an amazing collection of Native American baskets that range in size from ones that would fit in the palm of your hand to ones you could sit in.
“Ariane has gotten to do a variety of projects during her 90 hours in the museum. She’s made archival boxes, tagged artifacts and worked on accession collections. When I visited her on-site, she was transcribing a historic journal that has helped her become familiar with the scientific names of California plants.
“Ariane says that working with the collections has been a highlight of her experience. She’s enjoyed exploring the various collections and seeing what artifacts were hidden among the hundreds of little bags in each collection. She shared a fun experience of finding a penny from the 1800s with Native American symbols.
“Her supervisors have nothing but good things to say about her work. They feel fortunate to have her in their program and definitely feel like she has contributed a lot to the museum. They say her attention to detail and her ability to work independently are extraordinary and that she is performing at the level of their college interns.”