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CBL Winter 2024 Newsletter: (Issue #16)

Dear Friends, 

Since last fall, the CBL team has been very busy with a new program–UCSB Club. Because of the generous support by Tina McEnroe, co-founder and associate Director of UCSB’s McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic, we were able to afford the transportation needed for 37 fourth and fifth grade students from Harding Elementary School who visit us weekly to engage in research with undergraduate students who we call HUGs (Harding UnderGraduates). UCSB Club started during the last four weeks of the fall term and will continue through the end of May. Harding students, who we call our co-learners, come to our campus on Wednesdays after school and work within one of seven small groups according to their interests. We call these groups research affinity groups. In this issue, you will read about what each of these groups is researching and what they hope to learn. There are so many things happening at UCSB, and our young co-learners have a rare opportunity to connect with our students and faculty in a way that allows them to gain firsthand knowledge and experience of university life.

I welcome all of you to enjoy our winter 2024 newsletter, which highlights the plans of each research affinity group. Big thanks to CBL writing director Dr. Sarah Hirsch for her leadership in this program. In our final newsletter that will be published in June, we will be showcasing the final productions–articles, essays, videos, and more–from each of the research affinity groups. Until then, I wish you a wonderful spring!


Dr. D.

Diana J. Arya, PhD

Associate Professor and Faculty Director

McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic

Gevirtz graduate School of Education

Research Affinity Groups

Each of our co-learners chose research affinity groups to be a part of. They collaborated with their Harding Undergraduates (HUGS) in the topics they intend to research and explore. Here is an introduction to each of the groups and their projects. 

Animals & People

We are passionate about animals. We care about how they live, and how we can learn to make a better place for them. For example, we're diving into fish behavior, their feelings, and whether fish feel pain and what makes them happy.  We are curious about fish camouflage, social activities, and how they sleep in their underwater world. Through our research journey, we want to improve our understanding of fish biology and learn about ways to keep them safe and happy.

Who We Are: Juan, Mae, Alia, Gabriela, Zullet

HUG Facilitators: Luci, Lucely, Bella

Arts & Crafts

Our topic is about graffiti because we want to find out who specifically does graffiti and what is the purpose of this kind of art. We believe that our research will help inspire others to become artists and educate others about graffiti. Through the activity “Artists and Their Art” we will choose an artist we are especially interested in. More research can be done on this artist, their background, and their purpose of making street art.

Who We Are: Sharky, Victor, Nansi, Britney, Shannell, Damien

HUG Facilitators: Sierra, Audrey, Khayan

Computer Science

Our topic is about how video games can help children in a fun way because many people think video games are bad; we want to prove they can be beneficial for education. We believe that our research can help parents and teachers realize that video games can be used as a tool in education and provide other ways of learning different topics instead of what we usually do in schools. Our plan is to help each other learn more about the process of what it is like to create video games. We are very interested in the steps, tools and time needed to create a video game from scratch. We started by interviewing a real live computer game programmer, and we are reviewing what we learned from him.

Who We Are: Alex, Eduardo, Kevin, Ricky

HUG Facilitators: Iliana, Denisse


We want to learn about the kinds of sports that UCSB students do. We also want to learn about their practice, what they eat, and how they learn at their school. Our HUGs share readings about healthy lifestyle habits of athletes, especially soccer players. Healthy habits help us to have healthy lives. We are interviewing current professional/collegiate soccer players and athletes.

Who We Are: Julian, Joao, Christian, Ricky

HUG Facilitators: John, Jimmy, Abigail


Our topic is about fashion, and the ways that we can support more sustainable clothing practices. We are learning about the effects of fast fashion on the environment and ways that we can reduce waste by up-cycling our own clothes. The driving question guiding our inquiry is: "How are clothes made, and how can we produce them responsibly?" Through our research, we aim to raise awareness about how clothing is made and its environmental impact, and ways that we can encourage others to think about their fashion choices.

Who We Are: Meggan, Paris, Mariah, Yesica

HUG Facilitators: Nat, Michelle

Brain & Food Psychology

Our topic started with a lot of questions to prompt our research. How does food affect our mood? Why is food so important to the way we live our lives? How do we get it? How does it affect us? Can it make us perform better in school? We want to explore the way food affects the way we think and feel. In addition to our visit to a UCSB dining hall and our interview with dining services, our group will be creating a Google Survey to gather information about the opinions of those who use the dining hall.

Who We Are: Elizabeth, Sophia, Iza, Janie

HUG Facilitators: Sophia, Myla

Conservation at UCSB

Our topic is about learning what native marine animals live near UCSB and how UCSB protects them. We are interested in this topic because we want to know about the animals in the area and learn how to safeguard them in the future. We believe that our research will help people learn about the animals native to the area and how to use university resources to learn about and care for the animals.

Who We Are: Victoria, Yazzlin, Osbaldo, Rey

HUG Facilitators: Ameena, Caitlin, Yi, Teresa

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