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Undergraduate Experience: Cathryn Flores

April 6, 2021

Name: Cathryn Flores

Year: Third year

Major: English, minor in Writing 

Hometown: Fremont

What is a memorable project that you worked on during your time at UC Merced?

The bilingual, Spanish-English Shakespearean web series adaptation of “Ricardo II” was the most memorable project I’ve worked on at UC Merced. As music director and film composer, I collaborated with theatre practitioners of Merced Shakespearefest, UC Merced, and scholars from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. This web series was also part of a larger summer research project through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center for the Humanities  (UROC-H), under the mentorship of Professor Katherine Steele Brokaw. 

What did you learn personally and academically by participating in this?

Initially, this project was envisioned to be a live theatrical performance with instrumentalists and musical scores. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I had to create a film score electronically within three months. Without having previous experience in film scoring, this project allowed me to refine my abilities as a musician and songwriter in a digital age of theater. 

As a scholar in the UROC-H program on campus, I learned how to use research methods such as “Practice-as-Research” to evaluate my own performance as an artist and student researcher throughout the music composition process. Following this theatre and research experience, I’ll be presenting my findings at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in April 2021. 

UC Merced has a lot of opportunities for experiential learning. What would you say to a future student who wants to be involved?

Reaching out to professors on campus and community organizations can be intimidating and daunting but is essential to expanding your opportunities of getting involved with personalized research and projects. Creating a network of students and scholars in your field is important to foster ideas with peers at the same stage in their academic career. Applying for summer research programs in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center is a great way to start your career in experimental research within your academic field.