FrameWorks Fellows - University of Houston
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  • Usman Azim

    Usman Azim

    Usman is a junior majoring in biology with a minor in medicine & society. His research examines Edvard Munch’s painting The Sick Child, and the role of the arts and artistic expression in psychosocial healing. In his free time, he can be spotted with a camera, in front of a film screen, or on almost anything with wheels.
  • Maryam Azzawi

    Maryam Azzawi

    Maryam is a world cultures and literatures major with a concentration in middle eastern studies. Her project examines Egyptian modernist Khalid Mohammed Khalid’s writings on Islamic statehood, and explores his influence on socio-political developments in mid-20th century Egypt and the evolution of conservatism in Egypt and the greater Arab world.
  • Kadilo Buzugbe

    Kadilo Buzugbe

    Kadilo is a sophomore majoring in english with a minor in technology leadership and innovation management. Her project reads Buchi Emecheta’s novel Second Class Citizen (1974) as reflecting on “post-colonial cringe,” a phenomenon that has affected generations of post-independence Nigerians.
  • Iyad Chowdhury

    Iyad Chowdhury

    Iyad is majoring in economics with minors in english and history. His research engages Satyajit Ray's recently restored film Devi (1960) as a way to interrogate India's transition into modernity and the cinema's role in building nationalism. Iyad enjoys rock climbing and cooking pasta. He plans to attend law school.
  • Ibrahim Islam

    Ibrahim Islam

    Ibrahim's research focuses on the story of Nusayba Bint Ka'b, and its implications on gender norms in Islam. He is a middle eastern studies major and hopes to pursue a doctorate in islamic studies. In his free time, he enjoys trail running and spending time with family.
  • Alice Nguyen

    Alice Nguyen

    Alice is majoring in sociology with a concentration in criminology. She is writing about Alice Wu's 2004 film Saving Face and its depiction of the immigrant parent-queer child relationship. On her off days, she enjoys arguing with strangers online and friends offline.
  • Veronica Nwanna

    Veronica Nwanna

    Veronica is a graduating junior majoring in journalism with a minor in laws, values, and policy. Her project analyzes the case for reparations in Kashmere Gardens. Committed healthcare equity and environmental justice, Veronica is laying the foundations for an eventual career in Law.
  • Amna Siddiqui

    Amna Siddiqui

    Amna is a junior majoring in english literature with a minor in phronēsis and arab studies. Her research looks at the perceptions of revolutionary violence in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and Adiga's The White Tiger.
  • Annfaye Sternberg

    Annfaye Sternberg

    Annfaye is a pre-law junior majoring in political science with a minor in phronēsis. Her FrameWorks research examines the role of bureaucratic indifference in the United States' rejection of the MS St. Louis.
  • Logan Tantibanchachai

    Logan Tantibanchachai

    Logan is majoring in philosophy with minors in phronēsis; law, values, and policy; and religious studies. His research interests lie at the intersection of agency, political thought, and societal frameworks. His FrameWorks project explores the link between free will and the generation of creativity in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.


  • Nine Abad

    Nine Abad

    Nine’s research focuses on the Santo Niño de Cebu and its role in the creation of Filipino nationalism, its interaction with indigenous religions, and the Filipino diasporic identification with the symbol. Nine double majors in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. They plan to attend graduate school and pursue research related to Filipino cultural studies.

  • Kalena Holeman

    Kalena Holeman

    Kalena is majoring in English literature with a minor in Creative Work. Her research interests lie in receptions and adaptations of antiquity across the Black diaspora. Her FrameWorks project examines the legacy of Dante’s Commedia in twentieth-century Black literature.

  • Skyler Houser

    Skyler Houser

    Skyler is a sophomore pursuing a psychology B.S. with minors in Phronēsis and Air Force Leadership. Her research explores Ancient Egyptian culture and Tutankhamun’s dagger, which was recently discovered to be fashioned from meteoritic iron. In her free time, she enjoys dancing ballet, drinking coffee, and traveling.

  • Tuyen Le

    Tuyen Le

    Tuyen is a philosophy and political science major who aspires to become a professor. Her research focuses on the War in Vietnam, as it was experienced by North Vietnamese soldiers and common people.
  • Adriana Lopez Cajigas

    Adriana Lopez Cajigas

    Adriana is a junior Computer Engineering student and a Creative Work minor. Adriana's research focuses on the shift from analog animation in the The Lion King (1994) to the photorealistic CGI of its remake (2019).

  • Alivia Mayfield

    Alivia Mayfield

    Alivia is a junior double-majoring in History, and World Cultures and Literatures with a focus in Ancient Studies, and a minor in Phronesis. She is researching personhood of Alexander the Great as seen depicted in the Alexander Mosaic.

  • Isha Merchant

    Isha Merchant

    Isha is researching the Bollywood ‘item song’, and its cultural significance for the Indian diaspora. She is majoring in Journalism and minoring in India Studies. She enjoys sewing, creating art, and spending time with her dog.
  • Katerina Munoz

    Katerina Munoz

    Katerina is writing about Father-Daughter rape in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955). She is majoring in Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and plans to pursue a doctorate in Gender Studies. In her free time, she enjoys reading, photography, and spending time with loved ones.

  • Miracle 'Meneh' Ofomaja

    Miracle 'Meneh' Ofomaja

    Meneh majors in Chemical Engineering. She is writing about Nigerian post-colonial writer Ben Okri's “Stars of the New Curfew” and its character’s experience of his political context and social class.

  • Saron Regassa

    Saron Regassa

    Saron majors in Public Policy. She is interested in transformative research and designing effective policy. She is writing about Afro-Surrealism in Jordan Peele’s revival of The Twilight Zone, with an interest in the way its world-making reflects Black experience. She also works at REACH and competes as a part of the UH Debate team.

  • Adolfo Salazar

    Adolfo Salazar

    Adolfo is researching the interplay between Mexican traditional healing (curanderismo) and Western biomedicine, specifically in the lives of undocumented Mexican immigrants. He enjoys exploring the intersection of the sciences and humanities, evident by his his biotechnology and philosophy majors. As a future physician committed to accessible healthcare, he explores this field with a minor in Medicine & Society.

  • Zainab Tafish

    Zainab Tafish

    Zainab is a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Science and minoring in Medicine and Society. Her research focuses on mentions of disability in the Quran. She plans on pursuing medicine and working on global health issues. In her free time, she enjoys going to museums and making art.



Kalena Holeman, Winner of the 2023/2024 FrameWorks Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in the Interdisciplinary Humanities. 

By Ayania Hicks

Kalena participated in FrameWorks in her sophomore year. She is undertaking a major in English literature with a Creative Work minor. Her research interests lie in receptions and adaptations of classical texts across the Black diaspora. She is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature and a career in the academy. She kindly agreed to answer some questions about her FrameWorks experience.

Congratulations on being awarded the FrameWorks Prize. What does winning the award mean to you?
I think even being published in the journal was a testament to everyone’s hard work. I know a lot of time and effort went into researching and writing each article. With that said, I am very grateful to have won the award. I’ve been working on Dante, Walcott, and Ellison since I was a freshman, so this feels like the culmination of more than a year’s worth of thinking, reading, theorizing, and writing. It was a truly rewarding moment!

What was your winning article about?
My article explored allusions to Dante’s Divine Comedy in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Derek Walcott’s Omeros.

Unusually for a FrameWorks Fellow, you came into the program with an essay already in the works. What sort of state was your article in when the program began, and how did the program help you develop the work?
I entered the program wanting to expand on my final paper for a class taught by Dr. Daniel Davies. Over the year, the core idea remained the same the same, but the end product was drastically different. For one, it doubled in length! I already had a solid idea, but I hadn’t yet managed to put into words why I wanted to read Dante, Walcott, and Ellison together – the bigger picture, if you will. I used my time in FrameWorks to read extensively in the scholarly fields I was operating within. These texts helped me better articulate many of the thoughts only beginning to come together in my original paper. Articles are very different from class papers – particularly their structures. With the help of the program, I was able to develop my class assignment into a piece that can be read and appreciated by a much wider audience.

What makes for a good relationship between a FrameWorks Fellow and their faculty mentor?
Communication! On both ends. As a fellow, I made sure to actively update my mentor about my progress throughout the year. I also thought the program’s scaffolded tasks, due dates, and deadlines made it easier to update my mentor about my progress. At the same time, I was lucky that my mentor, Dr. Daniel Davies, was responsive to my emails and diligently provided insightful feedback and advice throughout the year. 

Tell us about your FrameWorks Symposium experience? How was presenting your paper in public? Did it help you refine any of your thinking?
For me, from the start, the Symposium presentation was the most intimidating aspect of the FrameWorks program. I’d never presented my research in front of so many people before. After I presented, though, I was glad I did. Writing my presentation, and answering questions during the Symposium itself, helped to refine and strengthen the main ideas I wanted my audience walked away with. I also found that I’ve become a more confident public speaker because of my experience.

How did you find the final editing process?
It was definitely intense, but I learned a lot from it! I loved hearing how my article was perceived by others, after spending so long working on it. I now feel much better equipped to write to an audience outside of my immediate field. I hope that my future writing reflects the more accessible style I’ve come to learn through the editing process.

Thank you, Kalena. And Congratulations!


If you are interested in applying to be a FrameWorks Fellow in 2024/202, click here for more information on requirements and eligibility.


If you have any questions, email Max Rayneard