Fresno Pacific University’s Alpha Chi Student Collaborative Research Team won the Trisha Yarbrough Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Competition at the Alpha Chi National Conference in Albuquerque, NM, March 30-April 1, 2023. Paola Gonzalez Mendez, applied mathematics; Luke Smith, software engineering and philology; and Magdalena Wenger, intercultural studies and biology; brought home the laurels—and a $5,000 prize—for their project: “Language, Perception and Climate Change: The Unique Understandings of Spanish-Speaking College Students.”

Members of FPU’s California Zeta Chapter also presented papers at the conference:

  • Luke Colvard, “The Tax Tragedy of the Global Commons” 
  • Danya Gonzalez, “Slow to Respond: The United States HIV/AIDS Epidemic Federal Response During the Reagan Presidency”
  • Paola Gonzalez Mendez, “It’s Not About Solutions: Common Misconceptions People Have of Math” 
  • Nicolas Portwood, “Going Beyond Hegel: The Dialectic of Fear and Trembling”
  • Magdalena Wenger, “It Is Not Going To Change: An Ethnographic Analysis of One Couple’s Decision to Join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” 

Gonzalez won for best paper in the history category and was named as an alternate for the Sledge/Benedict scholarship in graduate studies. Veronica Mendez Garcia (BA ’22), presented “Undocumented Children and Families as Collateral Damage to the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Statute: A Call for Social Workers.”

FPU Alpha Chi sponsors are W. Marshall Johnston, Ph.D., professor and program director of history; Pamela Johnston, Ph.D., associate professor of history; and Daniel Larson, Ph.D., associate professor of English.

PHOTO (from left): Smith, Gonzalez Mendez and Wenger.



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations