The 2019 cohort of undergraduate Marcus Research Awards winners
By Jamie Oppenheim
San Francisco State University junior Anucha Poh Maga has a great idea that could change the world: a conversion kit that would allow anyone with a motorcycle to easily transform it into a hybrid vehicle. The design student is developing a prototype that would work with the world’s most mass-produced motorbike, the Honda Super Cub.
“We’re seeing a projected shortage in fossil fuels, so this would be a stop-gap measure between fossil fuels and fully electric vehicles,” Maga said.
That might seem like an ambitious vision, but Maga’s project is getting a turbocharge from an exciting new fuel source of its own: $3,000 from the recently launched Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship — for undergraduates in San Francisco State’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts — was made possible by the George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts, which was established with a $25 million gift from alums George and Judy Marcus in November.
A panel of faculty experts chose Maga and nine other fellows for the inaugural awards, with projects including a documentary on transgender representation in film, a photography exhibit about climate change and an ethnographic study of the veteran experience at SF State. Students will work closely with faculty mentors over the coming academic year to complete their projects and then present them in some fashion at the end of the Spring semester.
“The projects are a real reflection of the social justice values of San Francisco State,” says Associate Dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts Troi Carleton, who oversees the grant program with faculty coordinators Joshua Singer, associate professor of Design, and Anastasia Smirnova, assistant professor of English.