Incoming Class Student Profiles

By Sabrina Rodriguez

Sathya Burchman received his B.A. from UC Santa Cruz and M.A. from Wesleyan University in ethnomusicology. He is presently a Ph.D. student at UCLA whose performance and research interests include Javanese Gamelan, Ghanaian music, Cuban music, difference and community, the politics of representation, the economy of culture, and global interconnectedness.

Valerie Dickerson is a 2002 graduate (magna cum laude) of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she majored in music and minored in education. She is currently working on her M.A. degree in ethnomusicology with a focus on the music of African Americans. Her article, "The Evolution of African American Sacred Music: A Comparison Between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Church of God in Christ" was recently published in The A.M.E. Church Review journal.

Jeff Janeczko received a B.A. in Music from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He is a first year M.A. student and his academic interests are Middle Eastern music, Jewish Music, Music of India, and Cross-cultural Music Education. View his website.

Claire Martin is a doctoral student whose research interest is the oral epic performance tradition of the Badaga tribe of the Nilgiri Hills, South India. She completed her M.A. in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, in 1999 and gained her B.Mus. degree in Musicology at the University of Wales, College of Cardiff.

Melissa Morales is a first year M.A. student at UCLA. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Music from Rutgers University. Her research interests are the Colombian Andes, modern jazz composers, the Black Atlantic, the music industry, and applied ethnomusicology.

Megan Rancier received a B.Mus. in Music History from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA in 2001. She studied the music of American resistance movements with her mentor Annie Randall, and wrote a thesis focusing on Chilean nueva cancion, Russian guitar poetry, and South African anti-apartheid music. Her academic interests continue to follow music and protest, most recently looking at music from the anti-war movement in Los Angeles. View her website.

Sabrina Rodriguez completed a B.M. in Violin Performance and a B.A. in Anthropology at Florida State University in 2002. She is currently a first year M.A. student in ethnomusicology at UCLA, and her research interests include Balinese gamelan traditions, music of the Latin Caribbean, music and spirituality, and identity.

Lauryn Salazar is a first year M.A. student in ethnomusicology whose main area of study is mariachi music. She graduated with a B.A. in Music from Carlton College in 2002.

Robin Shields received a B.A. in Music from UC Santa Cruz in 2001 and is currently a first year M.A. student in systematic musicology. His research interests include music cognition, algorithmic music, cognitive modeling, and music of Nepal.

Pei-Hsuan Tsai is a first year Ph.D. student in systematic musicology. She works in the field of music science, including music perception, cognition and musical acoustics, and is interested in researching absolute pitch issues. She received her B.A. in Music Education at Taipei Municipal Teachers College in 1998 and her M.A. at the University of Sheffield, U.K. in 2002.

Jesse Samba Wheeler is a first year Ph.D. student and is researching issues of nationhood and community identity in popular music, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, and the USA. He holds an M.M. in Ethnomusicology from UW-Madison and a B.S. in Speech, Dept. of Performance Studies, Northwestern University. Also known as DJ Mwána Comète.

Chuen-Fung Wong received his B.A. (1999) and M.Phil. (2002) from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology. His research interests include music of Central Asia, Uygur/Xinjiang, China, guqin, Hong Kong, history, translation, and representation. View his website.