Aughinbaugh2 picKevin Aughinbaugh '18

Majors: History and Environmental Studies

Mentor: Randy Wilson, Thompson Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies

Title of Project:Yellowstone: How the History of America's First National Park has Influenced Environmental Thought in the United States

This project will focus on the impact that Yellowstone National Park had on changing, and highlighting public lands policy regarding wildfires. My specific research objectives are three-fold: 1) to trace the historical evolution of fire policy on federal public lands in the United States up to the year 1988, giving specific consideration to the role of Yellowstone National Park; 2) examine the specific events and actors involved in the Yellowstone fires of 1988; 3) explore how and why the 1988 fires impacted fire policy in the United States for decades to come.


CramerKolbeImageMadison Cramer '19

Major: English

Mentor: Len Goldberg, Associate Professor of English

Title of Project: Notions of History in Felicia Heman's Records of Women

I researched the nineteenth century, Romantic-era poet, Felicia Hemans, and her 1828 volume of poems, Records of Women. Over the summer, I studied her life as well as contemporaneous reviews of her works to see how her experience as a female author -- particularly one who had to support her family by means of her writing -- impacted her portrayal of the gendered nature of memory in her poems. I discovered that Heman's domestic persona -- exemplified by her use of her married name, Mrs. Hemans, even after her effective separation from her husband -- dictates much of her writing. Specifically, Hemans remains proprietous and respectable in order to maintain the popular image of matronly domesticity and thereby continue to sell her works, but even as she does this, she also manages to convey the issues she sees with the separation of masculine and feminine expressions of grief and memory. My final product, a paper on this topic, examines these points in further detail, and synthesizes what I discovered in my research this summer.

 Nicole DensmoorNicole Densmoor '18

Major: Music

Mentor: Susan Hochmiller, Assistant Professor, Sunderman Conservatory of Music

Title of Project: East of the Sun: A Cultural, Thematic, and Theoretical Contextualization of Indonesian Art Song

Nicole is exploring Indonesian art songs and their cultural context and value during the Indonesian revolution to the present day. Art songs are a European-based genre developed in the 19th century of sung classical music inspired by nationalism and poetry. After studying an Indonesian art song anthology and interviewing Indonesian classical musicians, she hopes to create a website that can be used as a future resource for students who wish to study and perform these works.


Jack GardnerJack Gardner '19

Major: Mathematical Economics

Mentor: John Cadigan, Professor of Economics

Title of Project: Mean Variance Portfolio Selection: An Economic Experiment

Jack’s research evaluates the behavioral aspect of capital allocation in a risk and reward environment. In order to analyze this economic decision making process, he creates a portfolio choice economic experiment. The objective of the experiment is to observe how subjects’ capital allocation choices deviate from optimal allocation among two risky assets and one risk free asset. This observation is made possible through calculation of a portfolio’s Sharpe ratio – a measure for risk adjusted return. Jack’s project also examines whether bad portfolio returns relate to risk averse or risky behaviors in the future. Specifically, if subjects undergo negative returns, will they “chase” by choosing a possible high return asset in order to counteract their loss? His research provides useful insight into the behavioral side of investment decision making as well as the value of an optimal investment choice.


Anika JensenAnika Jensen '18

Major: English with Writing concentration

Mentor: Ian Isherwood, Visiting Assistant Professor of Civil War Era Studies

Title of Project: Feminine Strength: Women, Healing, and Great War Memory in J.R.R. Tolkien's Mythology

Anika will be working with Professor Ian Isherwood to examine how representations women and healing in Great War memory allow a more complex, redemptive reading of J.R.R. Tolkien's female characters. She will be examining Great War fiction, poetry, and memoir, paying particular attention to Tolkien's correspondence and early drafts. She is also dedicating a part of her research to the Scottish Women's Hospitals to study the intersections of gender, sexuality, mortality, and healing during the Great War era.

Cory MadisonCory Madison '20

Majors: Political Science, Psychology

Mentor: Fritz Gaenslen, Associate Professor of Political Science

Title of Project: Government Policy and Public Opinion in Japan's Remilitarization: A Case Study of Japanese Democracy

Cory's research focuses on the gradual remilitarization of Japan from World War II to the present. The phenomenon, which continues today, is explored through the political lens of democratic quality. By comparing public opinion polls to legislation, statistics, and military action, this work provides a perspective on how responsive the elected Japanese government is to the will of its citizens. Greater detail can be found at


Luca MenicaliLuca Menicali '19

Majors: Mathematical Economics, Mathematics

Mentor: Brendan Cushing-Daniels, Associate Professor of Economics

Title of Project: The Economic and Social Implications of Refugee Immigration in Italy

Luca took a closer look at the complex issue of international migratory flows. His project focused specifically on how the experience of refugees differs from the one of other types of migrants in his home country, Italy. Luca conducted regression analysis to draw labor market conclusions as well as one-on-one interviews to study aspects such as social inclusion, integration, and discrimination.


mckenna picPatrick McKenna '20

Majors: Political Science, Public Policy

Mentor: Shirley Anne Warshaw. Harold G. Evans Professor of Eisenhower Leadership Studies, Political Science

Title of Project: Divergent State Investment Strategies for Funding Transportation: A Comparison of Four Geographically and Geopolitically Diverse States

This summer Patrick researched transportation policy across four geographically and geopolitically states, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Patrick wanted to assertion how politics affect policy outcomes. He was able to do this because of the extremely different political climates of the four states that were researched. This research is useful because it can be utilized by different political leaders in order to see what policies have been crafted under similar political structures - and see which policies are successful to know which policies to pursue in their respective states.


ohn picKhun Min Ohn '19

Major: Philosophy and Cinema/Media Studies

Mentor: Jim Udden, Professor, Cinema and Media Studies - Interdisciplinary Studies

Title of Project: Wathann Film Fest: A Study of Myanmar’s First Film Festival as a Public Sphere

I intend to produce a written research paper along with a short video essay. For the research paper, it will be a case study on Wathann Film Festival studied through a method that best fits my topic. The central question of my research is: How does Wathann Film Festival, as a public sphere, foster a community of independent filmmakers and an alternative discussion of film, politics and culture, in a post-military junta Myanmar? This specific topic demands the research to collect qualitative data from the involving institutions, participants, and films. In terms of institutions, this research will explore the festival programming, affiliating partners and sponsors. Regarding the participants, this research will conduct in-depth interviews with the cofounders, participating filmmakers, and past audiences.


richman picAmanda Richman

Major: Health Sciences

Mentor: Amy Dailey, Associate Professor, Health Sciences

Title of Project: Measuring Perceived Discrimination in Rural White Populations Discrimination in Rural White Populations

I propose to conduct a systematic literature review on the extent to which rural white populations experience discrimination and how those perceptions intersect with social class, race/ethnicity, and gender.  After identifying available instruments to measure discrimination in this population, I will conduct in-depth interviews to determine whether available tools capture relevant dimensions in rural, white populations. I will explore literature from sociology, psychology and public health journals and databases to achieve a multidisciplinary assessment of this issue. This research will culminate in the creation of an adapted tool that can be used to study the extent and impact of perceived class discrimination in rural, white populations.