Chido Munangagwa plans a three-week field study in her homeland of Zimbabwe, where an annual inflation rate exceeding 100,000 percent has led people to use a system of barter rather than nearly valueless currency.
"The goal of my education is to produce work that contributes to the improvement of my country," said Munangagwa, who will survey urban and rural residents, interview academic and government authorities, and examine potential price and wage stabilization policies in light of comparative research of hyperinflation in Latin America.
Munangagwa, who just completed her first year at Gettysburg, said her work will also give her "a great chance to share this knowledge in many of my classes, giving other students who have never lived through such an economic crisis a firsthand, in-depth perspective of hyperinflation and its social effects," including long-term impacts on health and education. Her faculty mentor will be economics professor Charles Weise.
• Closer to campus, Madeline Shepherd will interview participants in a trial that drew international attention to Dover, Pa. in 2005, when Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is rooted in religious teachings and therefore unconstitutional to include in public schools' biology classes.
Last year, Shepherd brought Jones to Gettysburg for a panel discussion. This summer, she said, "I would like to explore more thoroughly the relevance of Judge Jones' decision in the contemporary culture war that challenges the predominance of Darwin's theory of natural selection, and examine the likely strength of the opinion as proponents of creationism and intelligent design seek to incorporate their religious tenets into the public sphere of education."
Shepherd, who created her own interdisciplinary major in religion in American political history, plans to write a paper in collaboration with political science professor Ken Mott. A member of the Class of 2009, Shepherd is from Irvington, N.Y.
• Meanwhile, biology major Maggie Buell, Class of 2009, will journey to Nicaragua to dive for sea-slugs on the Pacific coast and bring them back to Gettysburg.
"Cytotoxins isolated from various marine species, like tunicates and sponges, have shown incredible promise in anti-tumor treatments," said Buell, of Appleton, Maine. Working with biology professors Istvan Urcuyo and Ralph Sorenson, she will determine the slugs' species, isolate toxins from their tissues, and test the toxins' effects on human cancer cells that she will culture in the lab.
• Seven additional students will conduct research in close collaboration with faculty members. This is the third consecutive summer in which Mellon grants have supported such projects at Gettysburg. The College's scholar development program mentors students over their four years as they seek fellowships, scholarships, and grants.
Calynn Dowler, Class of 2010, will co-edit a new online journal, Accent, featuring scholarly and creative writing by Gettysburg College students in the nine foreign languages taught on campus as well as in English. Submissions must be in the context of multilingualism and multiculturalism. The German and political science major, of Latrobe, Pa., will work with Laurel Cohen-Pfister and Beatriz Trigo, professors of German and Spanish, respectively. Dowler also earned a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. In Heidelberg, she will study West German responses to leftist terrorism in the 1960s and 1970s. She also earned a $10,000 Eisenhower/Hilton Scholarship for Study Abroad.
Marc Fialkoff, Class of 2010, will work with professors Donald Jameson and Tim Funk to develop greener experimental procedures for the campus's organic chemistry labs. Fialkoff, of Setauket, N.Y., is a political science major and chemistry minor. "Policy decisions don't have to emanate from the legislature, but can start in the laboratory," he wrote in his grant application. "I have begun to understand the uneasy relationship between science and government. With this Mellon grant, I hope to take the first step in becoming a more educated future policymaker."
Brian Garvey, Class of 2010, will assist history professor Dina Lowy in her examination of attitudes toward marriage in imperial Japan. To help provide a global context, Garvey, a history and Japanese studies major from Larchmont, N.Y., will compile information about marriage laws and issues around the world in the early 20th century history and synthesize that information by producing an annotated bibliography and historiographic essay.
Lyndsey Piecyk, Class of 2009, will compare politicized American music from the 1960s and the 21st century. In addition to books and recordings, her research will also include attending concerts, interviewing musicians and cultural experts, and "performing" her findings at her senior vocal recital. The music major from Newfield, N.J., will work with music professor Marta Robertson.
Sneha Shrestha, Class of 2010, will work with an international development organization in her homeland of Nepal in order to learn how such groups approach gender and environmental issues in the context of developing sustainable livelihoods. "The more I learn, the more committed I am to going back to Nepal to help combat poverty," said the globalization studies major. She will work with environmental studies professor Monica Ogra.
Susan Yebei, Class of 2011, will conduct research into female genital mutilation as practiced in her homeland of Kenya. To facilitate future research in Kenya, she plans to gain knowledge of fieldwork procedures, review academic works by Western anthropologists and women's studies scholars, and survey media coverage of the topic. Her faculty mentor will be anthropology professor Donna Perry.
Ashley Zimmerman, Class of 2009, will serve on the staff of the 10-day Gettysburg Festival of visual and performing arts and create visual artworks of her own in reaction to the festival experience. She plans to document the festival with photographs and video footage and to maintain a blog during the event. Majoring in studio art and globalization studies, Zimmerman is from Leominster, Mass. and will work with art professor Mark Warwick.
Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with approximately 2,600 students. It is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.
Posted May 1, 2008
By Jim Hale
Posted: Thu, 1 May 2008
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, "intelligent design" in public schools, and sea-slug toxins' potential cancer-fighting ability are just a few of the topics that Gettysburg College students will research this summer with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.