At sites as far-flung as Jordan, Singapore, and Mexico, Gettysburg College students will research a wide variety of topics this summer with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This will be the sixth consecutive summer during which Mellon grants have supported collaboration between students and faculty members. Topics this year range from immigrants' human rights to error-free computer communication to stress reduction through positive psychology.
Gettysburg College's scholar development program supports undergraduate research and creative activities throughout students' four years. The program facilitates fellowships, scholarships, and grants. It also celebrates student research at an annual colloquium.
Eleven students have been awarded Mellon scholarships this summer.
Ancient chemical clues
While studying archaeology in Mexico, Paige Phillips '12 learned that chemical changes in soil can yield important insights into past civilizations. For example, fatty acids can indicate where cooking took place. Phillips hopes to further her understanding of chemical archaeology by returning to a colonial Mayan site in Mexico and by working with researchers at a village founded by free African Americans in Illinois and a site where indigenous Pequots and European immigrants battled in Connecticut. Phillips will collaborate with anthropology Prof. Julia Hendon and chemistry Prof. Don Jameson, reflecting her major and minor respectively.
A 1,300-year-old bathhouse with wall paintings of what she described as "sublime and shocking beauty" will be the center of an interdisciplinary study by Olivia Price ‘13, who will meet history Prof. Karen Pinto in Jordan for a 10-day examination of the Qusayr Amra site. Price, who plans to probe questions in both esthetics and the philosophy of technology, will also work with philosophy Prof. Lisa Portmess. Price is double-majoring in history and philosophy.
The "Man" in Mangroves
Allysa Bosold '13 plans a project that combines her majors in environmental studies (ES) and globalization studies as well as her minor in women, gender & sexuality studies. "Challenging the ‘Man' in Mangroves: The Missing Role of Women in Mangrove Conservation" will set the stage for her senior-year study-abroad experience in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. Her mentor is ES Prof. Monica Ogra.
Minimum wage, maximum hours
How many hours of minimum-wage work equal an average income? How has that figure changed over time? And how does it vary from nation to nation? Sociology and globalization studies major Kathleen Ragon '13 hopes to answer those questions. Her mentor is sociology Prof. Craig Lair.
Joe Miller '13 will travel to Singapore for six weeks to interview students, teachers, and administrators. He will compare effects of standardized curricula and testing on minorities there and in the United States. Miller is a sociology major and elementary education minor. His mentor is sociology Prof. VoonChin Phua, with whom Miller previously collaborated on research in Singapore.
Dice and data
Steven Hnath '12 will undertake the first full two-player computational analysis of the centuries-old Inca bluffing dice game "dudo." Hnath is a mathematics and theatre arts double major with a minor in computer science. His mentor is computer science Prof. Todd Neller, who has frequently published research in collaboration with students.
From slave to free
The challenges of transition from slavery to freedom for African American women residing in "contraband camps" near Washington, D.C., will be the focus of history major and Civil War Era studies minor Lauren Roedner ‘13. She plans to examine primary sources in the National Archives Records Administration and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and neighboring states. Her mentor is Civil War Era studies and Africana studies Prof. Sharita Jacobs.
Mathematics major Ryan Becker, Class of 2013, will delve into coding theory, the branch of mathematics concerned with how to convey a message, usually translated into numerical form, with as little error as possible. "This is an extremely important area of study, which at the highest levels combines electrical engineering, computer science, and mathematics," said Becker's mentor, math Prof. Darren Glass.
Mindfulness vs. stress
Having focused on positive psychology during her study-abroad experience in Denmark, Loren Deron '13 plans to develop and evaluate a mindfulness-based stress reduction program for the Gettyburg campus. Deron is majoring psychology and minoring in neuroscience and writing. Her mentor is psychology Prof. Kathleen Cain.
Modernization and literature
Jeanna Robb ‘12 will examine the literary implications of rapid modernization, first in England in the 18th century, and then in Japan in the 19th. "There is an extreme shift in the mentality of authors from both countries during industrialization, wherein celebrations of beauty and truth gave way to grim descriptions of everyday life," wrote the dual English and Japanese studies major, whose mentor will be Asian studies Prof. Eleanor Hogan.
Rights for immigrants
Philosophy major Evan Singer '12 will examine how concepts of human rights intersect with U.S. immigration policy. Working at the Washington, D.C. office of Gettysburg College's Eisenhower Institute, Singer will question individuals and organizations that took positions, both pro and con, on controversial immigration bills proposed in Arizona and Pennsylvania. He will also attend a conference sponsored by the Migration Policy Institute and the Georgetown University Law Center. His mentor is philosophy Prof. Dan DeNicola.
Reviving family farms
Also this summer, economics major Beth Adams ‘12 will investigate the decline of family farming in Franklin County, Pa., where she grew up, and propose solutions to reinvent the economy of the region. She will work with economics Prof. Brendan Cushing-Daniels. Instead of a Mellon grant, her research will be supported by a prize named for 1925 Gettysburg College graduate Millard E. Gladfelter.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college, which enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students, is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Jim Hale, senior staff writerPosted: Fri, 27 May 2011
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