Ranging from the Barbie doll as gender warrior to writing therapy for adolescents, research by Gettysburg College students and recent graduates gained national attention this spring.
Six members of Gettysburg College's classes of 2010 and 2011 presented their work at the 25th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ithaca, N.Y.
"Because of Gettysburg's success rate with having papers accepted and published, our students stand up well at this international conference," said English Prof. Jack Ryan. "Their sessions are well attended, they receive thoughtful questions, and they are poised and prepared when they present and respond."
Student-faculty collaboration on research is a major priority for Gettysburg College.
Among those taking part in the national conference this year was a dual mathematics and English major who made two presentations. In her project Battle Of The Sexes: Continuing Barbie's Dirty Work, Amy Meros '10 probed how children's toys reinforce societal stereotypes about gender. Women, gender & sexualities and classics Prof. Brett Rogers was her mentor for that project. And, in Hamlet's Closet Scene In Film, Meros examined how moviemakers have adapted a key moment from Shakespeare's classic.
At NCUR, from left: Eric Kozlik, Paige Klunk, Cheryl Tevlin, Rachel Rutter, Amy Meros, and Josh Stewart.
Other researchers and their topics included the following.
"Elie Wiesel's Night and Anne Frank's Diary, while often perceived as unmediated accounts of Holocaust experiences, actually constitute two carefully crafted manuscripts," Rachel Rutter '11 argued in her project, A Legacy Of Words. Rutter, who triple-majored in English, Spanish literature, and Africana studies, concluded that "Both writers molded and edited their manuscripts over time and paid great attention to the expectations and biases of their respective audiences" in order to ensure that their stories would survive. Rutter's mentor was English Prof. Temma Berg.
In Fighting the Power, music and Africana studies major Paige Klunk '11 traced the common roots of hip-hop in the United States and Senegal and the music's links to social activism in both countries. Her mentor was music and Africana studies Prof. Paul Austerlitz.
Psychology and writing major Eric Kozlik '11 compared the effects of two different systems that help adolescents by having them write about traumatic events. His mentors were psychology Profs. Kathleen Cain and Mimi O'Neill and English Prof. Kathryn Rhett.
Anthropology major Joshua Stewart '11 made maximum use of the College's location in "From These Honored Dead": Social Memory And Landscape At Gettysburg. His mentor was anthropology Prof. Julia Hendon. In a video, Stewart describes his participation in an archaeological dig of an ancient Roman site in England.
Kozlik and Stewart both received summer research grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
English major Cheryl Tevlin '10 examined a 1767 novel, The Female American, that portrays the daughter of a Native American and a British colonizer as she balances the demands of her twin identities. Tevlin's mentor was English Prof. Elizabeth Duquette.
This was the third consecutive NCUR attended by Gettysburg students. "In 2009 we sent five students, and in 2010 we sent 11," Ryan said. "Acceptance is competitive; therefore, our overall record is solid."
"Gettysburg College students have the opportunity to present their research to a large group of their peers from all over the world," Ryan said. "This year, 3,200 students attended the conference."
Students also gain the possibility of publication of their work in the conference's proceedings, which are produced annually by the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In 2009, Gettysburg College student Jeremy Arnold had two articles published and Annela Levitov had one; in 2010, Amy Meros had a publication. This year's publications have not been announced.
The conference also exposes students to significant speakers. This year, Branford Marsalis, world-renowned saxophonist, described his own growth as a professional. Author Libuse Binder discussed "Ten Ways to Change the World in your 20s." Author and academic David Campbell presented his research on classic Mayan civilization. Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think and director of the Cornell Food and Brand lab, examined the psychology of college students and food.
The conference took place March 31 through April 2 at Ithaca College.
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, 10 Jun 2011
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