From Ireland to Israel, Mellon grants fund summer research for Gettysburg students

Below — John Nelson '13 at St Patrick's Cathedral, Northern Ireland, where the last high king of Celtic Ireland, Brian Boru, is said to be buried.

John Nelson in Ireland

From interviews in Ireland to low-income healthcare access in the community surrounding campus, 10 Gettysburg College students undertook summer research with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 

This was the seventh consecutive summer during which Mellon grants supported collaboration between students and their faculty mentors. Each project is connected to the student's ongoing program of study. It can be the beginning of a senior capstone project, or it can complete a project begun as part of previous coursework.

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.

Irish identity
Interviews gathered in Dublin by John Nelson ’13 were the basis of his examination of cultural identity and the uses of history in Northern Ireland, especially in the context of 17th-century royal succession battles. Nelson is majoring in history and international affairs. His mentor was history Prof. Michael Birkner.

Prof Amy Dailey, Alyssa FoxLow-income health care
Alyssa Foxx ’13 (right in photo) combined her anthropology and public policy majors by interviewing local low-income women about their access to health care. Her mentor was health sciences Prof. Amy Dailey (left). Foxx previously completed the School for International Training’s global health and development policy program in Switzerland.

Digging Israel
Helping to excavate a 5,000-year-old village was the centerpiece of research by classics major Andrew Monthey ’14, who worked onsite in Israel with his mentor, classics Prof. Jonathan David, assistant director of the expedition. Monthey was previously involved with a dig in Italy.

Power’s price
Sparked by his childhood experience of rolling blackouts in California, economics major Taylor Smart ’13 built on collaborative research with economics Prof. Rimvydas Baltaduonis to create a series of mock electricity auctions. The lab experiment examined the response of volunteer “buyers” and “sellers” to different pricing strategies.

Prof Alexander Kahn, Sarah TuttleBuddha and Mahler
Following an internship at the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna, Austria, music major Sarah Tuttle ’13 (right in photo) researched Buddhist influences on the composer and his work. Her mentor was Sunderman Conservatory Prof. Alexander Kahn (left).

Brain vs. self
The challenge of cognitive science to commonsense traditional conceptions of self-knowledge was the topic for by philosophy major John Hill ’13, who attended a conference in Barcelona, Spain as part of his research. His mentor was philosophy Prof. Lisa Portmess.

Religion in regimes
From the Muslim Brotherhood to Christian groups, Rose Kane ’13 analyzed the role of religion in Middle Eastern authoritarian regimes. A dual political science and globalization studies major, she studied previously in Jordan. Her mentor was political science Prof. Rob Bohrer.

American Muslims
Identity and interviews were also at the center of research by Aleksandra Petkova ’14, who investigated ethnic identity formation among American Muslim youth. She is majoring in both psychology and math. Her mentor was psychology Prof. Kathy Cain.

Gay language
Linguistic differences between gay men in rural and urban areas of Pennsylvania was the topic of Joshua Griffiths ’14. Griffiths, a French major, worked with Africana studies Prof. Jennifer Bloomquist, a linguist who studies regional varieties of African American English.

Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation
Do Poland and Ukraine offer a roadmap for reconciliation after ethnic violence? History major David Wemer ’14 explored the two nations’ changing relationship from World War II until the present day, from ethnic cleansing to contemporary cooperation. His mentor is history Prof. William Bowman.

Greed game
Also, economics and environmental studies major Kevin Lugo ’13 received the College’s Millard E. Glatfelter Prize to support summer research. With volunteers in a lab setting, he used a game with small cash payouts to examine how factors like communication and punishment for antisocial behavior affect use of limited common resources. His mentor was economics Prof. John Cadigan.

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, associate director of editorial services

Posted: Mon, 13 Aug 2012


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