Last summer, 247 students were awarded Arts and Sciences Summer Research Fellowships.

Below is a brief sampling of how several students spent their 2012 summer break engaged in projects of creation and discovery.

Emily Bowden, ’13, anthropology and geography
Emily researched, organized, and curated an exhibition, “Religion and Tradition, Objects from India, Nepal, and Tibet” for the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature. She says, “I have never had the opportunity to take a class on this subject, so this grant gave me the opportunity to delve into a subject I was passionate about.”

Austin Carter, ’13, English
Austin studied the post-WWII American literary and cultural landscape, focusing on Richard Yates’ novel Revolutionary Road, to gain a sense of how Americans were thinking about authenticity in the postwar years. She says,“Through the grant, I had the flexibility to set my own schedule and work in an environment of my choosing, creating a personalized experience that helped me do the best work possible.”

Michael Doss, ’13, English
Michael explored the tension so often represented in contemporary American memoirs between individuality and the responsibility of collective identity. “Having this experience allowed me to explore various new ideas and I feel it led me to develop a more interesting topic,” he says.

Amanda Haislip, ’14, history
Amanda examined how white Virginian elites used the Pocahontas narrative to construct an identity in the "New South" at the turn of the 20th century. She says, “Conducting archival primary research was a new experience for me; it was amazing to touch and see documents from the turn of the twentieth century, many which have not been digitized.”

Stella Han, modern literatures and cultures
Stella conducted literary analysis of the character Sita in the sacred Hindu epic, Ramyana. “Having guidance from my professor, Lidia Radi, allowed me to appreciate the independence I was given and helped me to fully develop the ability to express my ideas,” she says.

Taylor Holden, ’13, geography and the environment
Taylor worked with fellow student John Remmes to create a high-resolution map of the distribution of trees and forest patches of the Westhampton side of the Richmond campus using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) for web-based applications. He says, “Working with Todd Lookingbill and Kim Klinker doing this research made me feel like I was learning basic research methods but also getting to be on the cutting edge of new geospatial technology.” The project was honored with the “Best Undergraduate Poster Award” at the 2012 SouthEastern Division of the Association of American Geographers conference.

Taylyn Hulse, ’13, psychology
Taylyn’s project focused on visual grouping and understanding in algebraic problem solving. “Through the grant, I was able to run multiple pilot studies and change the design of my experiment each time,” she says. “I have learned how to critically analyze my project and how it tested my area of interest.”

Rebecca Kelly, ’14, biology
Rebecca used a combination of fieldwork and wet lab to study the spatial distribution of ticks and the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia Burgdorferi, throughout the state of Virginia. She says, “Having your own independent project that is dependent upon your effort and technique is an experience every science major should have.”

Frances Sisson, ’13, history
Frances investigated the increase of white female criminality in Richmond during the Civil War in Richmond, and how the judicial system struggled to address the issue. “This research allowed me to learn so much more than a history book would ever permit and enabled me to make claims about a scenario in history that has been relatively uncovered,” she says.