Fostering future leaders in the humanities

The Student Success Initiative

The student success initiative seeks to support undergraduate student research in the humanities and social sciences and to build a vibrant community of humanities student-scholars at UConn. It offers a fellowship program, as well as supportive programming on careers, graduate work, and more. This initiative is made possible through the work and dedication of our undergraduate advisory council.

Students at UConn are already doing brilliant research in the humanities and social sciences. The goal of this initiative is to get more students involved, and to provide resources, community, and collaboration for these passionate student-scholars.

Elizabeth Della Zazzera, Undergraduate Outreach, UCHI


The student success initiative hosts and co-sponsors supportive programming on careers, continuing education and more.

2023–24 Events

Applying to Graduate School

with Bradley Simpson (History, UConn)
Victoria Ford Smith (English, UConn)
and Lauren Terbush (School of Law, UConn)
November 10, 2023, 2:00pm–3:00pm, Virtual

Undergraduate Research Fellowship Information Session

February 2, 2024, 1:00pm–2:00pm, Virtual

The Value of a Humanities Degree in today’s Job Market

February 26, 2024, 4:00pm, UCHI Conference Room
Micah Heumann, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, discusses careers prospects for humanities and social science majors—dispelling the myths about these majors being a disadvantage on the job market.

Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium

March 29, 2024, UCHI Conference Room

Advisory Council

This initiative is directed with the help of an undergraduate advisory council. The council members provide insight into undergraduate students needs and interests and they work to promote and develop humanities- and social science-related programming and community across campus.

2023–24 Council Members

  • Madison Bigelow
  • Breanna Bonner
  • Brent Freed
  • Shira Herscovici
  • Nathan Howard
  • Karen Lau
  • Avery Lipkin
  • Monika Rydzewski
  • Rylee Thomas


Each year, UCHI, together with CLAS, offers research fellowships for UConn students. The fellowship supports a year-long research project supervised by a UConn faculty member. The project should explore big questions about human society and culture and should lead to an original contribution to your area of study.

Past and Current Fellows


Breanna Bonner (Project advisor: Ayanna De’Vante Spencer)
“‘The Space Between Black and Liberation’: Analyzing Black Women’s Experiences of Intersectional Invisibility Within Liberation Movements”

Annabelle Bergstrom (Project advisor: Julian J. Schlöder)
“Minds Among Minds: A Pragmatist View of the Social and Spiritual Self in a Hyperconnected World”

Brent Freed (Project advisor: Elizabeth Della Zazzera)
“A Revolution Hijacked: Art and Ideology from the Atelier Populaire

Nathan Howard (Project advisor: Tracy Llanera)
“Homofascism: The Queering of Hate”

Honorable mention: Gianna Socci, “Monstrosity on Trial: Claiming Legal Personhood for Frankenstein's Monster”


Karen Lau (Project advisor: Jason Oliver Chang and Grace Player)
“Soup Dumplings for the Soul: Ethnic Studies and Social-Emotional Learning”

Rylee Thomas (Project advisor: Ellen Litman)
The Ghostly Dynasty: Victim-Blaming, the Gothic Novel, and the Modern True-Crime Drama”

Honorable mentions: Kathryn Atkinson, “Cenabis Bene: A Culinary Odyssey through Apicius”; Monika Rydzewski, “Look at the Screen!: Merging Media with Gossip”

Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium

UCHI is a proud supporter of the student-organized Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium. This year's symposium will take place on February 23, 2024. The call for papers is now available, and proposals should be submitted by January 22, 2024.