To aid Emerging UConn Scholars the UCHI offers a limited number of awards for undergraduate students each year to fund senior and honors theses and other humanities projects.
Megan Brown ’16 (CLAS)
Supply Award - Acquisition of Gender and Number in French as a Second Language Students
Megan studied the way that students who are older than the critical period for language acquisition learn foreign grammatical concepts, posing the question, “Do adults have access to the Universal Grammar rules that children use to learn their first language?” Specifically, Megan examined how adult native English speakers acquire the French grammatical concepts of gender and number. She analyzed the way that French students at different experience levels learn to apply French gender and number rules to their grammar and compared this to native French speakers.
Emma Sifre ’16 (CLAS)
Supply Award - Income Inequality in the United States: Finding the Ideal Distribution
Emma’s project was an empirical analysis of public opinion about economic inequality and redistributive policies. The goal of her work was to understand how being exposed to the real distribution of income in the United States changes people’s perceptions of what an ideal income distribution should look like and to what extent the government should enact redistributive policies. Emma distributed two surveys to a respondent population in order to analyze a possible shift in public opinion.
Samantha Mairson ’17 (SFA)
SHARE Award - Museums and Civic Discourse: Past, Present, and Emerging Futures
Through her SHARE award, Samantha developed a metadata schema for the project’s public-facing literature survey, which is organized in Zotero, an open-source reference-management tool. The tag-based controlled vocabulary of the schema will enable scholars, museum professionals, and others to contribute to the library and use the materials therein to inform related work. Samantha also designed a two-phase data collection plan that will yield insight into the civic discourse work of museums and libraries in Connecticut. For the first phase, which will inform the development of a survey to be distributed statewide, she interviewed several Connecticut practitioners about programming, opportunities, and barriers within their institutions.
Tara Lokke ’17 (CLAS)
SHARE Award - Beat Your Gums: A History of Collected Stories and Reflections of Local Veterans
Using an oral history methodology, Tara investigated and documented the war-related stories of veterans in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Through personal interviews, Tara encouraged veterans to share their experiences and explored how veterans’ experiences changed their worldview. Tara continues to work on the transcription process and hopes to create an online exhibit of these oral histories.
Elena Boushee ’16 (CLAS)
OUR Travel to Conduct Research Award - The Path to Legalized Abortion in France: A History of Reproductive Rights in French Political, Cultural and Social Life from 1967-1975
Elena’s research studied the ways in which the Mouvement de Libération des Femmes, in combination with the events that unfolded in the late 1960s and 1970s in France, shaped French understandings of women’s bodies and women’s participation in the public sphere, and how these attitudes and understandings led to the enactment of the Veil Law in 1975. Elena examined how reproductive rights in France came to be important not only politically, but also culturally and socially as well. She also examined the influence that wealth and social status had on the enforcement of the pre-1975 ban on abortion. Elena conducted her research at the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand in Paris, France.
Eric Medawar ’15 (CLAS)
Travel Award for Revisiting Iconoclasm: Image and Power in Byzantium and Early Islamic Syria
Eric’s project interrogates the origins of Byzantine iconoclasm and Islamic aniconism, and what, if any, relation exists between these phenomena. Through travel to Jordan, Eric will study the décor of the mosque at Qasr al-Hallabat, a site that has attracted little prior scholarly attention. Documentation and study of this site will provide further evidence as to whether the use of figurative representation in Islamic religious spaces was deliberately avoided only after the reign of the Marwanids and will represent an original contribution to the field of Islamic art and architectural history.
Jessica Gaafar ’15 (CLAS)
Supply Award for Language Specific Tuning of Audiovisual Integration in Early Development
As infants mature and gain experience, their perceptual system tunes to the most relevant features around them, such as the sounds of their native language. Jessica’s project aims to test the hypothesis that the visual component of speech can influence infants’ perception of the auditory component, thereby reopening sensitivity to unfamiliar perceptual experiences. By exposing infants to longer and richer speech in an unfamiliar language, she will see whether perceptual narrowing can be delayed.
Tara Pealer ’15 (CLAS)
Travel Award for The Love Triangle: How Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent Defy and Affirm the Power of Romance and Sex When Defining Female Characters
Tara will be presenting a paper at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association’s annual conference in April in New Orleans, LA. Tara’s paper draws on Judith Butler and Eve Sedgewick’s theorizations of erotic triangles to consider how the female protagonists in three young adult fiction series are implicated in love triangles that diverge from standard formulations. Tara traces a shift from passive to active feminine power chronologically from Twilight to Divergent.
Abdullah Hasan ’16 (CLAS)
Supply Award for Muslim Masculinities: A Methodological Study of the Qur’an and Hadith.
Abdullah’s project aims to understand Qur’anic definitions of masculinity and men’s roles in society. This fall, Abdullah studied two popular translations of the Qur’an, tafsir of the Qur’an (for information about historical interpretations), Hadith compilations (for historical contexts of particular verses), and a series of theoretical works in masculinity studies. Abdullah was selected as a 2015 University Scholar for an expansion of this project, Muslim Masculinities in American Discourse, that will consider how post-9/11 rhetoric characterizes religious prescriptions of masculinity.
Alexandria Bottelsen ’16 (ED, CLAS) & Luke LaRosa Dec ’15 (CLAS)
Travel Award for After the Branding: Student Created Perceptions of the University Writing Center
Alexandria and Luke presented a paper at the Northeast Writing Center Association’s annual conference in April in Hackettstown, NJ. Their project examines the place branding of the UConn Writing Center by surveying students in order to understand their perceptions of the center now that it no longer actively brands itself. As writing center tutors, they sought to determine whether the place identity that was sought a decade ago (a welcoming space for all students) is currently the reality of how the space is perceived and to identify demographics or information sources that may need to change to better adhere to that desired identity.
Sarah Carew ’18 (CLAS), Brandon Marquis ’17 (CLAS), Chantel Martin ’15 (CLAS), Jessica Zaccagnini ‘16 (CLAS)
Travel Award for The Androgynous Center: Tutoring Across the Masculine/Feminine Spectrum
Sarah, Brandon, Chantel, and Jessica conducted a panel discussion and interactive workshop at the Northeast Writing Center Association’s annual conference in April in Hackettstown, NJ. Their conference session posed the question of whether or not writing centers may productively position themselves as androgynous entities in sexist campus environments. They employed Talcott Parsons’ and Robert Frees Bales’ work in social psychology to explore the ways in which writing centers may benefit from an awareness of the range of masculine traits and feminine traits as these traits are expressed in directive and non-directive tutoring.
Victoria Sylvestre ’17 (NUR)
Travel Award for Type 1 Diabetes: The Liminal Space Between Ability and Disability
Victoria will be presenting a paper at the Society for Disability Studies annual conference in June in Atlanta, GA. Victoria’s analysis of personal blogs leads her to posit that people with type 1 diabetes transcend the current bifurcations of "ability" and "disability" due to fluctuating blood glucose values. Her research places type 1 diabetes within a disability framework and addresses ruptures in the medical and social definitions of this condition.
Brighid DeAngelis ’17 (Theater Design & Technology), advised by Adrienne Macki Braconi (Dramatic Arts)
SHARE Award for Dramaturgies of memory, materiality, and violence in African American theatre
Brighid’s SHARE project integrated her interests in theater and history. She conducted dramaturgical research in order to help the cast and audience of Reginald Edmund’s play, “Daughters of the Moon,” to better understand the historical and religious context of West Africa in the early 19th century, where the play begins. She also assisted in the compilation of the literature review for Professor Macki Braconi’s forthcoming second book, Enacted Violence: Materiality, Cultural Memory, and African American Performance.
Matthew Henderson ’18 (Linguistics and Anthropology), advised by Harry van der Hulst (Linguistics)
SHARE Award for The linguistic analysis of graphic novels
Matthew’s SHARE project explored the structure underlying sequential graphics, as found in comics, graphic novels, and other types of texts. Together with Professor van der Hulst, he analyzed a range of written and drawn works to develop an inventory of formal elements in sequential drawing and to characterize the range of form elements from non-iconic through iconic. By applying the methods of linguistic analysis and cognitive science to sequential graphics, this team considered how iconicity functions in graphic communication and contributed to the interdisciplinary study of sequential graphics.