Awards of up to $500 each are made annually in support of research in the humanities by undergraduates at Texas A&M University. This call goes out each fall and spring.
Undergraduate Research Award Archive
Academic Year 2011-2012
Aiden Powell, an Anthropology major, is currently participating in a Directed Study under Dr. Cynthia Werner where he is completing a research project on the medical attitudes regarding transgender students at Texas A&M University. Aiden has been accepted into the Texas A&M Undergraduate Scholars Program and will present his project at Student Research Week and at the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit in August 2012. The outcome of his research will include a clinical model to improve the medical care of transgender people.
Brian Hutchinson, an English major, participated in a Directed Study under Dr. Nicole McDaniel where he researched the works of author Art Spiegelman. Brian wrote a series of papers on his research and presented one of them at the 2011 Angelo State University Writer’s Conference that focuses on Art Spiegelman in February. Brian asserted in his paper that Spiegelman’s Breakdowns was a pioneering work of self-writing.
Alaina Jalufka, a Sociology major, has been conducting research on southern African women’s role in spurring independence in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. She asserts that without women’s support, independence would not have appeared in these countries. She will present her findings at the Southwestern Social Science Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on 17 March 2011. She intends to submit her work to a feminist or sociological journal upon completion.
Rika Mallepally, an Economics major, recently had the chance to pursue a research project in Hyderabad, India over the winter break through a research internship with BASIX, an NGO working to promote the welfare of the poor in India. Her initial project focused on measuring the effectiveness of insurance programs for rural village customers, but she has since expanded the scope of the research to include reactions and other things she encountered while in India. She will use his research for a microfinance and societal development course paper this year, and she aspires to present her finished product at various conferences, including A&M’s Student Research Week and Doha’s Qatar Foundation.
Katie Elder, a Theater Arts major, will pursue research on Nobel prize-winning Absurdist playwright Samuel Beckett’s scripts and biographies, as well as production histories and staging conventions. She will do fieldwork at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where she will interview the director, actors, and technicians involved in Willamette University’s production of Beckett’s short plays. She will write a thesis and perform a staged reading of at least one of Beckett’s short plays.
Derek Alan Leist, a Political Science and Economics major, will conduct research that seek to uncover the extent to which Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s promises of socialist and welfare reforms have allowed him to strengthen his control and exercise his political agenda within the realm of government, specifically through the use of referenda and public support. This project, which is titled “Hugo Chavez & the Impact of ‘Socialism of the 21st Century’” will also serve as his Senior Honors Thesis under the direction of Dr. Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science.
Jonathan Việt Lưu, a Philosophy major and Africana Studies minor, will present a paper entitled “Racial Realism and the Hegelian Dialectic: An Anti-Colonial Critique of Eurocentric Appropriations of ‘History’” at the Radical Philosophy Association’s 9th International/National Conference at the University of Oregon. Following the racial realist tradition established by Derrick Bell and his intellectual progenitors, specifically W.E.B. DuBois and Frantz Fanon, Luu’s paper examines the ontological contouring effect of G.W.F. Hegel’s dialectic of lordship and bondage and its effectiveness as an analytic tool to study circuits of oppression. After his conference presentation, Luu plans to submit his paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal under the direction of Dr. Tommy J. Curry, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Dr. Kimberly N. Brown, an associate professor in the Department of English.
Paulina Martinez, a Sociology and Spanish major, will present a paper with Dr. Nadia Flores, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, at a regular session at the 4th Annual Asociación Latinoamericana de Población (Latin-American Association for Population) Conference in La Havana, Cuba. Her research compares communities from Mexico and El Salvador that have a high prevalence of international migration and discusses how the culture of migration has affected them as the sending communities.
Brandon M. Wardlaw, a Political Science major, will pursue research that seeks to evaluate the application of Network Neutrality policies in normative terms. Wardlaw’s research examines the ideological arguments (Libertarian, Rawlsian arguments) that elucidate how citizens’ interests have been caught in the crossfire between Internet Service Providers and purveyors of digital media services. Wardlaw has applied to present his paper at the Southwestern Political Science Association and Western Political Science Association annual conferences. His project, titled “Privilege as a Function of Profit: Network Neutrality and the Digital Public Space,” will also serve as an Honors Research Fellows thesis under the guidance of Dr. Elisabeth Ellis, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science.
Thomas Wendell Williams III, a Genetics major, will present a paper titled “The Human Contradiction” at the 2011 Eaton Global Science Fiction Conference in Riverside, California. His paper offers a critique of Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy and addresses issues of race, gender, sexuality, genetics, and colonialism and ultimately the meaning of freedom and humanity. He will present his paper on a panel with Rebecca Hankins, an associate professor and curator in the Texas A&M University Libraries.
Anastasia Gilmer | Geology / Anthropology Examined paleoenvironments in which the earliest human inhabitants of Nevada subsisted, by conducted a geoarchaeological study on Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene deposits of Bonneville Estates Rockshelter, an archaeological site in eastern Nevada. Gilmer will present a poster on the results of the study at the 2010 Society for American Archaeology annual meeting.
Alaina Jalufka | Sociology & Women’s and Gender Studies minor Examined how African women’s participation in the liberation movements of southern Africa either strengthened or tested the gender roles of their culture and will examine what motivated the women to participate in the liberation movements and if women were treated equally to men within the context of the movement.
Jonathan Anders | International Studies Examined Australian-Chinese relations and write a paper on the strategic implications of Chinese foreign policy in the region. He will also conduct interviews with those Chinese who have converted to Christianity to explore why they decide to adopt a faith that is not traditionally embraced by their culture.
Sarah Luna | Nutrition “Pagan Legends Surrounding the Camino de Santiago” Senior Honors Thesis
Elizabeth Melton | English “Adapting, Representing and Performing the Black Female Experience in The Color Purple” Senior Honors Thesis
Olivia Abernathy | English “Influence of the Beat Generation on Minorities” Independent Research
Ambyr Acton | English “Where Have All the Sweatshop Activists Disappeared?” Independent Research
Rosa Rodriguez | International Studies “Linguistic Relativity Considered: A Comparison of Spanish and English” Independent Research
Geraldine Gray | History “The History of Women of the Caribbean, 1750-1838” Thesis and Presentation
Audrey Honnas | Communication “Influence of Entertainment Media on Civic Culture” Independent Research
Jeremy Wester | Philosophy Comparative Project on Religious Conceptions of Unity Conference Paper
Justin Curtslinger | Architecture “Housing on the Texas A&M Campus: 1876-1940’s”
Allison Garrett | Sociology “Women’s Reproductive Choices in the Bolivian Amazon”
Geraldine Gray | History “Exploring Power Held by Women of the Atlantic World”
Lauren Johnson | Communication “’Merging Rhetorical and Media Studies’: The Incumbency Rhetoric in the 1992 and 2004 Presidential Debates”
John Nelson | Hispanic Studies “Economics Freedom and Delaying Democratization”
Amanda Owens | Sociology “Mongolian Street Children Study”
Preethi Srikanth | Architecture “Designing a Hospital for the Future”
Jennifer Chancellor | English “Visions of Jack: Functions of Religious Imagery in the Writings of Jack Kerouac” Research Fellows Thesis
Elizabeth Chapman | Political Science “War Songs: Civilian Protest as an Art Form” Independent Research
Rebecca Corbin | Speech Communications “The Crossroads of Religious Oratory: Where Theology Intersects Rhetoric” Research Fellows Thesis
Laura Covertino | Communication “Pericles to Presidents: The Eulogy as a Genre” Conference Paper
Brandon Duke | History “Quaker Liberty and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776” Research Fellows Thesis
Jason Eichorst | Political Science “Affecting citizen Satisfaction: Transitions to Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Latin America and the Effects of Citizen Satisfaction” Senior Honors Thesis
Sara Gambetta | International Studies “A Quest into the Old Mining West: 2005 Public History Field School in Primero, CO” Independent Research
Christopher Hager | History “Gender Barriers and the History of Women in Commercial Aviation” Independent Research
John Nelson | Hispanic Studies “Delayed Democracy in Cuba” Senior Honors Thesis
Amanda Ramirez | Psychology “Does Language Switching Experience Enhance Attentional Control? Evidence from Multiple Language Users” Independent Research
Jesse Rester | Philosophy “Bibliography of Cyber-Studies Research” Independent Research
Kelsey Savage | English “Bronson Alcott’s Education Theories: Concord, Massachusetts” Independent Research
Shayna Spurlin | English “Remembering the USS Indianapolis” Independent Research
Stephen Addcox | English “Romanticizing Reality: How Political history Translates to Fiction”
Rob Altman | History “Meteorology/Oceanography at Normandy: A Junior Officer’s Experience in World War II” Research Fellows Thesis
Ashley Chadwick | History “Maurits C. Escher and Medieval Islam” Conference Paper
Matthew Coles | Philosophy “The Necessity of Philosophy in Theology” Directed Studies Paper
Sarah Etheridge | Political Science “States of Nature: Political Theory Meets Anthropology” Conference Paper
Larry Falcon | History “Tejano Rangers in Texas: 1910-1025” Independent Research
Justin Flint | History “Tudor Legitimization through Legend” Research Fellows Thesis
Margaret Friess | Music “Luciano Berio: Musical Influences and His Composition Sinfonia” Conference Paper
Shannon Gallion | History “Doctrine in Practice: A Study of Hymns in the First Presbyterian Church” Conference Paper
Luis Garcia | Music “Gender and Music Concréte: Analytical Studies of works by Pierre Scahaeffer’s Protégés” Conference Paper
Lindsay Orman | English “Caught in the Act: The Stage as a Backdrop for Defining Crime in Renaissance England” Research Fellows Thesis
Jason Patterson | Music “An Analysis of Heavy Metal: Duration, Form, and Prolongation in the Music of Metallica 1984-1988” Conference Paper
Norman Stephen Smith | History “Early Modern European State Formation using the Fiscal-Military State Model” Academic Journal Paper
Lindsey Wilkinson | Anthropology “Bilingualism and Humor Perception: an Exploratory Study” Independent Resarch
Kristen Batson | History Research of archives, historical documents, and naval ship records at the Naval History Center’s Ship Branch in Washington, D.C. Summer Internship
Courtney E. Brannon Research of Rare Journals and Reviews at the University of Texas Film Library Independent Study Course
Matthew Dean Bridges | Music “Musical Rhetoric: Analyzing Composition in Terms of Speech”
William Dawley | English Ethnographic Comparison between “Official” Data and the Local Realities of Quepos, Costa Rica” Senior Honors Thesis
Sarah Etheridge | Anthropology “States of Nature: Political Theory Meets Anthropology” Conference Paper
Alysa Hayes | Computer Science Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop
Hannah Peterson | History Race relations within Creole culture at the Center for Louisiana Studies in Lafayette, Louisiana, and at the Dupré Library Collection in Baton Rouge Senior Honors Thesis
Aaron Urbanovsky | Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences Research of artifacts for an exhibit about the impact of the Ross Volunteers on Texas A&M University Summer Internship