Nine Clark University undergraduate students were recently awarded Steinbrecher Fellowships to support their pursuit of original ideas, creative research, and community service projects this summer and during the 2015–2016 academic year. Information about the students and their projects follows:
Oyut Amarjargal ’17, of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, will conduct research and complete a community service project this summer with Mongolia’s Community Development Network, a non-profit organization that provides support to communities for education, economic development, empowerment and environmental preservation. The goal of her project is to increase awareness of the importance of recycling for environmental sustainability and to encourage people to recycle on a regular basis. Amarjargal majors in geography and economics.
Moises Duron ’16, of Chicago, Illinois, will complete an arts internship and study with guest master composers this summer at the 2015 Etchings Festival for Contemporary Music in Auvillar, France. He will assist the festival director and will also have the opportunity to compose new music for the festival’s resident ensemble. Duron is majoring in philosophy and music.
AlicjaGancarz ’17, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, will compile oral histories of Catholic women who were born in Poland and lived there during World War II, the Holocaust, and the Communist era. Her focus will be on what their lives were like before, during, and after the war, and how they view Jews, the Communist regime, and life in the post-Communist era. Gancarz’s interviewees will include her maternal grandmother, who lives in Poland, and her paternal grandmother, who immigrated to the United State during the Communist era. Gancarz is majoring in political science with a concentration in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Devra Goldstein ’16, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, will conduct ethnographic research this summer on decision-making in the Lynedoch EcoVillage, a racially and socio-economically integrated community in South Africa. She will explore what has attracted people to this community, how decisions on communal matters are made, and how conflicts are resolved. Goldstein spent her spring semester studying at the University of Stellenbosch near Cape town, South Africa. She will use her original research to inform her senior honors thesis in international development and social change.
Brittany Klug ’16, of Bridgewater, New Jersey, will conduct research on African-American Baptist women’s attitudes on abortion. She will interview women in Kentucky and Massachusetts in order to compare the attitudes of those who live in a predominantly socially conservative state with those who live in a socially liberal state. Klug is majoring in women’s and gender studies and is pursuing a minor in political science.
Kayla M. Landis ’16, of Eaton, New York, will do research on courtesy stigma, which is also called family stigma or stigma by association, focusing on attitudes towards parents of autistic children. The goal of her project is to ascertain whether parents who have children with autism experience courtesy stigma, and to educate others on the emotional impact associated with this. Landis, who is majoring in psychology and Spanish, studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the spring semester. She will use the data from her fellowship project to inform her senior honors thesis in psychology.
Julianne Murphy ’17, of Oceanport, New Jersey, will spend her summer conducting research in a Clark biology lab on the copy number patterns of the spliceosomal snRNA encoding genes across a diverse range of eukaryotic organisms, including humans. As she works, she will write and post photographs on a blog designed to communicate her research to non-scientists. Murphy plans to share the results of her research in a “pop culture” podcast.
Sanika A. Shah ’16, will spend the summer in her native Myanmar exploring the economic impact of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) made by China, Thailand and Japan in industrial zones in Yangon. She will use her research as the basis for her senior honors thesis. Shah spent her spring semester studying at the London School of Economics. She majors in economics and geography at Clark.
Yitao (Richard) Shen ’16, of Shanghai, China, will spend his summer in a chemistry lab at Clark, conducting experiments to determine the effects of tannins on aquatic organisms. Shen is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry; he plans to pursue a career in research, focusing on evolutionary biology. “The newly-selected Steinbrecher Fellows all submitted excellent proposals that described very well the what, how, and why of their projects and also conveyed their excitement and passion about pursuing them,” said Professor Sharon Krefetz, director of the Steinbrecher Fellowship Program. Krefetz also said “the support the fellowships provide makes it possible for these students to pursue diverse projects in Europe, Asia, and South Africa, as well as in the United States, and then return to campus to share highlights of what they learned with each other and with the larger Clark community.” The Steinbrecher Fellowship Program was established in 2006 to encourage and support Clark undergraduates’ pursuit of original ideas, creative research, and community service projects. The Program was established in memory of David C. Steinbrecher, class of ’81, by his parents, Phyllis and Stephen Steinbrecher, class of ’55, and is funded by generous gifts from the Steinbrecher family and friends of David.