Campus News

CURO fellows participate in inquiry-based projects

CURO 2010
The 2010 CURO participants are from left: (first row) Malavika Rajeev

Twenty-five UGA undergraduates have been selected to participate in inquiry-based research projects this summer through the Honors Program’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

The students, awarded 2010 CURO summer research fellowships, will be delving into topics related to their fields of interest such as marketing, Japanese language and literature, and infectious diseases. Faculty mentors in those disciplines provide guidance and support.

“CURO summer fellows have the benefit of an intensive, immersive faculty-guided research opportunity-an unparalleled experience for undergraduates,” said Pamela Kleiber, associate director of UGA’s Honors Program. “To balance this in-depth inquiry, the summer fellows also have opportunities to interact with one another and learn about the similarities and differences in how research is approached in different disciplines.”

For example, Ryan Prior said he is taking a different approach to research when thinking about the various writing careers he may pursue.

He is examining the philosophical, literary and spiritual connections that underlie the guiding principles of the major medical systems in the world: Western biomedicine, Chinese traditional medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

He already has completed one project with his current faculty research mentor, Katarzyna Jerzak, an associate professor of comparative literature.

“I strongly believe pursuing research topics unrelated to your declared major is one of the best ways to become well rounded,” said Prior, a rising junior double major in international affairs and English.

Carla Rutherford, a rising senior biochemistry and molecular biology major, said that research partnerships with faculty mentors create opportunities that are not always available through a lecture setting.

Rutherford has been conducting infectious disease research in the laboratory of biochemistry and molecular biology professor Stephen Hajduk for the past year. Through that experience, she was able to present her project not only at CURO’s annual undergraduate research symposium, but also was the only undergraduate presenter during UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases recent symposium.

CURO summer fellows earn academic credit and are invited to attend the CURO symposium in the spring as well as submit abstracts of their summer research for possible inclusion in the symposium presentations.

“We are most appreciative of the financial support we have received this year for the CURO Summer Fellowship Program,” said David S. Williams, director of UGA’s Honors Program. “We are grateful as well for the strong support of the faculty members who will be mentoring the students this summer.”

Sponsors of the 2010 CURO fellowships include the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Alumni Association, the Athletic Association and the Jane and Bill Young Scholarship.