Twenty-seven UGA undergraduates are taking advantage of summer vacation to investigate local, national and international research topics.
These students are the latest participants in the summer research fellowship program sponsored by the university’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.
For the past six years, CURO has competitively awarded summer fellowships to undergraduate students to conduct research in various disciplines under the guidance of faculty mentors with expertise in fields ranging from music and anthropology to chemistry and veterinary pathology.
“Students who have held CURO summer fellowships have achieved great success in recent years, as evidenced by the prestigious scholarships they have been awarded and the premier graduate schools they are attending,” said David S. Williams, director of UGA’s Honors Program, which administers CURO. “We greatly appreciate the support we receive across campus for this important program.”
In addition to the Honors Program, the Office of the Provost, the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Alumni Association, the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program and the Bill and Jane Young Honors Summer Fellowship provide financial support for the intensive eight-week research experience.
Jana Hanchett, a rising senior majoring in music, said the inspiration for her current musicology project came from a variety of sources, including her time spent conducting music therapy sessions at the Pinewoods Estates mobile home community in Athens. Under the guidance of David Schiller, a professor of musicology, and Jean Kidula, a professor of ethnomusicology, Hanchett is studying how the Athens music scene has been infused with the music cultures of the local Latino and Hispanic communities.
While Hanchett’s project focuses on local culture, Lee Ellen Carter’s research is taking her to Cotacachi, Ecuador, where she will investigate how current tourism industry practices such as ecotourism are affecting the indigenous communities who still uphold their unique cultural traditions. Carter is working with Fausto Sarmiento, a professor of geography.
“Learning from professionals and indigenous community members abroad will give me new perspectives on environmental and community values that
I might not be able to gain in a classroom setting,” said Carter, a rising senior majoring in anthropology. “Ultimately, my research has the capability to assist the indigenous communities further preserve the land that they have resided on for so many centuries.”