Mentored Research Opportunities
Conducting research with a faculty member is an important opportunity. Not only do you develop a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member and dive deeply into a subject, you gain important skills that open doors for careers in a variety of disciplines. Summer research can be the springboard to honors, graduate school and meaningful careers. Some summer research students present their work at regional or national professional conferences; some even publish their work.
Summer research students spend part of their summer on campus working intensively with a faculty member. The amount of time and start date vary with the project and will be worked out in conjunction with the faculty mentor. Students receive housing on campus and a weekly stipend of $525. Each student is required to produce a short written summary of their research and present a poster at the Summer Research Symposium during Parent and Family Weekend.
How to Apply
- Read project descriptions and identify the project(s) that interest you.
- Contact potential faculty mentors to discuss the details of the planned projects. These initial conversations, while informal can be essential in identifying the best potential research partnerships.
- Identify two HWS references.
- Complete one application. You may apply to at most four projects through the application site. You will be able to apply for all four through one submission.
- In order to apply, you must plan to be enrolled at HWS in the Fall of 2023.
Deadline for student applications: February 22, 2023 at 11 p.m.
Students will be notified of placement during the week of February 27.
China in Zambia: Culinary Colonialism?
Research Question: What are the impacts of Chinese financial, human, and ideological investment on Zambia's food systems, cuisine, and democracy?
Hypothesis: China is not a "neocolonizer," but engagements between private and public Chinese interests and Zambians are transforming Zambia’s agriculture, culinary production, and national infrastructure.
Methodology: This summer research marks the second stage in a multimedia book project. I plan to develop a literature review, while launching a multimedia blog that reports on impacts of Chinese investment in Zambia. Summer research will have three stages: 1) assembly of the bibliography, 2) reading and research of sources listed in this bibliography, and 3) blog production. I will work in close collaboration with the student(s) who will compile, read, review, and produce the blog with me. I will meet with them at least weekly and probably more often. I have had experience and success, multiple times, mentoring student research in the past. To date, these student research collaborations have resulted in three peer-reviewed publications and multiple research presentations. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Chris Annear
Minimum Qualifications: Curiosity, work ethic, ability to work independently with minimal supervision
Preferred Qualifications: Reads and/or speaks Mandarin. Anthropology, Asian Studies, and/or Africana Studies major or minor
Art and Architecture
Art of Climate Change
Art can be used to visualize and make visible the evidence of a changing climate. Research students will be invited to participate and assist in ongoing projects that explore Finger Lakes invasive species, satellite documentation of dust storms and the tropical storms over the Atlantic. Students are encouraged to research and develop new angles of approach that can be individually or collaboratively developed. Mediums and methods include but are not limited to photography, cyanotype, stop motion animation and fabric sculpture. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Christine Chin
Minimum Qualifications: ARTS 165 or 166.
Preferred Qualifications: 200 level ARTS or ARCS courses and demonstrated interest in environmental issues
Art and Accessibility at HWS
The HWS art collection is comprised of over 3,500 objects from across a broad span of historical, geographic, and cultural contexts. While the collection is particularly focused on European and North American prints from the 20th century, it also includes a series of Canadian Inuit sculptures, Chinese scrolls, South African masks, Japanese woodblock prints, as well as a newly acquired collection of photographs that include documentation of the Vietnam War and Civil Rights campaigns from across the globe. The diversity of this collection is, no doubt, an asset to HWS and the broader Geneva community. How often, however, are these objects accessible? How do students, faculty, staff, and those beyond campus learn about the contents of the collection? How do we use this rich collection as a teaching tool? There are very few people on campus who have answers to these questions and it is part of the work of this research project to propose, distribute, and build community around responses to them.
At the center of the work of this research project is the long-term goal to fully inventory, catalog, and photo- document the HWS art collection. The work of this project will begin by updating our current cataloging system to reflect the status of the collection including the location of all objects, some of which are hanging in in meeting rooms, offices, or public spaces across the campus. This process would allow student collaborators the opportunity to gain extensive hands-on experience with one of the most fundamental skills in the field of museum studies: cataloging. They will also work with the faculty member to learn the fundamentals of art handling and collections management. Given the size of the collection, over the course of this summer project, the participants will select a portion on which to focus their efforts. After the assessment and cataloging have been completed, the project will then shift to focus on both making the information publicly accessible while researching best practices of object-based learning, an expansive field of research within museum studies and education. Students will work closely with the faculty mentor to identify strategies for how best to utilize the collection as a pedagogical resource across multiple disciplines. Through this work, project collaborators will gain a better understanding of the HWS art collection, including its holdings as well as its history. The research and models produced from it will support more consistent and accessible interactions with the collection. Student collaborates may choose to organize an exhibition or workshop utilizing objects from the portion of the collection that they worked to catalog and document, putting the models and strategies that they have created to the test and generating feedback from participants. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Angelique Szymanek
Minimum Qualifications: Student must have taken at least one art history or studio art course.
Preferred Qualifications: Art History, Critical Museum Studies, or Studio art major or minor.
Effects of Urbanization on the Ecology and Evolution of Coat Color in Eastern Gray Squirrels
Cities are the fastest growing ecosystem on Earth and areas of extreme environmental change. Wildlife populations exhibit unique phenotypic traits in cities, but we often don’t know why. In this study students will examine how urbanization affects the ecology and evolution of coat color in eastern gray squirrels. Gray squirrels are generally gray or black (melanic). Melanic squirrels were once common in forested areas, but are now most prevalent in cities. We’ve previously shown that melanic squirrels are less likely to get hit by cars than gray squirrels. For this project, students will test whether differences in behavior between color morphs explains the discrepancy in roadkill susceptibility. Students will compare activity patterns between morphs using imagery from camera traps and citizen science platforms (e.g., iNaturalist). By completing their project, students will gain experience using camera traps, classifying wildlife species and behavior in photographs, and learning best practices for data collection and analysis. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with other researchers working on this collaborative project. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentors: Bradley Cosentino and Jesse Borden
Minimum Qualifications: Strong work ethic. Attention to detail. Interest in ecology, evolution, environmental science, or related fields. Ability to work collaboratively.
Preferred Qualifications: Pursuing a degree in biology or environmental studies.
Seabird Restoration Internship with the National Audubon Society
Audubon’s Seabird Institute operates 7 island seabird sanctuaries on the Maine coast to study nesting and foraging success, nestling survivorship, population dynamics, and climate impacts. Student Interns work with an Island Supervisor and 1-3 others, participating in seabird research, monitoring, and management on terns, puffins, or other seabirds depending on location. Work includes population censuses, monitoring productivity and chick growth; seabird diet studies; banding and resighting birds; invasive vegetation removal; educating island visitors; data management; maintaining field camp; and assisting with predator management. After a brief orientation period, interns will live on-island for approximately 12 weeks (May 30 to August 15). Appropriate for Rising Sophomores; Open to Current Seniors.
Mentor: Mark Deutschlander (liaison)
Minimum Qualifications: Introductory Biology or Environmental studies and a strong interest in a career in conservation or wildlife ecology.
Preferred Qualifications: Applicants should be comfortable living and working with others on remote islands with limited amenities, and be in excellent physical condition (capable of climbing over rugged terrain and slippery rocks and able to lift approximately 50 lbs.). Must be willing to get dirty while working and living outside (showers are a luxury, not a daily occurrence) and be capable of working long hours outdoors in variable weather conditions. Must be able to work independently and with others as part of a team, and get along with people of diverse backgrounds. Adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is a must, as daily schedules are weather dependent. Must be able to sit in a small blind for three hours and maintain focus on data collection; reading and listening to music while in the blind collecting data are not permitted. Willingness to learn, dedication to wildlife conservation, and interest in seabirds and isolated islands are basic requirements. Previous experience with bird banding, rowing, wilderness camping, and hunting/trapping are helpful.
Biology Research at Cornell AgriTech
Want to gain invaluable research experience whether your goal is medicine, graduate school, a science job post college, or just to learn if you want to work in science? Interested in an exciting research experience working with an international team of scientists, graduate students, and undergraduates while using a variety of cutting-edge techniques? Projects will be completed in the laboratories of the Cornell AgriTech in Geneva (1.5 miles from HWS), and students will have HWS housing. Projects may involve applied ecology, bioinformatics, disease control, food science, gene expression, genetics, horticulture, insect behavior, microbiology, molecular biology, or pathology (see https://cals.cornell.edu/cornell-agritech/our-expertise/student-programs/summer-scholars/projects). This link is for their general summer program and gives you good background on the types of projects. By applying through HWS, you do not need to complete the Cornell application or worry about their deadline. Students will be placed according to their general interests and academic background.
Mentor: Patricia Mowery (liaison)
Minimum Qualifications: Completed at least BIOL167 and one 200-level Biology course.
Preferred Qualifications: Completed at least BIOL167 and one 200-level Biology course.
Drug Development of Anti-Cancer Agents
My research involves developing anti-cancer agents. The compounds are designed in collaboration with HWS organic chemist, Prof. Pelkey, and a molecular modeling professor at CNU. The biological results allow us to determine what structural requirements are important for making an effective compound, and we use this information to refine the molecules for increased potency. We have identified numerous promising compounds, and we have discovered that they inhibit tubulin polymerization, which is an important target for blocking growth of cancer cells. Students will determine the effectiveness of the potential cancer inhibitors. Experiments may include growing cancer cells in sterile tissue culture hoods, treating them with compounds, testing how they impact cell survival, and analyzing the results. I will teach you the assays, help you interpret the results, and guide you through the trouble-shooting process. We will have regular group meetings with the Pelkey group to discuss results and new directions for compound development.
Mentor: Patricia Mowery
Minimum Qualifications: Completed or currently enrolled in Cell Biology, Genetics, or Microbiology.
Preferred Qualifications: Completed Organic Chemistry I.
Investigating the Evolutionary History and Traits of Milkweeds and Relatives using Genomic Tools
Milkweeds and dogbanes (Apocynaceae) comprise the 10th largest family of flowering plants (>5,000 species), and are best known for complex flowers and the production of toxins that mediate interactions with insect herbivores or are used by humans as medicines. Multiple insects, including monarch butterflies, have evolved mechanisms to tolerate and sequester these toxins to make themselves unpalatable to predators. Resolution of plant evolutionary relationships is required to understand species diversification and trait (e.g., biochemical pathways, floral structure) evolution over time. Research students will work closely with Prof. Straub to acquire skills in analyzing DNA sequence data, assembling and annotating chloroplast genomes, phylogenetic analysis, basic bioinformatics, and discussion of relevant primary literature. Student-selected research questions may address phylogenetic relationships, trait evolution, genomic conflict, taxonomy, biogeography, or molecular evolution. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Shannon Straub
Minimum Qualifications: BIOL 167 and one additional Biology course with lab
Preferred Qualifications: BIOL 167 and one or more of BIOL 215, BIOL 220, BIOL 222, BIOL 228, BIOL 232 or BIOL 236
Chemical Analysis of Dyes Extracted from Local Plants
We will study natural dyes that have been described in ethnographic accounts, but have not been extensively characterized by modern analytical chemistry techniques. While artificial dyes are very well characterized because of their commercial interest, natural dyes have seen very few fundamental studies of the chemistry of the dyes. Making it more challenging, plant sources tend to have a complex mixture of natural dyes. We will study dye molecules in two natural sources: onion skins (with dyes ranging from red to yellow to greenish) and walnut hulls (brown or black). These dyes sources are available locally in nature, and they were used by the Native Americans who once occupied this region. To do so, we will extract the dyes from the plant materials and analyze the mixture using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. I will teach the students how to do the experiments and analyze the data, and they will do all of the laboratory work under my supervision. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Walter Bowyer
Minimum Qualifications: CHEM 110
Preferred Qualifications: CHEM 120 and 130
Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Wire Candidates
Students will synthesize organometallic complexes that may find application in molecular device technology. These complexes will then be characterized by a number of spectroscopic techniques. The properties of these materials will vary with their composition but they will be investigated and tested for their electronic properties. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Christine de Denus
Minimum Qualifications: At least two chemistry classes
Preferred Qualifications: At least two chemistry classes
Synthetic Methods for Masking and Accessing Biologically Relevant Functional Groups and Compounds
Students will develop methods for masking and revealing functional groups in potential pharmaceutical compounds. The goal is to generate molecules with reactivities that can be altered after they enter living cells. Students will also synthesize potential anticancer chemotherapeutics using synthetic methodology developed in the Miller laboratory. Research in the Miller group is performed collaboratively, with students and mentor working together in the lab. As training progresses and students learn the techniques involved, students gain confidence in themselves and each other while also becoming more independent. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Justin Miller
Minimum Qualifications: One year of college chemistry
Preferred Qualifications: One year of college chemistry
Exploring Enzymes in Crowded Conditions
In the Slade lab, we want to better understand how enzymes (biology’s catalysts) behave in the crowded environment of a living cell. This summer, the focus will be on the enzyme glutamate dehydrogenase, which plays a crucial role in removing toxic compounds from your body and sits at the interface of protein and sugar metabolism. In this project, students will learn how to set-up, monitor, and analyze data from an enzyme assay to learn information about its kinetics. However, no previous experience is necessary as I will mentor you to help learn and develop these skills. Student work will entail making buffers, micropipetting (a lot!), using a microplate reader (UV/Vis spectroscopy) and analyzing data in two different software programs. Working on this project will greatly improve a student's Excel skills. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Kristin Slade
Minimum Qualifications: CHEM 120 or 190
Preferred Qualifications: Biochemistry
Modeling for Neuroscience and Robotics
Computer simulations are widely used to study the brain. New methods are needed to study how the brain can interact with the body and the physical world. There are two major projects available in the Fietkiewicz lab. One project is entirely software focused and involves creating simulations of neural models and integrating the simulations with a physics engine. The other project involves integrating neural simulations with robots. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Chris Fietkiewicz
Minimum Qualifications: For the software-only project, the student must have completed CPSC 225 with at least a B grade. For the robotics-related project, the student must have completed CPSC 124 with at least a B grade.
Preferred Qualifications: For the software-only project, it is preferred that the student has completed CPSC 310 with at least a B grade. For the robotics-related project, it is preferred that the student has some robotics or hardware experience.
Exploring Deep Learning and Explainable AI
I'm a new faculty so the project will be exploratory in nature. The project will explore state of the art Deep Learning research, and hopefully we can find an area where we can improve upon. The focus will be on natural language processing, image processing or time-series data. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Hanqing Hu
Minimum Qualifications: Know coding in Java, Python, or C++ well.
Preferred Qualifications: Understanding of algorithms and neural networks.
Reimagining Service Learning: A Multilingual Approach
The service learning model is a popular and potentially impactful way for college students to engage deeply with their community and with course content. Much literature and resources around service learning exist for institutions, faculty, and students alike; however, few of them are grounded in a multilingual, decolonial approach to community engagement. The population of college and K-12 students is becoming increasingly multilingual, but the field of service learning often neglects this linguistic reality and misses opportunities for multilingual and multicultural participants to be fully legible. This research project will address the gap in current thinking and practice around service learning by investigating the experiences of bilingual college students who complete their service learning work in diverse schools. Summer research students will work with Prof. Roberson on tasks such as: 1) conducting a literature review of multilingual/decolonial approaches to service learning; 2) conducting a survey of currently available resources around multilingual service learning; 3) drafting an IRB proposal for an interview portion of the project and potentially helping to conduct interviews with college-level multilingual service learners; and 4) engaging in community service with Geneva teachers of multilingual students. There may also be opportunities to collaborate with other summer research students working on similar topics. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Audrey Roberson
Minimum Qualifications: At least one Education, language, or service learning course. Strong writing skills. Some proficiency in a language other than English. An interest in service learning and community engagement.
Preferred Qualifications: Bilingual in English and Spanish (or another language)
Entrepreneurial Studies and Anthropology
Drawing Lines in the City
Background: This project explores neighborhood, city, and green space branding in Geneva, NY to examine how branding creates and traverses existing boundaries that shape community identity and different types of development.
Research Question: How do neighborhoods boundaries and demarcations for development, such as welcome signs, positively and negatively impact visitors and locals?
Hypothesis: Often implemented as modalities to improve community pride and city revenue, branding can precipitate local politics that can also exclude local perspectives.
Methodology: Student(s) will work with us to transcribe interview data, qualitatively analyze interview data, review related literature, and draft a manuscript for submission to a journal. This will be an opportunity to support active scholarship, while learning how to conduct and process primary scholarship. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentors: Craig Talmage and Chris Annear
Minimum Qualifications: Interest in Social Science, Local Development, or Qualitative Research
Preferred Qualifications: Completed Introductory Social Science, Environmental Studies, Digital Humanities, Writing and Rhetoric, or Entrepreneurial Studies Course
Green Infrastructure Initiatives and the EPA’s Integrated Planning Approach
The US EPA defines “green infrastructure” as “the range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters." CWA § 502(27). This project will involve analyzing the ways in which NY State has promoted green infrastructure through statutory provisions, NPDES permitting regulations, technical guidance, and funding, and the ways in which these initiatives can be tied to the Integrated Planning Approach instituted by the EPA in 2012 and codified in the 2019 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.
Mentor: Beth Kinne
Minimum Qualifications: Some background in environmental studies courses; Interest in law and/or green infrastructure
Preferred Qualifications: Experience working with statutory language and regulatory documents
Identifying Trends in Municipal Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act
Student will develop a working knowledge of the use of consent decrees in addressing municipal violations of the Clean Water Act and then develop a database of consent decrees for CWA violations over the past ten years, characterizing types and magnitude of statutory violations, mandated responses, and the extent to which provisions in the consent decrees are aligned with statutory mandates in the Clean Water Act, as well as the types of sources municipalities are relying on to fund compliance work. Faculty will work with the student, supporting them as they develop expertise in the U.S. environmental regulatory regime, develop a logical analysis framework for consent decrees, and draft a research paper on their findings and plans for continued research.
Mentor: Beth Kinne
Minimum Qualifications: Introductory coursework in environmental studies; interest in regulation of water resources and pollution
Preferred Qualifications: At least one law class, and/or experience reading legal resources (statutes, case law, federal register)
Finger Lakes Institute
Water Quality in the Finger Lakes
Students will conduct research on water quality issues across the Finger Lakes addressing nutrient concentrations and loadings to lakes, dynamics of algae and harmful algal blooms, invasive species, and mercury cycling in invertebrates and fish. Positions will involve long days in the field from a variety of boats such as the R/V Scandling, Boston Whaler, kayaks and more, under all weather conditions. Significant time will be spent on laboratory preparation and analyses as well as data presentations and discussions. Research students are expected to read scientific papers and participate in weekly group activities focused on contextualizing their data and findings across the other aquatic ecosystems such as the Great Lakes. Certified scuba divers are especially encouraged to apply. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Lisa Cleckner
Minimum Qualifications: Enthusiasm; positive attitude; interest in working as part of a research team; independent work including finding, reading and analyzing scientific papers
Preferred Qualifications: Course work and interest in aquatic science, environmental science
Microplastic in the Finger Lakes
Microplastics (plastic particles and fibers < 1mm in diameter) are ubiquitous in the environment. Preliminary work in the Seneca Lake watershed shows that microplastics are common in lake water, in sediment, streams, animals, and falling from the sky with precipitation. Since 2020 our group has been exploring environmental microplastic sources and sinks. Our question for Summer 2023: Where are the fibers in Seneca Lake coming from? We will be exploring three major sources: 1) wastewater, 2) streams, and 3) the atmosphere (precipitation and dry air). Students will review results to date and help identify next steps. They will collaborate to develop a sampling protocol, conduct field work, isolate and count particles in the lab, assemble and analyze data. Students may also participate in the preparation of associated manuscripts. There is an opportunity to continue work on the project after the summer. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Nan Crystal Arens
Minimum Qualifications: Curiosity, a strong worth ethic, and a can-do attitude
Preferred Qualifications: Two of the following: GEO 182, GEO 184, GEO 186, ENV 200, GEO/ENV 207
Using the Sediment Record of Lakes to Explore Past Climate and Environmental Changes
Lake sediments provide important archives of climate and environmental change. The goal of this project is to use the geological, geochemical, and biological (fossils) evidence preserved in sediment cores collected from lakes and bogs in the New York Finger Lakes region to identify periods of past droughts and anthropogenic disturbance within these watersheds since ~12,000 years ago. Project participants will conduct field and lab work as part of a collaborative team to tackle these questions: (1) What drove ecological succession in a local wetland, the natural in-filling of a lake or abrupt climate change? (2) How did the Finger Lakes respond to shifts in temperature, precipitation, and anthropogenic disturbances over the last ~13,000 years? Students will gain hands-on experience collecting and analyzing sediment cores, managing large datasets, and conducting preliminary interpretations. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Tara Curtin
Minimum Qualifications: GEO 186 and/or GEO 184; interest in geoscience or aquatic science; comfortable working outside (rain or shine).
Preferred Qualifications: GEO 186 and/or GEO 184 and an upper-level geoscience course; interest in geoscience or aquatic science; comfortable working outside (rain or shine).
Documenting Groundwater Discharge into Lakes and Ponds
Groundwater discharge into lakes and ponds can occur in diffuse zones along the edge or water bodies as well as at depth in concentrated areas. Flow rates might be controlled by localized wet or dry climate conditions in the surrounding area and by different types of sediment. The goal of this project is to use geochemical evidence from sampling lake, pond and groundwaters to determine unique chemical markers of this flow, to determine flow rates of these features, and to document the sediments associated with this input. Terrestrial springs will be sampled in the Finger Lakes region to determine if groundwater discharge have terrestrial chemical analogs and to document flow rates. Project participants will work as a team to conduct field and lab work to address the following questions: (1) What types of water chemistries are represented in regional springs? (2) How do groundwater discharge chemistries impact the mass balance of ions in lakes and ponds? Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Dave Finkelstein
Minimum Qualifications: GEO 184 and/or GEO 186; GEO 186 and an upper level GEO course. Comfortable working outside no matter the weather or bugs. Interest or focus in aquatic sciences and geoscience.
Preferred Qualifications: GEO 184 and GEO 186; GEO 186 and several upper level GEO courses. Comfortable working outside no matter the weather or bugs. Interest or focus in aquatic sciences and geoscience.
Extreme Wind Chill Weather
This project will explore the weather patterns that have occurred during historic extreme cold-weather and wind chill events across North America. Using archived surface weather observations and gridded reanalysis model datasets, we will examine the development of the source of cold air, the evolution and movement of the air mass equatorward, and the tropospheric weather patterns responsible for these impactful events. Student participants will have an opportunity to work in a collaborative environment with other undergraduate students in the Weather & Climate Research Group, as well as present their work and travel to the Mt. Washington Observatory, Plymouth State University, and University at Albany to interact with other undergraduate researchers and mentors work on weather-related research projects. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Neil Laird and Nick Metz
Minimum Qualifications: Completion of Introduction to Meteorology (GEO-182); familiarity with Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel; Organized; Willingness to learn; Ability to work in collaborative environment with group and independently
Preferred Qualifications: Completion of Introduction to Meteorology (GEO-182); familiarity with Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel; Organized; Willingness to learn; Ability to work in collaborative environment with group and independently
Media and Society
FLX Folks is an oral histories and Digital Humanities project that documents the people and their stories in the Finger Lakes area. The project is inspired by Humans of New York (https://www.humansofnewyork.com/), a viral photography and documentary project by Brandon Stanton. More specifically, FLX Folks will focus on farmers, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, artists and their relations with the land and local ecologies. The finished project will be a website and podcast of interviews with local residents and photographs documenting various aspects of their lives. Topics of interviews will range from conservation efforts, personal histories with the land, recipes that use local ingredients, foraging, artistic interpretations of the lakes, and knowledge sharing of local and vegetations. As a companion to the website and podcast series, we will also publish a photo book and possibly collaborate with WEOS to promote the podcast. The 2023 summer program will kick off the project. Students involved in the project will be able to contribute to the design of the series. They will be able to travel around the FLX area, interview, and photograph local residents, as well as learning website-building and podcasting skills. We envision to launch the website along with the first 10 "folks" by the end of the summer. The project will be ongoing and publish an additional 20 folks by the end of 2024. The companion book will include these first 30 interviews. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Jiangtao Harry Gu
Minimum Qualifications: Good communication and time-management skills, students in the first, second, or third year of their studies are encouraged to apply.
Preferred Qualifications: Spanish language proficiency is strongly desired, basic knowledge and experience with photography, experience with website content management systems such as Wordpress, Wix, and Squarespace, experience with public humanities, radio, podcasting, and digital publishing, driver's license
Psychological Science and Mathematics
Simulation Studies of Network Communication in the Mammal Brain
This project uses computer simulations to investigate patterns of information flow on mammal whole-brain networks (connectomes). Student researchers will build and run simulations in Matlab or Python, analyze and visualize results, and summarize their findings. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Daniel Graham and Yan Hao
Minimum Qualifications: Two college level mathematics courses
Preferred Qualifications: Experience with computer programming (Matlab, R, Java, Mathematica or Python) strongly preferred. Courses in psychology (especially perception, behavioral neuroscience and/or cognition), biology (especially cell biology, evolution, anatomy/physiology), physics, and/or computer science (programming) are desirable. Knowledge of linear algebra a plus.
Data Ethics in AI Art Machine
This research deals with the intersection between the literary review of the emergence and development of AI art machine and hands-on experience of using AI art applications such as Lensa AI, Playform, and D A L L E 2. It particularly looks at the relationship between AI art Machine and human and its impact on the epistemology of art and data ethics. It poses the following questions: are AI processed images artwork? What ethical challenges do the AI art application platforms bring to human agency, data collection, and data uses? What biases could images processed by AI art machine invoke? Students participating in this project will explore these questions by researching the relationship between technology and art and by experimenting with AI art application platforms. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Etin Anwar
Minimum Qualifications: Students with computer science and art backgrounds
Preferred Qualifications: Interest in art and artificial intelligence
Articulating FLX: Nature, Tech, and Regional Branding in the Finger Lakes
This project seeks to understand how a variety of local interests in the Finger Lakes region in upstate NY are pursuing economic activities of revitalization, and in the process, articulating a Finger Lakes "brand" that renders the region more visible and legible to tourists, consumers, visitors, and investors. The project will pay particular attention to seemingly discrete sectors such as winemaking, local agriculture innovations, bitcoin mining and related tech sector innovations in the region, landfill expansion, and small city revitalization. In each of these cases, we will ask how the stakeholders envision their growth strategy, and particularly how they see their impact in shaping the environmental future of the region. This project will also explore emerging forms and sites of community resistance to these interventions in the economic growth of the region. The project will also explore how these actors are engaged in a particular kind of placemaking that seeks to inscribe the region, or particular downtowns such as Geneva, with particular meanings rooted in history but geared towards new kinds of production and consumption relationships.
Students will work in close collaboration with the professor, starting with morning meeting to chart the research day's activities. Research will include identification of local stakeholders in the industries mentioned above, what those stakeholders are promoting, and how they do it. We will pay particular attention to instances of conflict and resistance, whether over permit applications, zoning conflicts, or other redevelopment controversies. Additionally, students will get involved in media representations of the places and industries involved, where "media" refers to a wide variety of documents including newspaper coverage, social media promoting, as well as a variety of public and private documentation, from government documents to event posters, etc. Research will also involve participant observation of a variety of meetings, from city council to industry-specific meetings. Finally, researchers will engage in semi-structured interviews with identified stakeholders. Students can expect daily training and mentoring from the faculty adviser on all the research activities mentioned above.
Mentor: Ervin Kosta
Minimum Qualifications: Coursework inclusive of Intro to Sociology, American Studies, or Media & Society; 3.0 GPA.
Preferred Qualifications: Coursework inclusive of Intro to Sociology, American Studies, or Media & Society; 3.0 GPA; Coursework in urban studies, such as 200-level Urban Sociology of equivalent; Coursework in environmental studies, such as Environment and Society; Coursework in research methods, preferably in sociology.
Spanish and Hispanic studies
Translation, Latinx Empowerment and Bilingual Community Service
This summer research project will focus on translation, Latin American culture, and Latinx youth advocacy. Students will read, analyze, and co-translate a series of socially conscious Latin American theatre pieces from Spanish to English. The work will require transcription and interpretation as well as dramatic readings and discussion (in English and Spanish). Summer scholars will also collaborate with other scholars on campus and engage in outreach and service to Geneva’s growing bilingual community. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: May Summer Farnsworth
Minimum Qualifications: Advanced coursework in Spanish or bilingual (English and Spanish). Good typing skills.
Preferred Qualifications: Students with a foundation in Latin American culture and literature and strong language skills in English and Spanish. Willingness to facilitate discussion groups on readings. (Optional: possibly familiarity with website development or willingness to learn). Creative and imaginative students open to new experiences and spontaneity.
Spanish of Dubbed Films
This project combines English-Spanish translation and film. It is ideal for Spanish majors/minors looking to practice their Spanish and to grow their knowledge and understanding of the language. It is also appropriate for native speakers whose personal input would be valuable.
Spain and Mexico boast a century-old tradition of dubbing American movies into Spanish. Despite their mastery of this art, their films present a unique and unnatural version of the Spanish language, which scholars have denominated dubbese.
In this summer collaboration, we will examine patterns of artificial language in the Castilian dubbed versions of popular, current Hollywood films. These patterns include the use of an inappropriate register (level of formality) given the context, archaic words and syntactic constructions, direct translations from English, and the over or under use of terms and structures compared to normal, everyday use of the language. It is my hope that, through this project, even more characteristics of dubbese will be discovered and that those that already have can be quantified and deemed a “norm” of this variant of Spanish. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Carolina Travalia
Minimum Qualifications: The student must have completed at least 2 courses at level II (SPN 203-299) or be a native speaker
Preferred Qualifications: The student has completed at least 1 course at level III (SPN 300-349) or be a native speaker
HWS PACT (Public Art for Community Transformation): Exploring Muralism as Collective Engagement on a College Campus
How can the creation of a mural on campus both bring together community members as well as transform the campus environment? What goes into creating a meaningful and impactful work of public art? What is the relationship of the art environment of HWS campus to academic work in the arts and to the public art in the city of Geneva? In this research and social action project, students will work with me to establish HWS PACT (Public Art for Community Transformation) – a collaboration with Geneva artists Victor Pultinas (Hobart class of 2008) and Bernadette Bos to prepare for the creation of a mural on the HWS campus, to be completed in collaboration with incoming first-year students. Students will conduct archival research on the history of public art both on the HWS campus and in the city of Geneva, create an HWS art walking tour and build a website to accompany it, and work to design a mural and prepare the wall space in preparation for the arrival of first-year students. Students may elect to work on a mural in downtown Geneva over the summer, and/or continue on as SPARK mentors to participate in the implementation of a mural on the HWS campus. As a result of this summer project, students will gain hands-on experience in archival research, website design and building, and mural design and implementation. Appropriate for Rising Sophomores.
Mentor: Michelle Martin-Baron
Minimum Qualifications: Applicants must have an interest in the public arts and a willingness to learn skills related to website building and/or graphic art programs.
Preferred Qualifications: Our ideal applicants would have some coursework on muralism or public art (such as WMST 150 or FSCT 201: Beyond Banksy) or some practical experience with muralism or public art. Additionally, experience with adobe or other graphic art programs, and/or with website design is highly desired.