The Oregon State University Honors College and Center for the Humanities have announced the first participants in a jointly-sponsored competitive summer internship program. Honors College students Maia Insinga, Mahal Miles and Mohammed Shakibnia will work with their faculty mentors on collaborative projects designed to enhance their professional skills and development and advance faculty research. Insinga will work with David Kerr from the School of Psychological Science; Miles with Linda Richards from the School of History, Philosophy and Religion; and Shakibnia with Christopher Stout from the School of Public Policy.
“The Honors College Center for the Humanities internship program is not only a way for the Honors College to further its campus-wide mission of advancing undergraduate research and faculty collaboration,” explains Honors College Associate Dean Tara Williams, “it is also unique on campus in supporting student work specifically in the humanities and social sciences.”
Each partnership will be provided with $4,500 in student wages for the internship period, which runs from June 16-August 15, and $500 in faculty support. Funding is provided jointly by the Center for the Humanities and the Honors College.
Insinga, a second-year honors student majoring in psychology, and Kerr will conduct a research project on preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder in college students using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This project will then influence a SAD prevention program on the Oregon State campus, with a pilot planned for fall, 2019. The summer fellowship work will also form the basis for Insinga’s honors thesis, with Kerr serving as her thesis mentor.
Miles and Richards form a cross-disciplinary team – Miles is a second-year honors student majoring in public health and Richards is a historian of nuclear weapons. Their summer work will involve conducting and transcribing oral histories on the consequences and science of radiation exposure. They plan to co-author two outreach articles for nonprofit websites and organize public events in Oregon as part of a National Science Foundation grant.
Shakibnia, a third-year honors student majoring in political science and philosophy, and Stout’s project will focus on the historic political campaigns of Muslim women during the 2018 U.S. elections. This work will contribute to Stout’s ongoing research into how the race, gender and religion of U.S. House Representatives influences their likelihood of being labeled as discriminatory in different regions of the country. The team plans to co-author articles in the coming year.
“We were very impressed with the quality of applications in this inaugural year of the internship program. We had thirteen exceptional applications,” says Christopher McKnight Nichols, the director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities, “and we are so excited to be able to support these internships. The recipients this year are reflective of the diversity and quality of teaching, learning, research and scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts and in the humanities, broadly defined. The Center for the Humanities is especially pleased that these student-faculty projects span disciplinary fields and faculty levels and also have strong outreach components and connections to pressing contemporary challenges.”
Recipients will present the results of their work at an event planned for fall, 2019 at the Center for the Humanities. The program will run again next summer.