The Oregon State University Honors College and the Center for the Humanities have announced the 2021 recipients of a summer undergraduate internship jointly sponsored by the Honors College, the Center for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts. Participants submitted applications in partnership with faculty mentors, and five teams were selected to participate in this year’s program.
This is the second summer of internships, following a successful pilot in 2019 (the program was postponed in 2020 due to COVID). The program is supported this year a by a grant from the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, which allowed for the selection of five internships, compared to three in 2019.
“We are delighted to have been able to expand this program through the generosity of the Marie Lamfrom Foundation,” says Christopher McKnight Nichols, the director of the Center for the Humanities. “The pool of applicants was outstanding, and the five exceptional projects selected for this summer range across disciplines, from philosophy and history to psychology and music. They overlap, though, in all working to examine and address some of the most challenging issues in the world today.”
This year’s cohort includes Honors College students Darlene Nguyen, Annelise Hartinger, Skylar Kim, Andrea Perez and Sophia Fischer, along with their faculty mentors. They will each receive $4,500 in support of work on collaborative projects through the summer. In addition, program leaders Nichols and Susan Rodgers, the Honors College associate dean and a professor of English and creative writing, will offer professional development workshops for the students.
“The internship program is an amazing and unique opportunity for students to dedicate a full summer to projects in the humanities and social sciences,” says Rodgers. “Financial support for this kind of research and creative work is unfortunately rare, and we are absolutely thrilled to partner with the Center for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts to make the program possible. It’s opportunities like this that make being part of the Honors College so valuable to students.”
During the 2021 program:
- Fischer, a psychology major who is finishing her first year, will contribute to the development of an online database of oral histories documenting the experiences of Latinx social justice leaders and allies, working with Joel Zapata, an assistant professor of history.
- Hartinger, a rising fourth-year honors student majoring in history, will work with Kathleen Bogart, an associate professor of psychology, on a qualitative analysis of responses to a survey examining health and wellbeing, health care access and other experiences of COVID-19 for people with rare diseases and disorders.
- Chemistry-major Kim, who will begin his third year next fall, will contribute to a new sound collage opera, “A Little Past Seven O’Clock on September 2,” which is based on the writings of the survivors of an 1885 massacre of Chinese immigrants in Rock Springs, Wyoming. His mentor is Allison Johnson, an instructor in music, who is a member of the collaborative developing the opera.
- Nguyen, an ethnic studies major who just completed her third year, will work with Natchee Barnd, an associate professor of ethnic studies, on making videos for keywords in ethnic studies to help enhance ethnic studies education at both the college and the K-12 levels.
- And Perez, a premed microbiology major who finished her first year this spring, will work with Stuart Sarbacker, an associate professor of comparative religion and Indian philosophy, on research into equitable access to new psychedelic therapies, focusing on barriers to such “breakthrough” treatments experienced by BIPOC communities.
In the fall, students will present their work to the public at a special showcase event.
“This year’s cohort of interns and faculty mentors is extremely impressive, as are their projects,” says Nichols. “This is an exceptional way to resume this program and establishes a terrific precedent for future years. We are excited to be able to support these collaborations, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of their summer work.”