Summer Fellows Explore Interests in 20-year Campus Tradition

From almost every academic discipline, they pursue research with a focused passion.

Mario Heitman is creating art for a pop up art shop in Philadelphia.

Jordan Karliner is exploring the role of the chemical Slitrk 2 on zebrafish to assess its role in the human nervous system.

Jada Grice is studying the works of Jessie Fauset, whom she calls the Harlem Renaissance’s “hidden figure.”

The three are among 80 Summer Fellows on campus through July doing the kind of research that takes time and focus – long term research with a faculty mentor that some may not be able to complete during the busy academic year. Others will stay with the research as honors projects.

Summer Fellows work for eight weeks (in some cases longer) one-on-one with an assigned faculty mentor. They present their projects in a symposium July 21 beginning at 9 a.m. in various locations.

Student and faculty collaboration is a longstanding tradition at Ursinus. The college started the program for 10 students in 1996, and continued as a more robust and completely interdisciplinary program for the next 20 years.

Fellows receive a $2,500 stipend, and a campus residence, although some projects are funded by outside foundation and organization grants. It is open to any rising junior or Participation in the program is competitive. The students developed, wrote and submitted proposals and budgets that were reviewed and selected by an interdisciplinary faculty panel.

The program also creates a community of scholars who attend weekly symposiums, enjoy social activities and live and learn together.

Also ongoing is the FUTURE (Fellowships in the UrsinusTransition to an Undergraduate Research Experience) program which provides research opportunities to students traditionally underserved in the sciences and mathematics.The four-week FUTURE program coincides with the Summer Fellows program, and FUTURE mentors present their collaborative research at the Summer Fellows symposium. – By Wendy Greenberg