As a Summer Fellow, I conducted research over the 2016 summer. I researched how magic is presented in a New Religious Movement’s text, The Satanic Bible. The work involved a method of content analysis, i.e. reading the text multiple times while coding for themes and later sorting and interpreting the themes in order to better understand the content. I plan to submit my results for publication in an academic journal.
My Summer Fellow Experience
The Summer Fellows program was pivotal for me. It allowed me to initiate a research project on campus that fit my interests (rather than work on a professor’s previously-begun research) and to gain invaluable experience working in the social sciences. I explored a research method which I had not had much experience with prior and learned much because of it. Furthermore, I feel I have grown as a person and am better prepared for academics and life in general.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
The coolest part of my experience was being able to indulge in a topic I am genuinely interested in. There were no other distractions (like classes) and I was allowed to hang out and discuss my interests with like-minded people. Furthermore, I produced a piece of work that I am proud of and now have the opportunity to present to world-class researchers at a conference.
Who I Met that Made a Difference
An excellent feature of the Summer Fellows program is the weekly speaker series. Every week all of the fellows and their mentors were invited to hear a talk from a new speaker. From an Ursinus professor one week to a Hong Kong professor the next, each talk was unique and inspiring, providing wise advice for research or life.
Also, my mentor, while being an inexhaustible resource, has also become a close and invaluable friend. It is quite nice to know that there is someone on campus who is in a position of authority (e.g. a professor) and can speak and share with you on equal footing.
Alpha Delta Phi Society, Ursinus Environmental Action (UCEA), Students Talk About Responsible Sex (STARS), Psi Chi (Psychology) Honors fraternity