During 2020-2021, the Mellon funding has been able to provide support to many student research projects. Though COVID-19 has still had an impact on these, the students have been able to find inventive ways to create. Throughline: Student Works Inspired by the Center's Collections was made possible by the Mellon LIT Grant and the Ballantine Family Fund. This exhibit curated by Elise Boulanger (Studio Art & Design. '21), features works by her fellow Fort Lewis College peers, showcased alongside pieces from the Center of Southwest Studies' collections. As an interdisciplinary student at Fort Lewis College and an intern at the Center of Southwest Studies, Elise Boulanger was inspired to create an exhibit to celebrate her peers’ diverse voices in harmony with the Center’s collections. With hopes to hold space for her peers and herself to explore personal narratives, she sought to find new, meaningful connections with their place at Fort Lewis College. Over the semester, she collaborated with students through conversations about their backgrounds and learned invaluable lessons about the power of assumptions and the importance of respect for other cultures. The idea that objects are living - made from living beings, passed to living beings, and existing for many generations to come - is the theme of Throughline. Each piece in the Center's collection has a voice that should be heard.
Throughout the semester, the fifteen student participants met with Elise one-on-one at the Center of Southwest Studies to look at collections, conduct research, and talk about inspiration in creating their artistic works. They traced stories with the Center’s curatorial team about where objects came from, who made them, what they mean, and how they came to the collections at Fort Lewis College. Students also met with Native Artist Mentors Tirzah Camacho and Garrett Etsitty – both of whom are Fort Lewis College alumni - as well as professional exhibit preparator, Jack Townes. This project highlighting interdisciplinary research addressing diversity, inclusion, and change and centered around collaboration and self-reflection would not have been possible without Mellon LIT Grant funding.
The exhibit will be on display until April 2022 and is currently open by appointment for the Fort Lewis College community.
During the academic year 2019-2020, we had 8 faculty members from the Arts & Humanities apply for and receive Mellon funding to mentor student research projects. Several of these students presented at our virtual symposium in April, despite the challenges COVID-19 put before them.
During the academic year 2018-2019, 12 faculty members from the Arts & Humanities applied for and received Mellon funding to mentor student research projects. Many were featured at the April Undergraduate Research Symposium and have been/will be published.
We are expanding the numbers of students engaged in undergraduate research in the humanities, encourage undergraduate publications and presentations, and work on connections to graduate programs.
We are continuing the program of faculty mentors for undergraduate research in the humanities projects in the 2020-21 academic year.
Fort Lewis College is a small, public liberal arts college in southwestern Colorado. Our campus consistently demonstrates excellence in mentorship and student engagement by the time of graduation, and we are riding a wave of optimism and motivation around what’s possible for our students in their first years at FLC. In coming to this Institute, our team’s purpose has been to create an enduring support structure for undergraduate research in the arts & humanities to complement efforts in STEM disciplines. We will encourage faculty mentorship in these areas and support students who are developing projects, presentations, and publications. We will increasingly ask students to approach learning and research from a self-reflective position, beginning in the first year. An overarching goal is increased engagement and retention of our students by integrating URSCA across the curriculum.
The team members included:
In July of 2019, Dr. Chad Colby, Professor of Art (the lead on this project) attended a national CUR conference: “Undergraduate Research Programs Division,” on the campus of The Ohio State University. The majority of those in attendance were administrators of new or existing undergraduate research offices; full-time faculty like Dr. Colby were rare.
In October or 2018, a team of faculty from our Arts & Humanities departments attended a Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) institute titled “Creative Inquiry in the Arts & Humanities,” held at Montana State University.
To Care for Him Who Shall Have Borne the Battle, and for His Widow and His Orphan: Unintended Consequences of the Systematic Transformation of the VHA
Supervising FacultyDr. Jillian L. Wenburg, Assistant Professor, English Department
StudentJesse Villanueba, Junior, Public Health Major
Global Perspectives on the Problem of Evil
Supervising FacultyDr. Justin McBrayer, Professor of Philosophy
StudentEgan Wynne, Sophomore, Philosophy Major
Multigenerational Transmission of Trauma in Native Americans and African Americans
Supervising FacultyAna Hale, Senior Lecturer-English
StudentKatherine Potter, Junior, Environmental Studies/Political Science
Environmental reconstruction, future climate change, and water rights at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Supervising FacultyJared M. Beeton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Environment and Sustainability
StudentsLeah Biersack, Senior, Environmental Studies; Carrie Deitz, Senior, Environmental Studies; Allison Hurcomb, Senior, Environmental Studies; Jennifer Lewis, Senior, Environmental Studies; and Paula Pletnikoff, Senior, Environmental Studies
Conversations about The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Supervising FacultySusan M. Cannata, Professor of English, English Department
StudentLiberty Claer foster [sic], Senior, English Major
Bilingual Environmental Typography in Diné Bizaad & English
Supervising FacultyAnthony Carton, Asst. Professor of Art & Design
StudentApril Yazza, Senior, Communication Design
Summer Theatre at FLC
Supervising FacultyDr. Kerry Ginger, Assistant Professor of Music, Music Department
StudentHallie Denman, First-Semester Senior, Music Business
Attachment Style and Endorsement of Gender Roles in Young Adults
Supervising FacultyNatasha Tidwell, Assistant Professor of Psychology
StudentEmma Franklin, Senior Psychology Major
Writing Center Support for Undergraduate Researchers
Supervising FacultyMichelle Bonanno, English Department and Writing Center
StudentsJack Ellmer, Junior, English: Writing and Randy Poyer, Post-Bac, GIS Certificate
The Real Meal Deal, Assessing Student Preferences for “real food” at Fort Lewis College
Supervising FacultyKathy Hilimire, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies
StudentMaggie Magierski, Senior, Environmental Studies
Developing Creative Voices
Supervising FacultyCandace Nadon, Assistant Professor of English
StudentsAlyssa Begay (Writing / Junior); Jack Ellmer (Writing / Junior); Ian Murphy (Writing/ Senior); Christina Stanton (Writing / Junior).
Deforestation, Guitars, and the Power of Music to Instigate Positive Environmental Change
Jared M. Beeton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Environment and Sustainability
John Leeah, Senior, Environmental Studies; Grace Ann Robinson, Junior, Environmental Studies; Joshua James, Senior, Environmental Studies.
Systemic Racism and the Ignored Threat of White, Right-Wing Terrorism
Ana Hale, Senior Lecturer-English
Julian Maissel, Senior, Political Science
IMF Conditionalities and Violence in Latin America
Dr. Benjamin Waddell, Associate Professor of Sociology, Criminology, and Borders and Languages
Olivia Thomas, Senior, Political Science
Claiming Identity: Cultivating and Situating Poetic Voice
Candace Nadon, Assistant Professor of English
Jalen Charley, Junior Psychology Major
A Settlement, Land Ownership, and Land Use History of Wetlands in San Luis Valley, Colorado
Dr. Pete McCormick, Professor of Environmental Studies
Cole Maurer, Environmental Studies and Anthropology Double Major
‘Old Pueblo Ska’: Ska Music in the Southwest, 1992-2001
Dr. Paul Kuenker, Visiting Instructor, History
Danial Ciluffo, Senior, History/ Teacher Ed.
Native Hawaiian Hula and Cultural Immersion
Dr. Cory Pillen, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Design
Matthias Biggs, Senior, Studio Art Major, Native and Indigenous Studies Minor
The Hands that Feed us are Invisible Hands (Strawberry Production in California)
Dr. Carolina Alonso, Assistant Professor of Borders and Languages
Tatyana Trujillo, Senior, Environmental Studies and Prelaw