By Shelby Cuomo
The Summer Research Fellowship is a unique academic opportunity that Union provides to its students. It gives students a chance to work one-on-one with a faculty advisor during a four or eight week period.
As a highly selective process, students start in winter term by finding a faculty member to work with, particularly someone who is an expert in the field of interest for the student’s proposed project.
If the faculty member agrees to support this student’s work, then he or she must write a letter stating why he or she benefits from advising the student. This, along with the student’s proposal, GPA and year status are all considered when the fellowships are decided. Since these are paid opportunities, only a few dozen students are chosen.
As one of the lucky students awarded this opportunity, I look forward to starting my unique research this summer. I will be a senior next year, so the research I will be doing will give me much insight into my thesis topic.
I am a political science and classics double major and in order to write a combined thesis I needed to combine both of these academic majors.
The Summer Research Fellowship will allow me to focus specifically on the classics portion of this thesis, since my faculty advisor is the Classics Department Chair Hans-Friedrich Mueller.
This will thus enable me to narrow my topic, which is currently a very broad theme: exploring various affairs of political leaders in Ancient Rome and our contemporary American government.
Within this topic I hope to discover why in some historical instances affairs were deemed to be acceptable, whereas today affairs will break a politician’s career.
With this eight-week opportunity, I will be able to start exploring this topic of great interest to me with the help of an academic expert, which is something that would not be possible during the normal school year.