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Charles Center in the news

Want to learn more about the Charles Center? Here's a glimpse at who we are and what we do:

Practical magic: how research bewitched two Charles Center students

Caroline Leibowitz ’24 and Isabel Pereira-Lopez ’24 wish to understand the unexplainable, to travel down the roads that make the rest of us shudder with fright. They are currently working on separate research projects focused on the historical past and present of witchcraft.

Innovative new fund supports material culture study

Thanks to the generosity of adjunct professor of business law James Boswell ’86 and husband Chris Caracci, students with a passion for material culture have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with distinguished practitioners and other emerging scholars through two of the nation’s leading decorative arts institutions.

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New self-designed internships inspire tomorrow's journalists

Dire predictions about the future of American journalism are common these days, but not so much at William & Mary, as student interest in the field flourishes amid a renaissance of Charles Center programs aimed to foster and inspire the next generation of reporters.

200+ to reveal research results at symposium Friday

The research of 200+ William & Mary undergraduates, representing the work of 45 different majors in the arts & humanities, social sciences, and STEM-related disciplines, will be on display this Friday, Sept. 22 at the 2023 Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium in Swem Library’s Read and Relax room.

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A decade of inspiration: Woody Museum Internship enters 10th year

Thanks to the vision and generosity of Dr. Carol Woody '71 and Robert Woody, William & Mary has been preparing undergraduates for careers in museums since the path-breaking Charles Center summer internship program launched in 2015.

Geology major Chloe Lund '23 spent the summer monitoring ultrasonic acoustic emissions and their effect on tree water.
What are you doing next summer?

More than 300 undergraduate William & Mary students were awarded 2022 Summer Research Grants from the Charles Center for Academic Excellence. It's not too early to start planning for next summer!

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Exhibit shares stories of first Asian students at W&M

Sumié Yotsukura ‘22 and Brian Zhao ’23 recently celebrated the installation of the exhibit, “Pu Kao Chen: Thoughts of 1923 U.S. & W&M,” at Swem Library. The exhibit was the culmination of their research project to unearth the stories of the first Asian students to attend W&M.

Charles Center summer grant recipient studies Chinese Tang Dynasty

In the summer of 2021, the Charles Center provided Collin Absher (‘24) with an opportunity for intellectual growth as well as a home at William & Mary for the summer. Absher was awarded a Charles Center summer research grant which he allocated toward his study of Chinese poetry from the Tang dynastic period in China.

Leila Mabudian '21
New REACH program offers W&M students strong biomedical research experience

In cancer treatment, the end goal is to cure or stop the spread of cancer. Four William & Mary students are calling this finish line into question, however, as they study the survivorship period in cancer patients through the Research Experience in All-around Cardiac Health program, otherwise known as REACH.

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2021 grad headed for D.C. and an elite foreign policy fellowship

William & Mary senior Caroline Duckworth ’21 is among a group of 12 students from across the country to be selected for a 2021-2022 fellowship with the James C. Gaither Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), a foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C.

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Eight from W&M receive Fulbright student awards

Eight William & Mary alumni and students have been selected to receive U.S. Student Program awards, which will fund their teaching and research in countries around the world during the 2021-2022 academic year.

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Student scientist-artists unveil new exhibit

This semester, Anna Mehlhorn ’22 and eight other William & Mary students worked individually or in pairs to create everything from infographics to music to textile art, demonstrating the diversity within “SciArt,” the fusion of science and art. Last week, to celebrate these student innovations, Mehlhorn facilitated an event where the project participants discussed their works and heard from three professionals in the field.

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W&M undergraduates adopt trending research communication formats

The Charles Center’s annual research symposium will be virtual this year in response to COVID-19, an adjustment which has opened opportunities for William & Mary undergraduate researchers to be at the forefront of academia’s shift towards succinct, online research communication.

Students Integrating History and Biodiversity at W&M’s Highland

President James Monroe's Highland plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia is becoming a hub for both social and environmental justice. Eileen Dinn ‘23, Grace Breitenbeck ‘21, and Melissa Mukuna ’23 have the task of proposing some next steps for the property, keeping community at the front of their minds and taking careful consideration of the plantation’s history, biodiversity, and business needs.

Amy Hilla ‘21
Publication before graduation: Amy Hilla ’21 gets scoping review published in prominent medical journal

Over the past four years, Amy Hilla ‘21 spent much of her time in Williamsburg on Scotland Street pursuing diverse research interests as a SOMOS student researcher and a research assistant for AidData. However, Hilla’s crowning research achievement fittingly came just months before she will graduate in May -- a published article in a prominent academic journal.

Celia Metzger ’21 and Aubrey Lay ’23
W&M Linguistics students continue summer research projects into the new year

Two linguistics students, Celia Metzger ’21 and Aubrey Lay ’23, successfully adapted their research projects this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Metzger and Lay, both 1693 Scholars, created innovative project designs that expanded upon their academic pursuits in the classroom – and provided them with a litany of diverse intellectual tasks in the process.

Summer on the James: Geology student dives deep into field research

As COVID-19 spread across Virginia and the United States during the summer, geology student Terri Zach ‘21 took social distancing recommendations more seriously than most as she pursued an undergraduate research project in the isolated depths of rural Virginia, taking with her just a research adviser, a face mask, a notepad and an eagerness for discovery.

Definitive Edition Lab: An Experiment in Collaborative Humanities

When COVID-19 upended the spring 2020 semester, all classes had to transition to online coursework in just a few weeks, and research collaborations between faculty and students were thrown into doubt. Fortunately, four students working with English Professor Melanie Dawson were able to translate their passions in class into a summer research opportunity by creating a ‘definitive edition’ of Edith Wharton’s novel The Mother’s Recompense.

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Despite COVID, some undergraduate researchers able to carry out hybrid projects

Since the middle of the spring semester, safety protocols related to COVID-19 have imposed severe restrictions on lab access at William & Mary, rendering many research initiatives remote. Fortunately, some exceptionally dedicated scholars — Naya Burrow ‘23, Michelle Yue ‘23 and Jasmine Whelan ‘22 — found ways to optimize their research time this summer, commuting to their labs once it was deemed safe, while also producing high-quality research from home.

Gracie Patten’s fashion research sews together history, status of early 20th century women

Many Americans celebrated the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage in late August, which commemorated 100 years since the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified and women secured their right to vote nationwide. Thanks to a freshman Monroe Scholar summer research grant from the Charles Center, Gracie Patten ‘23 went beyond just celebrating the milestone this summer, delving into a little-known aspect of American womanhood in the waning months of World War One preceding suffrage’s passage