| May 18, 2023
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:
William & Mary's longstanding Graduate Research Symposium returned to Sadler Center this year with a new collaborative twist, showcasing undergraduate Honors projects alongside the work of graduate students.
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!
Caroline Donovan '23 spent the summer unearthing Colonial Williamsburg's hidden history.
Through a summer research grant, Jack Boyd '23 identified 75 potential sites for inclusion in a new African American Heritage Trail in Williamsburg.
New Charles Center Research Ambassadors are on a mission: to make research more accessible and to help more students get involved.
Raven Pierce '23 displays her research on the power of spirituality and expressive arts to help Black Women navigate oppressive experiences.
Anna Arnsberger '25 helps to reveal enduring connections among families, foodways, and place at James Monroe's Highland.
For Chemistry majors Kaleea Korunka '25 and Kyle Lewis-Johnson '25, a summer research project on microplastics has taken on a life of its own.
Freeman Intern Fellowships offer unique summer research opportunities in East Asia to William & Mary undergraduates.
Pablo Solano (‘22) and Julia Gibson (‘22) have been exploring a new avenue to enlighten those in the anti-slavery community: a video game. The two seniors have undertaken more than a year of research to develop what they believe is an innovative outreach and teaching tool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since early days of what would become the COVID-19 pandemic, the William & Mary community has engaged in the herculean work of managing and adapting to operations during a global public health crisis.
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.
Three William & Mary students have been named Goldwater Scholars, joining a select group of undergraduates studying the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Summer 2020 looked and felt different because of COVID-19 restrictions, but William & Mary students doing research projects using Honors Fellowships thrived amidst change.