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Academic Excellence Initiatives Support Student Projects

Keuka College may not be considered a “research school” in the traditional sense but that doesn’t mean  research and scholarship don’t exist on campus.

In fact,  multiple student research studies and creative projects are funded by grants provided through the Office of Academic Affairs.

The Academic Excellence Initiatives, begun in fall 2010, has supported student research, scholarship or creative projects to the tune of $5,139. Each year, up to $2,000 in grants is awarded to support undergraduate student research, scholarship or creative projects. Students work with a faculty sponsor to develop their projects and then apply through a competitive grant process. The proposals are reviewed by a team of six faculty members before awards are made.

Stephanie Lange '12 with her bronze installation

In 2010-11, a quartet of science majors received awards for research projects later presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). And another student received almost $300 to conduct a study of sensory exploration for elementary education. In 2012,  Stephanie Lange ’12, a visual and verbal art major, received $500 to complete an art installation of a bronze hawk that now graces the campus along the path that runs to the west of Allen Hall towards Jephson Science Center. A second visual and verbal art major, Kat Andonucci ’14, received $560 for a photographic study of chemical experiments, which became an art exhibit, “The Art of Chemistry.”

This academic year, Andonucci received another grant, for $500, to conduct a new independent study: painting portions of the Periodic Table, with the elements themselves. Adult social work student Cyndy Bundy of East Syracuse received $650 to travel to Myrtle Beach last month to present her study on  the responsible use of social networking for relevant social work education and counseling at the national Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors Conference.  Also this semesester, Amber JeJong ’16 received a $342 grant to study changes in the eggs (particularly shell thickness) of the red-shouldered hawk, under the supervision of  Dr. Bill Brown, assistant professor of biology and environmental science. Keuka holds a collection of preserved eggs of that bird dating to almost 100 years ago, and DeJong plans to compare measurements of Keuka’s collection with data from studies of the 1970s, after pesticides impacting that bird population were introduced.

Junior Kat Andonucci and Dr. Andy Robak, associate professor of chemistry during the Art of Chemistry exhibit (Photo by Erik Holmes '13)

Keuka students are encouraged to consult with any faculty member about pursuing an Academic Excellence Initiatives grant for a new research study or project for the coming summer or next academic year. The application deadline for academic ‘13-’14 is May 1. For more information, go to:

http://vpaa.keuka.edu/student-excellence/undergraduate-research-and-scholarship/

The competitive grant awards are offered in support of the College’s mission to challenge students intellectually and to foster their academic development. According to Anne Weed, vice president of academic affairs, faculty serving on the grant application review board are Anita Chirco, professor of communication, Mike Rogoff, professor of psychology, Dianne Trickey-Rockenbrod, assistant professor of occupational therapy, Stephanie Craig, chair of the social work division, Tom Carroll, professor of chemistry and physics, and Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of political science.

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