Full Circle Moment: Student and Mentor Win Same Research Award 34 Years Apart

Full Circle Moment: Student and Mentor Win Same Research Award 34 Years Apart

University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Aleigha Dollens wins geoscience award 34 years after her mentor, Tina Niemi, who was the first award recipient.

Earth and environmental science student Aleigha Dollens recently won the 2023 Richard Hay Award from the Geoarchaeology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA) for her research on evidence of earthquakes at the Mayan archaeological site of Quirigua in Guatemala. The award supports travel to the GSA annual meeting and recognizes meritorious student research.

This was especially good news to Dollens’ mentor, Tina Niemi, Ph.D., as the Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor was the first recipient of this award 34 years ago.

Niemi has taught geology at UMKC since 1995 and has personally mentored more than 60 undergraduate research projects with student funding from SEARCH, SUROP and NSF-funded research experience grants. 

“For my MS research, I reconstructed the paleoenvironmental history of a submerged classical archaeological site along the central coast of Greece,” Niemi said. “It was the presentation of that research at the annual meeting of the GSA in 1989 that won me the first-granted Richard Hay award. I am very proud of Aleigha and her achievements and thrilled that she has followed in my footsteps with this well-deserved award. The dedication of UMKC and its leaders to support undergraduate research is phenomenal.”

Dollens and Niemi visited the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University this past summer to search museum archives for excavation documents and artifacts that can help constrain the date of the earthquake that occurred during the final occupation of the Quirigua site.

“Winning the Richard Hay Award from the Geoarchaeology Division of the Geological Society of America is an honor like no other, especially since Dr. Tina Niemi was the first-ever recipient,” Dollens said. “She is one of my greatest supporters and pushes me to be a better geoscientist and a better person. It is an honor to get to work with such a strong woman in the geosciences field and I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for her ongoing support.”

The research was funded by the UMKC Undergraduate Research Program through SUROP and SEARCH awards and by the Earth and Environmental Science Newcomb Research Grant.

Written by: Krithika Selvarajoo for the University of Missouri-Kansas City; used with permission. Find the original article here

MU’s ASH Scholar Program Finds Success with Multi-Year, Team-Oriented Research Opportunties

MU’s ASH Scholar Program Finds Success with Multi-Year, Team-Oriented Research Opportunties

University of Missouri’s Scholars Program Promotes Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities

A unique collaboration between the University of Missouri Office of Undergraduate Research and the MU Honors College has led to an ongoing research opportunity for undergraduate students involved in the arts, social sciences and humanities (ASH) disciplines.

The ASH Scholars Program began in 2016 and has continued to grow over the years, including bringing in a new team this year. With the addition of the Santa Fe Trail research project, the ASH Scholars Program now features five teams that research a variety of topics.

“The goal was to replicate the benefits of working in a team like science laboratories do – but in the arts, social sciences and humanities,” said Linda Blockus, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “Oftentimes, undergraduate research and scholarship in these disciplines consists of a single student meeting with their advisor, without the interaction with other students. In science labs, the members work together on common problems, spending time bouncing ideas off each other, discussing results, and learning techniques and research skills from more experienced team members.

“With the multi-year approach to ASH Scholars, students can be involved in an ongoing, team-oriented project for potentially four years, growing from an inexperienced first-year student to a seasoned upperclassman who takes on a leadership role in the group.”

ASH Scholars receive a $3,000 scholarship, disbursed in four equal parts over the academic year. While the Honors College plays an important role in the program, students do not have to be pursuing the Honors Certificate to participate. Students of all academic majors and grade levels are invited to get involved.

Each ASH team consists of eight to 12 undergraduate students who work closely with faculty mentors on an established research project. The ASH teams are:

  • Art of Death (visual studies)
  • Close Relationships (psychological sciences)
  • Collaborative Research in African Languages (linguistics)
  • Minority Focused News as a Locus of Empowerment (communications)
  • Santa Fe Trail (history)

“The ASH Scholars Program is one of the best kept secrets at Mizzou,” said Catherine Rymph, dean of the Honors College. “The program provides opportunities not often available to students in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Students get so much out of the experience, working over several years on team research with the dedicated faculty who lead these teams. ASH students have numerous opportunities to take on leadership roles and have presented their work at national and international conferences, been listed as authors on publications, and received fellowships for graduate study. No matter what they move on to after graduation, they benefit from the skills they develop as part of these collaborative research teams.”

The team aspect is one of the most vital parts of the program. Students oftentimes bring in different skillsets, allowing for a great mix of experiences. Many students also join as freshmen or sophomores, meaning their project tasks grow each year. Students generally start with data collection and move into data management roles. Eventually, they have the opportunity to present their work at conferences and forums, including to a public audience during Show Me Research Week, where all ASH team members present.

“The ASH Scholars Program really allows for team members to draw on each other’s’ strengths,” Blockus said. “Research projects are also seldom complete in nine months – it builds on prior findings and may veer off in new and exciting directions. With the security of multiple years of funding, ASH teams have been able to launch multi-year projects. That extended time allows students to develop skills, build confidence, establish a supportive peer community and assume leadership roles.”

While students benefit from the hands-on nature of the work, the faculty leads have also enjoyed being part of the program. Each research project that the ASH teams are participating in was born out of ongoing work from at least one of the current faculty leads.

“We’re blessed to have this program at Mizzou,” said Chris Josey, an associate teaching professor of communication at MU and one of the faculty leads of the Minority Focused News as a Locus of Empowerment team. “It’s great to have leadership who is committed to what we’re doing. The work that each team is doing is valuable. I think it’s one of the coolest programs on campus, and it’s inspired me to get more involved with undergraduate research. I want to help students find these outstanding experiential learning opportunities.”

“It can definitely be tough as faculty are oftentimes spread very thin,” added Amanda Rose, a professor of psychological sciences and one of the leads of the Close Relationships team. “It’s tough to take on another project; however, it’s so rewarding to help the students find their passions. Plus, our ASH teams contribute so much to MU’s overall research portfolio. We all benefit at the end of the day.”

Learn more about each of the ASH teams:

Art of Death

  • Katina Bitsicas, assistant professor of visual studies
  • Debora Verniz, assistant professor of architectural studies

The main goal of this innovative and interdisciplinary research project is to normalize conversations about death and dying through analysis of public structures and memorials through the lens of artistic production. The strategies for achieving this overall goal include generating creative projects that explore death and dying utilizing new media tools such as virtual reality, projection mapping, augmented reality and video art.

Close Relationships

  • Amanda Rose, professor of psychological sciences
  • Ashley Groh, associate professor of psychological sciences

This research teams pursues knowledge related to the science of close relationships. They approach the study of relationships from a lifespan perspective, with a primary focus on childhood and adolescence. The research studies include friends and family members. They are interested in how youths’ interactions with close relationship partners shape their development and emotional adjustment.

Collaborative Research in African Languages (CORAL)

  • Michael Marlo, associate professor of linguistics
  • Rebecca Grollemund, assistant professor of linguistics

The purpose of the CORAL team is to contribute to research in African linguistics at the University of Missouri. The CORAL team currently has two main strands of research in the study of African languages that are connected to one current grant and one prior grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Minority Focused News as a Locus of Empowerment

  • Chris Josey, associate teaching professor of communication
  • Julius Riles, associate professor of communication

The Minority Focused News team investigates the manners in which news websites and streaming platforms that serve under-represented and marginalized populations provide a prosocial benefit to society. Historically, they have analyzed the content present on these sites and presented at local, regional and national conferences. The team has recently branched out to examine the cognitive benefits these sites provide marginalized and under-represented groups and other forms of social identity content (e.g., streaming platforms).

Santa Fe Trail

  • Jay Sexton, professor of history
  • Kyle Jackson, research fellow of history

The objective of this team is to excavate historical data and narrative concerning the Santa Fe Trail. The second objective is to communicate the importance of the trail to public audiences.

Written by: Logan Jackson for the University of Missouri; used with permission. Find the original article here

CNU’s Summer Scholar Program Provides Pathway for Research into Race, Civil Rights, and Public Opinion

CNU’s Summer Scholar Program Provides Pathway for Research into Race, Civil Rights, and Public Opinion

Student researches public opinion about Civil War monuments

Dayman Parrish came to Christopher Newport to discover his passion and true calling.

He found it in the study of race, civil rights and public opinion, and how all three relate to each other. Dr. Brooke Covington helped him make the connections.

Parrish, ‘24 Political Science, plans to go to law school, intent on making the world a place that is fairer, kinder and where history is examined under a more revealing light.

His future came into focus when he took Covington’s class: Introduction of Civic Engagement and Social Justice. The work Parrish did with Covington, who teaches in the English Department and is academic director of the Center for Community Engagement, strongly resonated with him and shifted both his perspective on the world and his career trajectory.

“It inspired me so much that I decided to take up minors in civic engagement and social justice and do research with her,” Parrish said. “I asked her if she had any opportunities and she said, ‘Well, I’m doing this thing.’”

That “thing” morphed into Parrish becoming a Summer Scholar, an opportunity to immerse himself in a research project for Covington that involved the study of how critical race theory, an interdisciplinary field of thought committed to analyzing how racism is embedded in social institutions, tied into public dialogue and opinion surrounding the fate of a Confederate monument in Isle of Wight County.

Summer Scholars is a program unique to Christopher Newport that encourages students to embrace research projects. It is an eight-week, in-residence program that brings students and faculty together to work collaboratively to answer a research question. Scholars receive a housing allowance and stipend.

“The summer before Dayman came into my class, I had a different Summer Scholar working on this project, which is focused on the Confederate monument in Isle of Wight and a public hearing that was held to determine what should happen to it,” Covington said. “I shared some of that work with the class because I always want to bring my research into the classroom, especially when the research includes students. Dayman was a student in the class and we were learning about critical race theory. The research was a really nice example of how to teach critical race theory and how to apply it to a real case study. Dayman came up after the class and said, ‘I want to be involved.’”

Parrish, also a Bonner Service Scholar, eagerly jumped into Covington’s research, analyzing comments made at a public hearing that focused on whether to keep the monument as it was or to remove it from the public space. Parrish and Covington looked for evidence of counter storytelling in people’s commentary, which would help explain their stance of whether they were pro- or anti-monument.

“Counter storytelling is countering a dominant narrative that relates to the statue. If people said, ‘Oh, it should be kept. It’s a preservation of history. It’s a tomb for fallen soldiers.’ That would be considered a stock narrative. The counter-narrative would be that this is a Jim Crow scare tactic that historically has kept people of color from feeling welcomed, represented, or treated fairly at the courthouse,” Covington said.

“The monument itself was erected in 1905. We’re looking at years after the Civil War. We’ve talked a lot about the end goal of this work and that this is something that is happening all across the United States. We want to try to understand the arguments being made on both sides,” she said. “We’re just hoping to shed light on all of the ‘whys’ and then get folks to read that, hear it and maybe change perspectives in a way that promotes social justice for all. That’s the goal, to make the world a better place.”

The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors, after the hearings, ultimately voted to remove the monument from in front of the county courthouse, where it had stood for more than 100 years. It was officially handed over to county residents Volpe Boykin and Jennifer Boykin to be placed on their property.

Covington said critical race theory (CRT) “was the lens we brought to this project because we really wanted to honor and listen to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) perspectives on how Confederate monuments continue to evoke harm and sow division in communities. Racism was a central theme mentioned again and again during the public hearing—by citizens from all different viewpoints.

“We felt CRT was an appropriate and important lens to bring to this data set, especially given the common misconceptions about CRT and its aims. Our goal was to show how CRT can be applied and how this school of thought can help us all be better listeners, better critical thinkers, and better at respectful disagreement,” she said.

The research conducted by Parrish and Covington’s former Summer Scholar, Julianne Bieron ’22, and done in partnership with Chief Rosa Holmes Turner, chief of Warraskoyack Tribe in Isle of Wight County, formed the basis of a recently published journal article.

Parrish has been so moved by the research and his work with Covington, that he has decided to use it as a foundation for his career goals. He hopes to continue his work advancing social justice issues as a law student, and one day as an attorney.

“I’m a Black male, so that’s been an interesting experience to have in America. I’m a Black gay male, so that’s another experience to have in America. But this work specifically connects to me in the sense of how the root of critical race theory actually started and that relates to me and my future life, because it started in perspectives of looking at how race is effective on law. Law is what I eat, sleep and breathe. It’s connected to what I want to do as a lawyer because I want to be a part of that kind of conversation where I am helping with civil rights.”

Being a Summer Scholar and achieving success in moving Covington’s research forward has not only expanded Parrish’s worldview, it has also amplified his love for Christopher Newport.

“You know, a lot of people asked me why I chose to go here,” he said. “I feel proud to say that I want to make a difference in the world. And I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t going to be ‘traditional’ for me or someone who looks like me.

“I have found my people here. I have found Dr. Covington, who I can share my opinions with and be able to have that safe space where I can just be. You find your people here and you find professors you can lean on. You find the interest that you can lean into. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I feel like being here has provided me with an opportunity I am so lucky to have.”

Written by: Kelli Caplan for Christopher Newport University; used with permission. Find the original article here

CUR eNews: Exploring What’s Next in Undergraduate Research

CUR eNews: Exploring What’s Next in Undergraduate Research

Download the April 8, 2024 CUR eNews here.

In this issue, you’ll find information on

  • Undergraduate Research Week
  • ConnectUR 2024
  • Membership Renewal
  • Proposal Writing Institute
  • At Large International Discussion
  • CUR Award Celebration Ceremony
  • and more

UF’s Center for Undergraduate Research Shares Keys to Success

UF’s Center for Undergraduate Research Shares Keys to Success

University of Florida’s Center for Undergraduate Research teaches students about scholarship, studies and professionalism

Phong Truong’s research has already brought him from Florida to Maryland to Uganda and now Switzerland, where he is currently enrolled in a Master’s program at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

But it was early on, as an undergrad at the University of Florida (UF) that the young scholar’s interest in research was first sparked. Staff at UF’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR) encouraged Truong, then majoring in microbiology and cell science, to apply for a stipend for emerging scholars, which supported his work at a lab studying Alzheimer’s disease. Then he received an undergraduate research scholarship; then another UF award, to spend a summer in a lab in Uganda.

The Center showed how many opportunities there are for undergraduates, says Truong. His time in the Alzheimer’s lab gave him the opportunity to work alongside leading scientists and doctoral students, and taught him about rigor, peer review and reproducibility.

“It opened my mind,” he says. “The research skills, in terms of thinking clearly and writing well, have been tremendously helpful. In my studies and coursework, in class discussion, in everyday life—I get to apply those skills and continue to practice and challenge myself.”

How to fail, succeed—and thrive

For several decades, studies have shown that taking part in research as an undergrad correlates with positive outcomes for students in terms of both graduate school placement and employment. Administrators at UF have honed a particularly successful program, built on encouraging students’ autonomy and independence.

The Center offers an array of scholarships, travel awards and funding grants. It connects students with their peers and with faculty across humanities, social science and the natural and applied sciences—opportunities that are open both to students pursuing degrees in person and to those studying online. When participating in research projects, students can decide not to take credits, so that they can pursue their interests without accruing college fees, a policy that broadens the program’s appeal.

Anne Donnelly, who created CUR in 2010, said it was founded in part to capitalize on the University’s rising profile as a research institution. Students are not handed projects, but encouraged to pursue areas that interest them. “This is kind of my philosophy. I’m not here to match them,” she says. “Every faculty [member] on campus is doing research… We give the students the skills to identify who they might want to work with and teach them how to professionally make the initial contact.”

The program helps some students crystalize their wish to embark on a research career; it helps others figure out that their path lies in a different direction. All students who engage in the Center’s activities emerge with a richer set of skills that will help them with when graduate, Donnelly notes.

“They learn problem solving. They learn how to look at data and analyze it. They learn how to fail.  They learn how to persevere. So even if they’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer or an investment banker or a high school teacher— there are no skills there that won’t help them,” she explains.

Student-led

A key aspect of how the Center instills these skills is by giving responsibility to students. It has a highly active and self-directed advisory Board of Students, CURBS. And alongside regular activities, students help organize four landmark events during the year, which attract hundreds of participants: a fall undergraduate research expo; undergrad research symposia in spring and fall; and a statewide undergrad research leadership summit.

Donnelly, who manages the center with the support of two full-time staff and eight student assistants, says that student involvement is key. Her small team is supported by a band of student helpers, who donate about 2000 hours a year to the organization, connecting with other students and spreading the word about the group. “Students would rather hear from other students,” she says.

This also applies to broader decision making. “You not only have to follow students, but you have to give them real work and trust them and incorporate them into the management decisions of the organization,” Donnelly says.

Pravalika Manda, a senior majoring in microbiology and cell science, is Director of Special Projects for CURBS. Her communication skills and professionalism have greatly improved as a result of her role, she says—“because you’re talking with faculty, you’re talking with students on a daily basis.” Putting on events has compelled her to become better organized and to manage her time.  “It takes a lot to put on those events but—we’re also students, and we’re also doing research and we also have other things going on. So just trying to find the balance of how do I do all this in a timely manner, without overwhelming myself, but also making sure the event goes smoothly.”

Brendan Wernisch, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, is the current Executive Director of the student board. Wernisch, a first-generation student from a single-parent family, began research by doing what he describes as “silly little experiments” in high school. From an early age, he knew he wanted to do research, and CURBS gave shape to that wish. “I felt very inspired that people who were not much older than I was, were so mature and professional,” he says. “It was really the people on the leadership team that drew me to further involvement.”

Preparation for post-grad life

Presenting ideas to dozens, sometimes hundreds of people, organizing events, speaking with faculty and doing peer-to-peer outreach allows students to gain valuable experience. It enables them to polish their resumes and stand out in a crowded field. When Jamarcus Robertson, an alumnus of CURBS, was applying to grad school at the University of Chicago, he felt the interview panel was impressed by the depth of his leadership activities. Robertson had received scholarships as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP), the McNair Program for first-generation students, and as a first-generation student was selected for the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholar (MFOS). At CURBS he became Director of Special Projects, among other roles at the Center. At his interview, his work “really did set me apart,” he says.

The extensive peer-to-peer work informs Robertson’s approach to mentoring even now. At Chicago, he is pursuing a doctorate exploring what sea anemones can reveal about cell regeneration and wound healing. “Whenever I have a student that’s coming in, I usually help them in the lab in the context of how to do experiments and how to understand things. But,” he adds, “I also try my best to help them understand that there’s more out there that they can do to really take that next step.”

UF’s dedicated Center for Undergraduate Research has spurred hundreds of students to expand their horizons. For Phong Truong, it uncovered a world of problems and puzzles and the part he could play in solving them. During his three months in Uganda, where he helped to study biomarkers found in blood samples and cerebrospinal fluid to better understand how severe forms of malaria affect children, he deepened his understanding of health inequities. Truong now studies the intersections of science, politics and philosophy, and is doing a thesis on the politics of artificial intelligence ethics.
“It was very formative,” he says, “and showed me where individuals can contribute to resolving the difficult and wicked challenges in the world. There’s a lot of research that we still need to do to better understand these issues and tackle them.”

Keys for success

Obtain leadership buy-in.

The Center for Undergrad Research (CUR) is part of the office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs. Not only does this ensure institutional and financial support, it also means the program is not identified with a particular department or college. “It makes it easy for us to serve students in all disciplines, all colleges, all departments,” Donnelly says.

Choose an easy-to-access, high-profile space.

CUR is located in a building in the middle of campus, accessible to students 24/7. “This makes all the difference in terms of students finding you,” she says.

Make it inclusive.

Some student research centers start out as honors programs, but CUR serves all students.

Be appropriately staffed.

In addition to its army of volunteers, CUR has three full-time staff and eight part-time student assistants. Having two or three people working full-time on the Center helped get it up and running, Donnelly notes. The fact that Donnelly holds a PhD facilitated the process by making conversations with faculty easier.

Involve students right away.

This is key—not only involving the young people but also trusting them, she stresses. At CUR, students are “totally intertwined with management decisions.”

Connect with colleagues.

Donnelly recommends having a more experienced colleague “on speed dial” to help with tricky questions. The National Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is a good source of advice and support.

Written by: The University of Florida; used with permission. Find the original article here

CUR eNews: Upcoming Celebrations and Discounts You Don’t Want to Miss!

CUR eNews: Upcoming Celebrations and Discounts You Don’t Want to Miss!

Download the March 24, 2024 CUR eNews here.

In this issue, you’ll find information on

  • Membership Renewal
  • ConnectUR 2024
  • At Large International Discussion
  • STR Celebration
  • Undergraduate Research Week
  • Winter Issue of SPUR
  • CUR and Divisional Awards
  • and more

CUR eNews: Spring into Action– Exciting Updates on UR Content, Conferences, and Celebrations!

CUR eNews: Spring into Action– Exciting Updates on UR Content, Conferences, and Celebrations!

Download the March 10, 2024 CUR eNews here.

In this issue, you’ll find information on

  • ConnectUR 2024
  • Community Engagement Meeting
  • CUR Conversation: Posters
  • At Large International Discussion
  • STR Celebration
  • CUR Transformation Publication
  • CUR and Divisional Awards
  • Psychology Mentor Awardee Webinar
  • Updates from CUR Partners
  • and more

Summer Scholar Research Program Creates Resouce for Dancers

Summer Scholar Research Program Creates Resouce for Dancers

The sound. The rhythm, The movement.

That’s what draws Mia Kennedy ‘24 musical theater, to tap and ignites her passion. When she puts on tap shoes, they transport her to a different place, one that inspires joy and motivates her to keep learning and to keep tapping.

Her love of tap motivated her to delve deep into the history of the dance style, which dates back to the early 19th century.

Kennedy, a Summer Scholar, spent the summer researching tap, absorbing its history and creating a textbook of sorts that lays out where it came from and what it looks like now. Kennedy has been working with Laura Lloyd, a professor of dance and musical theater, to bring her project to fruition.

“It’s like an encyclopedia of tap,” said Kennedy.

The resource will be used to help students who take tap classes. Kennedy’s guide lays out tap steps, important names associated with the style, and takes a deep dive into how tap has influenced Broadway through the years. Tap has been influenced by many styles over the decades. Two prominent schools of tap are Broadway and rhythm. Kennedy and Lloyd are focused on Broadway.

“I have taught for a long time,” Lloyd said. “A Broadway tap textbook doesn’t exist. You just don’t see one focused on Broadway-style tap.”

Broadway tap is the type of show dancing seen in live stage musicals and in Hollywood films. It typically incorporates more arm movements, artistic body movements, and movements across the dance floor than rhythm tap dancing. In the 1980s, tap saw a resurgence in popularity when Broadway shows, such as “42nd Street” and “The Tap Dance Kid,” introduced new audiences to the dance style.

Lloyd and Kennedy had worked on an independent study focused on Broadway tap, and decided the subject was worth expanding into Summer Scholars.

The Summer Scholars program is a program unique to Christopher Newport where students and faculty work side by side on research projects. It is an eight-week, in-residence program that brings students and faculty together to work collaboratively to answer a research question. Scholars receive a housing allowance and stipend.

Kennedy, who knew she wanted to do research coming into college, took note of the void and decided to fill it by focusing on her Summer Scholars project on tap dancing. “I learned so much,” she said. “I have always loved doing research.”

To bring her study of tap to life, Kennedy and Lloyd traveled to New York City to see Broadway shows featuring tap and also took a Broadway tap class. It was a fantastic way to see the artform on some of the world’s most famous stages.

“It was fun going to see those shows,” Kennedy said. “It was great to notice that all the steps that we had talked about were used. So, we were like, ‘yes, we’re on the right path.’ I think we just missed one step. So we brought that back and added that into our list of steps.”

The resource that Kennedy and Lloyd are creating includes a written component and video piece in which Kennedy performs each step in a way in which they are indexed for reference. Students will be able to consult the guide for detailed direction on how to properly perform each tap step and learn its accompanying history. For tap students, the guide is likely to be most helpful as they work to advance the skills.

“There really isn’t an opportunity to go deeply into the history of tap, at least with any class offered here,” Kennedy said. “And so, being able to delve into a style that I really like is, I think, a unique opportunity that’s kind of tailored specifically to what is special to me.”

Being able to work one-on-one with Lloyd to become well-versed in something she loves, and to create something that will impart knowledge and expertise to other tap lovers, has been a dynamic and rewarding experience for Kennedy.

“Dance is my favorite part of musical theater, so having a wonderful relationship with one of my dance professors has been really great,” Kennedy said. “I think it’s setting me up for success here, and for potential connections in the future.”

Lloyd agreed, saying she has also learned a lot through the experience.

“It’s been a lovely relationship that isn’t just teacher to student, but one in which she’s teaching me as well,” Lloyd said. “It also has meant a lot to me to have a student who really wants to look at research, especially in musical theater.

“Most of it is performance based and so we go into class and it’s like, ‘learn the steps, let’s put them together into the dance and let’s perform it’” Lloyd said. “It’s been pretty special to dig a little deeper, to have somebody really interested in the history of the steps and why they are what they are, and then to be able to, you know, go experience tap in New York City one-on-one and really talk about it. It made it a little more special, a little more personal.”

Written by: Kelli Caplan for Christopher Newport University; used with permission. Find the original article here

CUR eNews: New Publications + Conversations about UR You Don’t Want to Miss

CUR eNews: New Publications + Conversations about UR You Don’t Want to Miss

Download the February 25, 2024 CUR eNews here.

In this issue, you’ll find information on

  • ConnectUR 2024
  • NCUR 2024
  • Community Engagement Meeting
  • LinkedIn Training Series
  • CUR Conversation: UR + Press
  • International Discussion
  • STR Class Celebration
  • CUR Transformation Publication
  • CUR and Divisional Awards
  • and more

CUR eNews: Events, Trainings, and Awards, Oh My!

CUR eNews: Events, Trainings, and Awards, Oh My!

Download the January 14, 2024 CUR eNews here.

In this issue, you’ll find information on

  • Grant Dialogues
  • ConnectUR 2024
  • CUR Conversation: Posters
  • LinkedIn Training Series
  • Community Engagement Meeting
  • 2023 Year in Review
  • CUR and Divisional Awards
  • Updates from CUR Partners
  • and more