Summer Scholars 2020 Poster Session: Meaning from Chaos

I think it’s safe to say that this was a summer like no other.

As the seriousness of the pandemic sank in, academia as a whole scrambled to reassemble norms and expectations to fit this new reality: How can we move instruction online? How do we evaluate students when their reality has been so thoroughly disrupted? What does it even mean to be in college if we don’t have the late-night study sessions and bucolic scenes on The Quad and dining halls and libraries and parties and dances and graduations that populate the narratives and rituals to which we are so attached? And—more to our point here—how do you do research when no one is allowed in the lab or the library?

What this summer has assured me of—and what I hope the incredible projects below assure you of as well—is that knowledge will find a way. When faced with the changes wrought by COVID-19, these students and their mentors rose to the occasion, revising their research plans to meet the new reality as it was unfolding before them. Research plans that had relied on in-person fieldwork moved to Zoom or shifted to establishing greater contextual knowledge. Lab-based projects turned into literature reviews, which ironically gave the students deeper training in their discipline than they had anticipated, making them into stronger teachers and researchers.

Our ongoing national reckoning on race also shaped the direction and focus of student research, from our conversations in weekly Zoom meetings to the content of artistic projects, researchers found themselves confronting larger questions about the impact of their discipline on the world at large, and how they hoped to shift the course of academic study so that it could have a greater stake in justice and equity.

The pursuit of knowledge always has been—and should be—shaped by our historical context. As the world around us changes, so must the questions we ask and the methods we use to do so. I couldn’t be prouder of how this phenomenal group of students has risen to the occasion of this crisis. I’m not going to lie: as we move into the winter and an unsteady political future, hope can be pretty hard to come by. But these students—their creativity, their determination, their insight—give me so much hope. If they can meet an uncertain future with curiosity and intelligence, it’s the least we can do to do the same. I hope you’ll agree.

Coffee in Contemporary Puerto Rican Artworks: Materialism in the Age of Anthropogenic Climate Change

by Michaela Morse Faculty mentor: Sylvia Bottenelli, Art History; funding source: The Schwartz/Paddock Undergraduate Fellowship in the Visual and Performing ...

Burke’s Rome

by James Himberger mentor: Robert Devigne, Political Science; funding source: Michael Ewald Summer Scholars Fund In the summer of 2020, ...

Investigating the Role of STING in Response to Cardiovascular Inflammation

by Sophia Boxerman mentor: Alcide Pilar, Immunology, TUMS; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund Cardiovascular disease (CVD), claiming ...

Washington DC in the 20th Century: A History of Housing and Environmental Injustice

by Elena Pastreich mentor: James Rice, History; funding source: Rosenfeld Family Summer Scholars My project stemmed from both an interest ...

Overcoming Abuse: Montesquieu and Dostoevsky’s shared thesis

by Meredith Sherman mentor: Vickie Sullivan, Political Science; funding source: Tufts Summer Scholars Fund Individuality requires that human institutions be ...

Reasonably Enraged: The Defense of Provocation

by Cormac McAdams mentor: Mario DeCaro, Philosophy; funding source: Fowler Family Summer Scholars Fund Intuitions about human behavior and motivations ...

Luminescent Nanoparticles as Nanothermometers

by Ben Maloy Mentor: Igor Sokolov, Mechanical Engineering; Funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund Thermodynamics at the nanoscale ...

Legal Exclusion as a Determinant of Health

by Amith Galivanche Mentor: Ramnath Subbarman, Public Health and Community Medicine, TUMS; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund ...

Optimization of W+jets sensitivity to NLO electroweak corrections at the LHC

by Bayley Cornish mentor: Hugo Beauchamin, Physics and Astronomy; funding source: Summer Scholars student fund Particle physics is a weird ...

Ritualizing the Futile Labor of the Latino Working-Poor Class

by Alberto Checa mentor: Anthony Romero, SMFA; funding source: Schwartz/Paddock Undergraduate Fellowship in the Visual and Performing Arts ...

Genomic and transcriptomic insights into the microbiome of the flatworm Dugesia japonica

by Neal Chan mentor: Benjamin Wolfe, Biology; funding source: Nelson Family Summer Scholars Fund This summer I had the privilege ...

Unearthing the History of Tufts’ Own Tomb Wall with A Funerary Scene

by Sofia Zamboli mentor: Bruce Hitchner, Classical Studies; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund My research project with ...

Creating a Super-Organism: Complicating Honey Bee Research and Resilience Thinking

by Grace van Deelen mentor: Alex Blanchette, Anthropology; funding source: Discovery Fund The information in this poster is the result ...

Graph Modeling Algorithms: A Spectral Approach

by Liam Thomas Mentor: Abiy Tasissa, Mathematics; funding source: Provost’s Office Graph theory studies the mathematical properties of graphs, which ...

The Arginine-Phenylglyoxal Peptide Tag (APP-tag) – A Ubiquitous Strategy for Protein Bioconjugation In Vivo

by Olivia Steiner mentor: Rebecca Scheck, Chemistry; funding source: Usdin Summer Scholars Fund Our bodies are composed of millions of ...

Online Applications of HodgeRank Problems

by Taoli Shen mentor: Xiaozhe Hu, Mathematics; funding source: NSF TRIPODS You may think the title of my project is ...

The Day Was the Same Day: Finality and Personhood in Anna Burns’ Milkman

by Ethan Resek mentor: John Lurz, English; funding source: Provost’s Office I wanted to use this blog post to expound ...

Optogenetic Regulation of Insulin Secretion in Pancreatic β-Cells

by Leah Truskinovsky mentor: Emmanuel Tzanakakis; funding source: Provost’s office Diabetes is linked to irregular levels of insulin, a hormone ...

Seu Amor é Cômico: Sexual Wordplay in Latin American Music, Poetry, and Fiction

by Rosa Stern Pait mentor: Pablo Ruiz, Romance Languages; funding source: Summer Scholars Student Fund ...

The First Homogeneous Measurement of the Evolution of the Luminosity Function of Galaxies in the Last 12.6 Billion Years

by Victor Soto Castro mentor: Danilo Marchesini, Physics and Astronomy; funding source: NSF TRIPODS Today, 13.8 billion years after the ...

Extending the Role of Architecture in Preserving and Representing Cultures Across Communities

By Bruce Ahirwe Mentor: Aaron White, History of Art and Architecture; funding source: Laura and Martin Bendetson Endowed Summer Scholars ...

Constraining cap regions to make short peptides alpha-helical

By Cameron Cummings Mentor: Joshua Kritzer, Chemistry; funding source: Provost’s Office Proteins, large molecules made up of amino acids, carry ...

Storytelling Through Public Arts Projects with the Chinatown Community

by Maria Fong mentor: Ethan Murrow, SMFA; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund This summer, I worked collaboratively ...

Ethane-to-Ethylene Conversion on Cobalt Molybdate Catalyst Using Carbon Dioxide as a Soft Oxidant

by Jayson Pinals mentor: Prashant Deshlahra, Chemical and Biological Engineering; funding source: Provost’s Office I am very excited to be ...

Gender and Sexuality in the Work of the Brontë Sisters

by Brittany Regas Mentor: Sonia Hofkosh, English; funding source: Provost’s Office My project, “Gender and Sexuality in the Works of ...

A Pedagogical Investigation of Metal Oxide Photocatalysts: From Band Theory to Nanoparticle Synthesis and Structure

by Mitchell Albert-Shapiro Mentor: Mary Jane Schulz, Chemistry; funding source: Provost’s Office My Summer Scholars research topic focused on the ...

Structure Collapse: Patterns in the Archaeological Record

by Amy Socha Mentor: Lauren Sullivan, Anthropology and Archaeology; funding source: Discovery Fund My research this summer was concerned with ...

Modeling Clogging in Microfulidic Devices

by Abigail Wilson Mentor: Timothy Atherton, Physics; funding source: Steven J. Eliopoulos Fund for Undergraduate Research in Physics and Astronomy ...

Arts, Gentrification, and Health in Boston’s Chinatown

by Amanda Yuan Mentor: Shalini Tendulkar, Community Health; funding source: Provost’s Office ...

Meaningful Connections: Mentor-Mentee Relations and Their Promotion of Sense of Belonging Amongst First-Generation Students

by Jessica Angeles Mentor: Sasha Fleary, Child Study and Human Development; funding source: Barbara B. Young Summer Scholars Fund There ...

More Than It Racemes: Understanding Adult Butterfly Nutrition in Icaricia icarioides blackmorei

by Hanna Brush mentor: Elizabeth Crone, Biology; funding source: Provost’s Office Understanding how species interact with their environment is crucial ...

Protest Postcards

by Rebecca Budd mentor: Peter Scott, SMFA; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund ...

The Political Preferences of Activist CEOs

by Joshua Hochberg mentor: Eitan Hersh, Political Science; Funding source: Summer Scholars Student Fund Corporate leaders are powerful political actors. ...

Tools, Property, and Power

by Ezri Horne Mentor: Kendall Reiss, SMFA; funding source: Schwartz/Paddock Undergraduate Fellowship in the Visual and Performing Arts ...

Half the History: Janice Lourie

by Isabel Fernandez Mentor: Jennifer Burton, Film and Media Studies; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund My research ...

Constrained Theta-10 Routing Between Visible Vertices

by Jonathan Rodriguez Mentor: Diane Souvaine, Computer Science; funding source: NSF TRIPODS Imagine a network of devices communicating wirelessly. These ...

Critical Asian American Education: Racial Identity Development in Chinatown Youth

by Nora Li Mentor: Penn Loh: Urban and Environmental Planning; funding source: Rosenfeld Family Summer Scholars Fund Being a youth ...

Statistical Analysis of Two Machine Learning Models Used for a Wearable Sweat Patch Mobile System

by Sevara Nastritdinova mentor: Fiorenzo Omenetto, Biomedical Engineering; funding source: Gatof Summer Scholars Fund As part of the Summer Scholars ...

Inclusion and Diversity Practices in Children’s Media

by Elon Perry-Steiner Mentor: Julie Dobrow, Child Study and Human Development; Nancy Gurwitz Sambul Summer Scholars Fund This project addresses ...

Treatment Completion for Substance Use Disorders Among Older Adults: Differences by Race/Ethnicity and Gender

by Ivette Rodriguez Borja Mentor: Andrea Acevedo, Community Health; funding source: NSF TRIPODS The population of older adults in the ...

Reconstructing Kin Across Time and Space: A Family History of Lili Kahn Deutsch

by Jesse Ryan Mentor: Kendra Field, History; Funding source: Kokulis Fund In his book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell writes that “we ...

Disentangling the impact of local landscape structure & farm management strategies on pollination services by bees: A case study in Costa Rican coffee

by Leslie Spencer Mentor: Colin Orians, Environmental Studies; funding source: Laura and Martin Bendetson Endowed Summer Scholars Fund Biodiversity conservation ...

Cobalt-Chromium Solidification Modeling for Use in Additive Manufacturing

by Dorothy Waskow Mentor: Douglas Matson; funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund This research sought to determine properties ...

GPT-2: A Novel Language Model to Analyze Patterns in Sentence Predictability

by Santiago Noriega Mentor: Gina Kuperberg, Psychology; funding source: Fowler family Summer Scholars fund A language model (LM) is a ...

Developing a Long Term Bioelectric Interface for Measuring Multiple Human Neurons

by Aiden Lewis Mentor: Brian Timko, Biomedical Engineering; Funding Source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund What goes into measuring ...

The Role of APOBECs in Breakage at CAG Repeats

by Benjamin Larsen Mentor: Catherine Freudenreich, Biology; Funding Source: Ashvin I. Patel, M.D., A84, M88 and Vidisha A. Patel, Ed.D. ...

Churchill in 1940: The Individual in History

by John LaLime Mentor: Elizabeth Foster, History; Funding Source: Marie R. Evans Endowed Summer Scholars Fund On May 10th, 1940, ...

Influenza Virus and PA-X: Looking At The Sequence Specificity of RNA Cleavage

By Amrita Iyer Mentor: Marta Gaglia, Biology; Funding Source: Provost’s Office Influenzas A Virus, otherwise known as the flu, affects ...

Anomaly Detection on Spatiotemporal Graphs of Sparse Traffic Data

By Harris Hardiman-Mostow Mentor: James Murphy, Mathematics; Funding Source: NSF TRIPODS Hello! My name is Harris, I’m a senior at ...

Developing Thin-Film Photovoltaics from Nontoxic and Earth Abundant Materials

by Andrea X. Foo Mentor: Luke Davis, Chemistry; Funding source: Provost’s Office With climate change gradually posing a greater problem ...

Using In Silico Methods to Examine Atherosclerosis in the ApoE KO Mouse: a Basic Science Meta-Analysis

by Rachel Xiang Mentor: Iris Jaffe, Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, TUMS; Funding source: Nathan Gantcher Student Summer Scholars Fund ...

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