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Two students receiving UGRA's focus on archaeological dig in Israel this summer with Dr. Eric Welch

Monday, June 05, 2017

LAWRENCE — This summer, 13 University of Kansas students will receive Undergraduate Research Awards, or UGRAs. Recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship as they work on mentored research and creative projects. 

“We know that summer is a great time for students to have a more intensive research experience,” said John Augusto, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. “We see that the UGRA experience energizes students academically and opens doors they might not have thought to knock on.”
Students apply for UGRAs by writing a four-page proposal under the guidance of a research mentor. Faculty reviewers evaluate the applications based on the merit of the applicant's proposal, the applicant's academic record, and a recommendation from the mentor.

The call for proposals for the spring 2018 competition will come out in the fall. More information is available on the Center for Undergraduate Research website.

Students receiving awards for the summer are listed below by hometown, major, project title, mentor and mentor’s department:



David Cuellar, a junior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in interdisciplinary computing-biology: “DNA Methylation in Lepidoptera,” mentored by Jamie Walters, ecology and evolutionary biology
Emma Murrugarra, a junior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in human biology, psychology and philosophy: “Validating the Use of MTurk in a Longitudinal Design: A Follow Up Study on the Role of Menstrual Hormone Regulation,” mentored by Ruth Anne Atchley, psychology

Mika Schrader, a sophomore from Lawrence, majoring in History and Religious Studies: “Vessel Type and Function in Olive Oil Production at 9th Century B.C.E. Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel,” mentored by Eric Welch, Jewish Studies

Emily Freeburne, a sophomore from Olathe, majoring in Biology- MCDB: “Mapping Yy6,” mentored by Lisa Timmons, Molecular Biosciences

Matthew Dunn, a junior from Overland Park, majoring in history and European studies: “Silent Resistors: The Unsung Heroes of the Belgian Civilian Resistance Movement During World War One,” mentored by Andrew Denning, history
Rachel Jenkins, a junior from Overland Park, majoring in anthropology and molecular, cellular, developmental biology: “A Physician’s Role: Ethnography of the Patient-Physician Relationship in Kansas City,” mentored by Kathryn Rhine, anthropology
Oliver L'Esperance, a senior from Overland Park, majoring in Neurobiology: “Using Mitochondria Targeted Supplements to Prevent Chemotherapy Induced Cognitive Impairment,” mentored by David Jarmolowicz, Applied Behavioral Sciences

Joseph Loomis, a sophomore from Pratt, majoring in chemistry and biochemistry: “Evaluating KU-32 as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced neurochemical alterations in zebrafish,” mentored by Michael Johnson, chemistry

Will Moore, a sophomore from Prairie Village, majoring in chemistry: “Synthesis and Characterization of New Earth-Abundant Manganese-based Catalysts for Carbon Dioxide Conversion,” mentored by James Blakemore, chemistry

Alix Fisk, a freshman from Topeka: “ACE Scores, Adult Health, and Housing Conditions in Hi-Crest,” mentored by Kathryn Rhine, anthropology



Sarah Anderson, a junior from Lowell, Arkansas, majoring in environmental studies and English creative writing: “Examination of body size variation in cavity-nesting bees (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) across tallgrass prairie sites in eastern Kansas,” mentored by Deborah Smith, ecology and evolutionary biology

Chloe Clouse, a junior from Bedford, Massachusetts, majoring in classical antiquity: “Typology of Oil Presses at 9th Century B.C.E. Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel,” mentored by Eric Welch, Jewish studies

Samiyah Para-Cremer, a sophomore from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, majoring in Law & Society and Spanish: “Working Together: A Comparison of Midwestern Human Trafficking Task Forces Perceptions on Collaboration,” mentored by Shannon Portillo, Public Affairs & Administration

Jewish Studies Program statement in solidarity with protests against police brutality

Beloved community,

As an academic program in the University of Kansas, we stand in solidarity with Black Americans -- including Black Jewish people -- and everyone hurting after the senseless, brutal murder of George Floyd and all people targeted by systemic racism and injustice in our country. We continue to be committed to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This morning, the Association for Jewish Studies sent out an email reminding us that as scholars of Jewish Studies, we are keenly aware of the devastating impact of discrimination and violence against minority groups. Dr. Cécile Accilien, the Chair of the KU Department of African and African-American studies, shared with us the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Jewish Studies academic community is rich and diverse – it includes scholars and students who are Jewish and non-Jewish, scholars and students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from multiple denominations and creeds, people who are immigrants (like myself) and those who are American-born. The Bible commands: צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף tzedek tzedek tirdof, which translates into English as “Only justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). In this well-cited verse, the Hebrew word tzedek, or justice, repeats twice. There can be many explanations of the repetition – textual interpretation in all its many forms is a beloved pursuit for many of us. Today, I am going to give you my own interpretation -- though I am sure that it already exists somewhere in the treasury of Jewish exegesis. One tzedek, or justice, you must pursue for yourself and for people like you; that is, perhaps, the justice that is easiest to understand, because we keenly feel injustices committed against ourselves and people like us. The other tzedek is the justice you must pursue for the sake of people who are not like you. It is often a harder lesson, but a necessary one. The justice, or tzedek, which we pursue thus also becomes a gift of chesed, of lovingkindness that enriches all of us.


In solidarity,

Dr. Renee Perelmutter,

Director of the Jewish Studies Program

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