Digital Approaches to W&L History (Profs. Mackenzie Brooks and Paula Kiser)

Up to 2 more students are sought for a project on “Digital Approaches to W&L History” with Prof. Mackenzie Brooks that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Leyburn Library seeks students interested in institutional history research opportunities for the summer of 2024. Working collaboratively, the Library and W&L students have begun building research portals and digital exhibits on major themes in the history of W&L. This work involves digging into archival material in Special Collections, processing it to make it available digitally, and interpreting the material for a public audience. This summer we will be focusing on the topics of Athletics, Environment Grounds & Buildings, Military life & Veterans (post-WWII), Latino, Latinas history & presence, Native American history & presence, and/or Scotch-Irish Founders. Students will gain experience in library and archival research skills, specifically digitization, metadata, digital exhibit creation, oral histories, digital scholarship, and public history. Students interested in careers in libraries/information science, cultural heritage, public history, museums, education, or creative fields are encouraged to apply.

Prerequisites

No prerequisites, but coursework in History or DCI or research experience in Special Collections is valuable.

Special Comments

Students will be expected to serve as mentors for AIM program. Due to the hands-on nature of working with archival material, students should plan to be in Lexington for the duration of their summer research time.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Profs. Mackenzie Brooks (brooksm@wlu.edu) and Paula Kiser (kiserp@wlu.edu)

Henry Strouss Performing Arts Collections Description Project (Profs. Mattie Clear and Kim Sims)

1 more student is sought for a project on “Henry Strouss Performing Arts Collections Description Project” with Prof. Mattie Clear that will begin on 6/10/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This project is a continuation of work that began last summer with the Henry Strouss Performing Arts Collection Description Project. This collection is approximately 35 linear feet and spread over approximately 60 boxes that contain a wide array of topics related to the performing arts including but not limited to theater, orchestral, opera, dance, choral performances. The SRS student(s) selected for this project will work closely with Mattie Clear, Archivist, and Kim Sims, Associate University Librarian, to continue the work necessary to preserve and make this collection accessible according to archival standards. More information about the collection and what has already been completed is available at – https://www.archivesspace.wlu.edu/repositories/5/resources/1140.

Prerequisites

While it is not required, it is strongly encouraged that the SRS student(s) helping with this project have experience with or an appreciation of the performing arts. This project requires a base knowledge of concepts within this realm and the ability to complete research to better understand the materials they will be describing. It is important to consider not only the items themselves, but also how researchers may use the collection in the future and what information would be most helpful to those researchers.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/10/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/16/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Profs. Mattie Clear (mclear@wlu.edu) and Kim Sims (ksims@wlu.edu)

Pedagogical Approaches to AI-driven Web Development for Non-Tech Professionals (Prof. Jeff Barry)

1 student is sought for a project on “Pedagogical Approaches to AI-driven Web Development for Non-Tech Professionals” with Prof. Jeff Barry that will begin on 6/10/24 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This summer research project explores strategies for introducing non-technical audiences to the complexities of developing web applications powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The project seeks to identify methods for demystifying the process of integrating AI technologies into web development for individuals lacking a programming background. Through a detailed examination of various educational methodologies, the project will focus on curriculum design, best practices, and learning tools for conveying complex technical concepts in an accessible manner. The ultimate goal is to create a framework for empowering non-tech professionals with the knowledge and skills to participate in the creation and management of AI-driven products and services.

Prerequisites

Some experience in programming.

Special Comments

None

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/10/24

Estimated End Date: 8/16/24

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Jeff Barry (barryj@wlu.edu)

Understanding CSR Portfolio Configurations of Indian Firms Affiliated to Business Groups (Prof. Pooja Thakur-Wernz)

1 student is sought for a project on “Understanding CSR Portfolio Configurations of Indian Firms Affiliated to Business Groups” with Prof. Pooja Thakur-Wernz that will begin on 6/1/24 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This project proposes to examine the determinants of corporate social responsibility (CSR) expenditures as well as the CSR portfolio configurations of Indian firms that are affiliated to business groups. CSR in India is an interesting research setting as India is the first country to mandate CSR spending for firms that meet a certain size and profitability threshold. As part of this recent legislation, that came into effect in 2013, firms are required to spend at least 2% of their profits on CSR (Gatignon & Bode, 2023). Interestingly, there is no penalty for not meeting this 2% requirement (Gatti et al., 2019). However, as part of this legislation, firms are required to provide detailed information on their CSR activities in their annual reports. In my prior research on this topic, I found that ownership is an important determinant of the total amount spent on CSR as well as the configuration of the firm’s CSR portfolio. In this follow-up research project, I want to focus on one specific type of firm, those affiliated with business groups, and understand the dynamics between firms within the same business group as well as those across business groups. Business groups (BGs) are a set of private-sector firms under common control but with different sets of owners that generally take coordinated actions. Affiliation with a BG serves as an internal market of financial and human capital, products, and technology for affiliated firms. BGs are more prominent in emerging markets than in advanced countries as they help overcome institutional voids (i.e., overall informal institutions with weak enforcement and protection of rules and regulations). Firms affiliated with a BG face pressures to confirm to the overarching strategic decisions taken by the group, including those related to CSR, however, they also have to be distinct from the other affiliated firms within the group due to differing pressures from various stakeholders as well as industry- and market- specific competitive pressures. This project proposes to refine the current understanding of the trade-off between conformity and distinctiveness for firms affiliated with business groups.

Prerequisites

Understanding of basic data collection and statistical analysis. Tasks the student will work on: Data collection from the CSR disclosures in the Annual Reports of firms affiliated with business groups in India. Subsequently, the student will help with the clean-up of the collected data and will help with preliminary data analysis using STATA, a statistical software.

Special Comments

During summer, the student will be able to do this work remotely, if needed. The student has an option to continue working on the project in Fall 2024 as part of a Directed Research course. If the student is engaged and makes significant contributions to the manuscript, during the research process, they may be to invited join as a co-author.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/1/24

Estimated End Date: 8/9/24

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Pooja Thakur-Wernz (pthakur-wernz@wlu.edu)

Describing & Categorizing People for Image Descriptions (Prof. Rachel Levit Ades)

2 students are sought for a project on “Describing & Categorizing People for Image Descriptions” with Prof. Rachel Levit Ades that will begin on 6/9/2024 and last for 6 weeks

Project Description:

Image descriptions, sometimes known as “alt text,” explain images for people who are blind and low-vision. However, almost all guides neglect when and how to describe the social categories—such as the race, gender, and disability status—of people portrayed. How do we create a “good image description” when that image contains a person? For example, when is it relevant or important to mention someone’s race? My summer project involves looking to how other disciplines describe people as a way of offering context and guidance for what current accessibility practices should be. We will examine how questions of race and description have been addressed by those in art history and the library sciences, and extrapolate techniques and wisdom from these disciplines to answer the issue now posed by electronic image description.

Prerequisites

Experience in art history, philosophy, sociology/anthropology, English, digital humanities and/or museum studies preferred

Special Comments

Students should plan on working in person at least 4 out of the 6 weeks of the project. We will work virtually June 23-June 29.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/9/2024

Estimated End Date: 7/19/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Rachel Levit Ades (rlevitades@wlu.edu)

International Institutional Investing and Trading Behavior in Emerging Markets (Prof. Aliaa Bassiouny)

2 students are sought for a project on “International Institutional Investing and Trading Behavior in Emerging Markets ” with Prof. Aliaa Bassiouny that will begin on 6/3/24 and last for 8 weeks

Project Description:

The objective of this research is to empirically compare the investment strategies and trading behaviors of different types of institutional investors investing in emerging markets. Students will work with a detailed high-frequency dataset of over 400 million trades for all actively traded stocks on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) for a ten-year period, disaggregating and analyzing the data by type and origin of institutional investor. They will also have the opportunity to examine the impact of economic and political events on the trading behaviors of international investors accessing emerging markets like Egypt. Interested students should read my earlier paper that used a subset of this dataset for background: Bassiouny, A., & Tooma, E. (2017). Trading Better Versus Making More: Evidence from an Emerging Market. Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 53(8), 1779-1795.

Prerequisites

Students should have completed at least one class in statistics, data analytics or data science. Familiarity with statistical or data analytics software.

Special Comments

All research can be done remotely with regular zoom meetings.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/24

Estimated End Date: 7/26/24

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Aliaa Bassiouny (abassiouny@wlu.edu)

Career Exploration in Libraries (Prof. K.T. Vaughan)

2 students are sought for a project on “Career Exploration in Libraries” with Prof. K.T. Vaughan that will begin on 6/4/24 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This summer research project explores the reasons why librarians, especially people of color and with other minoritized identities, choose a career in libraries. Students will participate in five activities: 1: Structured readings about librarianship as a career choice in order to contribute to an ongoing annotated bibliography. 2: Informational interviews and/or shadowing experiences with W&L librarians, W&L alumni working in libraries, and librarians across the country including in public, school, academic, and special libraries. 3: Participation in library professional development activities, including the possibility of travel to a professional conference, alongside W&L librarians. 4: Data collection and analysis for studies on topics of recruitment and retention of librarians, including student awareness of librarianship as a career. 5: Reflective practice intended to explore the Scholar’s career goals in the context of the summer research. Past participants created a student survey to assess awareness of librarianship as a career, explored topics including anti-racist collection development and work-life balance, created an employment website for the libraries, attended a professional conference, and connected with librarians across Virginia.

Prerequisites

An interest in exploring librarianship as a career (though not necessarily for oneself). Experience with literature-based and social science research is helpful. Some familiarity with library work, either from work or volunteering is helpful.

Special Comments

Start and end dates are flexible. While the scholars should be on campus, much of the research and reflective work can happen independently. Informational interviews and structured reading discussions may happen in person or virtually depending on the people involved. There may be some field trips to regional libraries.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/4/24

Estimated End Date: 8/9/24

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. K.T. Vaughan (kvaughan@wlu.edu)

Crafting Stories for Public Audiences with the Museums at W&L (Elizabeth Spear and Dr. Nalleli Guillen)

2 students are sought for a project on “Crafting Stories for Public Audiences with the Museums at W&L” with Elizabeth Spear and Dr. Nalleli Guillen that will begin on 6/10/24 and last for 8 weeks

Project Description:

This summer, two W&L students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand how research on objects and artists gets “brought to life” in the form of museum labels, tours, programs, and lesson plans. Combining its longstanding summer intern program with the Summer Research Scholars program for the first time, the Museums will hire two full-time research interns to assist with collection-based projects in the Curatorial and Academic Engagement units. One student will work with Dr. Nalleli Guillen, the Museums’ Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, to reimagine labels for artwork on display in public spaces at W&L. They’ll learn about interpretation strategy, object research, the “art” of label writing, and contribute to label branding and design. Another student will work with Dr. Elizabeth Spear, Curator of Academic Engagement, to conduct research on key objects and artists in the collection that will form the basis for lesson plans, tours, and programs. Both interns and supervisors will meet as a group throughout the summer to share their work and develop interpretations collaboratively. Interns will also get the chance to see behind the scenes of the Museums’ upcoming exhibitions, Stephanie Shih: Long Time No See and Emma Steinkraus: Impossible Garden from Dawn to Dusk (both opening on August 28, 2024).

Prerequisites

Open to rising juniors and seniors. Open to all majors. Ideally, the successful applicant will be creative and comfortable writing and interested in working with art.

Special Comments

Students must indicate a first and second choice between the Engagement and Curatorial positions. Hybrid work schedule is negotiable, with some remote days allowed. Internship will conclude on August 2.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/10/24

Estimated End Date: 8/2/24

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Elizabeth Spear (espear@wlu.edu)

Create a detailed and interactive online map of W&L’s back campus (Prof. John Tombarge)

1 student is sought for a project on “Create a detailed and interactive online map of W&L’s back campus” with Prof. John Tombarge that will begin on 6/3/24 and last for 6 weeks

Project Description:

The goal of this project is to use Geographic Information System software (ArcGIS) to create an online interactive map of the back campus, which will include 360 degree photos that showcase the different areas of the back campus. This project involves education and utilization of advanced GIS software mechanics, including applying LIDAR scans of the back campus. The map will display all trails, the gazebo, and the disc golf course. The map would provide better exposure for the various opportunities the back offers.

Prerequisites

Special Comments

The student will need to apply themselves to learning the ArcGIS software.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/24

Estimated End Date: 7/12/24

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. John Tombarge (tombargej@wlu.edu)

Watching Film and Television in Foreign Languages (Prof. Angela Sun)

1 student is sought for a project on “Watching Film and Television in Foreign Languages” with Prof. Angela Sun that will begin on 6/1/24 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

I am seeking research assistance from a student who is fluent in Korean and familiar with Korean culture for an ongoing project that concerns watching film and television produced in a language other than one’s own. Together, we will carefully watch K-Dramas (including Crash Landing on You and Extraordinary Attorney Woo), analyzing them for dialects and accents, effective vs. ineffective subtitling, dubbing quality, and subtle cultural references. Over the course of our research, students will develop a deep understanding of the aesthetic challenges posed by engaging with film and television in a language other than one’s own as well as broader awareness of questions in the philosophy of film and television.

Prerequisites

Fluency in spoken and written Korean and familiarity with Korean culture are required. Previous coursework in philosophy is a plus but not required.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/1/24

Estimated End Date: 8/9/24

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Angela Sun (asun@wlu.edu)