English, Theatre & Foreign Languages
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ETFL Students Showcase their Independent Research

April 29, 2016

UNC-P's annual PURC (Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity) Symposium is always a wonderful chance to see the impressive work students do in developing sustained research projects outside of classroom requirements. ETFL was well represented at this year's symposium. Presenters included:

Hannah Anderson (Mentor: Dr. Scott Hicks). "A Survey of Animal-Assisted Literacy."

Senior English major Hannah Anderson is an assistant at the UNC-P Literacy Commons, which sparked her interest in Animal-Assisted Literacy (AAL). With a PURC research grant, she surveyed AAL programs throughout North America, specifically those involving dogs, as well as conducting a review of the available literature regarding AAL programs to determine the benefits and the methods of implementation for AAL programs.

Hannah Anderson and Raymond Hunt (Mentor: Dr. Abigail Mann). "'Freaking' Out the Rural Classroom: A Professor and Students Discuss Queer Pedagogies in the Chambers of the Bible Belt."

Senior English majors Raymond Hunt and Hannah Anderson received PURC funding for presenting papers at a national conference on “Rural Freaks.” They are both interested in careers in academia, and through this process, learned about writing and submitting proposals, preparing a conference paper, applying for funding, giving presentations and interacting with colleagues at a conference. Dr. Mann really enjoyed working with students so invested in a project unconnected to a grade and watching them get excited by the new ideas they encountered.

Amber Hester (Mentor: Dr. Catherine Parisian). "Transcribing and Encoding the Works of Mary Russell Mitford from 1811 for Web Publication."

Amber Hester has been Catherine Parisian’s Undergraduate Research Assistant this academic year while the two of them have been working as editors on the Digital Mitford Project. They are transcribing, annotating and coding Mary Russell Mitford’s letters from 1811 for open access digital publication in the Project. Learn more about the Digital Mitford Project at http://mitford.pitt.edu/.

Courtney Hockett (Mentor: Brandon Sanderson, Art). "Experimenting with the Art of Pop-­‐up Engineering while Incorporating Creative Literacy."

We don't want to steal the credit for Courtney's fine project, completed under the mentorship of Art Department Professor Brandon Sanderson, but the story featured in her pop-up book, "M.Y.O.B. Street," is a 3-D realization of the flash story she wrote for Writing Fiction I with Dr. Pitchford.

Zachary Lunn (Mentor: Dr. Jessica Pitchford). "A Life of Fiction: Writing and Editing in the Publishing World."

Senior biology major and first-ever Pembroke Magazine undergraduate editorial assistant Zachary Lunn presented his year-long PURC-funded work with the magazine in a symposium panel titled "A Life of Fiction: Writing and Editing in the Publishing World.” Zach also discussed being the recipient of additional PURC travel funding, enabling him to attend the 2016 AWP Conference in Los Angeles, where he manned the Pembroke Magazine bookfair booth and mingled with writers and editors from across the nation. His work with the literary magazine influenced his decision to apply to MFA creative writing programs, and in the fall he will start the MFA at NC State, where he hopes to found his own lit mag. Dr. Pitchford really enjoyed working with Zach, whose assistance proved invaluable. She looks forward to charting his publishing career.

Dana Reijerkerk (Mentor: Yuanyuan Lin). “How Trace Theory Affects Chinese Language Learning.”

Chinese Language instructor Yuanyuan Lin worked with undergraduate American Indian Studies student Dana Reijerkerk to conduct research on “How Trace Theory Affects Chinese Language Learning.” Mastery of the Chinese characters could be considered one of the most difficult and strenuous tasks for Chinese language learners. This research is designed to address how Chinese characters are processed and organized in the cognitive approaches between memory and high reasoning processes. After two semesters of extensive research, their proposal was accepted to the prestigious national Chinese language conference, NCLC. Dana successfully received a travel grant from PURC and they are going to present the research project on April 27th 2016 in Chicago.

Laura Spillman (Mentor: Dr. Autumn Lauzon). "Frank Norris’ Mcteague with a Social Darwinist Perspective: The Biological and Environmental Factors."

Laura Spillman's paper arose from her work in Dr. Lauzon's American Literature class. She integrated an number of theories about turn-of-the-century American Social Darwinism with the classic realist novel McTeague, to argue that Norris was placing his character within a variety of more and less fit environments. Laura, a Social Studies Education Major, and offered insight to how researching these historical perspectives might shape her own teaching materials and approaches in the future.