Cornell Summer Research Institute begins

The inaugural Cornell Summer Research Institute started in May, with dozens of students on campus performing research in disciplines across the liberal arts.

Cornell Summer Research Institute participant Josh Lee ’17 introduces his project at a kickoff barbecue.
Cornell Summer Research Institute participant Josh Lee ’17 introduces his project at a kickoff barbecue.

The institute is an expansion of previous summer research efforts, and is funded with the assistance of a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Thirty-six students and 26 faculty are conducting research projects, almost triple the number of student researchers from past summers.

While in the past most of the summer research on campus has been in the sciences, this year there are disciplines from across the college. Music professor James Martin is working with a student on research into Wagner and feminism, and theatre professor Janeve West, consulting librarian Jen Rouse, and Dana Emerging Writing Fellow Shena McAuliffe are working with three students on a devised theatre piece about the supernatural. In all, one-quarter of the students on campus are doing research in the humanities, arts, or social sciences.

All of the student participants are living on campus in the newly renovated Pauley-Rorem Hall. In addition to their research, events are scheduled throughout the summer, including an opening barbecue, a Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball game, workshops related to professional development and research ethics, and presentation of research reports.

The research institute builds on the already strong research and experiential learning program at Cornell College. Approximately 60 percent of students participate in internships, off-campus studies, independent coursework, and summer collaborative research with members of the faculty. Cornell faculty have also embraced digital liberal arts, with a number of courses in a range of disciplines from history to geology to politics incorporating digital projects into the curriculum.