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Fruitful fellowship

  • [Emily Gong in China]
    Emily Gong (Artsci'15) on site at the Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang. (Submitted photo)
  • [Emily Gong]
    Emily Gong (Artsci'15) explains her research to Principal Daniel Woolf during the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowships poster presentation held in October 2014. (University Communications}
  • [Emily Gong with artwork]
    Emily Gong (Artsci'15) displays her artwork that was inspired by the research she conducted as a participant in the 2014 Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship program. (University Communications)

With graduate school on the horizon, Emily Gong (Artsci’15) credits her participation in the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) program for expanding her options.

“Through the research fellowship, I became much more interested in exploring China’s ethnic diversity, a different area of study compared to what I had been doing during my previous three years of undergrad,” says Ms. Gong, a fine arts major. “The experience last summer gave me the resources and confidence to apply for master’s programs in Chinese studies.”

USSRF provides an opportunity for continuing undergraduate students in the social sciences and humanities to develop their research skills under the guidance of a faculty researcher. Over the course of the summer, students complete a research project in an area of interest and/or participate in the research program of a selected researcher.

Working with Xuelin Bai (Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Ms. Gong researched the Mogao and Yulin grottoes at Dunhuang on China’s western frontier. Dunhuang is historically significant because the city is situated at the junction of the northern and southern Silk Routes.

While in China, Ms. Gong conducted field research, collected data and observed the paintings on the cave walls in Dunhuang. The fellowship gave her valuable experience analyzing archival information and literature and working with scholars and experts in a variety of fields such as Imperial Chinese history, cultural anthropology and archaeology.

Read more about Emily Gong’s experience with the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship in the current issue of (e)AFFECT

“This research fellowship allowed me to apply the knowledge from my rigorous academic studies and then expand on my area of interest to develop a deeper understanding informed by primary research,” she says.

Applications for summer 2015 are due on Jan. 28. More information is available on the University Research Services website.