Fellowship program celebrates undergraduate research
It’s not often that an undergraduate student gets the opportunity to work for the United States government studying inscriptions on the face of a 12,000-year-old rock. But that’s exactly what Marla MacKinnon spent part of her summer doing, thanks to the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) program.
“I feel very honoured to have been chosen as one of twenty students to receive a grant from the USSRF this past summer,” says Ms MacKinnon, a fourth-year student in the Department of Classics. “It contributed immensely to my experience here at Queen's, set me up with unique skills for graduate school, and enhanced my learning in a way that otherwise would not have been possible."
Ms MacKinnon spent two weeks in Wyoming examining native rock art with local archaeologists. Her research, conducted under the supervision of Assistant Professor George Bevan, focuses on using technology to enable the reading of weathered, ancient surfaces. She has also examined headstones at Kingston’s Cataraqui Cemetery and rock carvings at Petroglyphs Provincial Park in Peterborough.
The USSRF program was established in 2011 for continuing undergraduate students pursuing research in the fields of social science, humanities and education. The program is intended to provide students with meaningful opportunities to engage in discovery-based learning and to develop research and presentation skills.
“The USSRF program, made possible by a special commitment from the Principal’s Academic Initiatives Fund, enabled 20 students and their supervisors to explore research questions in the social sciences and humanities. The response to this opportunity from both students and faculty was enthusiastic and resulted in an exceptional experience for the students,” says Susan Wood, Director, Office of Research Services.
Ms MacKinnon presented her work, alongside the 19 other undergraduate students who participated in the USSRF program over the summer, at a celebration on Tuesday, October 18 at the Speaker’s Corner in the Queen’s Learning Commons in Stauffer Library.
For more information about the USSRF program, visit the Office of Research Services Website.