Fellowship program gives undergraduate researchers an academic boost
It’s not every day a third-year undergraduate student is invited to deliver a joint paper with her professor at a well-regarded academic conference in Edmonton. However, thanks to the Undergraduate Summer Student Research Fellowship (USSRF) program, that’s exactly what happened to Angela Du.
The English student recently presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies along with her supervisor, Dr. Shelley King. Ms. Du had spent the summer examining manuscripts by Amelia Opie, an 18th Century novelist and poet, which are held in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library.
Ms. Du was one of 21 students who took part in the 2012 program. She says it allowed her to delve into doing scholarly research at a more advanced level. “It’s really helped me to start to develop an academic identity and has allowed me to meet a lot of experts in my field,” she says. “I would recommend this program to anyone.”
Working together with Dr. King and Dr. John B. Pierce, Ms. Du (who is doing a minor in French) was primarily involved in transcribing and translating one of Opie’s travelogue manuscripts which had been written in French. She was then able to compare it with the final text, which has been published in English.
The USSRF program is specifically oriented at providing students in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts and education with opportunities to engage in discovery-based learning, while developing research and presentation skills. Students are paid for their work during the 16-week fellowships. The 2012 program saw two students pursue their research at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) at Herstmonceux Castle in England.
For Ms. Du, the experience she gleaned over the course of her fellowship has cemented her desire to pursue graduate work. She also plans to continue her research on Amelia Opie’s writing.
All 21 Fellows will be taking part in a poster presentation of their research on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 at 3:00pm in Speaker’s Corner, Stauffer Library. Principal Daniel Woolf and Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss will make opening remarks.
Visit http://www.queensu.ca/ors/USSRP.html for more information on the program.