Sophomore English major Rachel Crawford was awarded a George T. Barthalmus Undergraduate Research Grant on November 5 at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS) held at North Carolina Central University.
“I am still shocked that I received it,” said Crawford. “It feels good to be recognized for my research, especially as a sophomore. It also feels good to be recognized because my research is in the humanities, which is often disregarded as less important than STEM research.”
Crawford will spend this academic year studying the role of the body in theories of identity formation. Through doing this research, she will prepare herself for future coursework in her English major by gaining textual analysis and writing skills, while also helping to narrow down her focus for her Honors thesis next fall. Crawford participates in the Honors program.
“I was inspired to study this topic because in previous research, I noticed that subjectivity is often discussed as if it is somehow distinct from the body, and that just doesn’t make sense, especially if your experiences are significantly impacted by how your body is perceived due to gender, sexuality, race, or disability,” said Crawford.
As part of her grant, she will be presenting her research at the 2017 SNCURCS, which will be held at Campbell University next fall. As a freshman at Meredith, Crawford conducted undergraduate research on narrative identity, authenticity, and religions in Game of Thrones, and presented her findings at this year’s SNCURCS conference.
The grant is in honor of Dr. George T. Barthalmus, who was a driving force behind the creation of the SNCURCS. He had a passion for encouraging undergraduates to pursue their interests through the process of research. Crawford is one of 10 students to receive the grant, which is awarded to sophomores only. She received $130 to be used for books, materials, and to cover the fees to attend the 2017 SNCURCS conference.
“I am more excited about the honor of being awarded the grant than the money, but it helps to get financial assistance because books, travel, and conference fees can really add up,” said Crawford, who is a Presidential scholar and a member of the Teaching Fellows program.
The grants were developed to promote early involvement in the research process through support of sophomores in a research project of their design. The awards are designed to assist students with development and engagement in undergraduate research.