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Summer Research Record The Summer Research Scholars program at W&L is welcoming a record number of undergraduate students and supervising faculty and staff from a variety of academic disciplines.

SummerScholarsLunch16-1140x760 Summer Research RecordSummer Research Scholars gather in the Harte Center.

Summer researchers will keep Washington and Lee’s campus busy this summer thanks to the record number of participants in W&L’s Summer Research Scholars (SRS) program.

The SRS program supports students in collaborative research supervised by W&L faculty and staff. The program aims to encourage the development of research techniques within a particular discipline, to promote the active acquisition of knowledge and to stimulate student interest in inquiry. This year, more than 200 undergraduate students and more than 75 supervising faculty and staff members are participating, representing a diverse range of academic disciplines.

“We’ve seen a more than 60% increase in student participation from last year, as well as a more than 30% increase in faculty participation,” said Matthew Loar, director of fellowships and student research. “I am excited to see so many students energized by the opportunity to work side-by-side with a faculty or staff mentor on a summer project, and I am immensely grateful to my colleagues for their commitment to supporting student research.”

“I was pleasantly surprised, as more students responded than I’d expected,” said Genelle Gertz, associate dean of strategic initiatives and Thomas H. Broadus, Jr. Professor of English, of her project, in which students are assisting with research on a forthcoming edited volume of essays on women in early modern religious texts. “I found more students with the exact research interests of this project and backgrounds in the various fields needed such as history, English, religion and sociology.”

At the heart of the SRS program is a commitment to fostering community and collaboration. Summer researchers and their mentors were invited to the Collaboration Gallery of the Harte Center on June 13 for a round of “elevator pitches” about their research, the first event in a brown bag lunch series that will continue throughout the summer to connect students in the program. At the conclusion of the summer, students are given the opportunity to present their work at the Fall Showcase of Student Summer Research. This platform celebrates their achievements and encourages further academic growth. These students are also strongly encouraged to participate in Science, Society, and the Arts, the undergraduate research symposium that takes place at W&L every other year.

“I am hoping to develop a passion for research in the three students working with me,” said Pooja Thakur-Wernz, assistant professor of strategy and international business, whose students will collect data on corporate social responsibility-related activities undertaken by Indian firms. “They will have an opportunity to continue working with the data they will collect in this summer as independent study students in the coming academic year.”

Check back here or search “Summer Opportunities” on the Columns for updates on student research experiences.