Six SESP Undergraduates Win Summer Research Grants

Six SESP Undergraduates Win Summer Research Grants

Six SESP undergraduates won highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Grants of $3,500 or more from Northwestern’s Office of the Provost. Grant winners Emily Comstock, Scott Gerson, Jennifer Halpern, Su Hwang, Allison Park and Shoshana Shapiro will pursue independent research projects this summer in the U.S. and abroad.

Emily ComstockEmily Comstock, a sophomore majoring in social policy, will research “Cranes for Courage: A Case Study” to see if the tech start-up model can be applied to a nonprofit organization she started. Her group, Cranes for Courage, sends origami cranes with messages of comfort and hope to mental hospitals, a nonprofit and Northwestern’s campus. Comstock says, “The patients of our partner hospitals deserve an organization that runs efficiently so they can receive the love and support they need.” Charles Yarnoff of the Writing Program is her adviser.

Scott GersonScott Gerson, a sophomore majoring in human development and psychological services, is researching “Go as Inclusive for Disabilities.” He says, “I chose my research topic because it represents the intersection of my interests in the game of Go itself and in the disability community. Given the relative scarcity of truly inclusive spaces in the community, I felt that it was important to begin to identify places that may be both accessible and welcoming for people with disabilities.” Gerson’s project adviser is Steven Zecker in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Jennifer HalpernJennifer Halpern chose the research topic “The Psychological Impact of Injury for Dancers” because she thinks the medical world lacks understanding of the impact of injury on a dancer. “For a professional dancer, dance is more than an art or a job — it is their identity; it is who they are. Therefore, being injured has the power to impact a dancer's psychological health, which is where my research comes in,” says Halpern, a junior majoring in human development and psychological services. Her research adviser is SESP assistant professor of instruction Lilah Shapiro.

Subin HwangSubin Hwang, a junior studying human development and psychological services, will travel to Germany this summer to research her project “Public Healthcare in Germany.” As European countries struggle to cope with an influx of more than one million refugees, “Germany has stood out prominently amongst other members of the European Union due to their liberal, welcoming stance on refugees,” says Hwang. “I'll be studying refugee health in Germany to learn more about nuances of public healthcare in responding to this challenge.” Her adviser is Galya Ruffer in the political science department.

Shoshana ShapiroShoshana Shapiro will research "The Lasting Impacts of Divestment" this summer. "I will be studying Jewish life across a few college campuses, and this is an important topic to me because I have seen how my and my friends’ Jewish identities have changed as a result of being in college. I hope that my results can be used to develop more informed programming for Jewish students," explains Shapiro, a junior majoring in learning and organizational change. Her research adviser is Lilah Shapiro of SESP.

Northwestern University’s Office of Undergraduate Research offers Summer Undergraduate Research Grants that provide a stipend of $3,500 of more to cover living and research expenses for eight weeks of full-time independent academic and creative work, in all fields of study, under faculty supervision. Students will find information for applying for undergraduate research grants on the Office of Undergraduate Research website.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/3/16