UHP

New 2021 UHP Discover Projects and Application

Apply for a 2021 UHP Discover Project February 12–21, 2021

For the sixth year of UHP Discover, we are excited to offer 25 faculty lead research projects. Each project has been aligned with one of the following categories:

Please review the description of the project(s) you're interested in and complete the application prior to 11:59pm EST on Sunday, February 21, 2021. Still have questions about UHP Discover? You can also review the recorded information session below.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/xJA7MSvlxjc?rel=0

UHP Discover Projects

Accessible Equity

Faculty: Juan Godoy Peñas (Romance and Arabic Language and Literatures)

Project Description: 

The language-immersion experience that students receive during study abroad is a powerful catalyst for developing both linguistic and cultural competence, allowing learners to actively participate in new speech communities, both at home and abroad. A recent landmark study by Issa et al. (2020) in The Modern Language Journal provides compelling evidence that the linguistic benefits of study abroad are not limited to semester- or year-long programs but that they also extend to short-term stays. Issa et al.’s results showed that intermediate- and advanced-level learners of Spanish had significant gains in both their lexical and grammatical development in the target language following a five-week study abroad in Spain. The Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures (RALL) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) hosts two such short-term study-abroad programs in Spain and Guatemala. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancelation of RALL’s short-term study-abroad programs for both the summer of 2020 and (tentatively) the summer of 2021.

The goal of the proposed project is to create and evaluate an immersive, short-term local Spanish language and culture pilot program, serving UC students and based within RALL. Central to the UC Local Language Immersion (LLI) Program will be a unique and well-curated immersion experience, in which students will be afforded the type of incidental interactions in the target language that facilitate and accelerate language learning. This study will measure development within this novel context, thus creating new knowledge in how LLI impacts learners’ development. The program itself will draw from the rich Hispanic cultural heritage within our local context of the Greater Cincinnati Area, providing an immersion option for the summer of 2021 while also reaching new populations of students whose work and family obligations may have previously prevented them studying abroad in more traditional settings. Participants´ proficiency will be evaluated at several points during the program, with quantitative measures such as speech-elicitation tasks assessing lexical and grammatical development. Qualitative measures will assess participants’ orientation to Hispanic language and culture in the local context (Cincinnati) before, during, and after the program.

Student Expectations: 

Student researcher is expected to have experience with Excel to be able to generate graphics using data collected during the program. Student researcher is also expected to have good availability, as he/she/they may need to attend morning or late afternoon events to collect data. These events will include art exhibitions, cooking classes, film forums, yoga classes, among other extracurricular activities in Spanish. Some knowledge of Spanish is also desirable. Politeness, sensitivity to other cultural environments and good communication are also expected.

Project Hours: 30

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Hexuan Liu and Danny Wu (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

Readability assessment has been developed in the past few decades. Popular readability measures include, but not limited to: Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning-Fog Index, SMOG readability formula, and Dale-Chall readability formula. These traditional readability measures generate a score to represent the number of years of education for a lay person to read and understand a piece of text. Such scores can be used to compare the readability of two documents. For example, a document with a readability of 5th grade is easier to read than one with a 10th grade readability.

Traditional readability measures have been applied to assess online health materials, especially patient education materials, to understand their readability levels. While many studies have been conducted to assess the readability of online health materials, there is no effort to summarize the characteristics of the studies and synthesize their implications on health literacy. Therefore, the overall objective of this research project is to conduct a systematic review following the PRISMA guidelines to answer the three research questions listed below:

  1. Characterize readability assessment studies on the clinical specialty, data source, and health literacy issues,
  2. Summarize the readability scoring methods and the known limitations,
  3. Understand how readability assessment can help lay public better manage and improve their health.

The selected Discover student will be co-advised by Drs. Hexuan Liu and Danny Wu. Drs. Liu and Wu have teamed up to work on health literacy issues and successfully proposed and conducted a research project through the Discover program last year. Both mentors are experienced in the research topic and familiar with the program logistics and requirements. The selected student will focus on the search, screening, and eligibility determination of the systematic review in the summer of 2021. The student will continue to work on the project and submit a systematic review paper to a social science journal within a year.

Student Expectations:

Following the PRISMA guideline. The student should also have interest in public health and expertise in English writing. The student should be flexible in his/her schedule to meet Drs. Liu and Wu regularly and independently complete the assigned tasks.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Kate Bonansinga (School of Art)

Project Description:

Art in the public sphere has become increasingly influential in the U.S. since the late 1960s.  It has the potential to create an identity for a neighborhood, create a social and physical connection between communities, and be a driver of economic development, amongst other benefits.  "Step Up to Art:  Improving Health by Elevating Cincinnati’s Staircases as Neighborhood Connectors" is being conducted by a team of faculty researchers in the College of DAAP faculty partnering with the director of the community organization, Spring in our Steps.  This project will bring attention to the Ohio Avenue staircase that bridges Clifton Heights with the north end of Over-the-Rhine through a community-driven art project lead by a leadership partnership between UC and the Contemporary Arts Center. 

 We will create a digital and analog information system that both serves as locational device and educates the audience about the artist and the artwork, creating a museum-quality experience.  During Summer 2021 we will be conducting focus group interviews with residents of the neighborhoods to ascertain their vision for how the staircase can be improved and serve as an anchor of, a connector to, and an identity for their neighborhood.  The student researcher will be involved in the collection and analysis of this data, in the cultivation of an Instagram page and possibly a website about the project, in identifying additional sources of information about public artwork and in creating a comprehensive bibliography of public art, specifically in its relationship to museums and curatorial practice.  Kate Bonansinga, Director of School of Art in College of DAAP and Step Up To Art team member, will be the primary mentor for the student.  She will assign tasks, all of which will be related to contemporary art, its interpretation and its community impact.

Student Expectations:

The student should have strong writing skills, the ability to develop a comprehensive bibliography and literature review, a desire to meet with community members to interview them about their commitment to their neighborhood and how to improve it, and adeptness with social media.

Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Christina Carnahan (School of Education)

Project Description:

Approximately 30% of individuals with ASD experience significant communication challenges and are considered to be minimally verbal into adulthood, despite receiving early intensive behavioral interventions throughout their school years (DiStefano et al., 2016; Finke et al., 2017; Tager-Flusberg & Kasari, 2013; Sievers et al., 2018). These communication challenges significantly impact the quality of life of adults with ASD, limiting their ability to develop social relationships, share thoughts and feelings, or even express basic wants and needs.

One approach for addressing the ongoing communication needs of these individuals is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (Logan et al., 2017). AAC includes various tools to supplement or augment a person’s speech and other communication skills. For example, manual signs, graphic symbols displayed on communication boards or books, or speech generating devices (SGD) are all examples of AAC (Ganz, 2015). In the past ten years, there has been an increasing focus on how AAC provides opportunities for individuals with limited communication to engage meaningfully with others. Social media is emerging as an important and viable avenue for increasing access to social relationships while also building critical language skills (Bosse, et al., 2020; King et al., 2020; Murray et al., 2014). 

Together, the emerging research supporting the value to and effectiveness of social media for increasing connectedness for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the use of AAC in social media in general, and effectiveness of AAC for individuals with ASD, including those who are older, suggests an intervention aimed at teaching young adults with ASD/ID to engage in social media using AAC could be highly effective.  Thus, the purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of an intervention package using an iPad that serves as a speech generating device, visual supports, and task analytic instruction to teach young adults with ASD/ID to independently post to Facebook. 

The undergraduate honors student will directly implement the social communication intervention, collect data, and work with the research team to analyze data. Additionally, an important aspect of the project is that the undergraduate student will develop skills to build relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds who have significant communication support needs. Our goal is to foster an attitude of inclusion and an understanding that all people - no matter how we perceive their ability to communicate - can contribute to their communities.

Student Expectations:

The student researcher will work 40 hours per week in the IMPACT Innovation program in the Advancement and Transition Services (ATS). During the first week, the student will complete the necessary processes and training required of all IMPACT staff members in the program. It is important to note that the student research will need to complete a background check (paid for through program funds), first aide, and an eight-hour online training. Upon completion of the necessary prerequisite steps, the student researcher will spend three days shadowing and observing the associates, and then enter into training for the research procedures including protocol implementation, data collection, and analysis. For the remainder of the summer, the student will work closely with the research team participating in weekly meetings and study implementation.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

Art, Design & Creativity

Faculty: Gary Weissman (English)

Project Description:

Internet archives contain hundreds of American science fiction pulp magazines that would otherwise be lost to history. Collections such as the Luminist Science Fiction Periodical Archives and the Pulp Magazines Project preserve hundreds of issues of cheaply printed popular magazines devoted to science fiction dating from the 1930s to the early 1960s. While much of what was published may be regarded as rubbish, these magazines were the primary venue for science fiction (sf) at a time when very little sf appeared in book form.

While internet archives preserve a great number of these pulp magazines, their content has not been catalogued in any systematic way. I seek a researcher to comb through this vast archive of sf magazines and generate a record of their content. In particular, my researcher will take note of two things: first, any stories that contain subject matter relating to World War II, Nazism, and/ the Nazi genocide of the European Jews; and, second, any stories that contain instances in which fantastical elements are surmised or deduced by a character who seeks to explain the seemingly impossible. In speaking or thinking aloud about what might be the case, this character (whose speculations are never wrong) essentially serves as a science fiction writer within the story, accounting for the fantastic by applying “scientific” reasoning.

The researcher for this project will compile an inventory of short stories contained in sf pulp magazine archives, noting the subject matter and narrative form of these stories. Part of the research project will involve being trained to do online archival research and to note certain narrative elements. My researcher will learn about various forms of narration and will be able to recognize these in works of literary fiction.

Student Expectations:

Be warned: because this work will involve continually reading through online archives, it will require hours of sitting at a computer and may grow tedious. This project is a good fit for the student who has a passion for science fiction and loves to read. It requires attention to detail, great time-management and organizational skills, and intellectual curiosity. This research can be undertaken anywhere that has a very good and reliable internet connection.

The student can work 30-40 hours per week. Online research skills, a love of reading and high reading comprehension, and organizational skills are highly desirable.

Project Hours: 30- 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Patrick Guerra (Biological Sciences; Interdisciplinary)

Project Description:

In this study, we will survey people about their mask use during the pandemic. Our previous research has demonstrated the utility of common everyday fabrics, in particular silk, for constructing face coverings. This research will use an interdisciplinary approach – business, fashion design, and the social sciences – to determine and evaluate the public’s preferences and perceptions regarding the use of face coverings. In collaboration with Dr. David Curry (Department of Marketing, College of Business, University of Cincinnati), we will determine what traits consumers prefer in the face coverings that they would obtain and use.

We will administer online surveys that use statistical techniques (e.g., discrete choice analysis) to experimentally determine what these preferred traits are and the strength of these preferences. The results of these surveys will then be used to inform the design of different face covering prototypes. These prototypes will be designed and constructed in collaboration with Prof. Ashley Kubley (Fashion Design, DAAP, University of Cincinnati), in order to determine which design best fulfills consumer preferences and yields the best functional performance. For these prototypes, we will also include concepts and features from smart textiles and wearable technologies, e.g., environmental sensing by the textile or fabric used in the face covering, in order to enhance these designs and produce the next generation of face coverings. In collaboration with Dr. Lauren Bayliss (Public Relations, Department of Communication Arts, Georgia Southern University), we will examine how societal norms and attitudes, as well as different social networks and contexts, influence when, where, and how often people will wear a face covering. We will use online questionnaires to quantify and analyze how societal effects can influence the wearing of face coverings, e.g., what social conditions promote or hinder the wearing of face coverings.

We anticipate that our research will produce key information that can be used to further design, test, and market face coverings optimized for use by the public. In addition, results from this work can help inform public health initiatives and societal efforts to mitigate viral transmission, such as during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and pandemics and other public health emergencies in the future.

Student Expectations:

I expect that the student researcher be available to work on the project for 40 hours per week for the entire 10-week period. I also expect the student to have a good working knowledge of using basic word processing (e.g., Microsoft Word), spreadsheet (e.g.,

Microsoft Excel), and presentation (e.g., Microsoft Powerpoint) software. Although not required, practical experience with running surveys, handling large and varied data sets, and/or performing various statistical analyses are desirable. Overall, given the different aspects of this project, I expect the student to be adaptable, and to be able to learn and apply new skill sets quickly and efficiently.

Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Theresa Leininger- Miller (School of Art)

Project Description:

From the late 19th century, food and drink were predominant in visual culture, notably in illustrated sheet music for the piano, with hundreds of pieces produced ca. 1875-1945.  The major categories are raw staples such as fruit (e.g., apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, peaches, cherries), vegetables (e.g., corn, potatoes, peppers, onions), nuts (particularly peanuts), and dairy (butter, cheese, eggs, milk), but also products such as beverages (beer, wine, coffee) and baked treats (pies, cakes, doughnuts).  Composers featured comestibles in popular tunes, rags, jazz, tangoes, schottisches, waltzes, marches, and more.

Dozens of prolific sheet music illustrators produced eye-catching covers to lure buyers.  Often in complementary colors (e.g., green/red, blue/orange), these publications feature large titles and simple, bold designs meant to be legible at a distance, as well as be attractive in home parlors.  The images were frequently humorous and amusing, but also could be whimsical, sentimental, or provocative.  Artistic license variously demonstrates convergence with and divergence from lyrics, emphasizing accessibility and marketability.  Illustrations waned after WWII with the rise of photographic covers.

As mass-produced items, title pages permeated society in far more intimate, visible, and enduring ways than fine art could.  Sheet music is prime, inexpensive, and compelling public visual culture that reveals beliefs and values about many varied topics, including American society, culinary delights, courtship, gender roles, ethnicity, race, and agriculture.  As uniquely rich “compressed narratives,” music covers reflect broader cultural, social, economic, and political forces. 

Goals for this project are three-fold, to gather and analyze information and images for 1) professional conference presentations, 2) exhibitions, and 3) publications.  As one who has worked on such material for years, I have presented this research throughout the country and curated shows at the Weston Art Gallery and the downtown public library, as well as Langsam and Blegen libraries at UC.  Topics included Black composers, Irish identities, the Civil War, and WWI.  In addition to publishing in refereed journals, I am interested in expanding my presence as a public intellectual, reaching broader, more general audiences in mainstream and niche periodicals.

As a 2020 Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies Fellow, I worked with an Honors student on sheet music last year.  While our main focus was on the depiction of telephones (the 145th invention of the phone is 2021), we also examined comic songs about honeybees and bumble bees.  I credited my mentee and others in print when I published essays about the latter topics in the American Bee Journal and 2 Million Blossoms last summer and am glad to cite students for assistance.

Student Expectations:

A student can assist with primary research by locating and cataloguing original sheet music at university and public libraries by working from home on the internet.  We need to gather high-quality digital images and biographical information about composers, lyricists, illustrators, and performers.  We will transcribe lyrics and find recorded performances of songs on YouTube that may be downloaded on cell phones or accessible in other ways for exhibitions and presentations.  Further, we need to do research on the history and cultural impact of songs in light of other popular culture (film, theater, musicals, etc.) and related fields such as agricultural history.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Ming Tang (School of Architecture & Industrial Design)

Project Description:

Visual communication is essential in the field of art, commerce, social science, and education. Yet, how effectively a visual communicates and ultimately elicits a desired reaction begins with how well it attracts the visual attention of prospective viewers. This is especially the case for complex build environments, including indoor, outdoor, during walking and driving. This summer research will conduct research of using of Tobii eye-tracking (ET) technology to explore how the physical and simulated environment capture visual attention. Specifically, this research will explore the use of ET hardware and software in real-world contexts to analyze how visual attention is impacted by forms, color, contrast, intensity, and facial features. For more info: http://ming3d.com/new/2020/02/08/article-in-ijsw-journal/

Student Expectations:

The student will learn the data visualization and interpretation tools with Tobii eye-tracking glasses to capture human responses to both virtual and real world. Student will work with the faculty to experiment wearable eye-tracking technologies, provide feedback that are consistent with previous research of visual performance using static images in terms of cognitive load and legibility, and study how ET technologies might offer an advanced dynamic tool for the design and placement of wayfinding elements.

Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

Educational and Workplace Environments

Faculty: Brent Stoffer (Biological Sciences)

Project Description:

One of the most important transferable skills that students can utilize regardless of their discipline and in a variety of future careers is the ability to analyze and present data. Further, one of the most effective ways to learn something or develop a skillset is by teaching someone else. This project will accomplish both of these goals by providing a research opportunity that involves education and statistics. Specifically, students will (1) develop new resources to improve undergraduate biology majors’ understanding of statistics in a first-year course, (2) develop and analyze assessments that capture whether the resources actually improve student understanding and general sentiment towards statistics, and (3) have the opportunity to develop their own educational and communication skills by teaching some basic statistics content as an Assistant TA in the first-year biology lab summer course.

The project will be overseen directly by Dr. Stoffer, who oversees the first-year biology labs (Biology 1081L and 1082L), one of his biggest responsibilities as an Educator within the Department of Biological Sciences. These courses serve 1,100+ students in the fall and 800+ students in the spring. Further, the course is offered during the summer, providing an opportunity to conduct pedagogical studies while a part of the UHP Discover program. While the course is inherently a STEM course, the project itself is entirely focused on our educational efforts to improve students understanding of data and statistics – providing outcomes for the UHP undergraduate student that transcend across multiple disciplines.

This project is couched within a larger effort to improve student understanding of statistics in a first-year biology course that serves a variety of majors and Colleges. In the course, students learn how to use statistics via Excel and basic coding to assess their scientific hypothesis. The current approach has been to create documents, screensharing videos, recorded PowerPoints, and TA training materials and measure students’ overall sentiment centered around statistics and their ability to effectively and accurately use statistics when provided a data set. Evidence thus far has demonstrated that the current efforts have in fact improved student ability through the use of a Data Exit Exam upon the conclusion of the first-year series of labs. Additional research still needs to be conducted to determine whether additional resources and the addition of a newly develop lab activity centered around basic coding help improve students’ sentiment around statistics and hands-on ability to analyze data.

In Summer 2021, students would have the opportunity to engage in this project in a hybrid (partly in-person, partly remote) way. However, considerations could be made to participate 100% remotely if necessary.

Student Expectations:

Students with interest in education in STEM disciplines, including biology or mathematics, are encouraged to participate in this project. While the project is within a STEM course, Dr. Stoffer is especially interested in working with undergraduate students with an interest in education and improving student understanding of difficult concepts. No prior experience in biology or statistics is necessary, but students are expected to have a strong desire to improve their statistical understanding, utilize Microsoft Excel and R Studio to analyze and visualize data, use peer-reviewed literature to better inform our pedagogical approach, and develop instructional resources to improve our undergraduate education in the course. Students will have the opportunity to develop their communication, teaching, and presentation skills if desired.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Sunnie Rucker- Chang (German Studies)

Project Description:

In the United States, vocational school emerged in the early 20th century to address the increased need for labor in an industrializing economy (Kantor, 1986). In the Eastern Bloc, Yugoslavia, and Soviet Union, vocational school was similarly introduced to combat discrepancies between the needs of the economy and what labor could provide (Bačević, 2014). In this context, vocational school positioned labor and worker as essential to achieving communism (Fitzpatric, 1979). Vocational education has remained a track in secondary educational since the early 20th century in Europe and North America. The origins, goals, and dialogues that vocational education spurred in the Eastern Bloc, Soviet Union, and United States (US) were strikingly similar despite differences in the capitalist and socialist political economies of these spaces.  The intersecting structural questions and arguments that emerged in relation to vocational school as well as who attended such schools are telling. Vocational school may reveal that western capitalist and eastern socialist and communist systems in the 20th century were not as distant as imagined.

This interdisciplinary research highlights how in both the capitalist and socialist contexts, vocational education did not primarilys serve the interests of the individual and may have been instrumental in creating a permanent underclass. By drawing parallels between these different societies, I provide comparative and relational frameworks among historical contexts of Bulgaria, Soviet Union, the United States, and Yugoslavia to illustrate how vocational education relates to structural marginalization of class and race. Through my research I will address the following questions: How did vocational education produce and maintain structures of intergenerational social and economic stasis when it was supposed to disrupt inequities? (Gradstein, Justman, and Meier 2005, Bačević 2014). What were the similarities and differences in the debates and dialogues for and against vocational education in these different economic and social contexts? What are contemporary implications for communities long overrepresented among vocational school classrooms? What are possible contemporary policy and educational reforms that should result from a deeper understanding of the historically racialized nature of vocational education? What conclusions can we draw about the ideas of race and the systematic nature of marginalization through groups consistently attending vocational schools?

Student Expectations:

I would like for this student researcher to help in the following ways:

1) Help me to extend my research bibliography related to the history of vocational education (in the US and former Yugoslavia), the history of vocational school construction and proliferation in the United States, the history of education and educational tracks in Eastern Europe, and the history of school desegregation in Central and Southeast Europe.

2) Assess which archival material is available either digitally or via visiting archives.

3) Work with me on the process of securing an oral history IRB waiver.

4) Research connections between membership in an immigrant community and vocational school attendance.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Colleen Uscianowski (School of Education)

Project Description:

Do you have fond memories of reading picture books as a child? When you think back to your favorite childhood books, you might remember learning the names of the letters and sounding out the words on the page. But we can use storybooks to teach more than literacy! Shared storybook reading is a great opportunity for children to learn mathematical concepts. Children can solve math problems that arise in the narrative alongside the characters. They practice communicating their mathematical reasoning as they talk about the story and learn new math words in the text.

In this research study, we will explore the ways that parents help young children grow their math minds through informal learning experiences, such as shared reading. We may also explore adult-child interactions during other informal learning opportunities, such as block play and game play. Engaging, playful family activities can transform everyday household experiences into math learning opportunities.

As part of this study, we will collect videos of parent-child interactions online, code the language and actions in those videos, and analyze how those words and actions support children’s mathematical development. The participants will be parents and children ages 3 – 5 who will participate in online studies. This is a mixed-methods study that involves both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Together, we will quantitatively analyze the frequency of behaviors that we observe and how those behaviors are correlated with children’s’ math outcomes. (Don’t worry if you don’t know quantitative methods or statistics – no prior experience in statistics is necessary). Qualitatively, we will write case studies of interesting interactions. For example, we might observe patterns in the way that some parents respond to their child’s math mistake or in the complexity of math questions they pose to children. Then we’ll use those instances as the basis of case studies.

You will learn important research skills including how to conduct a literature review, set up and manage video data collection in an online platform, create and use coding systems, and analyze data to answer research questions. You will have the opportunity to brainstorm your own research questions and hypotheses related to this project. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in writing up the results of the study for journal publication or conference presentation. I will guide you through all of these steps and do them alongside you.

Student Expectations:

I expect that the student researcher will have some experience working with children - whether in a classroom setting, or as a nanny, babysitter, etc. They should have an interest in studying children's mathematical development during informal learning activities in the home environment. Furthermore, they should have an interest in coding language and actions - which means spending several hours watching videos of parent-child interactions and coding those videos.

While it would be beneficial to have taken some statistics courses, this is unnecessary. I can teach the student any specific research methods or analytic procedures we'll use. Finally, I hope that the student researcher will maintain an enthusiastic and committed interest to our research project!

Hours: 30- 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Matt Huml (School of Human Services)

Project Description:

Working in college athletics can be overwhelming. Many employees who enter into college athletics are passionate about their profession; enjoying the chance to continue working within sport and helping college athletes achieve their dream. But those working within the industry are also required to work endless hours, face enormous pressure, risk being fired if teams perform poorly. This project is examining these employee experiences and their associated workplace climate. The goal for this project is to identify recommendations for athletic departments to lessen the demands placed on their employees and improving work satisfaction for those working in the industry.

Data collection was completed last year and drew a strong response from employees, with over 4,500 responses, showcasing the importance of our topic within college sport employees. We are going to have two phases upcoming to help us analyze our data. The first will be reviewing the qualitative portion of our responses, where employees were able to describe their experiences working in athletic departments and the influence of their workplace environment. The objective of this phase will be to identify themes within their responses. Our second phase will be analysis of the survey responses. The objective of this phase will be to examine the influence of concepts like overwork climate on their employee’s behaviors, such as workaholism.

Student Expectations:

The student should have experience and/or interest in working in college sport. Not required, but students with experience using SPSS will be desirable, especially any interest performing analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA). The student researcher would begin working on the project in May. Depending on the progress of the project at this start time will dictate whether the student will start working on the qualitative or quantitative portion of the study. Qualitative portion will require the student to initially discuss potential themes that could occur in the project with the faculty member. The student will then have an opportunity to examine and categorize the qualitative responses, with weekly check-ins with the faculty members for questions and progress checks. Depending on the findings, the student will also be tasked with collecting relevant literature. For the quantitative phase, the faculty member will provide the relevant concepts to examine their relationships through SPSS. The student will be required to collect relevant literature for this portion of the project. The student will be expected to dedicate 33 hours a week for 10 weeks during the summer to complete their responsibilities.

Hours: 33

Format: Fully Virtual

Social Justice

Faculty: Valerie Anderson (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

Research indicates that the majority of youth in detention facilities have experienced some form of trauma in their lives. Further, over 80% of girls in detention have experienced trauma, especially girls of color. This research project takes a comprehensive look at experiences of youth, and particularly girls, in detention facilities. Using multiple data sources, this project explores themes of social and racial (in)justice in the juvenile justice system. Particularly, this research project will incorporate how to incorporate and address trauma gender-based needs in future policy and practice. To achieve these goals, we utilize data from youth who are detained, detention staff, and other stakeholders in the juvenile legal system. This project will primarily rely on data from two ongoing research projects:

The first research project involves qualitative interviews with girls who are detained and staff members at a juvenile detention facility in Cincinnati. Our goal is to transcribe and code the interviews for themes related to experiences in the juvenile legal system, detention-specific experiences, and girls’ needs for re-entering back into the community. This project will help us examine the areas in which detention facilities are meeting the needs of girls and where they fall short.

The second research project focuses on trauma-informed interventions used in detention facilities across the United States. Amidst calls from scholars, practitioners, and activists, juvenile detention facilities have begun to address the trauma that youth, and particularly girls in the system have experienced prior to and during their system involvement. We will be collecting data via surveys and interviews of youth detention staff. The primary focus will be on collecting survey data and preliminary analyses of survey responses this summer. There may also be opportunities for interviews with detention staff as well. The survey and interviews are designed to gain a deeper understanding of the trauma-informed practices, staff support for trauma-informed practices, alignment with core principles of trauma-informed care, and barriers to implementing these interventions.

Finally, we may also draw on additional data sources including results from an ongoing systematic review of the literature on girls’ experiences in detention facilities and administrative data from partnering juvenile courts. The student researcher will primarily help with data collection, data analysis, and dissemination activities associated with these projects. Students will have the opportunity to present their research, publish with the research team, and develop their own independent project. Students will also be able to participate in the dissemination of findings via infographics, a webinar, and a podcast episode.

Student Expectations:

The student researcher should have a basic understanding of statistics and research methods. They should be willing to learn research software such as SPSS, Stata, MAXQDA, or other software needed to complete data transcription, coding, and data analyses. Work on this project can be done remotely with the expectation that the student will have access to reliable internet. The student researcher will need to attend weekly meetings to check in on the progress of the project and biweekly meetings with the larger research team to check in on project progress and present their work. The expectation is that the student researcher will work 35 hours/week over the summer. Students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the social sciences are especially encouraged to apply to this opportunity.

Project Hours: 35

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Brittany Hayes (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

This project will use publicly available information to build a unique database on all known attempted bias-motivated homicides committed in the U.S. from 2015-2019. Importantly, unlike other data collection efforts we will capture key situational characteristics including the actions of offenders, victims, police, private security and other bystanders during the attack including victim resistance, bystander intervention, and other behaviors. We will test aspects of routine activities theory and related situational perspectives – core criminological theories - with the data that is collected.

According to national estimates provided by the FBI, the prevalence of hate crime has been generally trending upward over the last decade but has been relatively stable over the last few years. Since hate crimes tend to occur in public settings (Messner, McHugh, & Felson, 2004), if other individuals are present, they could either intervene to assist the victim, support the offender, or do nothing (Banyard, Plante, & Moynihan, 2004). Unfortunately, the major existing nation-wide sources on hate crimes (e.g., Uniform Crime Report, National Crime Victimization Survey) do not collect comprehensive situational-level data that captures the specific actions of all persons (including offenders, victims, bystanders, police, etc.) present from the start to the end of the violent hate crime attack. Our project will fill this gap.

We will rely on the framework of the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB; Freilich, Chermak, Belli, Gruenewald, & Parkin, 2014) and other open-source databases to identify attempted bias-motivated homicides across the United States for the 2015-2019 period. We will collect data from publicly available information, including media accounts, court documents, existing chronologies, and watch-group reports. Indeed, recently scholars have used open sources to create a series of terrorism databases on the incident, and offender levels, as well as databases that track mass shootings, school shootings, cyber-terrorism, and even routine homicides. The created database will provide detailed accounts of attempted bias-motivated homicides that can be compared to the accounts of bias-motivated homicides in either the ECDB or Bias-Homicide Database.

The selected student will gain experience in working in a multi-university team (i.e., University of Cincinnati, Michigan State University, John Jay College, University of Arkansas, University of South Florida), expanding their network and relationships with faculty across the country. Involvement in this project will help the student establish professional connections, gain a deeper understanding of a complex criminal justice issue, and prepare them for a graduate assistantship in the social sciences. The selected student will receive mentorship on not only the research process but how to prepare for graduate school.

Student Expectations:

The student will systematically search for all publicly available information on identified cases. The student will then code variables from the open-source documents into a Google database. Students will be trained on both searching and coding, no prior experience is expected. Access to a Google account and reliable internet connection is required.

The student will be able to complete this work at home and during hours that are conducive to their schedule. The student will provide a detailed weekly report log on cases searched and coded. The student will be expected to virtually meet bi-weekly.

Students should be comfortable reading details and accounts of attempted homicides. Some of the information in the reports and sources may be graphic (e.g., descriptions of injuries) or offensive (e.g., racial slurs). The project leads will have debriefing sessions with the student during the bi-weekly meetings.

Project Hours: 35

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Carolette Norwood (Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies)

Project Description:

My work on “Jim Crow Geographies: Mapping the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Urban Space” centers the differential outcomes in reproductive and sexual health conditions over time in Cincinnati. Excess black death has been normalized and is not an unsurprising feature of life in America. Whether watching the evening news in any given American city or reading the most recent health statistics, excess black death is so expected in this American context that it fails to capture and sustain national interest or solicit urgency for swift response. Excess black death be it due to COVID 19 or Infant Mortality is a byproduct of structural racism and institutional neglect. Infant mortality refers to the death of any live baby born prior to its first birthday.

As such infant mortality is an essential marker for the health and well-being for a given society. It mirrors how well we are at meeting the basic needs of our community – food, housing, education, health care, etc. 

My mixed-method, interdisciplinary and intersectional research aims to uncover this history in Cincinnati.

Black Infant mortality has long been a problem in Cincinnati and for the state of Ohio. In fact, the state of Ohio has the second highest rate in Black infant mortality in the nation. The city of Cincinnati reflects this grim trajectory. While there have been some improvements (especially between the years 2006-2015 owing to the First Steps Program), the progress has been modest. In 1917 infants born to black mothers were 2.5 times more likely to die than infants born to white mothers. Nearly 100 years later, in 2015, infants born to black mothers were 2.0 times more likely to die than infants born to white mothers. In 1920’s the state recognized Black IMR in Cincinnati as a problem. As such the city was designated to be recipient of a Sheppard Towner Grant. Only two locations in Ohio had been selected – one rural, the other urban. The urban site was Cincinnati, and the populace to be served were African Americans.

Student Expectations:

With a student researcher’s help, I aim to unearth more of this history regarding IMR in Cincinnati. I need assistance with gathering data, building tables, and digging into other initiatives the city undertook to address IMR over time. As a mentor, my goal is to work with a student to develop their research skills. I expect the student to come in with a curiosity about both research but also the topic understudied. What interest me most is a student who is highly motivated and willing to work at least 30 hours to 40 hours a week (of course, I can be flexible on hours per week based on the student’s schedule). Being IRB certified is strongly recommended for any student engaging research but is not require for this position as it is unlikely the student will see or touch any original human subject protected data.

Project Hours: 35

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Sarah Manchak (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

My lab is working on several projects focused on people who are involved in the justice system who also struggle with mental illness and substance abuse and/or interventions designed to help these individuals. The UHP student would have the opportunity to assist on multiple projects and develop a range of research skills, from data entry, participant recruitment and survey administration, and transcription and coding of qualitative interviews. The UHP student will have the opportunity to be part of our very active and productive research lab and make connections with graduate students, too. More specifically, I anticipate needing assistance with 3 projects. (1) Data entry on a project examining technical violations of probation supervision (2) Participant recruitment phone-based surveys of people who received services from the Hamilton County Quick Response Team, and/or (3) Transcription and coding of interviews with various criminal justice professionals associated with specialized court dockets in Hamilton County. All work can be done remotely if the pandemic concerns persist into the summer. Otherwise, we can arrange to have a workstation for the student in the Criminal Justice department.

Student Expectations:

Effective communication with me and/or graduate students on the project; meticulous attention to detail; ability to multitask, follow directions well and work with minimal supervision; ongoing communication and updates on progress/accountability for hours and work. Student should have excellent interpersonal skills, be resourceful, organized, and highly reliable. I can train on the other skills needed to do the job.

Project Hours: 35

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Heidi Kloos (Psychology)

Project Description:

 When summer comes, many children struggle to retain what they have learned during the school year. This so-called summer-learning loss is particularly pronounced for children from economically disadvantaged communities. We seek to address the summer-learning loss by interfacing with a summer program that is organized for homeless children. Our specific focus is on elementary-school math (arithmetic, pre-algebra). This is a particularly challenging academic subject, with children often being several years behind their grade level. Children also struggle with learning motivation and persistence. They might even suffer from math anxiety. The proposed research will explore ways in which children can overcome these barriers and learn math in a positive environment. The research involves designing, carrying out, and testing the effect of a math-enrichment program that will be rolled out during the online summer program.

Student Expectations:

The student researcher is expected to help oversee the math enrichment program we plan to carry at the summer program for homeless children. This involves developing the necessary materials, training the volunteers, and supporting the program online. The student researcher is also expected to oversee the data collection and data analysis activities. This involves deciding on the appropriate assessments, help administer them, code the obtained data, and store it for later analysis. Finally, the student researcher is expected to help disseminate the findings. This includes a participating in conversation about the relevant literature, analyzing the data, and summarize the findings to be informative to the general audience.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Vikas Mehta (School of Planning)

Project Description:

The faculty researcher is currently conducting research on a project titled “The 15-minute Neighborhood.”  The work focuses on studying the neighborhoods of Cincinnati to determine the capacity of each neighborhood to provide for the regular needs of the residents — the social, cultural, commercial, learning, caring, recreational, and more (Care, Learn, Sustain, Engage, Recreate). The first aim is to determine how self-sufficient the neighborhoods are by identifying the level (and time) of access for Cincinnati residents to regular needs. The second aim is to determine what each neighborhood requires to become a sustainable place to deliver a high quality of life for its residents.

The methods and techniques include searching maps, documenting the types of assets and amenities such as businesses, parks, religious and cultural places, schools, institutions, and more and conducting interviews with residents. 

Livability, a major concern for cities, includes comfort, safety, health, affordability, access and also satisfaction and enjoyment that comes from living in a place. The availability of and easy access to the range of places, assets and amenities that provide for residents’ daily life are a critical component of livable neighborhoods. Besides convenience, the presence of assets and amenities within easy reach bestows numerous benefits that add to quality of life. The proximity promotes walking over driving or taking other modes of travel, thus saving time and resources in addition to the health benefits associated with walking. The clustering of neighborhood assets and amenities provides a centeredness that helps in creating a sense of place and giving an identity to the neighborhood. This enables the use of space over the day, generating and supporting a diversity of activities that add daily patterns of use in the neighborhood, and also providing the much-needed surveillance and sense of safety via the presence of people. From the perspectives of users and providers, neighborhood businesses have the potential to serve retail needs of the locals along with creating a stable and reliable customer base for the business owners. A resultant and important effect of the localized assets and amenities is promoting a sense of community within the neighborhood.

Cities such as Cincinnati, with several urban issues, such as lack of automobile access and inefficient public transport, struggle in providing their residents the basic needs, such as access to fresh food particularly to the underprivileged population. Investing in neighborhood assets and amenities can prove beneficial in addressing such important quality-of-life concerns. The systematic analysis from this research will provide tools that can be used to create policies and programs to support more complete, robust, and sustainable neighborhoods. Cincinnati is a good example of mid-sized cities that are transforming their policies to become more livable as they compete for new businesses and people. Cities could use these findings to incentivize and target development with specific assets and amenities in neighborhoods that are particularly lacking. In the case of large-scale neighborhood revitalization visioning, local governments, planners and urban designers could anchor the development on the very principles of a complete 15-minute neighborhood.

Student Expectations:

Ability and interest in reading maps, communication skills to interview community members and to transcribe these. Systematically catalogue information and data. Some interest in thematically organizing information.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Hybrid

United States & Global Policy

Faculty: Ashley Currier (Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies)

Project Description:

Carceral sexual violence is a social problem that exists in an interstice between social movements in different countries in the global North and South, as few social movement organizations address the issue. Carceral sexual violence (CSV) refers to sexual victimization that occurs in jails, prisons, and other detention facilities. Survivors of carceral sexual violence include detainees and incarcerated people. #MeToo campaigns have given antirape organizing renewed urgency both in the United States and South Africa (Fileborn and Loney-Howes 2019; Gouws 2018), but they leave CSV survivors behind. Although rape that happens outside of prisons occurs on a “continuum of sexual violence,” for CSV survivors, prison walls segregate them from other rape survivors, locking them out of representation in social movements (Kelly 1987, 51). CSV’s unpopular nature as a social problem creates interconnected dilemmas for activists. Under what circumstances do activists, movement organizations, and lawyers in the US and South Africa mobilize against CSV as a social problem?

 In this project, I seek to understand how activists, movement organizations, and lawyers in the US and South Africa, two countries with high per-capita rates of incarceration, engage in action to end CSV, which I treat as an “awkward” social problem (Polletta 2006). I will also examine why activists who work in movements “adjacent to” anti-CSV organizations opt not to engage in anti-CSV advocacy. In this project, I will analyze the cultural, economic, and political conditions that enable, complicate, and thwart anti-CSV organizing. I will also gather information about past and contemporary anti-CSV organizing and CSV-related laws, court cases, and policies in the US and South Africa for inclusion in a publicly available database.

The study of sexual violence has been relegated to the margins of sociology and other social sciences (Armstrong, Gleckman-Krut, and Johnson 2018). This significant and substantive oversight results in missed opportunities to understand how a variety of social inequalities (e.g., race, class, citizenship, gender) are reproduced. My research takes up the call to place sexual violence at the center of inquiry in law and social science. Because anti-CSV organizing unfolds on the edges of different social movements, scholars lack a robust understanding of how anti-CSV activism happens and how and when activists shy away from the issue. Prisons’ hermetic sealing off from society means that carceral cultures and structures differ so much from the “outside” world that strategies for ending CSV must be specific to prisons. This project will demystify anti-CSV organizing and diagnose the dangers and possibilities associated with anti-CSV organizing and barriers to anti-CSV alliances in the US and South Africa, two countries with high per-capita incarceration rates.

Student Expectations:

Because this project is in an early phase, I would like a student researcher to assist me with four tasks: 1) identify archives in the US and South Africa that contain information about prisoners’ rights organizing and what archival collections contain; 2) identify and summarize historic and contemporary anti-CSV organizing anywhere in the world, whether these movements or campaigns still exist, and/or what led to their demise; 3) review and summarize first-person accounts from anti-CSV activists about their activist experiences and how they portray the awkward issue of carceral sexual violence; and 4) collect information about laws and policies related to CSV, starting with the US and South Africa. Students with fluency in languages besides English are most welcome. The student researcher will likely conduct Internet-based research related to the four tasks explained above. I have collected some first-person accounts from anti-CSV activists already. I will train the student researcher on how to look for and process information about prison conditions, human rights abuses, and anti-CSV organizing. The student researcher and I will have ongoing conversations about what constitutes awkward social problems and why carceral sexual violence can be a tricky issue around which to organize. An interest in human rights, prison conditions, social movements, or politics in and beyond the US is an advantage but is not required.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Project Title: Life and Death Decisions: County District Attorneys and the Death Penalty in Texas

Faculty: David Niven (Political Science)

Project Description:

The punishment should fit the crime, according to the familiar phrase. But the practical reality is that the punishment sought varies widely depending on where the crime happened. In Texas, the likelihood that a capital murder defendant will face a death sentence is 20 times higher in a group of more punitive counties than it is in less punitive counties. The County District Attorney in Texas makes the decision whether to seek a death sentence - and this study will consider what influences their life and death decisions.

Professor Niven is part of a research team that has compiled data on more than 15,000 murder prosecutions in Texas. We know a lot about the defendants, the crimes they were charged with, and the sentences that resulted. But we need to know more about the District Attorneys who prosecuted these case.

The student researcher will work on compiling key biographical facts and political data on County District Attorneys in Texas. In addition, the student researcher will compile media coverage and quotes from these district attorneys that sheds light on their views on the death penalty, as well as their decisions on individual cases.

This research study is ideal for students interested in politics/policy/law/justice. Will be great experience for those considering law school, graduate school, or anyone interested in taking part in applied research.

Student Expectations:

No particular expertise is required - but patience and persistence will prove useful. Students must be available for full time work, though the work can be done any time.

The work will involve a combination of searching media reports and political databases, entering data, and writing up brief biographical summaries.

The student researcher will be welcome to utilize data from this project in their own future work for an undergraduate thesis or other project.

Project Hours: 35- 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Rina Williams (Political Science)

Project Description:

Professor Laura Dudley Jenkins and I are recording oral histories of women in political science in the US and around the world for a scholarly book and companion website. Students interested in the advancement of women in academia, oral history as a research methodology, political or social sciences, creating web-based audio archives, research on the status of women, research on any subfield of political science, or academic writing and editing will find this summer research assistantship interesting and valuable. In the process we will meet and have conversations with some of the leading women in political science from all over the world. We will design assignments around the particular strengths and interests of the student. 

We will focus in the summer of 2021 on completing interviews via zoom, editing audio recordings, analyzing transcriptions to identify passages for inclusion in thematic chapters, and researching and drafting chapters and website content. We are coordinating with extant oral history archives of African American political scientists and an ongoing project on Latinx scholars. Although women are now a majority of political science majors and MA students in the US, they dwindle at each level beyond that, from PhD students, to PhD graduates and at each academic rank. With a range of fascinating scholars, we discuss: Why did women leave the field, or stay? What were their experiences in graduate school? How did they pick their dissertation topics and research methods? 

Our book will pair scholars' turning points with milestones in the field of political science, with a focus on both the challenges women have overcome and the unique contributions women have made to reshape the field and its central concepts, including power, security, civil society, and development. We are working with an editor at Oxford University Press on the book project. We will hire a web designer for the technical aspects of building the oral history site, which will include selected audio clips and transcripts. A UHP RA would help us with scheduling and recording remaining oral histories, sitting in on histories and asking follow up questions, editing or proofreading transcriptions, selecting key passages from audio recordings, preparing materials for website, processing permissions for initial interviews and for subsequent use of specific excerpts on website and in book, coding audio recordings and time-stamped transcriptions by themes to be searchable on the website, secondary source research for book chapters, citations, literature reviews, editorial assistance, and proofreading of text for website and chapter drafts.

Student Expectations:

A variety of majors could contribute in valuable ways to this project, including but not limited to political science, international affairs, e-media, English, history, environmental studies, computer science, and more. We will meet at least two times per week via zoom or in person (perhaps outside depending on COVID situation and weather). If the student has commitments, we can shift hours to alternative weeks in the summer semester. UHP trainings will be counted as hours worked. Work can be from home (in Cincinnati or elsewhere) or in the library or computer labs if special programs or research sources are needed. If Dr. Jenkins and I can each hire one student, the four of us will collaborate and work as a team.

Project Hours: 30

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Laura Jenkins (Political Science)

Project Description:

Professor Rina Verma Williams and I are recording oral histories of women in political science in the US and around the world for a scholarly book and companion website. Students interested in the advancement of women in academia, oral history as a research methodology, political or social sciences, creating web-based audio archives, research on the status of women, research on any subfield of political science, or academic writing and editing will find this summer research assistantship interesting and valuable. In the process we will meet and have conversations with some of the leading women in political science from all over the world. We will design assignments around the particular strengths and interests of the student. 

We will focus in the summer of 2021 on completing interviews via zoom, editing audio recordings, analyzing transcriptions to identify passages for inclusion in thematic chapters, and researching and drafting chapters and website content. We are coordinating with extant oral history archives of African American political scientists and an ongoing project on Latinx scholars. Although women are now a majority of political science majors and MA students in the US, they dwindle at each level beyond that, from PhD students, to PhD graduates and at each academic rank. With a range of fascinating scholars, we discuss: Why did women leave the field, or stay? What were their experiences in graduate school? How did they pick their dissertation topics and research methods?

Our book will pair scholars' turning points with milestones in the field of political science, with a focus on both the challenges women have overcome and the unique contributions women have made to reshape the field and its central concepts, including power, security, civil society, and development. We are working with an editor at Oxford University Press on the book project. We will hire a web designer for the technical aspects of building the oral history site, which will include selected audio clips and transcripts.

A UHP research assistant will help us with scheduling and recording remaining oral histories, sitting in on histories and asking follow up questions, editing or proofreading transcriptions, selecting key passages from audio recordings, preparing materials for website, processing permissions for initial interviews and for subsequent use of specific excerpts on website and in book, coding audio recordings and time-stamped transcriptions by themes to be searchable on the website, secondary source research for book chapters, citations, literature reviews, editorial assistance, and proofreading of text for website and chapter drafts.

Student Expectations:

A variety of majors could contribute in valuable ways to this project, including but not limited to political science, international affairs, e-media, English, Spanish, history, environmental studies, computer science, and more. We will meet at least two times per week via zoom or in person (perhaps outside depending on COVID situation and weather). If the student has commitments, we can shift hours to alternative weeks in the summer semester.UHP trainings will be counted as hours worked. Work can be entirely from home (in Cincinnati or elsewhere) or in the library or computer lab if open and preferred. Dr. Williams and I can each hire one student, so the four of us will collaborate and work as a team. 

I am still in touch with my prior UHP summer research assistant and recently wrote her a letter of recommendation for the Peace Corps. I look forward to participating in this program again!

Project Hours: 30- 40

Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Isaac Campos (History)

Project Description:

One of the most influential theories in the history of drugs in the United States has been the notion that Mexican immigrants introduced the practice of marijuana smoking to the U.S. in the early twentieth century. Through various publications, and using various kinds of sources, I have recently been challenging this hypothesis. During the summers of 2018 and 2019, Discover UC research assistants have helped me to systematically examine and database U.S. newspaper stories from around the country about marijuana during the 1910s. Together we have built a database exploring where concern about marijuana was developing in the country and where it was and was not connected to Mexican immigrants. The final result—an interactive map that will bring all of this research to life in a visually-engaging, and research-enhancing format— should be ready to go by the start of the summer.

The next step will be to work with and analyze what our visualizations tell us about the data. This will involve noticing patterns in the visualizations that will lead us back to the original sources to try and better explain what it is that we’re seeing. We will eventually write up a summary of our findings to be published online with the visualization itself, which will then be available for the public to explore. Your duties will include analysis, original research, presentation of the findings, and more. It should be an incredibly stimulating and exciting summer project for any honors student interested in the history of illicit drugs in the United States.

Student Expectations:

I marked this as a "hybrid" job in the hopes that we can get back to in-person meetings during the summer. However, this project can also be done 100% virtually if necessary. A background in history is desirable but not required. The most important attributes for the RA will be reliability, attention to detail, intellectual curiosity, and an energetic, positive attitude. I can teach you how to do everything else!

Project Hours: 30- 40

Format: Hybrid

Title: Understanding International Relations in an Era of Globalized Economic Activity

Faculty: Thomas Moore (Political Science)

Project Description:

Although the world today features unprecedented levels of cross-border interdependence socially, culturally, ecologically, environmentally, and militarily, many observers argue that deepening economic ties remain the primary driver of global interconnectedness. This project will provide an enriching experience for anyone interested in international economic relations, changes in the global corporate landscape, and the geopolitical implications of a globalizing world economy.

Using data purchased from Forbes, students working with me over the past 2-3 years have created original databases in which the world’s top 2,000 companies are organized by industry and nationality so we can track changes over time in the prominence of companies from more than 60 countries, including the US, China, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, and India. We’re examining dozens of industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and computers to telecommunications and automobiles.

We’re now in the process of using Bloomberg data (courtesy of the Lindner College of Business) to access more detailed, company-specific data about how globalized different companies are in terms of their ownership, revenue generation, and asset deployment. Take Toyota as an example. We’re retrieving data on how the percentage of Japanese vs. foreign ownership of Toyota has changed over time, as well as which foreign countries have comprised the highest portion of foreign ownership in Toyota over time (US, Germany, China, etc.). We’re also extracting data on how the share of Toyota’s domestic vs. foreign sales has changed with time. In a similar vein, we’re retrieving data on how the percentage of Toyota’s physical assets that are deployed domestically vs. internationally (e.g., factories) has changed over time. All of this is designed to assess the extent of overall economic globalization and whether companies from certain countries or in certain industries are more globalized than others.  

Student Expectations:

Although students from Lindner College of Business or the College of Arts & Sciences (especially social science majors) might find the subject matter of this project especially relevant to their studies, I’ll happily consider any motivated honors student who finds the topic interesting. The main qualifications are being willing to follow instructions carefully, being comfortable asking questions and raising concerns, and having a strong attention to detail.

I anticipate having a team of students work on the project in Summer 2021. Specifically, the UHP Discover student will likely be one of four or five full-time students on the team. I would like at least one team member to be someone who has taken courses in Business Analytics (or is even a Business Analytics major) so we have that expertise on hand as we analyze the data. Other work includes qualitative background research on individual companies, industries, and countries.

There will also be opportunities to explore additional databases available through the World Bank, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and various national governments and regional organizations such as the European Union. No statistical skills or experience in Business Analytics is required for this work, as it will involve simply finding and extracting data from databases, organizing it into Excel files, and providing some initial descriptive interpretation of the data. That said, a working familiarity with Excel or a commitment to enhancing one’s Excel skills is necessary.

While I do not plan for us to meet in person, I would like to have one or two members of the team be in Cincinnati in case we need to access materials in UC’s library or retrieve additional data from the Bloomberg Terminals in the Lindner College of Business. I do not anticipate needing anyone to be on campus often and it does not have to be the UHP Discover student, but in assembling the team I will be looking for at least one student who is able to visit campus occasionally if necessary. 

 I’m completely flexible about when and where you work. I’ll gladly accommodate a student’s short-term study abroad trip (if those resume), a family vacation, etc. as long as consistent weekly progress is otherwise made and as long as the total hours we agree upon are accumulated over the course of the summer as per UHP rules.

Project Hours: 40

Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Flavia Bastos (School of Art)

Project Description:

This is the fourth year of this research collaboration that connects creativity and democracy through an exploration of the possible role of digital technologies and art education to promote citizenship. Examining the experiences of high school educators working in a variety of school districts, including those with significant immigrant populations, allows understanding of teen’s stories and perspectives about living in the United States today. A cohort of high school students from across the country was asked to employ digital storytelling to reflect about their experiences in America, touching on polarizing issues such as race, immigration, social opportunity and the American dream. Students created 2-3-minute video-narratives in response to the prompt, “Who is American today?” Incorporating elements of traditional qualitative, participatory methods, and arts-based research, this project aims to promote creative citizenship by connecting cultural and creative activities with social, political, or civic goals (Locktoon, Greene, Casey, Raby, & Vickress, 2014). Digital story telling lends itself to arts-based research practice because art can “create knowledge to help us understand in a profound way the world in which we live “(Sullivan, 2010, p.x). Inspired by a project designed to encourage the “voices” of young people through artistic exploration of their European identies to unveil the effects of recent economic and political decisions in challenging a sense of shared European citizenship (Richardson, 2016). To some extent, the current political and social changes in the United States parallel those of Europe and raise questions about the role of education in promoting citizenship. One of our intended outcomes is to empower other art educators across the country, to address the nuanced realities of their own students, while advancing the potential of creative education strategies to promote informed citizenship and sustain democracy.

Student Expectations:

  • Completing grant applications for additional research funds
  • Analyzing the gathered data (from students), creating holistic categories, and delving into content analysis of the videos;
  • Maintaining the digital presence of the project via social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) and website;
  • Developing recruitment materials
  • Revising and field-testing the teaching guide for teachers/researchers who will join the project starting in the fall 2020 semester;
  • Writing a report including preliminary findings;
  • Conducting interviews with project participants;
  • Searching for additional grant funding and writing proposal;
  • Assist with exhibitions related to the project

Expertise in digital media, graphics, and strong writing skills a must. The ideal student researcher candidate should be able to work 30 hours week, able to work independently, have strong writing skills, interest in creative practices, competent digital skills, as well as curiosity and interest in developing qualitative research competencies.

Project Hours: 30

Format: Hybrid