UHP

2022 UHP Discover Projects

Apply for a 2023 UHP Discover Project February 10–19, 2023

For the eighth year of UHP Discover, we are excited to offer XX faculty lead research projects. Each project is aligned with a pillar of the the university's Next Lives Here strategic direction.

Under each project header, you will find the research description; approximate weekly hours to be worked; and the anticipated modality. Modalities and exact hours worked will be agreed upon by the faculty/student pair upon confirmation of a match.

Please review the description of the project(s) you're interested in and complete the application prior to 11:59pm EST on Sunday, February 19, 2023.

Still have questions about UHP Discover? You can also review the recorded information session below.

UHP Discover Projects (2022 Projects Listed Currently)

Academic Excellence: Learning In and Out of the Classroom

Faculty: Brent Stoffer (Biological Sciences)

Project Description: 

One of the most important transferable skills that students can utilize regardless of their discipline is the ability to analyze and present data. Coding in particular has become an increasingly marketable skillset given the use of Big Data across many disciplines. This project will involves the intersection 1 between education and statistics. Specifically, students will (1) develop new resources to improve undergraduate biology majors’ understanding of statistics and use of coding 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 communication skills by teaching some basic statistics content as an Assistant TA in the first[1]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) 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 educational research 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 student understanding of data and coding – providing outcomes for the UHP undergraduate student that transcend across multiple disciplines.

In the course, students learn how to use statistics via Excel, eventually being exposed to basic coding to assess their scientific hypothesis. 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[1]year series of labs. Additional research still needs to be conducted to determine whether additional resources, the addition of a newly develop lab activity centered around basic coding, and an accompanying hands-on activity help improve students’ sentiment around statistics and ability to analyze data. 

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

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 1 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 summer.

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 on the ground. 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: 45

Anticipated Format: Fully In- Person

Faculty: Hexuan Liu and Danny Wu (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

The readability level of patient education materials varies from source to source. Patients seeking information may become confused or misinterpret information if the text is too complex. It is recommended that all Patient Education Materials (PEMs) should be at a 6th grade reading level or 1 lower, but this is not always how these materials are written. While doing research into the readability of patient education materials, it was found that the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology was among the least studied. Patient education materials, particularly those found online, are often accessed to see guidance on what to do during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause, and understand certain changes and symptoms. Despite the field of OB/GYN being a largely important one for many all over the world, it is surprising to see very little research into the readability and understandability of these materials. The main purposes of this project are to 1) identify the level of readability for the PEMs collected and 2) compare the different categories based on sources of PEMs to see if there are any major differences between the different sources.

The research team is co-led by Drs. Hexuan Liu (CECH) and Danny T.Y. Wu (CoM), who have been participating in UHP Discover to advance the proposed research in the past two years. In 2020, The research team worked on a systematic literature review on the relationships between health literacy and social determents of health. The work led to a conference poster presentation and an internal grant funded by the UC Office of Research. In 2021, the research team conducted another review to summarize the current status of readability assessment tools and is preparing a conference abstract submission. This year, the proposed project will apply what we have learned previously to assess the readability levels of the PEMs and advocate for more readable and understandable PEMs in the field of OB/GYN. This work can help patients with lower health literacy to gain medical knowledge through readable PEMs and have the ability to better manage their health. The Discover student will help collect PEMs and analyze their readability scores statistically to test the hypotheses and answer the research questions.

ProjectHours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Juan Godoy-Peñas (Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures)

Project Description:

 Summer 2021, I developed and directed the first Local Spanish Immersion Program for the Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures (RALL) at the University of Cincinnati. This new program offers students a unique and well-curated experience in which students are afforded 1 the type of incidental interactions in the target language that facilitate and accelerate language learning. Supported by the UHP, Dr. Moranski and I conducted research to measure linguistic development using multiple tasks (acceptability judgment task, a lexical decision task, and an elicited imitation task). Preliminary results showed that learners in the program had significant L2 gains some of the same areas as had the study abroad students, including subject-verb agreement and scores on the elicited imitation task. The results of this study will be presented in the American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference in March and a manuscript is being finished for submission to one of the top peer-reviewed journals of linguistics, The Modern Language Journal. During Summer 2022, Dr. Moranski and I aim to run a second collection data round to measure linguistic development using the same multiple tasks. Due to the fact that this program has a 20 max. cap, larger data with a new set of students is needed to see if the preliminary results are still valid to a larger scale.

Student may be available to be on campus during Summer B MWF. Before that, student may work remotely. Student is expected to be familiar with excel. Further consideration will be given to applicants with experience on data collection. The student must have an Intermediate or higher level of Spanish.

Project Hours: 30

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Max Cormendy (Philosophy)

Project Description:

Founded in 1933, the Philosophy of Science Association is the largest academic nonprofit devoted to the philosophy of science. Our mission is to promote research, teaching, & free discussion of issues in the field from diverse standpoints. We realize this mission by publishing the Philosophy of Science journal, hosting an international biennial meeting, recognizing outstanding scholarship through prizes and awards, and administering programs to increase the equity, diversity, and inclusion of the philosophy of science. The UHP Discover Fellow will join the PSA’s Executive Office in these activities. They will have the opportunity to learn, how an academic nonprofit operates, from working on day-to-day tasks like managing the website, conversing with members, and balancing the books to researching industry best practices and thinking strategically about the Association’s future.  

During the Fellowship, the student will have an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in any of the following areas. We believe that it is important that this experience holds value to the student in their future pursuits, so there will be some latitude given as far as the topics and experiences that interest them the most. 

Organizational Planning

The landscape of academic nonprofits has been undergoing a transformation, spurred by recent technologies and open-source publishing philosophies that have obviated the long-standing purposes of these organizations. The UHP Fellow will work with the PSA Director, Governing Board, and stakeholders to think critically about philosophy as a practice and brainstorm new initiatives, in addition to getting a feel for the structure and duties of the office. 

Conference Organization 

The PSA’s main event in 2022 is an international conference in Pittsburgh. The UHP Fellow will have the opportunity to participate in planning every aspect of the event, which includes everything from proofing and editing marketing collateral, to answering questions from participants, to working with international scholars and event design and production professionals on this important event. 

Website Management 

The PSA website is the main conduit to our membership, especially in the COVID era. The UHP Fellow will learn the basics of website management and best practices with respect to content creation, user experience, and accessibility. We recently have been presented with some challenges regarding membership management. We would like assistance with researching and evaluating software and procedures that can improve our current membership management systems.  

Marketing and Communications 

The PSA has around 900 individual members and 1000 institutional members, 30% of whom reside outside of the United States. The UHP Discover Fellow would correspond with them and contribute to PSA communications by writing copy and reviewing the effectiveness of current marketing campaigns. They would also be invited to fruitfully contribute to the discussion of innovative marketing and social media campaign planning. 

In short, the UHP Fellow can expect to receive real-world experience in running an academic nonprofit, an overview of academic administration, and the opportunity to network with students and scholars from around the world. This Fellowship will serve as a fantastic preparation for anyone seeking to work in nonprofits or pursuing similar alt-academic careers.

Project Hours: 35- 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Patrick Guerra (Biological Sciences; Interdisciplinary)

Project Description:

In this project, an undergraduate researcher will help develop new teaching tools and opportunities, to help young students learn and understand abstract concepts, and to provide underserved students with access to participatory research training. In collaboration with Dr. Lisa M. Vaughn (the Action Research Center, UC CECH, and Cincinnati Children’s Department of Pediatrics, UC College of Medicine), our research aims to achieve: (1) the measurement of the effectiveness of a learning mascot intervention; (2) the development of participatory research opportunities for young mobility-impaired students. Using principles from education, the social sciences, and design, we will produce a participatory research program based on our work on silk moth cocoons, that includes the development of a learning mascot.

Providing engaging learning opportunities for students, in particular children and youth, can enhance their development of foundational knowledge and transferable skills applicable to future careers and life-long learning. Learning mascots can help students more easily relate to the material that they are learning. Mascots can create multiple avenues of storytelling that help simplify complex or abstract concepts, making learning more accessible to diverse audiences.

The undergraduate researcher participating in this project will help develop key aspects of this research. We will design a learning mascot and develop teaching modules based on the Robin moth (Hyalophora cecropia), in which we use its cocoons to teach abstract concepts such as the three-dimensional (3D) physical traits of objects. Robin moths build cocoons with different 3D architectural features, which vary in shape, size, and volume. Familiar to the public, cocoons possess great potential as tools for visualizing and learning abstract 3D spatial concepts. This work will include conducting a meta-analysis and systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature to provide information that helps design the mascot. To measure the effectiveness of the mascot, we will develop and administer surveys to students to assess their understanding of these abstract concepts before and after the mascot teaching intervention. To gauge mascot utility, we will develop surveys for teachers, in order to produce information that can improve the program for both students and instructors. This project can create a useful teaching paradigm applicable to other complex or abstract concepts.

Although many programs have broadened educational access for many groups, the participation of mobility-impaired students in activities that develop research experience can be improved. Specifically, opportunities in which these students can participate in outdoor field-based research are lacking. To address this, we will develop participatory research activities in which we use current technologies to increase access to field-based research. The undergraduate researcher involved in this project will assist with these different activities. For example, we will bring in cocoons and a portable 3D scanner to the classroom, so that students can learn how to measure and analyze the 3D features of cocoons. We will use live drone footage to visualize cocoons under natural conditions that can be examined remotely. This work can serve as a model for developing educational programs for populations that historically do not have access to specific types of training.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Sarah Schroeder (School of Education)

Project Description:

This project seeks to extend current work with community partners in Cincinnati Public Schools and PBS POV films. Using visual participatory research methods, we will be analyzing work from 11-12 grade Cincinnati Public Schools students to examine how equitable media literacy practices can 1 empower students to change the narratives of their communities and their own identity. We will interview students and teachers in Cincinnati Public Schools to evaluate pilot lessons that were developed by UC students and faculty and implemented at Oyler High School in the 2021-2022 academic year. These findings will be used to redesign lessons and creative projects for the 2022-2023 and to create a "playbook" for teachers to extend the work of this project into additional local high schools. Working alongside PBS education experts, CPS curriculum design experts, and documentary filmmaker and changemaker CJ Hunt, this project will ultimately seek to create a space in education where students can use their critical thinking, research and media literacy skills to question and change narratives and stories they are being told and seek out and share truths. The value of this work will be identified in the work students are able to do and the stories they are able to create and share.

The student researcher will begin by becoming acquainted with the project, observing students working at Oyler High School, and meeting with experts in the field, such as a partner on this project, Dr. Nancy Jennings, to finalize methodology. The student researcher will be responsible for co-creating interview questions and conducting interviews with participants. They will co-create the methodology to be used to measure the success of student work and analyze student work using visual participatory research methods. The student researcher will be integral in co-creating all aspects of the project and will participate in all community partner meetings. The student researcher will also apply findings to creating a forward facing website and "field guide" for future teachers to implement the lessons and student projects in the next phase of the project.

Project Hours: 30

AnticipatedFormat: Hybrid

Faculty: Timothy Forest (UC Blue Ash; History)

Project Description:

This project reinterprets traditional, longstanding assumptions regarding gender and racial identity by examining the role Scottish Islanders played in expanding, then defending, the British Empire at the height of European imperialism. Their simultaneous status as the most celebrated of mighty Scottish warriors, yet the most fallen of Britons, made them ideal emigrants from a decayed Britain, but also immigrants to a vibrant Empire.

In the 1880s, London, working with colonial governments in Canada, southern Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, sought to establish colonies of impoverished farmer/fishermen, at state expense, from the Western Isles of Scotland. The Isles were suffering from a combination of famine and economic collapse, driving many of its residents into open rebellion.  Supporters touted their Highland, Scottish, and British characters, their agricultural prowess, their staunch Protestantism, their frontier experience, and their (usual) loyalty to Queen and Empire. Here were a down-on-their-luck people, the “good Celts,” brainwashed into rebellion by Irish and Marxist agitators, bad geography, culture, and climate as well. If they were transported to the frontiers of the Empire, away from these influences, their inner lights would shine.

As they rehabilitated themselves, they would rejuvenate imperial ties then fraying. They would reinforce economic ties between colony and Empire, then slipping. They would fight growing demands in these societies for autonomy, even independence, from Britain. They would defend the colonies against rising foreign powers. They would displace the growing numbers of non-Britons in these new Britains. Their British blood, their manly strength, their feudal natures all would prove to the world the Empire was not weakening, not falling apart, as many believed. They would check the advance of urbanization, women’s and civil rights, labor unions then seen as wrecking the yeoman, hierarchical, traditional society that made Britain/the Empire “Great.”

Yet nothing went as planned. The British government was more concerned with ridding itself of an impoverished, rebellious, quasi-Irish population that drained state resources. The assistance they would receive flew in the face of Victorian self-help, and sparked jealousy from others. Employers rejected their insubordinate “British” nature. Working classes viewed them as “scabs,” not race-allies. Social Darwinists rejected rehabilitation altogether. Colonials believed Britain was using them as a “dumping ground,” seeing the schemes as its way of disrespecting them. On the frontiers of Empire, any threat to British ethno-racial supremacy, like these perennially impoverished Scots, was seen as a weakness. They instead “made” Britons out of the unassisted Europeans who assimilated and thrived. Lastly, the Hebrideans themselves suspected that colonization was a thinly veiled exile, like past sending of criminals to Australia, dressed-up for a late Victorian audience, and rejected them.

I am hoping for a researcher who can help me sift through the primary and secondary research I have compiled in libraries and archives in all the places mentioned above. (Researcher can pick the country interesting him/her/them the most – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, or South Africa.) Archival work in Cincinnati and Columbus may be involved. Depending on interest/involvement, I would be open to joint conference presentations, a co-authored article, or a co-authored book chapter in an edited volume.

Project Hours: 35

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Urban Impact: Policy Implications in a Globalized World

Faculty: Valerie Anderson (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

Human trafficking, involving the exploitation of people for labor or sex, is a pervasive social problem 1 and crime impacting all communities throughout the globe, including the state of Ohio. In 2019, a state-wide prevalence study on human trafficking in Ohio and identified that were several thousand youth and young adults at risk for trafficking or had experienced trafficking in the state between 2014- 2016 (Anderson et al., 2019).

There are numerous social and economic factors contributing to human trafficking including substance dependency; forms of abuse including physical, psychological, and sexual abuse; runaway or homeless status; truancy; undocumented immigration status; and societal oppression, marginalization, and/or impoverishment. In an effort to address these contributing factors, comprehensive and legal services for victims of human trafficking are offered throughout the nation and, more recently, targeted efforts for services for survivors of trafficking have developed in the Cincinnati region. For instance, at the local level, there are several agencies with dedicated services to survivors of trafficking (e.g., the Salvation Army, Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio).

To maximize the utilization of these services, specific data regarding the prevalence and array of comprehensive and legal services offered to victims of human trafficking is needed. Data regarding these services within the Cincinnati region is limited, leaving the question of what services are needed and/or if current services adequately fill community needs to address the contributing factors of human trafficking in the region. More specifically, there is a need to understand service gaps in human trafficking survivors’ access to trauma-specific mental health services, housing, addiction recovery, and advocacy. To that end, this community-based study allows for a close examination of direct services for victims of all forms of human trafficking.

The project involves in-depth interviews with individuals providing services to human trafficking survivors in the Cincinnati region. The interviews will reveal information about what resources are available, what resources are needed to respond to survivors of trafficking, and what barriers exist to providing services. A semi-structured interview protocol was developed to understand comprehensive and legal services in the area including outreach strategies, gaps in services, strategic plans, trainings, and the impact of COVID-19 on service provision.

The student researcher will help with all aspects of this project including assisting with conducting literature reviews on recent relevant research, transcribing, and analyzing interview data, and developing summary reports for the research team. There will be opportunities to present research at conferences in the future and/or co-author peer-reviewed manuscripts with the research team.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: David Niven (Political Science)

Project Description:

This is a study about who gets a congressional district that includes their whole neighborhood, town, or county – and who has to live with a zig-zagging line that cuts their community into political pieces. 1 Because of gerrymandering, more than 150 million Americans have endured an unnecessary division of their county into multiple congressional districts under current maps. My initial research uncovers this and numerous examples of the unnecessary division of communities by congressional district lines. These divisions – of one’s neighborhood, town, or county – are not imposed equally. Rather, my data reveal a significant racial disparity such that congressional district divisions are disproportionately imposed on African Americans and Hispanics. To consider who is subjected to the burdens of gerrymandering and how such disparities materialize represents a new turn in research on redistricting and representation. Most studies focus on how many votes produce how many seats, while this inquiry both humanizes the subject and provides a more systematic understanding of the process.

Why Division Matters

Confusing, confounding district boundaries inhibit informed electoral participation, citizen outreach to their elected officials, ideological agreement between constituents and their representatives, and even government responsiveness. What is at stake when district lines are drawn are the very pillars of representation.

Examples of the tangible consequences of confusing congressional district boundaries are numerous. In a special election held August 7, 2018 to replace a retiring member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 12th District of Ohio, more than 4,000 voters in Franklin County, Ohio called and hundreds sent emails to the county board of elections asking why their polling place was not open for the special election. There was a very simple explanation: they did not live in the 12th District.

Their confusion was quite understandable. In a county split between three congressional districts, where 14 out of 16 municipalities were split between multiple districts and the district lines stretched out across the county like the tentacles of an octopus, it is difficult for many to know just which side of which district line they reside within. In short, the division of counties, towns, neighborhoods, and even streets makes campaigning harder and voting more difficult.

 Research Questions

We seek to answer two critical research questions:

 1. Are there racial disparities in the imposition of Congressional district divisions in the new maps being drawn in 2022?

2. Are there structural origins to those racial disparities?

The student researcher will help gather information and data on the way congressional maps were drawn in 2022, and will help gather information and data, and utilize existing Census data, to help demonstrate who endured divisions to their community. Ultimately, this is a study concerned with the very foundation of accountability in the institution of the United States House of Representatives. If equitable access to being heard is in any way stymied on account of race, a full understanding of the origins, implications, and solutions to such a racial disparity is of great importance to an accountable, well-functioning democracy.

Project Hours: 30- 40

Format: Virtual

Faculty: Vikas Mehta (School of Planning)

Project Description:

Sir Thomas More’s Utopia of 1516 is perhaps the most well-known work on the subject but the desire to create a better world has existed since the dawn of civilization in societies across the globe. In contemporary times, confronting climate crises, numerous philosophers, thinkers, environmentalists, 1 technologists, designers, city planners, and many more are producing their own visions of a better future.

The faculty researcher is currently conducting research on a project titled The Lure of Utopia: the future of cities. The work focuses on reviewing and studying the literature on “utopia” and “futures” in a variety of disciplines including literature, architecture, city planning, geography, cultural studies, and more. The aim is to understand the broad classification of the “drivers” of utopian visions.

There are several very good academic works that discuss utopian visions but most of them do not spatialize these visions because these works emerge from scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Another strain of scholars—primarily architectural historians and theorists—cover the spatial visions of utopia proposed by architects of the past but largely ignore the rich literature from the social sciences and humanities disciplines. In sum, this project aims at synthesizing these literatures and works in a manner that all the substantial ideas on utopia and urban futures can be spatialized and compared.

 The project has two phases. The first includes a thorough review of the broad array of text on the subject. This also includes creating summaries and takeaways from each of the works and classifying these. The second phase includes visualizing the works using diagrams, sketches, and other visual means. The next phase involves discussing these in the context of current challenges and future directions that become useful for city planners, urban designers, and architects.

The methods and techniques include searching and reading literature on utopia and urban futures, documenting, systematically summarizing, and classifying these while working as a part of a team with the faculty researcher.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Dinshaw Mistry (Asian Studies)

Project Description:

Nuclear energy is one among three to four main energy sources that help a 'greener' energy mix,  enabling countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, compared to Europe, nuclear energy is much less prevalent in Asia (Japan may be an exception). This project looks at the politics, economics, and technical reasons for why nuclear energy is not a major energy source in Asia; trends toward greater or lesser future use of nuclear energy in Asia; and differing compositions of nuclear energy and other green energy sources in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), Southeast Asia, and East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Students will research these issues drawing upon standard energy databases, academic journals, and local news sources. About two-thirds of the project will focus on South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and one-third will focus on Southeast Asia and East Asia. The ideal student researcher could have familiarity with the basic aspects of nuclear energy and energy/environmental issues and/or be knowledgeable about politics and policy in Asian countries (South Asia, East Asia).

Students will research key questions concerning nuclear energy and green energy in particular countries in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), Southeast Asia, and East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). They will draw upon standard energy databases, academic journals, and local news sources. Some of the research will be 'quantative', looking at basic numbers and trends in data for the energy sector. Other aspects of the research will be 'qualitative', looking at political and economic and policy reasons for different aspects of nuclear energy and green energy use in various countries. Students will write summaries of their findings every one to two weeks and present it to the professor. The student researcher could have some familiarity with two areas: a) the technical aspects of nuclear energy /environmental issues and b) politics and policy in Asian countries (South Asia, East Asia). However, students with background in just one of these two areas would also be a good fit for this project.

Project Hours: 30

Anticipated Format: Fully Virtual

Faculty: Isaac Campos (History)

Project Description:

We are in the midst of the worst drug overdose epidemic in American history, along with a historic spike in related “deaths of despair” (i.e. suicide and alcoholic liver disease). Since 1999, nearly one million Americans have died of drug overdoses. Last year, the crisis reached a new peak, with 94,000 1 overdose deaths. As with every other year of this epidemic, in 2020 the vast majority of these deaths (70,000) were linked to opioids or opiates. Yet while pharmaceutical firms have been forced to pay billions in fines for their primary role in fomenting this addiction crisis, these are boom times for other branches of what the historian David Courtwright has called “limbic capitalism,” from the explosion of online gambling, to marijuana legalization, and the rise of countless forms of portable gaming and social media that have been “weaponized” to prove irresistible to the average consumer. Out of all of this—the deaths of despair, the internet rabbit holes, the constant connection without human contact, and a global pandemic—has emerged a new era of racial animus and one of the great political crises in American history, provoking warnings of civil war and the collapse of American democracy itself.

Historians have long sought to untangle the relationship between pharmacology, psychology, and the larger social and cultural context of drug use. But while historians can only vaguely piece together the usually very quiet, personal suffering of earlier drug abuse crises for which there remain few apposite source materials, we now have the opportunity to closely study the worst drug abuse crisis in American history, in the midst of one of history’s most extreme transformations of the experience of daily life and work, and at the dawn of what may prove to be one of the great political convulsion of the last 250 years. We can also explore other emerging addiction crises in our midst that, while gaining increasing scrutiny, are rarely grouped with the opioid crisis as other forms of “limbic capitalism,” defined by Courtwright as “a technologically advanced but socially regressive business system in which global industries, often with the help of complicit governments and criminal organizations, encourage excessive consumption and addiction.” As we lament the ruin of consumers at the hands of Big Pharma, we watch the simultaneous deregulation of other purveyors of addictive habits and technologies, from gambling and gaming, to social media, and cellphones.

This oral history project will document the unfolding of this extraordinary moment. Because I am a drug historian, and because southern Ohio has been essentially “ground zero” of the opioid epidemic, my research anchor will be the overdose calamity. Yet, at its core, this project is ultimately about a larger crisis of American capitalism and democracy, one driven by technological change and increasing disparities in wealth, access to healthcare, education, and opportunity.

Project Hours: 30- 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Sarah Manchak (Criminal Justice)

Project Description:

I currently have several projects involving evaluation of existing programs for justice-involved persons with mental illness or addiction. These range from reentry initiatives to specialized courts and diversion and deflection programs. All projects entail data collection and analysis, interviews, surveys, 1 and data research and coding. Work on these projects will expose the student to a number of useful research skills and a better understanding of the ways in which programs and policies can be improved to better meet the needs of individuals struggling with mental illness and/or addiction. Students will have the opportunity to learn about local programs, too, and how we (as a research/academic community) can work closely with practitioners and policymakers to improve the health, safety, and wellness of those in our community-- particularly those most vulnerable and marginalized.

Student needs to be self-motivated, curious, well-organized, resourceful, and hard-working. I am willing to teach all the skills and required information to do the tasks of the projects.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Thomas Moore (School of Public and International Affairs)

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 1 experience for anyone interested in international economic relations, changes in the global corporate landscape, the geopolitical implications of a globalizing world economy, and/or the use of data analytics to address policy-relevant social science questions.

Students working with me over the past 3-4 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 in the prominence of companies from more than 60 countries, including the US, China, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, and India, over the last two decades. We’re examining trends in dozens of industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and computers to telecommunications and automobiles.

We’ve collected company-specific data about how “globalized” companies are in terms of their ownership, revenue generation, and asset deployment. Take Toyota as an example. We’ve retrieved data on how the company’s percentage of Japanese ownership vs. foreign ownership has changed over time; digging deeper, we’ve identified the particular foreign countries have accounted for the highest portion of foreign ownership in Toyota (US, Germany, China, etc.). We’ve also extracting data on how the share of Toyota’s domestic vs. foreign sales has changed over time. In a similar vein, we’ve retrieved data on how the distribution of Toyota’s physical assets (e.g., factories) has changed over time between domestic and international locations. All of this is designed to assess whether companies from certain countries (or in different industries) are more “globalized” than others.

As a political scientist who specializes in international economic relations, I’m interested in the global dispersion of commercial activity not just for its economic effects but also for its foreign policy and national/international security implications. Scholars debate whether growing economic ties between countries such as the U.S. and China, China and Japan, and India and China will mitigate, exacerbate, or have no effect on prospects for geopolitical or military conflict. A second debate concerns the extent to which large developing countries from the Global South such as Brazil, India, South Africa, Turkey and China have begun -- collectively or individually -- to successfully challenge the long-standing dominance of countries from the Global North such as the U.S., Germany, and Japan.

I anticipate having a team of 4 or 5 students working on the project this summer. Given that the collection and organization of data is now largely complete, this summer will focus on working with the data and interpreting results. I would like 1-2 members of the team to be students who’ve taken courses in Business Analytics (or might even be Business Analytics majors) so we have that expertise on hand as we work with the data. There is no requirement, however, that the UHP Discover “slot” be filled by a student with data analytics skills. There is plenty of other work to be done, including qualitative background research on individual companies, industries, and countries. I encourage students with a wide range of skills, backgrounds, and interests to apply.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Virtual

The Innovation Agenda and Our Digital Future

Faculty: Christina Carnahan (School of Education)

Project Description:

Approximately 30% of individuals with ASD experience significant communication challenges and are 1 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). Together, the emerging research supporting the value to and effectiveness of social media for increasing connectedness for individuals with IDD, 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.

In the past three year, our team has developed a comprehensive intervention package using social media to increase access to meaningful relationships while also building critical language skills (Doyle et al., 2020). This project builds on our previous research to continue to evaluate the impact of the 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.

During the first week, the student will complete the necessary processes and training required of all staff members. 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

Anticipated Format: Fully In- Person

Faculty: Flavia Bastos (School of Art)

Project Description:

This is an ongoing research collaboration that connects creativity and democracy through an exploration of the possible role of digital technologies and art education to promote citizenship and voice. Examining the experiences of high school educators working in a variety of school districts, 1 including those with significant immigrant populations, allows understanding of teen’s stories and perspectives about living in the United States today. Several cohorts 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.

The student will assist me in: completing rant applications for research fun; analyzing the gathered data; maintaining the digital presence of the project via social media; developing recruitment and field- testing materials; conducting interview with program participants; an assisting in completing a book proposal based on the project, among other tasks.

Project Hours: 30

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Katherine Sorrels (History)

Project Description:

I am writing a book on the history of intellectual and developmental disabilities and would like to work with a student on building a social media presence related to the book project. The book follows a group of Jewish doctors who fled Nazi Austria in 1938 for Scotland, where they established a school called Camphill for refugee children 1 with autism who had to flee the Nazi’s state-sponsored child euthanasia program. That program, called T4, mandated that children with disabilities be killed by their doctors and nurses. Camphill school in Scotland was unique because doctors, teachers, and other care givers lived together in family-style households with their students. As refugees whose families had been torn apart, they needed to rebuild family and home life together. This model proved very appealing to British parents and the school soon began accepting British children as well. It soon expanded and grew into a network of over 130 schools and adult communities that exist today in the US, Europe and a few other countries around the world. I grew up in one of these communities in New York State, so the book is both a history of the Camphill movement and a memoir of my experience growing up in a 12-person household with disabled and non-disabled people.

I am beginning to shop the book around to presses and I need to establish a social media presence to promote it. This is now an expectation of publishers, and I must confess it is not my strength. (I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but I use them only occasionally and pretty much exclusively to follow and post about my hobby, which is organic vegetable and native wildflower gardening.) I would like to work with a social-media-savvy student who can help me build a network related to my research. This will involve scanning for relevant articles aimed at an informed public (for example, thoughtful pieces that interest a wide readership from sources like The Atlantic, The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, major newspapers, and occasionally academic journals), identifying experts and public figures to follow, etc. My hope is that by the end of the summer, you will have helped me establish a social media presence that keeps me in conversation with the latest developments related to disability and mental health outside of specialized academic research circles. And I hope that this can also serve as the basis for a future project of your own, should you wish. For example, you could write a blog post about representation of disability and mental health in the media, or use the body of sources you’ve identified as the basis for a research project of your own (and I can advise on more academic literature). I am happy to support whatever project of yours might come out of this.

Project Hours: 30- 40

Anticipated Format: Virtual

Faculty: Ming Tang (School of Architecture and Interior Design)

Project Description:

This is a research project focused on digital twin (DT) applications to solve a real-world problem. DT is a virtual replica designed to reflect a physical reality accurately. People can rely on DT and gain insights into the convergence of IoT-based technologies, big data for smart building, smart city, and connect to 1 other Metaverse applications. This proposed research will investigate (1) Analyzing data captured by the environment sensors at UC campus such as temperature, humidity, airflow, occupancy, and traffic. (2) Experiment with various data visualization methods using Tableau or Power BI, to present the environment data as a graph. (3) Integrate the data graph into a building information model (BIM) and construct the data-rich DT model. (4) Publish the DT model to the cloud. Example workflow: http://ming3d.com/new/2021/07/26/digital-twins/

 The student will mainly be in charge of data visualization with Tableau or Power BI, and research on hosting DT on a cloud. Basic data set manipulation skills (merge, trim, and sample) are preferred, or willing to learn it through Tableau / Power BI. The faculty also encourages students’ self-driven investigation related to DT. For example, (1) Use Epic Unreal to create DT and metaverse. (2) DT as a two-way data flow and control the physical environment through a virtual replica. (3) Share DT model on a cloud through Unreal pixelstream, or commercial applications such as purweb. (4) or any topics proposed by the student.

The student should have basic data analysis skills to generate graphs, similar to Tableau or Power BI. Basic data set manipulation skills (merge, trim, and sample) are preferred, or willing to learn it through Tableau / Power BI.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Virtual

Faculty: Nancy Jennings (School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies)

Project Description:

The public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic placed increased demands on the news for accurate and reliable information. While news flooded digital screens, parents contended with news overload, misinformation, increased fears and anxieties driven by news content for their children, and, in the U.S., 1 no clear place to turn for age-appropriate news for their children. U.S. news programs that have been targeted to reach teens and children such as Channel One, Teen Kids News, and Nick News with Linda Ellerbee have either been discontinued or have a very low viewership. In 2020, this gap was partially filled with NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition which was primarily distributed online through YouTube – where youth are. As such, this research will explore youth’s perceptions of U.S. news with particular attention to differences in traditional news programs and those targeted to youth.

The student researcher should be willing to complete ethics training to work with participants and to work with teens and tweens. Research interviews will be conducted online. Access to internet and a working computer will be necessary. Students should be willing to learn software to facilitate online interviews and working with editing software to create video clips for the interviews.

Project Hours: 30- 40

Format Anticipated: Virtual

Faculty: Ivan Ivanov (Political Science)

Project Description:

How have different international organizations (IOs) responded to the COVID-19 crisis? Drawing on institutional adaptability theory (Wallander, 2000), the purpose of this project is to evaluate different institutional assets that IOs have dedicated to combat COVID-19 and the speed with which they have 1 made a decision to deploy these assets in response to the global pandemic crisis. This project consists of two parts. The first part entails a new dataset of selected IOs and their responses to handling of COVID-19 drawing on two groups of indicators. The first group focuses on the allocation of institutional assets to combat COVID-19, which include: (1) new rules, policies and practices introduced to handle COVID-19; (2) new or additional financial assets allocated to handling the global pandemic; (3) personnel reassignment or new staff positions created to deal with the global crisis. The second group of indicators studies the speed with which IOs have made their decisions to respond to COVID-19. It includes the time necessary to initiate and implement institutional response to COVID-19. The second part of the research project on adaptability of IOs in the post-COVID world surveys closely the response of two regional IOs – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). It traces the response of these two organizations documenting the way in which institutional assets which were allocated to deal with COVID-19 and the timing necessary to come to an agreement to proceed with these policies. The goal of the study is to compare and contrast these two organizations’ responses and to determine how they have handled COVID-19, i.e., whether one of them have depicted higher or lower level of institutional efficacy than the other one.

The proposed research project is a part of a larger study which studies how IOs respond to a variety of threats. Previous work on NATO and the EU’s responses showed substantial various of institutional responses by these two IOs in the areas of peacebuilding, energy security and cybersecurity (Ivanov and Kovac, 2018, 2019 and forthcoming). Managing the unprecedented threat to public health caused by the COVID-19 posed tremendous vulnerabilities to international order including IOs as key ingredients of this order (Debre and Dijkstra, 2021). The new dataset proposed in the first part of this project, offers an insight into how COVID-19 was handled by key players in international relations. Additionally, the in[1]dept studies of NATO and the EU’s handling of the global pandemic in the second part of the project are expected to provide key insights on the level of adaptability that each IO has displayed during this crisis.

Preliminary data indicate that both NATO and the EU have displayed moderate to high level of adaptability. At the same time, however, they also show notable limitations that IOs have faced in their handling of the pandemic due to the low levels public trust and high effectiveness of misinformation campaigns, thus increasing inequalities among different NATO and EU members (Marinov and Popova, 2021).

The student researcher is expected to demonstrate solid background knowledge of international relations and interest on the topic of international organizations (IOs). Additionally, students are expected to have social science research skills which include collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, as well as skills to write and present information clearly. The assignment can be handled in person or remotely and while there is an expectation for regular (weekly) meetings with the supervising faculty to discuss progress and new assignments, these can be handled via online platforms. Only a small portion of the assignment may involve spending time at UC libraries to collect data.

Project Hours: 30- 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Kate Bonansinga (School of Art)

Project Description:

"Step Up to Art: Art on Cincinnati’s Staircases to Improve Public Health and Neighborhood Connection" is being conducted by a team of faculty researchers in the College of DAAP and College of Medicine through a Community-Based Participatory Action Research method. A mural by artistic team Dai 1 Williams and Lizzy DuQuette will be implemented on The Ohio Avenue staircase sometime this Spring 2022 and will serve as a pilot for the improvement of the staircase pedestrian transportation system throughout the city. (This pilot is funded by a UC Office of the VP of Research Community Change Collaborative grant.) Cincinnati has nearly 400 staircases and our goal is to implement art on at least ten of them. The objectives of the research project include enhancing Cincinnati’s existing outdoor museum of murals, creating unique public spaces, fostering more connectivity between neighborhoods and their varying socio-economic demographics, and encouraging walking as a form of exercise and transportation that will, in turn, improve public health. Community partners include City of Cincinnati, Spring in Our Steps, Contemporary Arts Center, Clifton Heights-University Heights-Fairview Neighborhood Association and Mt. Auburn Community Council. This project began in Summer 2021 and is ongoing. We employ a predominately qualitative research design with multiple measures to address the research question and programmatic goals

During Summer 2022 we will create a digital and analog information system for the Ohio Avenue stairs that educates the audience about the artists and the artwork, creating a museum-quality experience. This analog version will be available at the staircase itself. The digital version will be available on the Contemporary Art Center website. We may also design and launch an App. The student researcher will be involved in the creation of this information in words, photographic images and digital tools. The student may also develop a website for Kate Bonansinga, the PI of the project that focuses on "Step Up to Art," as well as on some of her other research endeavors. Kate Bonansinga, Director of School of Art in College of DAAP, 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. There may be times when the student will be mentored by another member of the research team. Hours are full-time, weekdays but flexible. The student should have strong writing skills, be comfortable using a camera, be capable of designing and developing a website, be adept with social media, be responsible, and possess a strong team spirit. An interest in art and community development is an advantage.

Project Hours: 40

Anticipated Format: Hybrid

Faculty: Matt Huml (School of Human Services)

Project Description:

College athletic departments can create intense pressure on their employees to achieve the success expected by their donors and fans: achieve more wins than the previous season, beat your rivals, go further in the postseason tournament, raise more money than ever before, secure the commitment 1 from a promising recruit. Success can be fleeting and programs often end their season feeling disappointment from falling short of their lofty expectations. A common response from coaches and others in athletics is to vow to work even harder next season as a means of meeting their program’s expectations. Committing more hours to your job has shown to be positively correlated with career success in certain contexts (i.e., Duckworth et al., 2007). Promising to be more committed to your job also signals loyalty and commitment to your organization (Mueller et al., 1992), possibly meaning that coaches are portraying they care enough about their job and team’s performance to sacrifice other facets of their life in order to win. It also creates a paradox for coaches, as there is a limited amount of time that individuals can commit to their job and raises questions about whether committing more time to your job either has no benefit or even becomes detrimental to career success (Greenhaus & Powell, 2003). Our study seeks to examine the relationship between college coaches’ hours worked and athletic department success.

Data collection was completed in the Fall 2019 and early Spring 2020 semester. The sample consisted of 4,522 intercollegiate athletic department employees from NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions. Individual instruments were used to assess vocational calling, overwork climate, work-family conflict, workaholism, burnout, perceived external prestige, and career commitment. Demographic information was collected on intention to change career, intention to change jobs, race, gender, spouse, kids, average hours worked, and years worked within college athletics. Survey participants were also given an opportunity to provide qualitative details about their work experiences within college athletics.

The data coding and analysis began in summer semester 2021 but more is needed in summer 2022 to complete the project. We are particularly looking at coding work hours and program success for both coaches and athletic administrators. Each participant self-reported their in-season and out-of-season work hours. Based on contact information collected on the participants, we are needing to seek out their team’s winning percentage (for coaches), postseason appearances (for coaches), Director Cup score (for administrators), and Director Cup standing (for administrators). We have already completed the coding and analysis for the NCAA Division I participants but still need to replicate the process for our NCAA Division II and III data. This will require our chosen research assistant to become familiar with athletic department websites (most use the same website platform and layout), NCAA websites, and Director Cup website and scoring system.

Project Hours: 30

Anticipated Format: Virtual

Faculty: Susan Longfield Karr (History)

Project Description:

The extent to which legal norms and our expectations, suspicions, and dissatisfaction of law as such 1 influences, shapes, and permeates various aspects of the arts and humanities is ubiquitous, so much so that without taking a moment to reflect on it, we might well miss the extent to which it shapes the stories we watch, tell, and research across multiple venues. The idea is to develop and launch a podcast consisting of 6-10 episodes (about 30-45 mins each), featuring History faculty at UC as well as other faculty across humanities in conversation with people in the various arts communities in Cincinnati from stage to museums, as well as local art activists and performers. The focus of discrete episodes could run the gamut covering ranging from law and literature; law and memory; law and trauma; law and social justice; law and identity; law and religion; law and public spaces (monuments, commemorations, architecture, symbolism); law and morality; law and injustice; law and gender; law and popular culture, etc.

The primary goal of the project is to create a venue to bring together scholars (faculty and students), performers, producers, curators, and citizens to explore issues and happenings that engage with or highlight aspects of the intersection between law and humanities on stage, in public spaces, in exhibitions, etc., that reaches beyond the university campus. A secondary goal is to offer students an experiential learning opportunity that would enable them to put the skills acquired from studying history and the humanities to work in helping to produce the podcasts, and in the process, to create meaningful venues and relationships with communities throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. The fact that the Ensemble Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company are open again, as well as a variety of smaller performance spaces and local museums, and that each is featuring a play, performance, or exhibit that intersect with the focus of the podcast series makes the timing perfect to begin working in the series.

We'll work together on all aspects of the podcast series, from pre- to post-production. I expect the researchers to help me research, contact, and set up interviews with local artists, as well as to help craft questions and edit the results. I also hope that the student will produce their own podcast within the podcast, so to speak, that focuses on projects that UC undergrads are undertaking or engaged in that intersect with the themes of the project.

Project Hours: 30

Anticipated Format: Hybrid