The main reason for my initial interest in this fellowship, and partly why I am so eager to begin working within my cohort, is the interdisciplinary nature of the Brackenridge fellowship. Not only is my project itself interdisciplinary, but my personal and professional interests are rather diverse as well, so this boundary-crossing aspect of the fellowship is very important to me.
I am very excited to learn from other students within and beyond my cohort for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, I am interested in broadening my knowledge and understanding of all academic studies. Were it not for this fellowship, I would not have access to witnessing the process of studies and projects in film, mathematics, engineering, genetics, etc.. Furthermore, I wish to expand upon my knowledge of research methodology, particularly of that within other areas of study. I believe that discovering new ways to investigate the world and its phenomena, even those that do not directly compute to my specific area of study, can greatly enhance the way I go about research and studies. At the very least, I will be able to walk away from this experience finally understanding the mechanisms of an engineering study.
From speaking directly with and reading the blog posts of other students in the fellowship, I am able to identify a few key similarities and differences. I think the main thing to note is that we are all invested in our research and that our studies aim to positively impact the world in some unique way. We are all conducting studies and creating projects not to simply accumulate knowledge, but to inform others and ourselves in ways that can lead to powerful improvements to the world around us. The main differences I have noticed are the methods by which we are all seeking to attain this shared goal. Such variations are not only abundantly evident in the methodology of our research and studies, but also in the means by which we plan to share this knowledge. While I plan to culminate the findings of my project in a final paper, others are seeking to make films, design posters, and even create choose-your-own-adventure books. There are many projects that have captured my interest, and the ones that did so the most were those that proposed unique avenues of sharing their knowledge, such as Gray who is working on a poetry book and Melanie who is developing a film.
I think it is incredibly important to work with people outside of one’s rather rigidly assigned discipline. Within the ‘Cannon Crew’ cohort, we have discussed our enthusiasm for finally getting to interact with people with different academic interests. This allows researchers to discover possible connections between their studies and those of another area of study, which can allow them to learn more about their own subject and study. While this poses a few obstacles, namely difficulty in communicating information which may take years to fully grasp to someone who has not taken a class in that subject since high school if at all, it is integral to the pursuit of knowledge.
*The featured image is of the texts I have read thus far for my study*