Why’s everyone talking about cohorts?

The Brackenridge fellowship fosters collaboration across a wide range of interdisciplinary students with their own unique research interests. Over the course of the summer, we dive deeper into our passions of understanding more about a particular topic and exploring the ideas of others. One aspect of the fellowship involves students assembling into cohorts and integrating group feedback to transform individual research ideas. Within my own cohort, I am astonished by the wildly creative and intuitive research problems these students are working on solving.

Devesh Malik aims to understand the genetic factors of pediatric patients that may cause idiopathic conditions, such as rapid brain swelling during or after different types of infections.

Hilary Liu is analyzing literature from a variety of empirical research to better understand the neuroprotective properties of zinc regulation and explain some of the underlying mechanisms behind neurogenerative diseases.

Chelsea Carver distinguishes how different parental praise promote fixed or growth mindsets among children and plans to investigate the effects of these types of praise on the math, language, and cognitive skills of four-year-old children.

Philippa Zang wants to revive lost stories about Pittsburgh’s social, political, and cultural history through observing the geographic changes of the city over the past decades.

Zongkai Wang is composing an ethical framework for academic and institutional leaders to consider while creating effective policies to reduce the effects of climate change.

Corey Shultz is investigating the innerworkings of Pittsburgh’s immigrant history during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the different healthcare access that those individuals received.

Vincent Peebles brings light to the less commonly read poems from the Alliterative Revival and seeks to make a distinction about the variegations of these types of poems.

Gabe Field noticed constructed language within speculative fiction and wants to understand their intricate history through the philosophy of language lens.

We are all Brackenridge fellows that seek to understand the complexities of the world through collaborative research. While our subject matter may differ, we collectively strive towards new modalities of conducting and communicating our research. Individually, these projects are impressive; as a whole, they are unmatched within the realm of undergraduate research. Witnessing students come together from diverse disciplines and collaborating with one other for mutual success is an unforgettable experience.

While interdisciplinary research can inherently have some communication hindrances, the fusion of worldviews among bright and energetic undergraduates overcome any struggles along the way.  Each Brackenridge fellow will be able to carry this unique perspective into their careers and personal lives. We can gain a wider view of the issues our society faces and continue to grow as people through seeking to understand those who have a different story than our own.

Even though all Brackenridge fellows come from separate backgrounds and interests, we are united by our curiosity to discover more and willingness to help those around us.

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