The end of the Brackenridge Fellowship is certainly bittersweet. While I am going to enjoy my few weeks of summer vacation before returning to campus in the fall, I’m going to miss the incredible workshops, classes, and research opportunities presented this summer. The fellowship has certainly expanded my conceptions of research during the summer. Of course, many of the projects, including my own, had to be tailored in some way due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the raw amount of diversity in projects and methods astounded me. In some of our final classes, we are having a Q&A session regarding other projects in which everyone shares their findings and research. From physics microparticles to water waste management treatment to psychology research, there are so many different projects and methods of research that I hadn’t been privy to previously. There are so many research networks, even one that connects students in Pittsburgh to a research lab in Japan! The amount of student collaboration in professional projects is both impressive and inspiring. The discovery of these networks and the methods in which information is shared is one of the largest ways that my horizons have been expanded through the Brackenridge.
Most valuable about the Brackenridge experience was the ideathon experience. I found this to be the most directly interdisciplinary aspect of the fellowship and I enjoyed the coalescence of everyone’s methods. I wrote more about this experience in another blog post, but I really can’t express how influential it was on my research. Because mine is more based in the humanities and the sociopolitical of media adaptations, my findings and writing tend to be more abstract than following the traditional scientific method. Participating in the ideathon helped me iron out and express some of my ideas in a way that is more conducive and accessible to those outside my discipline. Additionally, it gave even more practice into writing and creating a research proposal that could apply to many future endeavors.
Now that the Brackenridge is over, I hope to turn my research into a Bachelor of Philosophy thesis. While my fellowship procured a final video that included my expected results, I hope to procure a thirty to forty-page paper for my Bachelor of Philosophy thesis. In long term plans, I hope to go further in my secondary education and even do more media scholarship in the future. The Brackenridge Fellowship has been one of the most exciting and positive experiences of my undergrad education here at Pitt, and I can’t wait to finish out strong throughout the next week.