Brackenridge Blog Post #2

The Brackenridge Fellowship has really showed me what undergraduate, independent research truly is. Before this experience, I had never participated in such an extensive and meticulous research opportunity. I have done semester long research papers and projects before, but they don’t compare to the first-hand experience I am able to attain with the Brackenridge. Immersing yourself in this world of investigation (may it be through books, paintings, labs, archives, films, or any other sort of learning environment) helps you acquire crucial knowledge, experience, and skill that will be useful for anyone for the rest of their lives.

One thing I really like about the Brackenridge Fellowship is the amount of diversity you find in the different research projects. There are people researching everything; from the STEM fields to art history to sociology and even classical literature! I hope that by immersing myself in this environment and by learning more about my peers’ projects, I can get a better understanding of not just what they are researching, but how they are doing it. It is interesting to see how each one of us takes on a different approach when looking and searching for information. Some use a more literary perspective, others use laboratory equipment, and several even conduct their own interviews to get the best primary research they can achieve. Looking at other people’s take on their research allows me to get a better general understanding of what independent research truly is. Each one of us has assimilated and created our own research scenario in order to accomplish our ultimate goals. By being surrounded by the other Brackenridge recipients, I am learning about different ways and approaches one can take to achieve their own independent study.

Another thing I like about the Brackenridge program is how every project and research description is completely different. There are so many different ideas and different research topics that I could have never thought about. For example, Meghana Dodda’s project focuses on the refinement of a novel peptide that aims to reduce rumor size in glioblastoma. She is finding better ways to find and treat fast-growing and aggressive brain tumors that are mostly common in the brains of adults. On the other hand, completely different from the STEM field, Christina Prado is studying the relationship between fear, societal perception and law. She is studying how fear can derived from corruption and how fear has multiple implication within legal systems and law itself. Just like me, she is taking a more literary perspective. Christina is reading classical literature and ancient texts to see the role fear hade in early civilizations. Lastly, another project that really caught my attention was Sarah Moore’s “A Call to Positivity: Understanding the Different. Between Nice and Kind and Implications for Building Inclusive Campus Environment.” I really never thought about the different between those two terms, but as Sarah mentions, kindness is erroneously used interchangeably with niceness. She describes how being kind to one another in more complex than being kind. This is an idea that had never crossed my mind.

There are so many benefits that come with being a Brackenridge fellow. Since we are constantly surrounded by people who are studying in different disciplines, we are participating in intellectual and cultural engagement. We are simultaneously gaining insights on our own thought processes while also learning about experiences and backgrounds that are different from our own; giving us an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. Being surrounded by people that are majoring in different fields also gives us the opportunity to explore different projects and ideas that are extremely different from our own. It allows us to expand our perspective on the diverse ways we can engage with research. The Brackenridge is an academic space that acknowledges how different disciplines can come together and create a community of knowledge and research.

Leave a Reply